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Planning Trip To The Redwood Empire

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I am planning a trip north on 101 between SF Bay Area and Brookings, Oregon, and am putting out the call for any information out their related to old road alignments, recent experiences, sights to see, and places to stay. This will be a trip with the whole family so I will need make it interesting for all. The last time I was through that area was 22 years ago when my wife and I were on our honeymoon so the recollections of what is there is a bit rusty.

 

Of particular interest are Mattole Road and how difficult it might be on my daughter who is affected by motion sickness. Looking at maps and Google Earth I am of the thought right now that we will only travel the north section as far a Punta Gordo and maybe hike out to the abandoned lighthouse. The road east of that point looks to have to many twists and turns.

 

I also have to work on a little bit of blackmail with the same daughter, in order to get her buy in to the trip, she is horse crazy and I will need to fit a trail ride into the trip somewhere along the way. Anybody aware of a good trail outfitter in that region?

 

The other area that I will need help with is old main streets that are worth a visit. I need to factor in some time for the spouse to window shop and browse through stores while at the same time giving me enough photo opportunities to keep me satisfied.

 

Thanks for your help,

 

Roadhound

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Sounds like it should be fun.

 

Funny, last night for the first time in a very long time I started looking over some old maps checking for old alignments. I didn't get too far, just a small portion of a 1960 map, but I happened to be looking at US 101 in northern California. So I don't have much yet, and what I do have is mostly just guesses from looking at maps, but you're welcome to use it as a starting point. My notes are at http://www.usroadman.com/hist101ca.htm .

 

My wife and I drove US 101 twelve years ago (for our honeymoon) and really enjoyed it. Two things we especially enjoyed on our trip:

 

PALCO in Scotia, CA - We stopped to see the "company town". That was OK, but what I (I would even dare say "we") found really fascinating was the self-guided tour of the sawmill. They have catwalks running all over above the facility, giving you many really good views of pretty much every operation. (Better than most tours which tend to keep you more off to the side.) There are informative signs explaining what's going on in most locations. The catwalk system is very ... industrial. It's just a few feet wide with basic railings, winding through the rafters, across roofs, through some low doors, etc., but I think that's part of the charm; it's definitely not sterile. Since it's self guided, you can spend as little or as much time as you want. It's also free, which is always good in my book. (I thought it was much better than the $15 Boeing tour.) I didn't see much info on the web, but it looks like the tour is still available. This is their website http://www.palco.com/visit_tours_scotia.html .

 

We also spent a few hours at the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park northeast of Crescent City http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=413 . We took a walk through Stout Grove, and drove the dirt road through the park. We liked it because it seemed like we were the only ones in the park. Very quiet and secluded. My guess is it's so far north that anyone who's going to see redwoods stopped at one of the many parks further south, so not too many people visit.

 

Have a great trip.

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I have been pulling together so much stuff, it would never get posted. Gotta get organized! So let me try to simplify, and just start with some of the 1920’s and earlier stuff. The 1930’s and 1940’s will follow in other posts.

 

The following 1915 map from my 1915-16 California Automobile Blue Book shows the old old road (map route 320), which predates the “old” Redwood Highway and of course “old” US101. I can post the turn by turns on request. The turns and grades were given names like Rattlesnake Grade and Devil’s Elbow…which kind of tell the story.

 

ARMapRedwoodHighway1915.jpg

 

The map also shows the 1916 highway (route 317) which was under construction at the time, and which later became the Redwood Highway and Avenue of Giants (AKA US101) through Garberville.

 

The 1923 strip maps I e-mailed you are now posted at:

 

http://www.historicalroadmaps.com

 

in the California section and show the road now called the Avenue of Giants or Redwood Highway or old 101.

 

The old old road (route 320) apparently can still be followed through Harris and Fruitland, etc, but some of it may be rough.

 

There is a neat looking (and short…..family friendly) old alignment over the hill west of Orick, which I will post soon. And speaking of Orick…I think the Orick Inn still stands…now closed….but here is a 1915 ad and photo.

 

AROrickInn1915.jpg

 

I have also included below the 1928 Hobbs Guide for the route.

