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

usroadman

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Everything posted by usroadman

  1. I started driving our US Highways end to end back in 1988, and since the mid-90s have tried to take a picture of the highway, preferably with a highway marker, about every hour. It makes for a relatively short "ride down the road". I've made it up to US 52 so far. For anyone interested you can view the photos in a few places. I have slideshows uploaded to youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqjFSbaE2a9-9R5jcKfskyd11UdN6Wmbu They're accessible through my website here: http://roadandrailpictures.com/select.htm Also on Flickr here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadandrailpictures/collections/72157631716015702/ Hope you enjoy.
  2. usroadman

    Us Highways End To End

    Thank you. It was my wife's idea originally to take pictures, which is why there's less consistency in the early routes (before I knew her) as I had to go back and fill in the blanks. The engineer in me needed a system, so a picture with a sign every hour or so.
  3. usroadman

    Us 52

    Thanks everyone for your comments. And thanks Dave for your suggestions. My attempt at using youtube to show the photos is fairly recent so I'm still learning. I still also have the pictures on Flickr, and I still update my very retro website, but it seems these days youtube gets a lot more traffic so I figured I'd give it a try. (I know most of us on here are by definition retro, but good to show the millennials the beauty of our American roads too.) I was watching a similar video by someone else that had even shorter times, and that was my feeling too, that I couldn't focus. It was harder to tell with my own since I already know what the pictures look like. I was also trying to decide whether to include an audio track. At the moment I have it silent, but they allow you to add a ton of free ones so was considering trying that. I'll try lengthening them too, but I think that requires a re-upload so might take a little while. I'll also add a topic for the full playlist. Thanks for the suggestion. Bob
  4. usroadman

    Us 52

    Completed US 52 over the summer, South Carolina to North Dakota. Slideshow on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmplaAqNnek
  5. I got my US 50 drive in last August, Ocean City to Sacramento. Took me a while to upload the pictures, then couldn't get the forum to work, but got that all taken care of now. Pictures are on Flickr, linked from http://www.roadandrailpictures.com/us50links.htm
  6. usroadman

    Us 50 Drive

    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed both the road and the pictures.
  7. usroadman

    Us 51

    Did the annual US highway drive over the summer, this year on US 51. I finally got the photos from the drive uploaded. http://www.roadandrailpictures.com/us51links.htm
  8. Good job. Hope you can make it up there in the Spring.
  9. usroadman

    Us 20

    Interesting website. Nice to see 20 getting some love. It's still my wife's favorite US route (we've done up through US 51). Inner cities usually aren't too bad as long as you don't need to stop (needing to use a bathroom when you're sitting in traffic in a city is the worst). They're usually only a few miles and they go pretty fast, especially if you can time it so you hit them before rush hour in the morning when there's no traffic. I find the 20 miles of suburban strip malls with a (red) traffic light every quarter mile more draining, and much less interesting than the inner city. Anyway, hope you get to drive it some day.
  10. usroadman

    Better Than A Bridge By A Dam Site!

    I thought of this topic while driving US 50 over the last couple of weeks. Somewhere way below US 50 on the right hand side (heading west) was a dam with a road crossing it, and I remember trying to see if the road looked like it was open to the public. It looked like it was. Of course now I've forgotten the location. It was mountainous, so probably either West Virginia, Colorado, or California. I think I found it. A bit west of Gunnison, Colorado, and yes, Google claims it's a state highway crossing the dam.
  11. usroadman

    Better Than A Bridge By A Dam Site!

