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


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About Wisguy

  • Birthday 03/14/1962

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    Appleton, WI

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  1. Actually, with Google Maps' full color high-resolution aerial images, it is now possible to make out many of these otherwise invisible 'old' route grades from the subtle differences in the color and texture of the ground. These have been a total GODSEND in my research of the original Yellowstone Trail routings, especially out west - it has revealed long-abandoned grades that I had given up on earlier. See: http://maps.google.com/?ll=41.738336,-91.779013&spn=0.009575,0.021973&t=k&z=16&vpsrc=6 for that obliterated section of US 6. Mike
  2. Not about the Yellowstone Trail, per se, but the USMint has released the Yellowstone National Park quarters, second of their 'America the Beautiful' series, on Tuesday, 2010-06-01. http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=press_release&ID=1132 The unveiling ceremony will be at 10:25 Mountain Time on Thursday, 2010-06-03 at the Park. A live webcast of the ceremony will be available at http://www.americathebeautifulquarters.gov/newsroom The reverse of these coins, which will be released into regular circulation, shows a bison in front of the Old Faithful geyser. http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/?local=yellowstone Enjoy! Mike
  3. Also, keep in mind that MANY of the through-navigable sections of the original Yellowstone Trail routings in the west and high plains (west of the MStP exurbs, but this includes several lengthy segments between Owen and Stevens Point in central Wisconsin) are gravel surfaced. There is also a very short gravel-surfaced segment by US 35 just west of Hamlet in northern Indiana, but it also includes an out-of-service bridge and is easily detoured around. You might want to consider selecting and equipping your bicycle for such roads. Mike
  4. You'll also have to use I-90 for several sections in Idaho and Montana, especially in western Montana (west of Butte, MT and between Bozeman and Livinston, MT) and on a couple of stretches of I-94 on either side of Miles City, MT. Many western USA states allow bicycling on their rural interstates because in many places, there is no other way to get from point A to point B and the relatively light traffic doesn't create a safety hazard. Just stay as far to the right as possible (Interstates have paved right shoulders) and you should be OK. I have been researching the YT's detailed route off and on over the past few years and have it pretty well nailed down from the Great Lakes area (western New York) all the way to Livingston, MT with several parts both farther east and further west also accurately determined. You'll also have to use the I-94 bridge to cross the Saint Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin (east suburban MStP area), but that bridge includes a separate pedestrian/bicycle 'trail' facility. We'll be waiting for you here in downtown Appleton, WI! :-) Good luck! Mike
  5. http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/article_05eff6e3-9d6e-56b5-a51d-7ed96f352568.html Late last year, INDOT closed the newest section of the Cline Ave (IN 912) freeway in East Chicago and Hammond, IN (the part that snakes its way through the steel mills, it was opened in 1983) due to its failing an inspection and it has just been announced that it will not be reopened and instead will be replaced with upgraded surface streets. Impacts that this will have on the Yellowstone Trail in that area are not yet clear, except that this looks to me to be a GOLDEN opportunity for the YT guys to have some positive input into the ultimate reconstruction of this corridor. Mike
  6. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/Viaduct/ WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) is working on replacing the earthquake-vulnerable and functionally obsolete double-deck Alaska Way freeway viaduct and it looks like the favored choice for that replacement is a deep-bored tunnel. This will be an interesting and well worthy project to follow as everything works its way through and once complete, and assuming that the tunnel is in fact what will ultimately be built, will really open up the Puget Sound shoreline area at the Yellowstone Trail's western end, making for an ending that will be far more fitting and proper than what is there now. Has there been any contact between the Yellowstone Trail guys and the City of Seattle and/or WSDOT? Note that the Great Northern Railway (now BNSF) drilled a paralleling tunnel under downtown Seattle between their King Street Station and the north end of what is now the viaduct, bypassing Alaska Way, over 100 years ago. Mike
  7. While poking around on and researching part of the YT using the various air-photo and mapping websites, at Haynes, ND, a barely-inhabited blip of a town that is located a bit off of US 12 just west of where it crosses into North Dakota from South Dakota, I noticed that 1) Google Maps actually felt it worthy to send a Streetview camera van around in it, covering the entire town (it likely only took them less than 20 minutes) - that kind of floored me, too - and 2) someone there maintains a yellow-painted post at the corner of Milwaukee Ave and Conklin St. http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=45....,343.03,,0,4.03 Before about 1920, the YT made a left turn from Milwaukee Ave to Conklin St (as viewed in that image) and after about 1920, the YT ran across that image on Conklin St. Fascinating. Mike