 

ARPg23%201928PacHy48.jpg

As one last note for this post, I have a brief description of the Mattole Valley and road and Petrolia along your proposed route written by a horseback rider going through on the old road in 1911. The Valley was already well settled with ranches and there were lots of apple orchards. Maybe you will spot the remnants.

 

More will follow as time permits.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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usroadman,

Thanks for the advice. The town of Scotia looks like an interesting stop. There have been a few stories in the paper about the changes that the town is going through and the sawmill looks interesting.

 

I'm glad you mentioned Jebediah Smith Redwoods. I had done some online research and considered camping there (if camping is still an option). A drive on a dirt road always has my interest.

 

Keep,

What a treasure trove of maps you have. Finding the pre-101 route from Cummings through Harris and Fruitland really has my interest but it likely will have to wait until another time. If there is a road it is barely visible on my Delorme Gazeteer and I will need to research further with topo maps.

 

One thing I did notice is that the "new proposed highway" didn't get as far south as Willits. It looks like they cut over at Cummings and used the existing 317\320 route north out of Willits. The road along the coast is also interesting and I wonder how much of it is still driveable. I will have to study this map some more.

 

Thanks again!

 

Roadhound

 

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What a treasure trove of maps you have. Finding the pre-101 route from Cummings through Harris and Fruitland really has my interest but it likely will have to wait until another time. If there is a road it is barely visible on my Delorme Gazeteer and I will need to research further with topo maps.

 

Those are great maps. If I were a betting man I'd bet the route from Cummings to Dyerville (apparently the town was wiped off the map so to speak in 1964) was Bell Springs Road and Dyerville Loop Road. It starts a bit due east of Cummings, but with only 2 different street names comes darn close to both Harris and Fruitland. Apparently Devil's Elbow had been on Dyerville Loop Road, but has since been bypassed (see mile 10.82 at http://northcoastbikerides.blogspot.com/20...loop-short.html ). Looks like if it wasn't for your modern car, in places you might actually feel like you were trekking through the forest in the 1920s. (Man, now I want to go.)

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Usroadman & Roadhound,

 

You guys have got my juices going for another road trip to the redwoods! I confess that most of my maps and stuff just occupy space until something like Roadhound’s trip, or Usroadman’s knowledge of 101 causes me to dig some out.

 

North of Eureka is the little town of Orick. My attention was drawn to the town because the 1915-16 Automobile Blue Book has that photo ad for the Orick Inn I posted in the prior post. That drew me into looking at alignments around Orick.

 

The map below is taken from one of the four I posted at

 

http://www.historicalroadmaps.com

 

in the California section.

 

 

AROrickmap1.jpg

 

 

If you look, there is a 20% “pitch” coming into Orick from the south on the old road. There was also water available, and it was probably needed, at both ends of the grade. (The red arrow shows the direction of the view in the modern map below)

 

If you look at the current alignment of the Redwood Highway, it skirts that grade by going along the ocean front. But the old road still exists on some modern maps as the “Old State Highway or Road” and appears open all the way over the hill, and down the “20% pitch”

 

The Virtual Earth map below looks directly south, with Orick out of view on the left (east). The old road is visable coming down the hill and can be easily spotted on Virtual Earth from its beginning. It shoiuld be short enough for a family to tolerate! :D

 

 

AROrickMap2B.jpg

 

 

 

I wonder if there is any sign of Stone Lagoon Inn, or the Hotel shown on the 1923 map, or the sites where you could get water after “making the grade?” Do you suppose they were fountains…and still exist? No, that would be too great!

 

And Usroadman is definitely right that at least part of the old old road is along the road now called Blue Springs Road, etc. And Harris looks from above like it might still have the old store cited in my 1915 ABB…again, too much to wish for probably. I figured that the family would not be up to the longer Blue Springs Road route, but the little run over the hill into Orick might be OK.

 

Further south, the old road left Eureka along 5th Street onto Myrtle Road and went out through Freshwater Corners and Bayside on Myrtle Road and the Old Arcadia Road to Arcadia. There is no question about whether that road is open, and it should be a nice drive even for a family trip.

 

Incidentally, Roadhound, the Scotia lumber company Usroadman mentions is also cited in the Hobbs I posted….and don’t miss the neat steel span bridge between Scotia and Del Rio.

 

More later….

