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

Boy Named Sioux

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Everything posted by Boy Named Sioux

  1. The reason I love the bridges is that they are obvious relics of the history of the road. We have many interesting draw bridges in the delta region of California where I live, and I find the history of them as well as the mechanics of them interesting since I was a history major and am now a crane inspector and mechanic. The steel bridge with the concrete (guardrails on the approach)could be one of many in my area and the consistency of style throughout the country is interesting. I'm getting itchy to get out of the house and take some photos now! Those concrete approaches are typical of the 20's and 30's. As we bomb along I quiz my girlfriend on the bridges and she's starting to learn the styles and eras, although she's not sure why she cares except to make me happy. She's a keeper!
  2. I love Bridges! I have been paying close attention to the styles of the railings and trying to guess the era by the architecture. I have seen some excellent examples around my area and will take pictures. The first five photos of this thread are great examples of the 'mission' style of railing that went from the 20's to 50's but the most I've seen are 30's and 40's. It will be fun to resurrect this thread. ~ Suey.
  3. Many turns in the road have kept me away from here but I plan on being around more as my interests turn from inward to outward, on the road. Hope all is well, Suey.

  4. I love to pull up old threads! I read in another old thread where KTSOTR said, "I don’t recall ever having been on that road! That is saying something for a transplanted Californian who drove every road he could find for 25+ years." Well Dave, I recently drove on a road simply known as "The Old Hwy" that went from Cathey's Valley to Mariposa Ca. While the first few miles are picturesque and smooth, the last ten were so rough I wasn't sure if it was full of holes or covered with mole hills. Needless to say by the time I got to Mariposa every bolt on the truck had rattled loose, including all of my dental fillings!
  5. I did spot the solution so thanks to both of you for your help. I suspected it had something to do with the Angeles Tunnel but it seemed to be a ways south from where the AT runs from the maps I've seen. I even went to Vista Del Lago Visitor Center to try to gleam some insight. The Visitor Center was interesting on its own anyway and worth the stop. Another 'State Secret' exposed! Suey
  6. Dave, The Cut has taken a beating in the last 15 years or so. Landslides on the north side have really filled it in. I have read that it was 90 ft. deep back in the day but now 25 ft. is the max. The cool part was when I was leaving a man was taking his two young girls up to see it and I was amazed that in the tiny slice of time that I was there others were coming to see this old passage. Now it is hard to tell that a road even went through there except for some smaller cuts leading up to it on the west side. While I was there a thunderstorm was rolling in so I beat feet out there. Looking west from the top of the cut. Looking up the grade into the cut from the west to the east.
  7. Roadhound, My friend and I had a good laugh when we read this post because that very afternoon we were talking about taking the train to work just to ride over the pass to see what we couldn't see from the roads. When I look out the back of our shop I'm looking at the Vasco station! The trains run west in the morning and east in the afternoon. Google Altamont Commuter Express and its easy enough to see the schedule. I just have to get up early enough to be dropped off at the station in Tracy and I think it would be a kick. - Suey
  8. Dave, Do not take my silence for apathy, I have had trouble posting on a friend's laptop with IE. I had to stealthily download Firefox just to post! Yes, the street view has given us tremendous power to explore, but I fear it may pacify some of the curiosity to explore. Or not. I took some photos of the tunnel on US 99 and got home and there was a better view on Google! Such is life. Google couldn't get the shots of Beale's Cut that I have so I will put them on the proper thread. Glad to be back! ~ Suey
  9. I'm glad I have something to share. A couple other things I've noticed that a semi local might be interested in. If you look at the 1907 Tesla? map of Livermore at Chico you will see a few things in that area that have changed, and that are the same. ~ Greenville road south of 580 used to go in a straight line from what is now Southfront to Altamont Pass road. Now it veers to the west quite a bit. You can see on google earth the road running through the pasture there but I can't see it from the ground. ~ Also, Greenville used to make an eastern turn at Las Positas where the S.P. used to cross the road. It went around that hill and then returned to the present route. ~ The lake on the old map on Laughlin Rd is still there! I just went by there this week and the lake (some would call it a pond) was as least as big as in the old map. Whoda thunk it? ~ Suey
