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Us 99 Dunsmuir Ca To Ashland Or

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I had originally asked the question to Keep the Show on the Road via Personal Message but with his blessing I am throwing the question out in the open for all to enjoy.

 

Where I need some guidance is the stretch between Dunsmuir and Ashland. I am really interested in the locations of the large arched bridges that you had posted pictures of on a previous topic. I am also interested in any other points of interest in that area that you think are worth seeing given the following guidelines.

 

- This is a family vacation and I tend to wear thin my families' patience with me by stopping every 10 minutes to take pictures, therefore, I will have a limited number of free passes to make stops. Since this will be day 3 of the trip it will have to be something interesting to all.

 

- Any roads taken off of the Interstate have to show progress toward the end of day's destination. There is hell to pay for back tracking!

 

Thanks in advance Keep!

 

Roadhound

 

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I had originally asked the question to Keep the Show on the Road via Personal Message but with his blessing I am throwing the question out in the open for all to enjoy.

 

Where I need some guidance is the stretch between Dunsmuir and Ashland. I am really interested in the locations of the large arched bridges that you had posted pictures of on a previous topic. I am also interested in any other points of interest in that area that you think are worth seeing given the following guidelines.

 

- This is a family vacation and I tend to wear thin my families' patience with me by stopping every 10 minutes to take pictures, therefore, I will have a limited number of free passes to make stops. Since this will be day 3 of the trip it will have to be something interesting to all.

 

- Any roads taken off of the Interstate have to show progress toward the end of day's destination. There is hell to pay for back tracking!

 

Thanks in advance Keep!

 

Roadhound

 

 

Rick,

 

Ok let’s start in Dunsmuir, an old railroad town. Down by the tracks there is still an old round table and a coffee shop that attracts locals…..a pleasant stop for at least you and the wife….and the kids might like the round house and their father’s explanation of how it is used. The old California Theater on the main drag is nice, but the marquee is damaged.

 

If you come in from the east instead of the south, you may want to stop at McCloud east of Mt Shasta City…an old lumber town, and as I recall it has some railroad stock on the tracks the kids may enjoy.

 

Mt Shasta City has the old Richfield Station with tower at the south end and a few shops downtown that might attract the shoppers in the family. Old 99 is the main drag.

 

If it doesn’t cost you any points, you could take the Old Stage Road which runs west of the freeway from Mt Shasta City to north of Weed then pick up Old 99 into Yreka. You pass Sission’s place (Sisson was the founder of Mt Shasta City which bore his name until the 1920’s) and the Mt Shasta Fish Hatchery, one of the oldest in America, which might interest family (throw food to fish, etc). The Sisson Museum is at the hatchery.

 

Weed has an interesting downtown, but unless you know it’s history, and recognize the mercantile, and the mill workers houses etc., it won’t mean much. I’d stay on the Old Stage Road and pick up Old US99 to Yreka, bypassing Weed.

 

Downtown Yreka is very evocative of the old days and has a nice little local bookstore that carries a lot of northern California related books. The segment of old 99 between Yreka and the rest stop at exit 786 on US5 is a must do.

 

Take Main Street north out of Yreka. Turn off on the Anderson Grade Road and get us a good photo of the marvelous late 1800’s steel truss bridge about a mile down the road. Then backtrack to Old 99, and in about half a mile on Old 99 you can turn left on the Old Shasta River Road. This is the 1914 Pacific Highway roadbed and I suppose the old stage road as well. Go as far as you like. It is graveled. It doesn’t go anywhere (bridge is gone), but it gives a nice view of the Dry Gulch Bridge from below. You will have to backtrack to Old 99.

 

Back on the Old 99 you will cross over the Dry Gulch Bridge and the big Pioneer Bridge. Pull over at the east (far) end. You will easily see the 1914 Pacific Highway in the canyon. It must have also been the stage road. There are old bridge abutments quite evident downstream (south). The obvious dirt road coming up from the river at the east end of the bridge was used in the construction of the new road and bridge, but a walk down it should take a hearty guy to the river and the old bridge abutments. There have just got to be some fine shots from down there, but alas….I wish I were 18 again!

