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

Yellowstone Trail From Ellensburg, Wa To Yakima, Wa

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I've enjoyed reading all of the interesting new information. Those strip maps are really great! Sometime when you’re exploring in eastern Washington be sure to check out the Kittitas County Museum in Ellensburg. They have a very early steam automobile which actually belonged to Henry Ford. The last time I was there, on display by Henry's old car was an incredible old panoramic photograph of the dedication of the Sunset Highway at Snoqualmie Pass.


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Hello Eric,


I read your first post and the ongoing conversation twixt you, Dave, et al. Very impressive work on the Yellowstone Trail, and great pictures. Between the bunch of you, I've been energized to get back into traveling and reporting on the YT. I've been across the Manastash, as the locals refer to the YT between Selah and E'burg, a few times. I wrote up one of my treks somewhere on this site. I'm also a devotee of old US 97 wherever I can find it, but especially through the Yakima Canyon. Interesting, most people in Yakima call it the Ellensburg Canyon, while everyone else refers to the more logical river name. Oh well.


An aside here, just below the tunnel at about MP 3 or 4 it is possible to see the swerve in the old Northern Pacific right of way. This was necessitated after the highway tunnel collapsed in 1964, and US 97 was rerouted at approximately the same elevation as the NP tracks. The railroad was not too amenable to moving their tracks a few yards closer to the river. The then Dept of Highways eventually won the contest, but according to a former employee of the department, it was like pulling teeth. Back then, railroads had a lot of clout. In fact, they still do. Yakima is still squawking about the BNSF reopening the old NP Stampede Pass line between Auburn and Spokane, via the Yakima Valley. I don't mind a bit. I love trains as much I enjoy 2-lane pavement.


Your comments on western history are interesting. I don't think westerners are averse to history. We just don't have as much of it as the East Coast. It is also much closer to us, in that many of us had living relatives who were only one generation removed from our beginnings, statehood, etc. Our cities date back only to the mid-Nineteenth Century, while yours go back to the 17th Century in certain cases. Your observations are correct, but many westerners might not even realize they're looking at history. I hope that makes a little sense.


Regardless, I hope to read more of your stuff, and to contribute a bit more, myself.

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