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

Michael Ballard

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Michael Ballard last won the day on April 11 2017

Michael Ballard had the most liked content!

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About Michael Ballard

  • Rank
    Day Tripper
  • Birthday 08/22/1978

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  • Location
    San Diego, CA
  • Interests
    Mostly US highways, mostly California. I follow the geology as well as the history of the roadways. I have online tours of US 6, US 99, and the Ridge Route from Los Angeles to Bakersfield (US 6 from Los Angeles to Tonopah, NV) on my website - socalregion.com. KM6GCB
  1. Us 99 News?

    News from Redding - Parts of old 99 in Mountain Gate will be signed! http://www.redding.com/story/news/2017/10/21/signs-recall-days-when-old-highway-99-busy-route-mountain-gate/780505001/
  2. Great photos of the old highway and gorge. You mentioned about those floods. Some of the numbers that came out of those floods are truly staggering. At Wallula Gap, east of The Dalles, the flow was estimated to be between 6 and 10 cubic MILES of water per hour. Rivers tend to be measured in cubic FEET per second. Huge difference. The flood, at its highest point, filled the Columbia River Gorge nearly to the top. Imagine the view from Crown Point along the Columbia River Highway with the gorge completely filled with water. There are other features from the floods, yes, floods, that defy imagination. These floods happened at least 35-40 times. The geologist, J. Harlen Bretz, that came up with the original theory was basically laughed at by the scientific community until another geologist, Pardee, came up with the source of the water. It is a fascinating story and something that always gives me pause when I am in that region.
  3. I finally posted a followup to the tour. http://socalregion.com/cajon-pass-tour-august-12-2017-review/ The next tour will be advertised a bit more, but I still will just do it myself. I don't intend to collect monies for the tours just yet. Having some other group handling it wouldn't quite fit what I do. My next tour will either be on US 80 or US 99 (what section is still being looked into).
  4. While it looks like it will be a low turnout (still no real idea until I show up that morning), I still intend to make the best of it. It should be a lot of fun, despite the heat predicted.
  5. The tour will include as much of the original roadway as possible as well as the last pre-freeway alignment. There are sections remaining, that will be viewed, of the 1916 macadam paving.
  6. What's Your Favorite National Park?

    I saw the article in the magazine. Very cool to see! Thank you for the opportunity to contribute.
  7. Plans are getting a bit more set for the Cajon Pass tour. The start location has changed to Devore. More details can be found at : http://socalregion.com/august-12-2017-cajon-pass-highway-tour/
  8. I am hosting a tour of a portion of the Cajon Pass on August 12, 2017. It will cover the highway from the San Bernardino train station to Cajon Summit. The tour will be in a caravan with designated stops. If anyone is interested in this, please let me know. More details will follow soon.
  9. Back in the late 1940's, there was a rather treacherous curve on US 80 between Viejas and Descanso. Today, there is nothing but a large road cut and a vista point. The original plan, however, was to built a tunnel to bypass the curve. It was never built but provisions were made for it at the time. I posted some information about the plans on my site - http://socalregion.com/a-tunnel-on-us-80/ Enjoy!
  10. Us 99 News?

    Does anyone have any updates on US 99 through California, Oregon, or Washington? Plenty is going on here in California. A section of the highway near Fresno is being realigned to accommodate the new high speed rail. A portion of old alignment is also being removed as well, bypassed about 1960. In Southern California, there has been much work on the section of US 99 in the San Fernando Valley. A pipeline replacement project has partially torn up San Fernando Road in the north end of Glendale, a section which also had old curbing. Burbank is also doing a lot of resurfacing along their stretch, with Caltrans replacing the former North Burbank Underpass with a re-realigned (going back to the original alignment actually) San Fernando Blvd. What's new in other areas along US 99?
  11. What's Your Favorite National Park?

    The Colorado Plateau is certainly a spectacular area for scenery and geology, as the photos you presented show. That region is one of the better, and certainly easier to see, displays of mostly Mesozoic sedimentary rocks. The rocks of Bryce Canyon are a bit younger, being early Cenozoic. The scale of some of those formations is quite amazing.
  12. Help Make The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

    "Middle of the Road" by The Pretenders is another one. Call it misheard lyrics, but part of it says "Gotta get up 33 baby"... I think it actually says "Gotta get up really early" or something. Thing is, I was in Taft, California heading up State 33 at the time. So, another song that is a good road song.
  13. Help Make The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

    Some of the music I listen to is synthwave style, similar to 1980's synthesized music. An interesting piece, "Motorcycle Cop" by Power Glove. My husband thought it reminded him of traveling through downtown Los Angeles on the Harbor Freeway (State 110) on a motorcycle at night. It is certainly good night traveling music.
  14. Help Make The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

    "Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads (with the line "Well, where does that highway go to?" I'll see what others I can think of.
  15. Us 6 Tour Update

    After reviewing some photos I had taken on previous trips, I found enough to extend my US 6 tour from its old terminus in Tonopah, Nevada all the way to the Utah State Line east of Ely, Nevada. The tour is finally "done". I don't think I can go much further east for some time, as I lack quite a bit of photos and information about the road's journey through Utah. Maybe one day. I've at least taken the roadway to I-15 and done other parts in Utah and Colorado. http://socalregion.com/highways/us_6/ Enjoy! PS - The tour is now about 620 miles long, so if you wish to follow the whole thing, it might take a while.