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


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Posts posted by mga707

  1. Now that is a cool road! Even today, the route through the pass on I-25 is one of the better stretches of Interstate in the Southwest. The postcards' writer exaggerated just a bit: The top of the pass is a little over 7800 feet in elevation.

    Aside: There's an excellent little non-chain motel right in "Rat-town" called the Raton Inn. Clean and quite nice.

  2. mga707,


    The information about the old control road to Summerhaven is great!! I didn't know it existed. I wish i had driven it when I lived in Tucson


    I recall escaping from the summer heat in Tucson by driving up the modern road when I was a student at UA. About all I remember was a restaurant and some cabins at the top. I bet it has changed!


    Thanks a lot for the come back!




    Keep the Show on the Road!


    Summerhaven/Mt. Lemmon has changed a lot in just the past few years, as a devastating forest fire in the summer of '06 wiped out most of the original community. So nearly every building up there now is new--and much more fire resistant!

  3. Love the '49 "Aeroback" Chevy--but those two kids look like trouble! B)

    No personal experiences on these two roads, although they look like fun drives, but if one wants to see what the "P to P Highway" (SR 74) looked like nearly 50 years ago, check out the classic comedy "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". The opening sequence--in which Jimmy Durante 'kicks the bucket'--was shot on one of the winding stretches of said highway. The film was released for the summer of '63, so the sequence was probably shot in summer/fall '62.


    I think the closest I've been to a 'control road' is the Pikes Peak Highway, where one must stop at a 'control' point on the way down so that the attendant can check to make sure you aren't overheating your brakes!

    Locally (Tucson AZ), the unpaved road up the back (north) side of the Santa Catalina Mountains from Oracle to Summerhaven is still called the Mount Lemmon Control Road, and as it was the original route up to the top of Mt. Lemmon, predating the paved Mt. Lemmon Highway that winds up the south slope of the range by quite a few decades, I'm guessing it was also once 'controlled' in the same manner.

  4. I believe the one in the middle, Holbrook, is closer in age to the one in San Bernardino but closer to the one in Cave City in "amenities". I doubt, though, that you'll be staying in Holbrook in January.



    Been there, done that! :lol: My Holbrook Wigwam visit was on January 1/2, back in the mid-90s. My experience was amazingly similar to BRM's: Space heaters, freezing bathroom, no one else there but us, room basic but clean.

    Followed up the next day by a rather bracing visit to Petrified Forest NP with an arctic wind howling (and no trees other than the fossilized stone kind to block it)! A fun trip nonetheless.

  5. Another place I remember from my one Oregon visit but there was no "...quiet walk down an empty main street..." to be had on that day. The original Becky Repp recommended Pig 'n' Pancake restaurant is in Seaside and I drove down the street to the Lewis & Clark monument thinking I might park for a peek at a pancake. Not a chance and I was happy to leave the congestion once I got back to 101. It sounds and looks like a January visit would be much more enjoyable than mine in August.


    Incidentally, that was the last day I could honestly tell law enforcement agents that I had never met David Paul.


    Yes, August in Seaside is busy on the weekend! Especially the last Saturday of the month, as that is the date of the annual Mt. Hood to the coast relay race, which ends in Seaside. Unfortunately, that happened to be the day we visited last August!. No P'n'P for us, as there was about an hour wait for a table--ditto for the Astoria location. Both towns were hopping--I'm sure the merchants love the relay race weekend!

  6. *

    Hard to believe TwentyEleven is nearly over. What has characterized this year for you?




    In terms of 'roadie' experiences, it was definitely the drive on the historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon (original US30). That lived up to it's reputation!


    As far a 2012, I'm hoping to finally do at least a portion of the Natchez Trace this coming summer. I'm planning to be in Memphis in late July, so why not. Probably combine the Trace with part of Dylan's famous "Highway 61". Visited, not "Revisited". B)

  7. Ran down another little rabbit trail. Read a blog by author Jim Hinckley about 66 and Adamana that got me looking for even earlier maps. I suspected that since there was a stage coach stop just west of the painted desert that a search for stage coach routes might be interesting.


    Found this map: stage routes in AZ


    Not dated but it predates railroads showing their surveyed routes and it has what appears to be a stage route where RT 66 would travel through the Painted Desert. So we know some sort of trail/path has existed there for a long time.