 

If you want to take a section of the old road bed that isn’t improved, watch carefully for the left turn on Hudson Rd at 41.820252, -122.592464. You will go down through a tiny settlement then along the old road as far as you like. If you kept going, and had a suitable vehicle, you would come out again at the east end of the Pioneer Bridge. I don’t recommend going that far.

 

After you reach the freeway, turn off at the Hite exit (796). There is a monument to Jefferson Davis by the road so you can give out the ‘ole rebel yell if you are so inclined. Greatgrandpa was a Yankee cavalryman, so I just took a photo.

 

The kids will enjoy the story of Black Bart the “stage robber Po8.” The Cole Stage Station HERE is a couple of miles down the road at 42.0018, 122.6411. It is the best example in western America of an original stage station and barn, that as not been restored…..or allowed to decay. It is as perfect an example of my idea of the authentic as exists. No self conscious effort to fix it up, and no evidence it is abandoned to the elements. A hostler could come out of the barn with a team at any second, the coach could pull up in a cloud of dust…..and if you are lucky, you will hear the ghost of Black Bart making his escape after his stage robbery.

 

You remember Black Bart Rock in the Redwoods…well he also operated here….and did on of his jobs about a mile north of here.

 

You can take the old dirt stage road (Colesteine Rd) all the way north and connect with Old 99, but it may be dusty in August. Some folks like re-creations, so with a good imagination the family can begin to appreciate what it would have been like in 1880.

 

Turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, slow down to about 3 MPH on the modest grades, pick up to maybe 8 – 10 MPH on the down hills, ask the family to get out and walk on the steeper hills, and let the dust billow in the windows. That is as good as it got….and the passengers were sitting on boards. Oh, and the jehu (the driver…you) was probably certifiably intoxicated, so curse loudly and be irascible.

 

I drove that section 20 years ago and it was well maintained, so other than dust and the time it takes, it would be an OK drive.

 

I’ll pick up from here tomorrow, but this should get you started. I did backtrack maybe 5 miles (10 -15 minutes), but maybe you can pull that off.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Rick,

 

Ok let’s start in Dunsmuir, an old railroad town. Down by the tracks there is still an old round table and a coffee shop that attracts locals…..a pleasant stop for at least you and the wife….and the kids might like the round house and their father’s explanation of how it is used. The old California Theater on the main drag is nice, but the marquee is damaged.

 

If you come in from the east instead of the south, you may want to stop at McCloud east of Mt Shasta City…an old lumber town, and as I recall it has some railroad stock on the tracks the kids may enjoy.

 

Mt Shasta City has the old Richfield Station with tower at the south end and a few shops downtown that might attract the shoppers in the family. Old 99 is the main drag.

 

If it doesn’t cost you any points, you could take the Old Stage Road which runs west of the freeway from Mt Shasta City to north of Weed then pick up Old 99 into Yreka. You pass Sission’s place (Sisson was the founder of Mt Shasta City which bore his name until the 1920’s) and the Mt Shasta Fish Hatchery, one of the oldest in America, which might interest family (throw food to fish, etc). The Sisson Museum is at the hatchery.

 

Weed has an interesting downtown, but unless you know it’s history, and recognize the mercantile, and the mill workers houses etc., it won’t mean much. I’d stay on the Old Stage Road and pick up Old US99 to Yreka, bypassing Weed.

 

Downtown Yreka is very evocative of the old days and has a nice little local bookstore that carries a lot of northern California related books. The segment of old 99 between Yreka and the rest stop at exit 786 on US5 is a must do.

 

Take Main Street north out of Yreka. Turn off on the Anderson Grade Road and get us a good photo of the marvelous late 1800’s steel truss bridge about a mile down the road. Then backtrack to Old 99, and in about half a mile on Old 99 you can turn left on the Old Shasta River Road. This is the 1914 Pacific Highway roadbed and I suppose the old stage road as well. Go as far as you like. It is graveled. It doesn’t go anywhere (bridge is gone), but it gives a nice view of the Dry Gulch Bridge from below. You will have to backtrack to Old 99.