    Nice that he let you cross it, even if no pictures. As an update to my earlier post a few years ago about NYC closing the roads across their dams after 9/11/01. About a year ago, for the first time in almost 20 years, I headed to the Kensico Dam at the northern end of the Bronx River Parkway. While the plaza at the base of the dam is a county park, I expected access to the actual structure to be heavily restricted now. I was pleasantly surprised that not only was I still allowed to walk across the top of the dam (which I must say is A LOT nicer with no cars), but there weren't even any restrictions on photography. (I have strong opinions on whether governments in the US can legally restrict photography in public places, but I don't need to go into that here.) My reason for visiting was finally, after 20 years of procrastination, getting a website up about the construction of the dam (pretty fascinating stuff) and the village that had been behind it. oldkensico.com if anyone's interested in learning about it. As a side note (not for this topic, but since I'm already here), I begin the drive along US 50, Ocean City to Sacramento, this weekend. I'm sure some of it is still two-lane.
  12. usroadman

    Back On Track - Coast To Coast

    Frozen custard is much better than frozen precipitation. Unfortunate that you got stuck for a few days and had to change your plans, but definitely the right choice. Those roads can start to get mighty lonely even in good weather. I wouldn't want to attempt in bad weather.
  13. usroadman

    Back On Track - Coast To Coast

    Looks like fun. Looking forward to seeing more.
  14. usroadman

    Ride Down Us 49

    Another summer and another US highway clinched, this time US 49. It was a pretty short route, covering just 2 states. Through Arkansas we rode through a lot of farms, including a lot of rice fields. We also saw a really nasty tractor-trailer and apparently train accident aftermath. One truck on its side on the road near the crossing (looked like he had tried to make the turn with a bit too much speed), and another one with its trailer sliced in half and the cab pretty beat up a couple hundred feet down the tracks and lots of debris. This was my only second visit to Arkansas, and first visit in a car (the other time was on a train in June). Mississippi completed the trip with farms north of Jackson and forests to the south, ending at the water in Gulfport. Pictures of the route can be found here: http://www.roadandrailpictures.com/us49links.htm Here's hoping to move up to US 50 next summer.
  15. Glad to help. Enjoy! Let us know how it goes.
  16. Thanks, glad they helped. In Montana it's flat to Helena. I don't recall the crossing west of Helena being especially steep, and then you're on I-90 to Missoula. West of Missoula you're in mountains for a long time, but I seem to recall the road hugging the sides of the mountains rather than climbing & dropping. The altitude is surprising low, only 5233 feet at the highest point west of Missoula (vs. almost 12000 feet on the US 6 crossing west of Denver). It has been almost 20 years so I can't guarantee there are no steep grades on US 12 in Montana (and Idaho), but I don't remember any. I do seem to remember a pretty long steep grade heading west out of Clarkston, Washington though, but that was about it until the Cascades.
  17. I personally would recommend US 12. It's been almost 20 years since I drove it, but I really liked the desolation (I've lived in the northeast my whole life so lack of people is a novelty.) John would have to confirm how much of current US 12 was originally the Yellowstone Trail. I'm confident US 12 in Idaho wasn't, since I don't think they got the road through the mountains until the 1960s, but still a lot of history even along that route (Lewis & Clark, Nez Perce Indians). Like John said, in a lot of places you can stop in the middle of the road and get out, there may be 10 minutes or more before another car comes along (and you'll hear them coming long before they get to you it's so quiet). I have some pictures here http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadandrailpictures/sets/72157631716572379/ if you want to see what it looked like 20 years ago (you'll have to go forward aways to get to the pictures west of Wisconsin).
  18. Great stuff as always. Thanks for the education.
  19. So glad you found it Curt. Congratulations.
  20. Sounds like an great trip. Too bad about the missed objectives, but hey if it was always easy there wouldn't be nearly as much gratification when you are successful.
  21. usroadman

    New Years Road Trip

    Not much for this weekend (and what is planned for tomorrow might end up being by train instead of car depending on how much snow falls), but a few days ago I did finish planning a trip down US 49 for August, so at least there is something to look forward to in the 'New Year'.
  22. usroadman

    Us 48

    Drove US 48 end to end a few weeks ago, at least the part that has been built and signed. The route was designated US 48 pretty recently (it's the third time 48 has been used for a route) and much of the route through West Virginia hasn't been completed yet. It starts in the east at I-81 in northern Virginia and follows a two-lane over the mountains into West Virginia. After meandering through Wardensville, it becomes a four-lane divided, but with no traffic and some very pretty views (even in super-oppressive heat). After about a half hour we reached the current end of the road. Photos are here.
  23. usroadman