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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I have included below the 1936 ACSC maps and ads for the Redwood Highway. We can go back to the teens and 1920’s and may want to because the turn by turn descriptions needed back then are fun to read, and may be more fun to follow. But the closer we get to the present, the more likely we can identify the same sites today.

 

Roadhound, you will note that by 1936 the road out of Eureka northbound seems to have adopted the current routing, rather than go through Bayside. The Orick Inn is still advertising, but they have added cottages. The road over the hill west of Orick is still the main route.

 

In 1915 the auto traveler needed to know where he could get gas and oil, water, and supplies. Those details appeared in the turn by turn descriptions and on the maps. But by 1936, there are no turn by turn descriptions needed and are absent from most maps as well.

 

 

AR1936RedwoodEurekaCrescentCity.jpg

 

1936 Eureka to Crescent City, California on the Redwood Highway / US101

 

 

 

AR1936RedwoodGarbervilleEureka.jpg

 

1936 Garberville to Eureka, California on the Redwood Highway / US101

 

 

 

AR1936RedwoodUkiahGarberville.jpg

 

1936 Ukiah to Garberville, California on the Redwood Highway / US101

 

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

 

 

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Lots to look over....The Dyerville Loop Rd is on the list of 'must do's' as is finding the old route to Orick. I can handle a 20% grade. The least I can do is get a picture of the steel span bridge between Scotia and Del Rio and post it on the forum that I am still the moderator of.

 

Notes are being taken and a plan is forming! Thanks and keep it coming.

 

Roadhound

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Those are great maps. If I were a betting man I'd bet the route from Cummings to Dyerville (apparently the town was wiped off the map so to speak in 1964) was Bell Springs Road and Dyerville Loop Road. It starts a bit due east of Cummings, but with only 2 different street names comes darn close to both Harris and Fruitland. Apparently Devil's Elbow had been on Dyerville Loop Road, but has since been bypassed (see mile 10.82 at http://northcoastbikerides.blogspot.com/20...loop-short.html ). Looks like if it wasn't for your modern car, in places you might actually feel like you were trekking through the forest in the 1920s. (Man, now I want to go.)

 

usroadman,

 

Nice item! Leave it to the bicyclists to follow the old roads! Now I have to view / find the "Devil's Elbow" that was bypassed!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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usroadman,

 

Nice item! Leave it to the bicyclists to follow the old roads! Now I have to view / find the "Devil's Elbow" that was bypassed!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

Already found it for ya

 

40°19'13.65"N 123°50'5.49"W

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Already found it for ya

 

40°19'13.65"N 123°50'5.49"W

 

Yah, I'm thinking that too..... but it doesn't match the distance from Fruitland in the turn by turns. None the less, it looks like the Devil's elbow to me.

 

I ran the distances a couple of times last night. The grade matches, but I couldn't get the distance from Fruitland to even come close.

 

I'll post the turn by turns from the 1915 ABB, but now I'm thinking it may require an on site study! The turn is on a steep grade. Are you so inclined? :D

 

Get it... steep grade...so inclined? Gees do I have to explain...... B)

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

PS Maybe you should have some T Shirts printed with "I Did the Devil's Elbow...and Survived!"

 

 

Roadhound,

 

I have posted below the turn by turns out of the 1915-16 California Automobile Blue Book for the old old redwood highway between Laytonville and Del Rio (via Harris and Fruitland). The 1916 road, which later became known as the Redwood Highway was yet to open, but was promised for 1916.

 

I haven’t carefully perused the pre 1916 route, but some of the sites look interesting and usroadman’s bicycle link supports that conjecture. It definitely demands an on site review! I had dismissed it as unlikely for a family outing, but maybe it can be presented as a discovery tour?! I mean who wouldn’t want to ride Rattlesnake Grade, and the Devil’s Elbow?!

 

As a bit of an aside, usroadman’s link mentions that Fruitland was settled by Swiss farmers who’s fruit crops there turned out to be too far from market to be successful. And the 1911 description of the Mattole Valley was of fruit orchards. So I wonder if the area was favored as a fruit growing site, but failed? It will be interesting to see what you may note of old orchards.

 

When you, or one of our other alignment pros, have deciphered the turn by turns, you may well have a terrific route to explore and describe.