 

Back on the Old 99 you will cross over the Dry Gulch Bridge and the big Pioneer Bridge. Pull over at the east (far) end. You will easily see the 1914 Pacific Highway in the canyon. It must have also been the stage road. There are old bridge abutments quite evident downstream (south). The obvious dirt road coming up from the river at the east end of the bridge was used in the construction of the new road and bridge, but a walk down it should take a hearty guy to the river and the old bridge abutments. There have just got to be some fine shots from down there, but alas….I wish I were 18 again!

 

If you want to take a section of the old road bed that isn’t improved, watch carefully for the left turn on Hudson Rd at 41.820252, -122.592464. You will go down through a tiny settlement then along the old road as far as you like. If you kept going, and had a suitable vehicle, you would come out again at the east end of the Pioneer Bridge. I don’t recommend going that far.

 

After you reach the freeway, turn off at the Hite exit (796). There is a monument to Jefferson Davis by the road so you can give out the ‘ole rebel yell if you are so inclined. Greatgrandpa was a Yankee cavalryman, so I just took a photo.

 

The kids will enjoy the story of Black Bart the “stage robber Po8.” The Cole Stage Station HERE is a couple of miles down the road at 42.0018, 122.6411. It is the best example in western America of an original stage station and barn, that as not been restored…..or allowed to decay. It is as perfect an example of my idea of the authentic as exists. No self conscious effort to fix it up, and no evidence it is abandoned to the elements. A hostler could come out of the barn with a team at any second, the coach could pull up in a cloud of dust…..and if you are lucky, you will hear the ghost of Black Bart making his escape after his stage robbery.

 

You remember Black Bart Rock in the Redwoods…well he also operated here….and did on of his jobs about a mile north of here.

 

You can take the old dirt stage road (Colesteine Rd) all the way north and connect with Old 99, but it may be dusty in August. Some folks like re-creations, so with a good imagination the family can begin to appreciate what it would have been like in 1880.

 

Turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, slow down to about 3 MPH on the modest grades, pick up to maybe 8 – 10 MPH on the down hills, ask the family to get out and walk on the steeper hills, and let the dust billow in the windows. That is as good as it got….and the passengers were sitting on boards. Oh, and the jehu (the driver…you) was probably certifiably intoxicated, so curse loudly and be irascible.

 

I drove that section 20 years ago and it was well maintained, so other than dust and the time it takes, it would be an OK drive.

 

I’ll pick up from here tomorrow, but this should get you started. I did backtrack maybe 5 miles (10 -15 minutes), but maybe you can pull that off.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Thanks Dave! I will be spending a few hours this evening studying the maps and making notations.

 

I have recollections of traveling through Dunsmuir in the late 60's and seeing a whole lot of charcoal grey and orange Southern Pacific locomotives which for a 5 year old was really cool.

 

I do want to see the old stage stop but I think I will pass on rolling the windows down and driving at 3 MPH. That's one sure way to get me onto the Interstate real quick.

 

One thing that I will have to keep in mind is that the temps are likely to be in 100's and if I do get a chance to explore off of the roadway I'll make sure to keep an eye out for rattlers.

 

Roadhound

 

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Thanks Dave! I will be spending a few hours this evening studying the maps and making notations.

 

I have recollections of traveling through Dunsmuir in the late 60's and seeing a whole lot of charcoal grey and orange Southern Pacific locomotives which for a 5 year old was really cool.

 

I do want to see the old stage stop but I think I will pass on rolling the windows down and driving at 3 MPH. That's one sure way to get me onto the Interstate real quick.

 

One thing that I will have to keep in mind is that the temps are likely to be in 100's and if I do get a chance to explore off of the roadway I'll make sure to keep an eye out for rattlers.