    Seaside, On Us101 On The Oregon Coast

    I also remember Seaside from our honeymoon ride down 101. We spent the night there. I too remember the congestion, but our B&B had parking and a very easy walk to the beach & monument so once we were in it wasn't bad. We just kept the car parked and traveled on foot. Speaking of law enforcement, that was the only time I've seen a police officer who was on foot pull over a car a block away and give him a ticket for having a radio that was too loud.
  24. We did the drive on 45 back in August and I finally got the pictures uploaded here. It was a nice drive with lots of 2-lane, and even a detour back onto the old alignment for a few miles north of Oshkosh. We got pretty lucky with the weather. Just one day where a thunderstorm caught up with us as we left Chicago and stayed with us for hours, with apparently both the car and storm moving at the same average speed. Flying to & from the road was a bit more harrowing. Never enough $, so had to use airlines miles for the flight out, but even that they really get ya on since any "normal" flight is full. So flew LaGuardia to Cincinnati to Detroit to Duluth leaving LGA at about 6:00 AM (and it's a minimum 90 minute drive to LGA) getting to Duluth at 12:30. So first they change the schedules 6 times, so still leaving at 6 but now not getting in until 4:00 (and we're spending the first night in Ontonagon, not exactly around the corner from Duluth). Then a week before we leave I get a call from the car rental place in Duluth. They're moving off airport, so need to take a cab. I also notice that they are now closed on weekends, so I call them up and point out that I am flying in on Saturday. They were really pretty good and assured me they'd have someone there to meet me since I already had a reservation, & the guy even gave me his cell number just in case (although he'd be out of town) & they gave me a really nice Cadillac (I was only paying for an Impala), surprising for a one way rental. Get to LGA early and find that storms the night before had made a real mess, tons of people sleeping in the terminal, huge lines, & everything overbooked, but luckily we sneak out as planned. CVG to DTW also no problem, and Mike from American Pickers (on History Channel) was on line right in front of us at CVG, so we all got to meet him & the kids got a picture with him. The 3.5 hour layover in Detroit started out fine. Then 30 minutes before the flight they change our gate (from one with a plane to one without one). 10 minutes later the gate agent says the flight's been delayed 4 hours. Panic sets in. I'm worried about the car rental guy being there at 4:00. No way he'll still be there at 9:00. Start searching for other options. Luckily it was a miscommunication, and we actually left close to on time. 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. The good news is it's not supposed to go anywhere near Alabama, so finishing US 45 is fine. I keep hoping that it will move just slowly enough so we can slip into New York Saturday night as scheduled and get home before the storm. I spend Thursday night making contingency plans though, reserving a few days of rental car and hotel in Atlanta just in case we get stuck at the last minute. But of course since everything is currently "on time", I can't even re-book to an earlier Saturday flight without paying a boat-load of money. Friday night they cancel my flight into New York, so now I can re-book, but there is nothing available. I go over to the Mobile airport and spend about 45 minutes with them searching for some way to get the 4 of us at least close to home (small airports can be really nice for that sort of thing). Finally we figure out how to get us into Buffalo leaving early the next morning. In the end it worked fine, reserved a rental car, got to Buffalo and drove the 6 hours home (the last couple in the front edge of the storm). Hope you enjoy the trip down 45.
  25. usroadman

    Coast To Coast 1950S

    My guess is you'd have to get away from the coast a bit, and you'd probably want to do your Allentown stop on the way. From eastern CT to Allentown you could do a combination of US 44 and US 209. I've driven all of 44 and parts of 209. You may want to pick up 44 west of Hartford or even Winsted since it goes through some pre-gentrification neighborhoods in Hartford and depending on time of day can be a bit busy. There are plenty of other 2-lanes across northern CT to get you near Winsted, but like you said you'll be changing route numbers every few miles to follow them. I've only been on parts of 209, so can't personally speak for all of it, but from the map the parts I haven't been on look pretty good. 209 crosses the Penna Turnpike just a bit north of Allentown. Allentown to Annapolis is a bit more challenging. If it were me I'd do something like PA-100, PA-23, PA-10, PA-896, DE-896, US 301, but I'm basing most of that on maps.
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