    Interesting maps to be sure. The caption under the first map says that it was created in 1876. This seems to be about right as the "surveyed route of the Southern Pacific Railroad" is shown and the SPRR reached Tucson in 1881 or 82, IIRC.

  8. We love the La Posada and arrange our schedule to spend the night when possible. It's our favorite on Rt 66.


    If you're ever in Winslow and looking for another historic site to see, check out the Winslow airport terminal building off of AZ87 south of town. It dates from 1928 and was designed by Charles Lindbergh when he was consulting for Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), the main predecessor company to TWA. It has really not been altered much if at all, and the adjacent hangar is from the same period. Lindbergh laid out all of the stops on TAT's Ford Tri-Motor transcontinental route, which was originally in conjunction with two railroads. Fly by day, rails by night, coast to coast in three days! There was a similar Lindbergh-designed terminal in Kingman, another original stop on the route, but that one was demolished about 20-25 years ago, sadly. The Kingman stop only lasted a few years, being replaced with Boulder City (NV) once that town came to life circa-1930 for the construction of Boulder (Hoover) Dam.

    TWA continued to serve Winslow (INS) well into the 1950s with DC-3s, and the original Frontier continued the service right up until deregulation in 1979. Since that time INS has struggled to maintain any scheduled air service as it is not an Essential Air Service (EAS) city. Of course, having a much bigger town (Flagstaff) right down the road is the main problem.

    Most people don't realize that Winslow used to be the 'hub' of northern Arizona, and was larger than Flagstaff right up through the 1940 census. Since that date, Flag's population has mushroomed from about 5000 to well over 50,000 (plus the NAU student population), while Winslow still has about the same 6000-7000 people that it had 70 years ago. OK, end of Arizona aviation history lesson! B)


    It shows that by 1925 the northern road was at least in place bypassing Adamana. Not labeled or named on the map but there anyway. Another little piece in place. Look at the bottom of the map. Since it predates the numbered road system, it has symbols for the Trail and Highway Markings. I also see that in Winslow in big red letters says "Harvey Hotel" which I would assume is the La Posada. Really nice map.


    That IS indeed a cool map! And correct you are on the La Posada. Where I've slept!

  10. I corrected the name of the park. Thanks.


    I have a question about 66 going through Adamana. I don't see it on any 66 map all the way back to 26 when it may have been labeled 60. I see Adamana and the tracks south of 60/66. I do have a 1913 map with the only road going along the tracks and right through Adamana. The note on that map said "extremely rough and no bridges". I will have to dig through some of the USGS topo maps from that time and see if they have any details. Most of the road maps of the time don't have enough detail to them.



    Do you have any maps for the route in 26-27


    From what you say, and from what I have gleaned from the University of Arizona's road map archives, I believe you are correct in that the alignment was probably moved pre-66, back in the Old Trails Road era of the teens and early 20s.

    From what I recall, the U of A's map collection has the same two maps that you have, the 1913 map and the 1926 map which was the first to show US route numbers, and on which 66 is called 60. Unfortunately, i don't recall them having any from between those two dates.


    The oldest Arizona road map that I personally have is from 1953, so no help there. The U of A does have a nice collection, though.



    As we're driving down US 45, we start to see reports in the mornings & evenings about this thing called Irene spinning out in the Atlantic.


    Yes, Irene put a giant monkey wrench into a lot of vacation plans. I was at the Airliners convention in Portland (OR), and as soon as it became clear that Irene had the New York metro area in her sights, the Big Apple area folks all started to bail early, knowing they had to get home before carriers started pulling planes out of the three NY airports (six airports, if you count Islip, White Plains, and Stewart/Newburgh) to get them out of (potential) harm's way. What made it worse was that a lot of them (the airline employees or retirees) were traveling non-rev, which means that they are flying space available only--no guaranteed seats.

    A friend of mine who works for US Airways at LGA was able to get back in time to batten down his Bronx apartment (tape up the windows, get provisioned, etc.), but he had to take the 'scenic route' through two of US's three hubs, Phoenix AND Charlotte, on the trip from PDX to LGA!

    Luckily, Irene turned out to be not as bad as predicted in the city and surrounding area. It was much worse, flooding-wise, farther north, in far upstate NY and VT.

