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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

mga707

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Posts posted by mga707

  1. Excellent photos, thanks for posting them. Wonder why the USFS was only using 'copters, no C-130s? Terrain too rugged? Anyway, my hat is off to the fire fighters!

    Drove Idaho 21 from Stanley to Boise back in '09. Magnificent drive, but I have never been on any winding, mountain road with more mule deer both on and right along the highway. Scary, especially when we came upon a deer/car collision that had just happened right before we came upon it. People were stopped (car was overturned), but no ambulance/paramedics yet. They were still some miles down the road, heading up from Idaho City. I wonder if the poor guy in the car made it...

  2. Just wanted to post a quick post-trip update. Memphis and surrounding areas were great! Some of the friendliest folks I've ever run across. Drove through Nutbush (the store/Tina Turner Museum was closed as it was late in the afternoon), checked out the Mind Field in Brownsville (bizarre but very interesting), went to both Stax and Sun in Memphis (both great!) and even enjoyed a frozen margarita on a VERY hot afternoon (100 and muggy) on Beale Street.

    One spur of the moment side trip that turned out to be an absolute five-star must-see, at least if one is interested in the blues or American music in general, is the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale MS, an hour south of Memphis along the legendary US 61. Located in Clarksdale's old train depot, it is an awesome museum. Superb! Next door is Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero blues club and restaurant, where a tasty soul food lunch was had.

    On the way back to Chicago, we checked out Elvis' boyhood home in Tupelo MS, then spent an enjoyable afternoon cruising the Natchez Trace Parkway up to it's northen terminus just SW of Nashville. Pulled into the Loveless Cafe just past the end of the Trace at dinnertime, but the wait was over an hour so we kept going and wound up in Clarksville for the night. The next day we hit George Rogers Clark NHP in Vincennes IN (a one county switch to Eastern Time), did a two-lane drive up the eastern side of Illinois on State Route 1 up to Interstates 74 and then 57, and then got into the Chicago area shortly after sunset.

    A most enjoyable road trip.

  3. Denny--

    Thank you very much for all of the tips, complete with links. Much appreciated. Definitely will stop at the Loveless Cafe for some 'road food'! The Mind Field reminds me of the Watts Towers in LA! I'll be in Memphis for a convention, so my time will mostly be involved with that, but I am going to make time for some real Bar-B-Q! Have already done Graceland and Beale Street, but will hit the Stax Records site if I have time. As far as Nashville, the end of the Trace (and the Cafe) will be as close as we get this trip.

    Thanks again!

  4. Hello all--Finally, a road trip beckons! My intrepid travel companion and I are planning a Chicago-Memphis road trip starting the middle of next week. She is picking me up at MDW and we're heading south for a convention in MEM, with some road-tripping on both ends.

    Our basic plan is to bail off of I-57 just before leaving Illinois and cross the Ohio at Cairo, heading toward Memphis on the east side of the Mississippi via US 51. I definitely want to make a side trip to go into the little discontiguous part of Kentucky--the little bit that is separtaed from the rest of the state by the Mississippi's bends and Missouri. Maybe also take a slight detour through Nutbush, to see the town that Tina Turner (and Bob Seger) were singing about!

    Following our three days/four nights in Memphis, the return plan is to head down US 78/Future I-22 to Tupelo, pick up the Natchez Trace there and follow it until it's terminus west of Nashville (got to stop at the spot where Merriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame) either killed himself or was murdered, depending on which story one believes, and then head back to Chi-town through Kentucky and Indiana by basically follwing US 41 or Alternate US 41 north, via Evansville and Terre Haute.

    If anyone has any other spots anywhere near either part of this route that are absolute 'must stops', please share!

    Thanks!

  5. Dave:

     

    You came in right at the end of the push button automatic era at Chrysler Corp. Introduced for the '56 model year, I believe Chrysler abandoned them for the traditional control column stick for '64. Why, I don't know. Probably had something to do with the overall return to more GM/Ford-ish looking cars following the absolute sales debacle of the 'down-sized' 62-63 Plymouth/Dodge full-sized cars, and Virgil Exner being replaced as stytling chief by Elwood Engel, who came over from Ford (like Lee Iacocca after him, he had learned that you would never head the company if your last name was not "Ford"!).

    Growing up in the '60s, our family's primary car was a yellow '60 Dodge Dart Phoenix (the Dart was a full-sized model through '62, albeit a bit smaller than the Polara/Matador). It had the push buttons, which i always thought were Cool and 'space-age'!

    Tooling aaround Tucson yesterday, I saw a pretty '66/'67 Belvedere/Satellite (probably the latter, as it had plenty of chrome). Nice to live where old cars live on, rust-free!

     

    Mike

  6. Been there, done that, stood on said corner for photo op, and bought the T-shirt! B)

    La Posada is a great place to stay, and has a surprisingly good (and upscale) restaurant.

    I know I've plugged it before on here, but if one has any interest in historic aviation the Winslow airport (INW or KINW) is a late-1920s/early-1930s time-warp gem. Both the terminal building and adjacent hangar are from that era and largely unchanged. The old Kingman airport was of similar design (both were built under the direction of Lindbergh for TWA predecessor TAT [Transcontinental Air Transport] in preparation for their early transcontinental passenger service). Unfortunately, the old Kingman terminal was demolished sometime in the 1990s for a housing development. I always wonder what happened to the "Lindbergh Light" that was still on the roof of the old building, which had been converted to a private residence, when i visited in the mid-1980s. A genuine Lindy Light is worth big bucks today!

  7. Once again, you're really making me want to do a road trip to the northern part of my state! I need some time off!

    Great photos. I've got to take that four mile side trip up onto "the rez" someday, complete with the typical suspension-jarring unpaved road. Sounds just like the road a bit farther north off of the paved Leupp Road (Navajo Route 15) that leads to the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River. If one goes during a high-water time of year the falls are quite impressive--like a chocolate waterfall!

