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Roamndav

Latest (as Of 07/10) Notes On Az & Cal 80

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Hi all...had to get away from the heat in Tucson and took a weekend jaunt to see the cousins in San Diego. Here are a few good & bad observations from that trip. Starting in Arizona...

 

>The old Texaco and General Store in Sentinel appears to have been purchased. They have painted over the classic old-style Texaco sign (the pre-green star version). Can you believe it?? I would have taken that off of their hands! :)

 

>After conversations with Steve Varner and Chris Wray who have meticulously plotted out the most probable course of the original Bankhead Highway (BH) alignments between Arlington and Wellton, it came up That we could see old bridge remnants via satellite imagery where the old road crossed the Gila River NE of Wellton. So when passing through the area, I ventured to Antelope Hill northeast of Wellton and came across a fantastic 1/4 mile long 1925 RR trestle bridge and remnants of the original 1916 BH bridge over the Gila River. Fine photo ops for those so inclined and not far off of the interstate. Unfortunately, I came across no remaining evidence of the old road where it veered SW on its way into Wellton. This is an extremely heavily irrigated farming valley and any old road would have been plowed over long ago.

 

> Bad news...I don't know if due to flooding or just general structural issues, but 1 of only 2 remaining 1934 concrete bridges (the one immediately east of Ligurta and west of the All-American canal bridge) is being replaced by a typical modern ho-hum no sense of style type of bridge.

 

In California

 

>The old Even Hewes highway north frontage between Gordon's Well to just west of Brock Research Station Road is undergoing massive work due to the huge canal relocation/repair work. At this point in time, it is unclear if the frontage will be rebuilt to connect these two points as the old road has been completely torn up/removed.

 

>Mountain Springs. Good news in that the land EAST of the interstate appears to have been bought from the Indian Tribe so it is accessible and is a fantastic exhibit of vintage 1927 concrete along with a couple of older bypassed curves cut out of the rocks. Be careful of the fallen boulders and one can take their car almost all the way to the edge where I-8 blasted its way through far below! Bad news in that it has been bought from the Indian tribe! As it now has for sale signs on it and may soon become inaccessible private property again!

 

>The old Flynn Springs General Store appears to be in the process of being converted to blah office suites. So its good that the site is still with us, bad in that it has lost much of its charm.

 

 

That's it for know...we'll pass on roadie reports as we come across them.

 

Jeff in Tucson

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Definitely a mix of good & bad but I guess even none of the bad is truly outrageous. Just stuff that happens as time passes.

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It hurts every time we lose one of our road treasures. If they aren't destroyed, they just fade away. It is nice when you find them protected.....on purpose, by isolation, or even disinterest.

 

There is a beauty in the old bridge or pavement that is just fading into history. That is why I often dislike the restored. It is like painting over the Texaco sign.

 

It is a privilege to stand on an original section of concrete, brick, or asphalt, and see in your mind's eye the old autos with high clearance and narrow tires, with treads designed like chains to "improve" traction, passing over the road on an adventure that only a few can envision today

 

Have you ever thought how lucky we are to know and understand the history of the old roads, to be able to conjure in our minds the days when they were our main route of travel, when an auto trip was as important as the destination, and the challenges and surprises made it a wonderful adventure? We are the fortunate.

 

Thanks for the update!

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