  12. Thanks to mga707 for the tip on Temporary 60 from Globe to Show Low following 73. I found some good Arizona maps here:




    Got that alignment on the map now


    You're quite welcome. I see from looking at your old AZ map site that my fuzzy memory was wrong in one respect: The 1930's "Temporary 60" did NOT turn westward upon reaching what is now still AZ 73, but rather stayed to the east and went through Whiteriver and McNary on it's way to Springerville. I had forgotten that the stretch of 60 between Show Low and Springerville/Eagar, via Vernon, was also a later construction.

    My memory was based upon several visits to the map collection at the University of Arizona library. They have an extensive Arizona (and Tucson) map collection in their basement map room. Well worth a visit.


    A digression: One thing I love about the 1930s Arizona state highway maps is that for a number of years the borders of them were decorated with what are now known as swastickas. Yes, the infamous Nazi logo, back when it was still an innocent Navajo symbol. You see, those dastardly National Socialists in Germany took the native American symbol, turned it around 180 degrees, and made it into something evil. The Navajo had used it for many centuries before the Nazi's swiped it.


    I've also thought of one other area where there is an old 60 alignment, in my neighboring state to the east, New Mexico. Some years back we took one of many weekend trips to the "Land of Enchantment", and one of our stops was the Very Large Array radio telescope site west of Socorro. If you've seen the movie "Contact" you know the place: Dozens of radio telescopes radiating out in three lines from a central point. The visitor center and site headquarters is located a mile or two south of present-day 60, and I distinctly remember that the access road to the visitor center and the 'scopes was a road marked as "Old Highway 60". I also seem to remember that old 60 continued on to the west past the VLA site, still well south of current 60, but I don't know if the full segment is drivable or not.

    Anyway, there's another one for you, in yet a third state no less!

  13. I see you are already familiar with the old alignments on the mountainous stretch between Superior and Globe from the above post. I'll also assume that you know that the original 60 alignment through metro Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa/Apache Junction was not via the freeways as it is currently, but was (W to E) Grand Avenue/Van Buren Road/Mill Avenue (crossing the Salt River over two adjacent bridges--The older bridge is now closed to vehicles but is still walkable)/Apache Boulevard-Main Street-Apache Trail (all the same road but with name changes as it goes from Tempe to Mesa to Apache Junction)/Old West Highway (formerly Florence Highway).


    An interesting factoid about this stretch of 60, extending eastward to Florence Junction, is that for several decades (1930s to 1960s) it was quadruple-designated as US/60/70/80/89. I cannot think of any other stretch of US highway that had four concurrent designators over such an extended stretch, with three of the four being 'major' zero-digit routes, and the fourth one a border-to-border N-S route (89).


    The 60 segment from Globe NE to Show Low is interesting, not so much for old alignments (there are some of those, but they are all close to the present alignment on either side), but for the fact that is was the last stretch of 60 to be completed in Arizona, not being fully constructed until circa-1940. The Salt River Canyon certainly provided construction challenges. If one looks on Arizona state highway maps from the 1930s, a "Temporary US 60" is shown, over the following routing: US 70 from Globe to San Carlos, including what is now Apache Route 6 (Old San Carlos Road) from Cutter to San Carlos; thence from San Carlos to what is now AZ State Route 73 via Apache Routes 10, 4, and 9; thence via 73 to Carrizo Junction and back onto what is still US 60 to Show Low. Most of these reservation roads between San Carlos and AZ 73 are unpaved even today, and must have been a truly wild and harrowing adventure in the 1930s!


    The only other major old 60 alignment that I am aware of in eastern Arizona is a drivable stretch east of Springerville that goes first north of and then south of the present alignment and is signed as Old Highway 60.


    Hope I have been of help and interest.

  14. Thanks. Glad to help. You only asked about old California alignments so I did not mention it, but just across the Colorado River in my state (Arizona), there are two other old 60/70 alignments. The old road veers north from I-10 immediately east of the bridge and goes away from the present alignment for about 6 1/2 miles, through the now-abandoned original settlement of Ehrenberg, before eventually rejoining the current road. What is current called Ehrenberg is the commercial area around Exit 1 and is several miles from the original townsite. You can exit 10 at the first Arizona exit (Exit 1) and rejoin it at the second exit (Exit 5) to travel on this old alignment. Another old alignment is drivable between exits 11 and 17. Now called Dome Rock Road, this section is to the south of the present Interstate alignment.