 

ARCABB320.jpg

 

 

ARCABB321.jpg

 

 

ARCABB322.jpg

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Roadhound,

 

I have posted below the turn by turns out of the 1915-16 California Automobile Blue Book for the old old redwood highway between Laytonville and Del Rio (via Harris and Fruitland). The 1916 road, which later became known as the Redwood Highway was yet to open, but was promised for 1916.

 

I haven’t carefully perused the pre 1916 route, but some of the sites look interesting and usroadman’s bicycle link supports that conjecture. It definitely demands an on site review! I had dismissed it as unlikely for a family outing, but maybe it can be presented as a discovery tour?! I mean who wouldn’t want to ride Rattlesnake Grade, and the Devil’s Elbow?!

 

As a bit of an aside, usroadman’s link mentions that Fruitland was settled by Swiss farmers who’s fruit crops there turned out to be too far from market to be successful. And the 1911 description of the Mattole Valley was of fruit orchards. So I wonder if the area was favored as a fruit growing site, but failed? It will be interesting to see what you may note of old orchards.

 

When you, or one of our other alignment pros, have deciphered the turn by turns, you may well have a terrific route to explore and describe.

 

It's funny that you should mention agriculture in the area. Yesterday I was discussing my desire to explore the area to a friend who grew up in Fortuna and he issued a caution to doing to much off road exploration in that area. Agriculture is alive and well in that area and the farmers do take extreme measures to protect their crop. The bike route looks easy enough to follow with minimal risk of taking a wrong turn and I am still planning on driving it. A longer exploration of the pre-1916 route could be risky if you take a wrong turn.

 

Roadhound

 

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FYI, I attempted to update my California US 101 page ( http://www.usroadman.com/hist101ca.htm ) based on the 1936 maps posted above. Thanks for posting them.

 

usroadman,

 

I have tons of old maps, so if you want more "stuff" just let me know. Most of it is from before 1930, but by no means all. I get my "jolly's" out of responses like yours!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

 

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It's funny that you should mention agriculture in the area. Yesterday I was discussing my desire to explore the area to a friend who grew up in Fortuna and he issued a caution to doing to much off road exploration in that area. Agriculture is alive and well in that area and the farmers do take extreme measures to protect their crop. The bike route looks easy enough to follow with minimal risk of taking a wrong turn and I am still planning on driving it. A longer exploration of the pre-1916 route could be risky if you take a wrong turn.

 

Roadhound

 

Roadhound,

 

I have been cleaning out the garage hoping to find my later Redwood Highway stuff.

 

In the meantime, based on your post, I have to tell this story….

 

I was single most of the 1970’s and one of my girl friends and I took a trip up US 101 and into the redwoods sometime around 1978. One evening about dinner time we thought a ride into the country side would be romantic. We followed a lovely dirt road into the coastal mountains, and stopped above a lovely green valley to savor the view. Looking down into the valley we noted some “farmers” tending their fields.

 

We watched for a few minutes, then noted a large pickup start up the road toward us, throwing up a bit of dust. Being a friendly guy, I figured we would wait until they passed by, and say “Hello!” It wasn’t until they were two thirds of the way up the road that I noticed a fellow standing in the back with a rather large rifle and a downright unfriendly look on his face.

 

They stopped about 100 yards from us, and just stared at us…no wave, no nothing. I took a very big hint and concluded that we had overstayed our welcome on that road! I don’t recall that we went wandering off road too much for the rest of the trip!

 

True story, and I would do it again, but I wouldn’t stop and pay a lot of attention to farms, or crops, and I wouldn’t surprise any farm workers…..but truthfully, I have no idea what it’s like today.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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Roadhound,

 

I have been cleaning out the garage hoping to find my later Redwood Highway stuff.

 

In the meantime, based on your post, I have to tell this story….

 

I was single most of the 1970’s and one of my girl friends and I took a trip up US 101 and into the redwoods sometime around 1978. One evening about dinner time we thought a ride into the country side would be romantic. We followed a lovely dirt road into the coastal mountains, and stopped above a lovely green valley to savor the view. Looking down into the valley we noted some “farmers” tending their fields.

 

We watched for a few minutes, then noted a large pickup start up the road toward us, throwing up a bit of dust. Being a friendly guy, I figured we would wait until they passed by, and say “Hello!” It wasn’t until they were two thirds of the way up the road that I noticed a fellow standing in the back with a rather large rifle and a downright unfriendly look on his face.

