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Everything posted by Wisguy

  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
  16. Apparently our new President-elect's Chicago, IL house is along (or very near to, as I don't offhand know its exact address) the Yellowstone Trail and as a result, a several blocks long section of its routing on Hyde Park BD just north of the Museum of Science and Industry is now *CLOSED* until further notice. Those wishing to follow the YT through the city are advised to use Lake Shore Drive and Pershing Rd/Oakwood BD or 47 St to avoid the area. 'Tis a shame, too, as Drexel and Hyde Park Boulevards in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area is a *SWEET* urban drive! Mike
  17. It looks like University Av (the Yellowstone Trail) between Washington Av at the UM campus in Minneapolis and the capitol area in Saint Paul, MN will host a new light-rail transit route. It will be built down the middle of the street with the street remaining open to traffic and on-street parking eliminated. This is similar to the bus rapid transit line being built on Euclid Av (the Yellowstone Trail) in Cleveland, OH. This line is expected to open in 2014. I am unsure how this line's routing will affect the YT and its already diffused routing in downtown Saint Paul. See: http://www.twincities.com//ci_8631434?IADI....twincities.com and other articles for more on this. I also wonder if it might be possible to work YT tie-ins to both lines. Mike
  18. http://www.fdlreporter.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a.../801020408/1985 "Posted January 2, 2008 $1 million lottery ticket sold on 'Miracle Mile' By Sharon Roznik The Reporter sroznik@fdlreporter.com On New Year's Day, Phil Moses was atop a ladder, putting some big news up on the marquis outside Ma & Pa's Grocery Express in Fond du Lac. Another winning $1 million lottery ticket was sold at the legendary little store located at 506 S. Main St., along a strip dubbed "The Miracle Mile." "I don't want to sound arrogant, " Phil quipped, "but I seriously don't understand why people buy lottery tickets at any other location." A $100,000 winning ticket was also sold at Pick 'n Save, 55 W. Pioneer Road. Both tickets purchased were offered in the Wisconsin Lottery's Holiday Millions Raffle game. The winning $1 million ticket number was 300142." (see link for rest of article) This section of the Yellowstone Trail in Fond du Lac, WI has had a history of really big lottery winners ever since Wisconsin started one up nearly 20 years ago. Mike
  19. http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/.../709130591/1979 Very interesting. This is the on the *original* routing that went north out of Oshkosh via present-day WI 76, while later routings (via DT Appleton, Menasha and Neenah and later on following modern-day US 45) bypassed it. I did leave a comment at the bottom of the on-line article. Michael G. Koerner Trailman Yellowstone Trail Association Appleton, WI
  20. I am actually using photocopies of 1916 Blue Books (plural) that were sent to me by John Ridge. They are MOST useful in tracing these old routes. Yes, I am very much a road fan and knowledge of old-road history is very important to understanding the wheres and whys of modern-day roads. It is also very important for anyone interested in urban planning. I also like just getting out and driving aimlessly and I love driving and checking out the newest interstates and compatible highways just as much as I love driving and exploring the older roads. Mike
  21. No, I haven't traveled it any farther west than Norwood Young America, MN. OTOH, over the past couple of years I have been studying its routing in deep detail using Blue Books, USGS topographic maps, historic maps including early 20th century 'plat book' maps, high-res air photos and so forth, recording my findings on printed out strip maps taken from USGS topo maps, kept in a bunch of three-ring binders. Right now I am working my way eastward from Chicagoland to about Buffalo, NY, now in the northeast suburbs of Cleveland, OH. One interesting note from that area is that Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland, OH are right now majorly re-engineering Euclid Av from the square in downtown Cleveland eastward to University Circle on the city's far eastern edge (Euclid Av was the Yellowstone Trail). When they are done, there will be a Bus Rapid-Transit line with dedicated lanes down the center of the street with one lane for general traffic in each direction on the outside. I have heard nothing regarding any proposal to reroute US 20, so right now my assumption is that Euclid will remain US 20 after that work is complete and it will be fully usable for those wanting to drive it as a part of the Yellowstone Trail. See: http://euclidtransit.org/home.asp for more on this project. Yes, when I have the financial ability I definitely am planning to go on a few 'exploratory' roadtrips to field check everything. As of now, I have been on the entire trail from Norwood Young America, MN to US 31 (just southeast of Plymouth, IN) and on a couple of smaller sections in eastern New York and western Massachusetts (especially in the Albany, NY to Pittsfield, MA area), but the far eastern parts were driven during earlier roadtrips before I really learned about the Trail. Mike
  22. Checking the 1916 Blue Book, it gives yet a different routing in the Seattle area, with the Trail starting/ending at 2nd Av and Pike St. It then went northeast/east on Pike to curve left onto Madison St "running up steep grade", then south on 17th Av, east on Cherry St, north on 34th Av and "down long winding grade" onto 'Hugo Place'. Then it continued south on Lakeside Av "running along shore of Lake Washington" to the ferry landing. It then crossed Lake Washington via the Issaquah Ferry and followed a more southerly routing towards Fall City, WA. I agree, though, the routing that ends by Pioneer Square makes the most logical sense to me, too, and in addition it feeds into the ferry terminal. Mike
  23. -First, a bit of sad news from Appleton, WI.... The demolition of Valley Fair Mall, believed to be the USA's first true enclosed mall shopping center (opened 1954-08-11) and located on the Yellowstone Trail here in Appleton, WI, has begun. http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...02/1003/APCnews Also see: http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...0810&Ref=PH for a good photolog of images of VFM from the mid-1950s. BTW, although not mentioned in the articles, the mall was built in Menasha township and was annexed into the City of Appleton in late 1983. It really is too bad that this undesignated historical landmark has become so obsolete in recent years as I fondly remember the place from my childhood. Unfortunately, though, the winds of retail commerce have long since blown in other directions. -Second, The former Green Bay and Western/Wisconsin Central railroad caboose that was previously on display along US 41 at North Fond du lac, WI is has been reconditioned by the Canadian National and is now on display in Yellowstone Trail park in North Fond du Lac.
  24. I would have scored over 14K points on these questions with #5 being the only real 'headscratcher'. I am also very good at answer guessing (I know very little about personalities, literature and movies) in NTN games so a perfect score would have been a real likelyhood. <sigh....> Mike
  25. I also like playing NTN trivia, and there is no shortage of places to play it here in the Appleton, WI area, but since I had to work friday evening I could not play this round. I know enough about the I-system to have likely scored over 13K points, perhaps even a perfect game. Oh well.... I'd love to see the questions, too. Mike
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