  8. I've found a couple of items on this: Hennepin goes two-way on Saturday, 2009-10-09: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/news/20090...tConversion.asp Also: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/hennepinfirst/ The City of Minneapolis is also developing plans for redoing Washington Ave, including the four-block section that was the YT (between Hennepin and 3rd S), perhaps converting it from a three-lanes each way urban arterial to a two-lanes each way landscaped boulevard. This might be the best time to try to work with the city to include a YT theme in that street's final design. Mike
  9. Christmas tree lines are also used to guide motorists on the ice roads on Lake Winnebago (northeast Wisconsin). Ice fishing is very popular on that lake, including an annual spearing season for lake sturgeon when parts of the lake can look like small cities, the fishing shacks are that numerous. Although I have never tried it, I believe that it is very possible to safely drive between Fond du Lac and the Appleton area over the ice of Lake Winnebago during winter. Mike
  10. I note that modern-day US 2 through the Tumwater Canyon northwest of Leavenworth, WA was built directly on the grade of the original Great Northern Railroad, which the railroad company abandoned almost immediately after their Chumstick line relocation was completed, along with the current Cascade tunnel, both in early 1929. This project was a HUGE investment by the railroad and eliminated many circles of tight curvature through the canyon and a series of cripplingly expensive to maintain snowsheds on the the line up to the former Cascade tunnel. Its west portal was at Tye (Wellington) and the snowsheds closest to that portal, which were built of solid reinforced concrete, are still there. The west side of the Cascades in that area is famous for receiving massive amounts of wet, sticky snow during the winter months while the east side is nearly semi-arid. In fact, one of the very worst ever loss-of-life natural disasters in Washington state history was an avalanche in early 1910 that wiped out a passenger train that was stopped at Wellington. The bad karma of that incident resulted in the railroad company renaming the town to 'Tye'. From the late 1920s through 1956, Great Northern operated their Cascade tunnel line with electric locomotives (it used an 11Kv/25Hz overhead catenary wire) with the power changing yards being at Wenatchee and Skykomish. This is an area with a truly fascinating transportation history. Mike
  11. I have no effective date nor article links handy, but I have received word via the grapevines that the City of Minneapolis is restoring Hennepin Ave in downtown Minneapolis from one-way northbound back to two-way traffic. No longer will those following the YT westbound through downtown Minneapolis have to make that detour via southwestbound 1st Ave N (also being restored to two-way traffic) from Washington St, along with that tricky-to-follow crossover back to Hennepin at 12th St S. Mike
  12. There is a ghost grade for an unbuilt northward extension of the Taconic at I-90, too. I'm not sure of where it was ultimately intended to go. It would be interesting indeed if those plans could ever be revived. Mike
  13. Well, the east-west part of Hyde Park BD is 51st St elsewhere in the city and US 20 uses 95th St to cross the city, so they are not that far apart. The farthest west that the YT and US 20 meet is at 95th and Ewing on Chicago's far southeast side. Mike
  14. Unfortunately, unlike the *EXCELLENT* markings that both the Lincoln Highway and 'Historic' US 66 enjoy in Illinois, I am aware of *NO* Yellowstone Trail signs in the state. If you have ever followed the YT just through the City of Chicago, you'd agree that it is a true *GEM* of a drive (Hyde Park area, Michigan Ave through downtown, the Gold Coast, THROUGH Lincoln Park, two blocks from Wrigley Field, etc) and I see no reason why the City itself would not be interested in it. Mike
  15. I heard about that closure Monday evening (2008-11-10) while listening to WBBM radio (780AM) out of Chicago and then followed it up with a look-see at an article in the Chicago Tribune. According to the Tribune, the lockdown covers an area running three blocks east-west and two blocks north-south. With your information, it looks like its epicenter is at Hyde Park BD and Greenwood Ave and I assume that it covers the area surrounded by Ellis Ave on the west, 50th St on the north, Woodland Ave on the east and 52nd St on the south. There is a synagogue across the street to the east of that address. I have driven that section of the YT several times, most recently in mid-late Summer, 2007. I have a photographic memory and can 'run a tape' of that entire street in my mind. We shall see how things play out with this one. Mike
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