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


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About yttrailman

  • Birthday 10/29/1935

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    Yellowstone Trail

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  1. If you would like to follow the route of the historic 1912-1930 Yellowstone Trail, "A Good Road From Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound" visit www.yellowstonetrail.org for basic information. From LaCrosse you would travel to Minneapolis and then head west on the old highway through South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho. A great route off the Interstates through small towns. In places you can stop ON the road and look at the scenery. Some of the route has a guide available. See the web site. You can contact us through the web site if you have questions. Do it. John Ridge Yellowstone Trail Association
  2. On 26 March 2012, Foster Braun posted a Podcast about a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Yellowstone Trail in the American Road Trip Talk on this web site. He interviewed Andrea Jorgensen of Hudson, Wisconsin.
  3. On 07 April 2012, Foster Braun posted Part 1 of a Podcast about the history of the Yellowstone Trail in the American Road Trip Talk on this web site. He interviewed John and Alice Ridge of the Yellowstone Trail Association. (He mistakenly refers to Alice as Ann -- but it is the right person!)
  4. Mark Mowbray, the Executive Director of the Yellowstone Trail Association, is traveling the Trail again! Follow him at yellowstonetrail.tumblr.com He is "specializing" in Idaho and Washington during the first part of his lengthy trip and then will follow it back to the east through Montana, the Dakotas and Minnesota to Wisconsin.
  5. Mark Mowbray, the Executive Director of the Yellowstone Trail Association, is traveling the Yellowstone Trail from Minnesota, through South and North Dakota, Montana and Idaho to Spokane. He hopes to keep us informed in his blog at http://yellowstonetrail.tumblr.com/ Let's let him know we are following him! John Ridge
  6. I doubt that this is a "cogent comment or insight" but I do have another frustration to share! In several, if not many, places, maps, notably the strip maps, show those straight section line roads with right turns when in actuality the road wandered all over the place. Take the area just east of Mobridge, out about three miles, where the "straight" road actually ran along the land contours off as much as at least a 1000 feet to the north. And the YT Association boys have a neat map of the Trail northwest of Mobridge with straight one mile sections that add up to one too few miles to fit the real world. That throws the route in that whole area into doubt. While I'm griping, or at least observing the presence of bad data, I am reminded of the many places, today, where one can see a straight road laid out for miles ahead -- and note that every once and a while the survey crew put in an accidental small bend. THAT puts our entire western survey in question. Back to constructive work, YT Trailman
  7. #1 There has been a fair amount of interest in the National Parks Highway, a sponsored, named route that generally followed much of the YT route. The two organizations competed with each other and their histories are intertwined in some respects. #2 The original motivation for including US 20 with the YT forum is probably not applicable now. Also, US 20 follows only small sections of the YT and those primarily only in the far East. There is little "traffic" about US 20, although it could be kept as part of the Forum without being a problem. Conclusion: Might we suggest the name of the forum be changed "The Yellowstone Trail and National Parks Highway?" or some such? It is hard to be interested in one and not the other! YT Trailman
  8. As we research the Yellowstone Trail we rather naturally find information about the NPH. I was surprised to learn from Dave that the NPH ever considered the YT route through South Dakota as part of the NPH. That motivated me to pull out our NPH file folder and review it. Some miscellaneous findings: Early in 1915 (January) J. E. Prindle of Ismay, Montana, (an officer in the YTA) utterly rejected the proposal by the NPH people that the two organizations be amalgamated under the name NPH. The meeting of 1914 in Spokane resulted in the name NPH and the decision to generally follow the Northwest Trail as followed by Westgard. Supposedly the YT representative at the meeting agreed to joining together so, on that basis, the NPH chose the YT South Dakota route, which didn't come to pass because the officers of the YTA vetoed joining together. In 1915, the NPH officers were still unsure of the name they would be using, one candidate being Northwest Trail. The Northwest Trail was the route "discovered" by A. L. Westgard as he acted as Pathfinder for the AAA. That pathfinding occurred before any of the "sponsored" named highways, like the YT and Lincoln. But it never attracted the attention of the local folk to make it a national success -- until the NPH used the route. The AAA (actually the Inland Automobile Assoc, a AAA affiliate)suggests that Frank Guilbert, the father of the NPH, brought Westgard to Spokane for that early 1912 pathfinding venture. (Intermountain Motorist, Jan 1937 ) However, I