 

Roadhound

 

Roadhound,

 

Yah, the hike from Pioneer Bridge down to river level and back could expose you to some risks, besides the possibility of a heart attack at a young age. :angry::huh::o:D I hadn’t thought about rattlers, but especially down by the river you would need to keep an eye out. Other than the aforementioned hike, you should not be at any rattler risk.

 

The stage road between Coles and US99 isn’t especially spectacular but is does give an idea of the “old days.” Of course, after you have seen Coles you could backtrack to the freeway and either head straight for Ashland, or turn off at exit 6 (Siskiyou) and follow old 99 over and under the Steinman pig tail bridge, which will take you into Ashland the “old way.”

 

Ashland is a college / tourist town with lots of shopping and many Shakespeare related events. It is hard to get out of town without seeing at least one play. When you do leave, assuming that you really are going to the coast from Ashland, go by way of Jacksonville. Jacksonville is a restored but somewhat authentic old western town, which should have some interest for the whole family. And the Oregon Caves are worth a family visit.

 

If you need more specifics, just ask!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

 

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Roadhound,

 

Yah, the hike from Pioneer Bridge down to river level and back could expose you to some risks, besides the possibility of a heart attack at a young age. :angry::huh::o:D I hadn’t thought about rattlers, but especially down by the river you would need to keep an eye out. Other than the aforementioned hike, you should not be at any rattler risk.

 

The stage road between Coles and US99 isn’t especially spectacular but is does give an idea of the “old days.” Of course, after you have seen Coles you could backtrack to the freeway and either head straight for Ashland, or turn off at exit 6 (Siskiyou) and follow old 99 over and under the Steinman pig tail bridge, which will take you into Ashland the “old way.”

 

Ashland is a college / tourist town with lots of shopping and many Shakespeare related events. It is hard to get out of town without seeing at least one play. When you do leave, assuming that you really are going to the coast from Ashland, go by way of Jacksonville. Jacksonville is a restored but somewhat authentic old western town, which should have some interest for the whole family. And the Oregon Caves are worth a family visit.

 

If you need more specifics, just ask!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

Dave,

 

The information you provided was most useful and I was able to drive the route from Dunsmuir to the rest stop near the California\Oregon border almost entirely Interstate free. We took the stage road out of Dunsmuir to Mount Shasta, stage road out of Mount Shasta, Old 99 to Yreka, and Old 99 out of Yreka. We also took a side trip to Coles Station but doubled back to the Interstate before going over the Siskiyous and into Ashland. I would have like to have done the 99 pigtail loop but my daughter had had enough of the rough and winding roads by then.

 

We did hit Jacksonville on the way out of Medford and drove the Old Stage Road out of Jacksonville before getting on the Interstate to Roseburg and then cutting over to Reedsport on the Coast. As it turns out my son has a friend who lives in Jacksonville so he showed us around a bit. Also, while in Ashland I discovered up a bit of road history regarding the Pacific Highway and Lithia Park that I will share once I complete my downloads and process my photos.

 

Our route home was down 101 along the Oregon Coast and then the Redwood Highway back to the San Francisco Bay Area. We stopped in Humboldt Redwoods for a few hours and they had an outstanding newsreel presentation on the 1964 Christmas floods that hit the Eel River and the Klamath. I didn't realize that over 100 bridges were destroyed or damaged and more than a few towns where wiped off the map. The images of the devastation were remarkable.

 

Roadhound

 

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Dave,

 

 

.............Our route home was down 101 along the Oregon Coast and then the Redwood Highway back to the San Francisco Bay Area. We stopped in Humboldt Redwoods for a few hours and they had an outstanding newsreel presentation on the 1964 Christmas floods that hit the Eel River and the Klamath. I didn't realize that over 100 bridges were destroyed or damaged and more than a few towns where wiped off the map. The images of the devastation were remarkable.

 

Roadhound

 

Rick,

 

Sounds like a great trip. I recall the floods and a year later standing beside the highway where they had placed a pole identifying the "high water" mark. I recall it was well over my head. It was almost impossible to imagine water that deep in that area. The newsreel; must have been fascinating.

 

Glad you had a good trip and we look forward to the reports and photos!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

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