 

They stopped about 100 yards from us, and just stared at us…no wave, no nothing. I took a very big hint and concluded that we had overstayed our welcome on that road! I don’t recall that we went wandering off road too much for the rest of the trip!

 

True story, and I would do it again, but I wouldn’t stop and pay a lot of attention to farms, or crops, and I wouldn’t surprise any farm workers…..but truthfully, I have no idea what it’s like today.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

I wouldn't take the chance of them just staring me down these days.

 

The friend I mentioned in the previous post had a brother that was prone to visiting the farms in that area without an invitation. Sometime around 1986 he dissappeared. His remains were discovered about 3 years ago and a year later they were able to determine who it was.

 

But I do think you are correct that if you stay on the traveled road, and don't go nosing around someplace where you are not invited, you should be safe.

 

Roadhound

 

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usroadman,

 

I have tons of old maps, so if you want more "stuff" just let me know. Most of it is from before 1930, but by no means all. I get my "jolly's" out of responses like yours!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

Thanks. The strip maps are nice for their level of detail. I have a smattering of older maps but they're mostly state maps so kind of hard to see the detail. I also have a Rand McNally Commercial Atlas with a 1926 copyright (but it doesn't show the US Route numbers yet, just the auto trails and state numbers) and an ALA Green Book for the eastern US from 1928. The Green Book is pretty good, but unfortunately someone removed the big map before I got it, and the city maps mostly just show where each route leaves town, not how it went through town. So I may definitely take you up on your offer. All I need is some time to actually look at them. I haven't even found time to really go through all of my own yet. (That pesky day job keeps getting in the way. ;) Speaking of which, time to get back to work.)

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Thanks. The strip maps are nice for their level of detail. I have a smattering of older maps but they're mostly state maps so kind of hard to see the detail. I also have a Rand McNally Commercial Atlas with a 1926 copyright (but it doesn't show the US Route numbers yet, just the auto trails and state numbers) and an ALA Green Book for the eastern US from 1928. The Green Book is pretty good, but unfortunately someone removed the big map before I got it, and the city maps mostly just show where each route leaves town, not how it went through town. So I may definitely take you up on your offer. All I need is some time to actually look at them. I haven't even found time to really go through all of my own yet. (That pesky day job keeps getting in the way. ;) Speaking of which, time to get back to work.)

 

Usroadman,

 

Yah, employment can sure get in the way of fun…. :)

 

You are lucky to have a 1926 Rand McNally Commercial Atlas. They are expensive and hard to find. I have the 1923 which also has the auto trails maps, and I have wondered what other years contained them. I am pretty sure that 1923 was the first year they published the set in the commercial atlas, but I wonder about 24 and 25.

 

I posted Redwood Highway strip maps from 1923, and I have another set which I can’t date but I place them around 1927, plus or minus a year.

 

Depending on your US101 interests, I suspect I have a full set of ACSC strip maps for it in California, but they are probably not all from one year. They probably all fall within the 1917-27 era. I’m wondering as well whether the 1936 guide I copied from has other sections of US101. I’m pretty sure it does, and I think I have a 1938 of the same.

 

Since your interest is 101, you may only be interested in post 1926 stuff, for obvious reasons. I’m sure I have some California State Auto Club California map books, probably from the post 1926 period.

 

I also have 60 or 70 Automobile Blue Books, including at least a few with California, and some guides with strip maps going back to 1906/07....perhaps the oldest every published. What became 101 is no doubt covered in several.

 

Truthfully, I have so much stuff around here, I almost welcome an excuse to dig through it to locate goodies…it always reveals stiff I didn’t remember buying! And I enjoy looking at the old roads on the maps anyway.

 

 

So if I can help...try me. I make no promises, so you won’t be disappointed…but I have so much California, Oregon and Washington stuff, if I can’t help on 101 I can’t help anywhere.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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I wouldn't take the chance of them just staring me down these days.

 

The friend I mentioned in the previous post had a brother that was prone to visiting the farms in that area without an invitation. Sometime around 1986 he dissappeared. His remains were discovered about 3 years ago and a year later they were able to determine who it was.