personally rather suspect that Guilbert was not the major reason for the pathfinding trip. In 1915, the NPH Assoc., working with the National Highways Assoc. prepared a map of the NP Transcontinental Highway (the Northwest Trail and the Red Trail) showing the NPH from Tacoma through Albany where it splits in two, one branch going to Boston, and the other New York City. Westgard was "in charge" of the map as a leader of the Nat. Highways Association. The Summer, 1916, NPH tour of the leaders of the organization, followed the North Dakota route of the Northwest Trail, not the YT. The many articles about the YT and NPH found in newspapers suggests a great lesson that should be applied to our modern news reading: In areas traversed by both the YT and NPH, the responsibility for the great improvements to local roadways are claimed by both organizations. Reading from only one source gives an entirely wrong understanding. Especially, when neither organization was spending the money to improve the road; the locals were. YT Trailman PS Is there any chance you might share your strip maps with us on the Forum?
  9. Dave, Don't forget that Cle Elum is on the Yellowstone Trail! You might make inquiry about any info at all about early travel in the area. Most any tidbit from before 1930 or so would be useful. Also, don't forget to check out Northern Exposure sites in nearby Roslyn. John (Yttrailman) Your quote: Day before yesterday I met a women in Cle Elum, Washington, who had a copy of a letter written by a fellow to his wife describing part of his 1909 trip to a Seattle exposition. The lady was in her mid eighties and so her recollection wasn't perfect.
  10. Good Morning, I ordered your book through PayPal. But I am not sure you received the order. Any encouraging words? We are anxious to see how you handled the layout and printing in as much as we are preparing a similar book for the Yellowstone Trail in Wisconsin. John Ridge jridge@yellowstonetrail.org
  11. The question was raised: "Has there been any contact between the Yellowstone Trail guys and the City of Seattle and/or WSDOT?" Alice and I have corresponded with John King and Julie M. Koler King County Historic Preservation Program Office of Business Relations and Economic Development 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000 [MS-BOA-EX-2000] Seattle, WA 98104 206.296.8689 (phone) We informed them about the YT and got info about the Red Brick Road part of the YT. They have interest about but no real commitment to the YT. King County (Seattle area) has a Historic and Scenic Corridors Project. See http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/k...orsProject.aspx One of those corridors in the Sunset Hyway, partions of which were the YT. See http://your.kingcounty.gov/kcdot/roads/wcm...ldSunsetHwy.pdf But the Red Brick Road area of the YT is not included and contacting the Corridors people would be potentially helpful. Any volunteers? John Ridge Yellowstone Trail Association jridge@yellowstonetrail.org
  12. At the urging of Becky Repp I will attempt to comprehend and take part in this Blog feature. For this last year our work with the Yellowstone Trail has been more or less limited to the Trail in Wisconsin. In deed, we have a product to show for the effort which I will comment on as soon as I have a better idea of what happens with this text after I "submit" it! Perhaps "Add Entry" is the way to go?
  13. I forgot to mention the old concrete on Sunset Rd between Reardon and Deep Creek that has a construction date stamped in it -- 1928 -- I seem to remember. It now looks like it is un kempt and on private property, but it is probably still a local road. YT Trailman
  14. Great work on the YT route in eastern Washington! I am so pleased to see others working at it! I can't spend time on it now (big things afoot in our lives until July) but I couldn't help comparing your maps with my draft maps. Pretty good match! Some notes: 1) I think the YT followed Main to the west out of Davenport, south on Leffel (or Rambo, now I guess) and west on "primitive" Mt View Cemetery Rd. 2) YT entered Almira from the east on Main, exited on Maxwell Rd with several turns, then to US 2 on what Delorme calls X NE Rd. 3) I don't have R NE Rd and 36 NE Rd going into Coulee City. Might be a route earlier than the 1927 Auto Club of Southern Calif info I have that has the YT following US 2 to near Coulee City and following Fordair Rd to the lake. Got to be a story about the name Fordair. Then south on 38 NE or I 8, then west on 36 or Walnut. At an unknown street it returned to US 2 in town. 4) I have the YT heading north from Coulee City into the lake and wiggling west north of US 2 and dropping down to Sulphur Canyon. If this is right, it probably followed what is now 1 Rd NE, but much of it is unmapped now. 5) I missed all the Sulphur Canyon routes you have. Maybe they were before 1917? We agree on all the rest. Has anyone tried Pine Canyon road? It was closed when we attempted that part of the old YT. Also, we have have the YT crossing the river on the 9th street bridge in Wenatchee. That was apparently the only bridge available? More in July or later. John (YT Trailman)
  15. I blew the date of Westgard's pathfinding on the Northwest Trail. It was 1911, a year before the YT was founded, not 1913. yttrailman
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