  10. First of all, your interrogation methods are diabolical! I believe the grassy roadbed IS the old Lincoln Highway. The paved two lane road is Altamont Pass Road, also US 50 until 1938. The other right of way you ask about is the abandoned Western Pacific (Transcontinental 1869 I believe) that is now called the Southern Pacific. The rails and ties have been removed in this section so it looks like a gravel road now. The railroad that is behind me, to the NW, is the new Western Pacific, (no relation to the old Western Pacific) that is now owned by the Union Pacific. I hope I cleared that up. P.S. If you follow the S.P. east from there you will see where it goes under I-580 in a tunnel. On the tunnel between the east and westbound lanes it says S.P. CO. 1909 although I know the railway to be much older. If you follow it farther, you will come to where it crosses Patterson Pass Road, which is known as Midway. Which just came up on another thread. Diabolical! ~ Suey
  11. Thanks for the kind words Dave. This location I've drove past many times and never noticed it. The other night I was comparing Google Earth and a 1907 Chico topo and saw the curve of the road was not the same anymore. Going out on foot I saw the old roadbed, the power poles and ditches on either side of it. More interesting was the footprints in the grass of some other person checking it out. It was all great fun! The coordinates of the location are: 37.72485833 -121.69513888 Standing on the old roadbed, Altamont Pass Road to the left (U.S. 50 til 1938), Western Pacific trestle with Southern Pacific underpass on the left side of the trestle. This is looking ESE from the Lincoln roadbed, just above Altamont Pass Road you see the old S.P. which was abandoned in 1984, to the left in the distance is the Western Pacific, and on the hill in the distance are the westbound lanes of I-580 (circa 1969). The eastbound lanes of 580 at that location are the 1938 alignment of U.S. 50. I love all the old telegraph/telephone poles along Altamont Pass road. They have like 20 old glass insulators on them and all the wire is broken and hanging down.
  12. From all my research I find that this is Mike Ballard country. Mike, Whadayathink?
  13. You are traveling through the canvas of the gods. Helping you along the way is a Spirit with a nose for adventure. Nothing has ever inspired me like a sunrise in the desert. Keep the information funnel going, we need your courage. God Bless You Beemerchef.
  14. Through my poking around I found a really cool spot that has the Lincoln Hwy, U.S. 50, S.P. and W.P railroads, and I 580 , in the Altamont Pass all in one shot. Probably been done on this forum but was way cool to me when I found it. On 3-19 I will post a pic.
  15. Dave, You are freaking me out! The only tavern I know of on Lockwood Valley Road was the Owl's Barn. I could never go near it in my youth but when I was old enough... A friend of mine and I went up there to do some black powder shooting and we stopped at the Owl's Barn for a beer. It had a screen door like on a home when you went in. I almost want to say it was a mobile home or trailer sitting on the ground. When we went in it felt like we entered someone's home. There were a few guy just sitting around inside and everyone was friendly enough but it was claustrophobic so we got the hell out! Not a bad experience, cept where we come from outsiders in a bar like that end up getting their asses kicked. Years later a few young cowpokes in Yreka decided I had too many teeth when I was at the Rex Club and I learned about the expensive world of dental implants! Good times. Loved the Owl's Barn then. Right across the road from a chimney if I remember right. Suuuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeeeeeey!
  16. That was the best description of any type of travel through that area and over the cut that I have ever read. When I saw you write that your grandfather lived in Lockwood Valley I immediately had the image in my mind of a couple of freestanding chimneys I know along Lockwood Valley Road. I've spent a lot of time in that area. Even honeymooned in Lockwood Valley. Funny story there. Thanks for the fascinating reference! I'm going through Newhall maybe next week, maybe I'll snap a shot of the cut, now that it won't be so muddy!
  17. Dave, I love dredging up old topics around here. I have done a little research on the Southern Pacific over the Altamont. (Originally the Western Pacific, the final leg of the 1869 transcontinental railroad to be built.) Midway was a watering stop where Patterson Pass road crosses the rail line. In every mention of Midway the author asks what it was midway to. My guess is that it was midway from the waterstop of Ellis three miles east of Tracy, to the top of the Altamont grade. Just a quess. Bet you forgot you even asked the question!