    Interesting that this is one area where the Old Trails Road does not exactly parallel the earlier Santa Fe tracks.

  8. Warning--"thread creep"! But you know I can't resist when a thread turns to things that fly in the sky... B)

    Thge Vought F4U (and Goodyear FM--made under license) Corsair was one sturdy fighter. In terms of flyable WWII warbirds that are still around, it's probably second to only the P-51 Mustang. The Argentine Navy used the Corsair well into the 1970s on their one and only second-hand aircraft carrier. The bought the Corsairs from the French Aeronavale, which also kept the Corsair in service well into the jet age. Probably got the carrier from France as well!

     

    In terms of being "original" or not, it's probably not too different than a lot of restored antique autos that don't have too much original metal or wood left on them either!

  9. Wow! (again!) VERY nice! Another old road site I've yet to see in my own state.

    One interesting factoid is that the current I-40 bridge over the canyon has been in use at least twice as long as either of the bridges before it (1914 and 1937). I'm not certain of the build date of that particular section of 40, but the stretch between Flagstaff and Winslow was one of the earlier parts constructed in Arizona. I'd guess early to mid-1960s. I know that that section of 40 existed in 1968, as I rode on it in that year--wasn't yet old enough to drive!

    Driuves home the point that many of our Interstates are getting rather old!

  10. @mga707- I too have that fondness for aviation history which is why I had to stop and investigate when I passed through the area. During my pre-trip research I found that there were a couple of other airfields carved out of the desert that were used as emergency landing fields for civilian flights during the 30's. The most obvious is east of Goffs which can be seen from Goffs Road and although it has been overgrown with the sagebrush you can still make out a a large V carved into the desert. The other was further west near Amboy.

     

    There is still a similar such airstrip near Desert Center, between Indio and Blythe along I-10/old US 80. In the VERY early days of commercial aviation--late '20s/early '30s--it was often used as a "potty break" on the LA-Phoenix run, as the early airliners of the day such as the Fokker VII used by Standard Airlines/Western Air Express (in 1930 this route was sold to American Airways--now Airlines) did not have on on-board lavatory like the slightly later Ford Tri-Motor did.

  11. All I can say is "Wow"! I love this stuff, especially with my love of aviation history as well as old road travel. I knew that Patton's tanks had trained in this area, much of which is now part of the Mojave National Preserve (north of I-40), but was unaware of the Essex airfield. 5000-ft. steel-matted runways would certainly have been more than adequate for any aircraft in the Army Air Corps' 1942 inventory (pre-B-29, which would have needed a bit more runway length). I can imagine C-47s (military DC-3s) buzzing in and out of there with men and supplies for Patton's army!

  12. I too do not care for alphanumeric auto badging, nor do I particularily care for renaming of models. That said, I give Ford credit for the Mustang, currently the longest-running continuous nameplate sold in the US. Every model year since it's mid-year introduction in 1964.

    This does not count names like Impala, which first debuted in 1958 but has not run continuously in every model year since. No Chevys were badged "Impala" from 1986 through 1992, and again from 1997-99.

    The Mustang took the longest-used name title in 2009, after Pontiac dropped the Grand Prix nameplate that had appeared every model year since 1962.

    If one counts light trucks, however, then the Suburban is by far the longest-lived nameplate, having been used by Chevrolet/GMC since the mid-1930s!

  13. I'm surprised one of us, including me, hasn't mentioned the biggest money saver of all - Off Season. Costs of accommodations are often half what they are in season. We spent five days on the Washington coast about a month ago, in a suite overlooking the ocean, for half the in season rates.

     

    Not only are accommodations less expensive, boutiques and the like are offering their wares at half price as well. And if you are ready to spend a little, you are treated like royalty. The owner, instead of a high school kid on summer break, is likely to serve you, and toss in a tour if you show a little interest.

     

    And off season doesn't always mean winter. We spent a week in a lovely ski resort in Utah one summer, and enjoyed everything but snow, while saving at least half.

     

    Nothing is without it's faults. Restaurants may be on shorter hours and many commercial amusements may be closed.

     

    Dave

     

    Keep the Show on the Road!

     

    Amen, brother Dave!

     

    I've twice stayed at the 5-star/5-diamond Camelback Inn resort in Paradise Valley (Scottsdale) AZ in July for right around $100/night---in July!

    Right now the "high season" rates at said property are probably three to four times that.

    ...and with cold A/C in your 'casita' and the pools cool and wet, who cares that the usual high/low temps that time of year are around 110/85 degrees!

  14. Thanks for the welcome. What is it about North Dakota - it was my 49th! Surprisingly, we really enjoyed. The Roosevelt Badlands are really prettier than the better known South Dakota Badlands and the Medora Musical is great fun.

    We're only missing Hawaii and I don't like to fly but we might make it yet.

     

    Well, for me it was the fact that SD and ND were the only two states I was lacking, and my travel companion had not been to either of them, nor to MT and WY, so we flew to Denver, rented a car, and did a big northern plains loop. Like you said, ND has it's charms, as does it's more-visited southern neighbor. And I guess right now it's the most economically healthy state in the country, with the oil boom up there.

     

    As far as Hawai'i, I've been there three times. My Delta pilot friend used to live on Maui, so for two of my visits I had a place to stay, which was really nice (and money-saving!). I think my favorite island is Moloka'i, because it is so un-touristy and totally "laid back" the native way! I still need to visit Lana'i, so I have a reason for yet another trip, although my friends have since departed Maui for Indiana.

    I heartily recommend Hawaiian Airlines for both inter-island and mainland to/from Hawai'i. They treat you right.

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