  15. I love the Pig'N'Pancake! They have at least four locations between (I think) Newport and Astoria. Unfortunately, on this summer's Oregon trip we did not get to eat there, as the day we hit the coast was also (unknown to us) the day of the annual Mt. Hood to Seaside relay race. The coastal towns--and the P'N'Ps in both Astoria and Seaside--were absolutely mobbed with runners who had just finished the race. We did finally find another local restaurant in Seaside that was not as crowded, and our breakfast/lunch WAS tssty, but I was SO jonesin' for a Pig'N'Pancake experience!

  16. First, I'm glad that what you saw in the Northwest, you enjoyed. The old Columbia River Highway is a premier drive, and few if any other roads offer the spectacular scenery it does. I hope it wasn't too busy.


    I'd appreciate your thoughts on the Evergreen and Tillamook museums. We get down the Oregon Coast occasionally and I often think of stopping on the way. It has been at least ten years since I was in the Tillamook facility, and I have never been to the Evergreen, but I want to at least see the Spruce Goose.




    Keep the Show on the Road!


    Each is quite different, and enjoyable in their own way. The Evergreen museum is new, state-of-the-art, and huge. Where else can you find a museum/water park combo? Not to mention a 747 water slide!

    On the museum side there are two large hangars, an IMAX theater between them, and scattered aircraft displayed outdoors. It even dwarfs my local Pima Air and Space Museum, which is one of the larger ones in the country.

    One note, though: To go up onto the flight deck of the Goose is an extra charge. And they don't have the mannequin of Howard at the controls, like they did in Long Beach, which is where I first saw the plane back in '85.


    The Tillamook museum has a totally different charm. Much more of a rustic, 'let's make a museum' kind of charm. Even though they have a large collection of aircraft, the immense size of that WWII blimp hangar makes it look small!

    It reminds me of the Airline History Museum at the old TWA hangars at the old downtown Kansas City airport in a way, with the 'do it yourself' type of feel.

    Both are well worth a visit.

    An unexpected gem of this trip was the small, open by appointment, Classic Aviation Museum at the Hillsboro airport. This one is really kind of a 'rich man's hobby' type of place, as most of the planes in it are owned by one person who allows them to be visited. He has some rare metal, like a 19850's French jet trainer called the Fouga Magister, and several MiGs and F-104 Starfighters.

    This is really a 'hands-on' museum, as one can touch and poke around the aircraft, all of which are either flyable or in the process of being restored to flying condition. My hands smelled like Skydrol (hydraulic fluid) when I left.

    The fifth area museum was the Pearson Air Museum, on the grounds of Pearson Field at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver WA. A friend flew his Beech Sundowner out to Pearson from Indiana for this event we attended in Portland (Airliners International), and the only flying Boeing 40, a 1928 mail/four passenger aircraft, was there for the event as well, and offering rides. Pearson is one of the oldest operatiog airfields in the US, dating back to WWI era, and was Portland's first airport. The old Army Air Corps hangar is now the museum, and it too has interesting displays and aircraft.

    Proibably more detail than you asked for, but hope this is interesting to you. And the WAAAM was terrific, to get this back to roads and cars as well as airplanes!

  17. Just got back from the Portland area. Drove out the Columbia River Highway to the WAAAM. What a great ride! Simply beautiful. The WAAAM was an excellent museum as well. Did four other aviation museums in the area--Evergreen (McMinville), Tillamook, Hillsboro, and Pearson (at Fort Vancouver), but I think I liked the WAAAM best of all, even though it is far smaller than either Evergreen or the Tillamook blimp hangar museum. As others have opined, the juxtaposition of period cars, planes, and other motorized vehicles is something one does not see often. Kudos to Oregon for keeping as much of the old highway drivable as they have. The 1918 'view tower' is awesome!

  18. Grover -

    Dugway has a Shoppette that sells gas. However, the public that can use it are folks that reside on post or are there for business. It is not open to the public outside the insallation. Gaining gate access is a task and you would need an on-post sponsor. Even then, you would be required to stop at the Visitor Center with all your ID and vehicle registration for a quick background check. Might take as much as 30 minutes or more if you are lucky. Anything amiss and they send you packing. I would just take extra fuel and avoid any Imperial entanglements.



    ....plus, they have to conceal the UFOs while you're there! :lol:

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