  18. I am so glad I found others like me out there. I was once married to a gal who did crossword puzzles on road trips, or read magazines, or sleep. She did everything but show interest in what was going by outside. (Except maybe Taco Bells) Did I mention I was once married? I understand about what you "see" on the old roads, I do the same. I used to teach history and my students would ask me what my favorite kind of history was. Easy question for me. "The history of where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going." I have done a little bit of old roads. Around Christmas I followed all the old routes from Mulholland Pass to the Grapevine in So Cal. This included San Fernando Road, Sepulveda blvd., The Old Road, the Ridge Route, Lebec Rd. and the Golden State Fwy. Basically old U.S. 99. I took a little side trip up the Sierra Hwy. to Beale's Cut (old Newhall Pass). All very interesting. The best was Beale's Cut and the Ridge Route south of Sandberg. In January I did some of old 99 in Northern Ca. near Shasta, Weed, Dunsmuir. Another favorite is Route 66 from Amboy to Barstow. I'm getting ready for a trip from Tracy to Kansas City to Houston and back to Tracy in May. I plan on taking US 50 most of the way to KC, I haven't planned the rest. I generally don't 'plan' trips. They just sort of happen. As long as I have money, gas, and time there's no telling where I'll end up. I just know the barbecue places I want to hit on the way. Thanks Dave, I love the Chico Library maps! ~ Suey
  19. Thanks for the info Denny. I also noticed on early maps that Brichetto Road doesn't go west of Banta Rd. I've been on those roads many times, not knowing the history, but new they were old and in poor condition. I don't know the story of the strange street naming in Banta but I have one of my own. A friend used to live in a little house behind the Banta Inn, whose owner owned both properties. The inn was closed on Sundays and in the summer we used to put our beer in the ice machine and play horseshoes all day out back of the inn. Ahh, good times....
  20. Once someone sparks your interest it is hard to resist if you're in the area, isn't it? I plan on taking the Harley over to the Mossdale trestle and checking out the concrete roadway. I've been over there before but I wasn't as in tune to spotting old roads as I am now. Thanks for the help, and I'm going to pull up some of your old posts on the Altamont and such. I've been down Altamont Pass road quite a bit lately checking out clues of the past and the old Southern Pacific railroad bed that runs through there. I've been going over the Altamont (580) almost daily for eight years and never noticed the old SP tunnel that is just east of the Western Pacific bridge on the eastbound lanes. I believe this is the old 1938 alignment of U.S. 50. If you're ever on Patterson Pass road check out the old stone walls if you haven't ever seen them. (37.69805555, -121.58916666) Thanks again, Suey
  21. Dave, Thank you so much for the response and the search effort. I have walked up to the entrance, it is a concrete tunnel that is screened off with chain link. You could drive a small vehicle in it but it is not a transportation tunnel. I wish I had a photo, maybe next time. There is a sign that says State of California Property, which makes me think State Water Project. There are electrical conduits running into it. Anyway, it has my curiosity going. There are a lot of interesting roads in the area. It was the Ridge Route that got me started on this road kick. Thanks again.
  22. I am new to this forum and hopefully someone here can answer a question that has been eluding me for some time. A few miles north of Templin Hwy on old 99 there is a turn off on the east side of the highway and you can see a tunnel entrance just down the dirt road across the very large concrete slab. This could be something to do with I-5 or the Angeles Tunnel which is part of the state water project. Does anyone have any idea what this is? I can not find anything anywhere about it. (34.61344444, -118.7222375) Thanks. Suey.
  23. Roadhound, a newby here but an old history buff. I know I'm pulling up an old post but I know you're still around. I drive past Mossdale often and I live in Tracy. Do you happen to know the route of the Lincoln Highway from Mossdale through Tracy to the Altamont? From the Chico state topos that Keep turned us on to I'm guessing it was Grant Line road to Lincoln blvd, then 11th St. to Byron Hwy to Grant line or did it just take grant line all the way? Would greatly appreciate any input.
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