 

But I do think you are correct that if you stay on the traveled road, and don't go nosing around someplace where you are not invited, you should be safe.

 

Roadhound

 

Roadhound,

 

Well, your tale is a lot more chilling…and sad…than mine. Maybe the fact that we were obviously not looking for trouble helped. But I have occasionally wondered since why they assumed we wouldn’t tell someone in law enforcement of our experience…at least that is what they must have assumed…or perhaps it was pretty much live and let live in that particular area.

 

And maybe they were just growing spinach and just wanted us to know we couldn’t pick any!

 

Are you covered for maps, etc? I can dig through some boxes and I think I can find some more current (maybe 1940-50) stuff.

 

When are you headed out?

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

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Roadhound,

 

Well, your tale is a lot more chilling…and sad…than mine. Maybe the fact that we were obviously not looking for trouble helped. But I have occasionally wondered since why they assumed we wouldn’t tell someone in law enforcement of our experience…at least that is what they must have assumed…or perhaps it was pretty much live and let live in that particular area.

 

And maybe they were just growing spinach and just wanted us to know we couldn’t pick any!

 

Are you covered for maps, etc? I can dig through some boxes and I think I can find some more current (maybe 1940-50) stuff.

 

When are you headed out?

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

The departure date is fast approaching.

 

I think I have enough maps to keep me occupied. Thanks for all the time you've put into it. You never cease to amaze me in the information you have at hand and I am glad that I can give you a reason to dig through it.

 

Thanks again,

 

Roadhound

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The departure date is fast approaching.

 

I think I have enough maps to keep me occupied. Thanks for all the time you've put into it. You never cease to amaze me in the information you have at hand and I am glad that I can give you a reason to dig through it.

 

Thanks again,

 

Roadhound

 

Rick,

 

First thanks for the Conway Summit stuff!!

 

I have posted below the 1939 descriptions of US 101 between the Oregon Border and Ukiah, north to south. They are from the WPA American Guide Series, which I especially enjoy because they capture the roads as I recall them as a kid on family vacation just after the war….that’s WWII for the “youngins!”

 

You may note the view from Lookout Point just south of Orick…that has to be on the hilltop road I “discovered” in earlier posts, which is bypassed by the present road. It is an obligatory “detour” coming or going. I was even thinking of doing it myself and waving to you guys as we passed each other…but alas, my “dog sitter” copped out. Anyway, do one for the “gipper” if time permits and capture the scene with some of your outstanding photos.

 

And keep your eye out for Black Bart Rock, about 5.8 miles north of Calpella measured on the old alignment. I’m afraid that the newer road may have taken out the rock, but if not the site is “famous” as a site of one of Bart’s stage coach holdups. I’m sure every Californian knows of Black Bart, the famed bandit Po-8!

 

Keep us posted!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

ARRH348.jpg

 

 

ARRH350.jpg

 

 

ARRH352.jpg

 

 

ARRH354.jpg

 

 

ARRH356.jpg

 

 

ARRH358.jpg

 

 

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Rick,

 

First thanks for the Conway Summit stuff!!

 

I have posted below the 1939 descriptions of US 101 between the Oregon Border and Ukiah, north to south. They are from the WPA American Guide Series, which I especially enjoy because they capture the roads as I recall them as a kid on family vacation just after the war….that’s WWII for the “youngins!”

 

You may note the view from Lookout Point just south of Orick…that has to be on the hilltop road I “discovered” in earlier posts, which is bypassed by the present road. It is an obligatory “detour” coming or going. I was even thinking of doing it myself and waving to you guys as we passed each other…but alas, my “dog sitter” copped out. Anyway, do one for the “gipper” if time permits and capture the scene with some of your outstanding photos.

 

And keep your eye out for Black Bart Rock, about 5.8 miles north of Calpella measured on the old alignment. I’m afraid that the newer road may have taken out the rock, but if not the site is “famous” as a site of one of Bart’s stage coach holdups. I’m sure every Californian knows of Black Bart, the famed bandit Po-8!

 

Keep us posted!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

.

Dave

 

 

Thanks for the additional info Dave. I will mark the location of Black Bart Rock on the map and see if I can snap a picture for you if I am able to find it.

