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

Michael Ballard

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Everything posted by Michael Ballard

  1. The alignment in Beaumont is curious. It looks like it follows Railroad St from the present 10/60 junction to near current State 79. It also shows what would become US 70/99 on the west side of the tracks to San Timoteo Canyon. I'll have to take a trip up that way and do more research. Glad I got my KLR... hehe.
  2. Annotations on photographs is an option that I am mixed about. I prefer to have a description outside the image, that way the subject of the photo is not covered over. Sometimes it isn't easy to show or describe certain features, such as a slight change in grass color or vegetation on top of an older alignment.
  3. I can work on that, though it may take a while to gather good photos. Sometimes abandoned roadways are more difficult to find unless you do spot certain clues (plants growing in certain patterns, different materials on the ground, small embankments visible, trees in a line or with a gap between).
  4. Finally posted the Bridges section of my "old highways guide". http://socalregion.com/finding-old-highways-a-guide-part-3-bridges/
  5. I would be curious to see what those old maps show for that area. Prior to the "Jackrabbit Trail" alignment, traffic most likely went via San Timoteo Canyon, Lamb Canyon (following current State 79), or via Massacre? Canyon to the east of current State 79.
  6. We need more posts on here! There are a lot of great topics to talk about on this forum.

  7. Update coming soon for my old highways guide. I'm about 1/2 done with my bridges section, which looks like it will be the longest as well. I'll post here when it is done.
  8. A while back I put together a post on my website on the Jackrabbit Trail alignment of US 60 through the Badlands west of Beaumont, California. I thought this would be a good place to put a link for other interested parties. http://socalregion.com/jackrabbit-trail-november-14-2013/ The post covers a bit of the history, routing, and has photos of the roadway. I took a small portion of this again a couple weeks ago and it hasn't changed much, despite the heavy rains we have been having. It is still marked as "Road Closed" and isn't signed from Gilman Springs Road anymore, but it is indeed a through road.
  9. None of the bridges in question are of any particular significance but are still a part of the history of the roadway. Most of the bridges were built between 1931 and 1933, replacing earlier level creek crossings. These bridges were subsequently modified and upgraded between 1951 and 1953 to their current condition. While it is sad to see them go, I understand the reasoning behind it. Timber bridges have a limited life span, even in the desert. There are also erosion issues which need to be addressed. Had this roadway continued to be a State Highway past 1972, these bridges would have most likely been upgraded/modified/replaced in the 1980's. With the new bridge rail designs Caltrans has been doing on current State highways, I can only hope that San Bernardino County does the same. Thank you for the compliment on my site, btw. I've been working on an addition to the site, covering US 466. It is still a work in progress, but the initial framework is at least online.
  10. It would appear that San Bernardino County is planning to replace a few of the bridges in the Mojave Desert crossing. Three bridges in particular were heavily damaged in storms a few years ago (2014 I think) and the roadway remains closed in places today. Check out this site for information about this plan. http://cms.sbcounty.gov/dpw/PublicNotices.aspx#29397
  11. Those inspection stations do vary quite a bit, from my experience, in how they handle travelers. They do at least have a reason for being. The bulk of the California agricultural industry is insulated from the rest of the country by large mountain ranges and/or large deserts. It wouldn't take much for someone to bring something infested across those natural barriers and contaminate the rest of the land. Mind you, these checkpoints have been used for things other than their stated purposes in the past. During the "Dust Bowl" era, they were partly used to discourage Oklahoma and Arkansas refugees from entering California and "burdening" us with their problems. Today, a few have been co-opted by the border patrol for their inland checkpoints. When it comes to the actual agricultural stations, I have found them to usually be friendly. Could be that I am a Californian and have, with one exception, come across state lines with a California plated vehicle. Nice story though. It is always interesting to hear about others experiences when coming to California.
  12. Hello all, The Ridge Route in Southern California needs your help. The Ridge Route Preservation Organization has put together an online petition to help get the roadway back open and in working order. It has not been fully open to traffic since 2005 and is in need of your support. Please sign this petition to get the legislators and the Angeles National Forest to fix what they did wrong. More details are on the site for the petition. Thank you for your time and efforts! https://www.change.org/p/help-save-the-old-ridge-route-road?recruiter=558871232
  13. Not car related, but I did recently get my amateur radio license. Also getting married in the next month, so there is that too. I may also be employed soon with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, so a bit car related.
  14. The wood below those bricks looks to be railroad ties, for some rail line that had a section of street running. An old USGS map may have that info, all of which are now on their website for viewing and downloading.
  15. Getting into ham radio - KM6GCB

  16. While it doesn't cover the Summit Inn, I did go through the area and take photos of US 66 / 91 / 395 through the pass. The latest imagery on Google Earth is also post-fire, so you can see the full extent of the damage. http://socalregion.com/blue-cut-fire-damage-highways/ From what I understand, it will be rebuilt.
  17. Very cool site. Sites like those only make me want to get out on the road more... certainly not a bad thing. Thank you for your effort.
  18. Interesting roadway, though, being a new road, I do wonder why it doesn't have proper shoulders. Yes, the photos were taken during winter, but a lack of a shoulder is a safety hazard any time of year.
  19. As an update to the signage in Santa Clarita... For some reason, most, if not all, of the signs along Sierra Highway in Santa Clarita are gone. I don't know why they are gone now who really placed them in the first place. It is quite disappointing. I may have some photos of the signs, while they were still up. Not sure I have posted them on my US 6 tour though.
  20. I named my blue 2005 Kawasaki Ninja 500R "Leonardo". My bicycle is named "Lassen", the previous one was "Shasta".
  21. Always glad to help. I've been doing some research at Caltrans and will be adding more detailed information about California-specific roadway details soon.
  22. I've been slowly working on a guide to finding old highways. While parts are more applicable to California (survey monuments and other CA-specific items), it does apply elsewhere. It will discuss paving types, survey monuments, bridges and their railing, and other ways to determine if a roadway was an old State Highway (whatever the sign route was). http://socalregion.com/highways/seeking-old-highways-a-guide/ If anyone has any requests for things to add, please let me know.
  23. Thank you. It has been a project over the last 20 years.
  24. My US 99 tour, in Southern California, is expanding. A couple years ago, I finally extended the tour south from Newhall Pass to near downtown Los Angeles. Now it is going north. From its former end at the Kern River in Bakersfield, I'm extending the tour further north to Delano, for now. I am working to extend the tour to at least the Pine and the Palm north of Fresno, California. In time, it may cover the whole valley, but one step at a time. I need a lot more photos for a tour and that will take a few more trips through the Valley. http://socalregion.com/highways/us_99/
  25. I'm not sure if anyone is aware, but now is a good time to visit Lake Shasta. It is now slightly below its 2008 low point of 909' and will only get lower. How much lower remains to be seen. What is likely is at least another 20'. If that does come to pass, most likely by mid October, the Pollock Bridge will be almost entirely emerged from the waters. This would allow travel, for the first time in a long while, on old US 99 from the Bailey Cove inlet to Lakehead, almost all of the former alignment. Only the Pit River Bridge would remain underwater, somewhere near 800-825 feet in elevation. I highly recommend a trip!
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