 

I have the hilltop road scoped out on Google Earth, marked it on the map, and unless they closed it for some reason we will be driving it.

 

That would have been funny to see you driving straight at me waving franticly out the window. IF your dog sitter changes their mind and you make the trip southward let me know and I can give you a better ETA on when we will be there.

 

One day of work left!

 

Roadhound

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Hey Keep (or anyone else that can answer),

 

I was doing some early morning exploring 2 days ago in the area of Benbow along the Eel River. I found a bridge behind the Benbow Inn dated 1931 and then further South (about 5 miles) I found the Smith Point Bridge dated 1934. The original Smith Point Bridge is directly parallel to the current 101 bridge but about 20 feet lower. (on Mapquest it shows as Benbow Drive)

 

Approximately 1/2 mile north of those 2 bridges, on the western side of the Eel River is a large support for another bridge with a corresponding landing on the east side of the river. There is also a footing in the river bed near the east side. I am sure that the eastern landing can't be seen on google earth because their is a tree growing up through the middle of it. Of course, there is no bridge there now.

 

My question to you sir is: Was their a predecessor to the 1934 Smith Point Bridge?

 

I will share pictures as soon as I can. Sorry I don't have exact coordinates for you but it should be easy to spot on Google Earth.

 

Roadhound

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Hey Keep (or anyone else that can answer),

 

I was doing some early morning exploring 2 days ago in the area of Benbow along the Eel River. I found a bridge behind the Benbow Inn dated 1931 and then further South (about 5 miles) I found the Smith Point Bridge dated 1934. The original Smith Point Bridge is directly parallel to the current 101 bridge but about 20 feet lower. (on Mapquest it shows as Benbow Drive)

 

Approximately 1/2 mile north of those 2 bridges, on the western side of the Eel River is a large support for another bridge with a corresponding landing on the east side of the river. There is also a footing in the river bed near the east side. I am sure that the eastern landing can't be seen on google earth because their is a tree growing up through the middle of it. Of course, there is no bridge there now.

 

My question to you sir is: Was their a predecessor to the 1934 Smith Point Bridge?

 

I will share pictures as soon as I can. Sorry I don't have exact coordinates for you but it should be easy to spot on Google Earth.

 

Roadhound

 

Rick, (This is edited...I was too far south in the original post)

 

The 1921 Automobile Blue Book says "Cross bridges over Eel River 82.9 - 87.4", where Garberville is at 77.0. Thus the first bridge is at 5.9 miles south and the last at 10.4. The fact that they put a hyphen rather than "and" between those two mileages suggests more than two bridges...but the map below shows only two....

 

The 1923 strip map is below.

 

AR101Bridge.jpg

 

I'll see if I can shed any light on the question.

 

It looks like the old 1921 road went around the river bend on the right side rather than do two bridges in succession. The 1921 map has the old road crossing the East Branch of the South Fork and Fish Creek on bridges, which suggests it is the road I labled 1921 below.

 

ARRickBridges.jpg

 

Hope you are having a great trip! Did you do the hill south of Orick?

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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Rick, (This is edited...I was too far south in the original post)

 

The 1921 Automobile Blue Book says "Cross bridges over Eel River 82.9 - 87.4", where Garberville is at 77.0. Thus the first bridge is at 5.9 miles south and the last at 10.4. The fact that they put a hyphen rather than "and" between those two mileages suggests more than two bridges...but the map below shows only two....

 

The 1923 strip map is below.

 

AR101Bridge.jpg

 

I'll see if I can shed any light on the question.

 

It looks like the old 1921 road went around the river bend on the right side rather than do two bridges in succession. The 1921 map has the old road crossing the East Branch of the South Fork and Fish Creek on bridges, which suggests it is the road I labled 1921 below.

 

ARRickBridges.jpg

 

Hope you are having a great trip! Did you do the hill south of Orick?

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

Dave,

 

I am pleased to note that the hill south of Orick is driveable and extremely easy to find. Just look for the sign stating "Old State Highway." There are some houses tucked away along the road so the road is maintained...somewhat.

 

I also inquired with the locals about the Orick Inn and was directed to a building that looked similar to the picture you had posted, but not exactly. Its close enough that without the scanned image for reference you might think it was the same building but I walked around the building as much as I could trying to find the same angle but wasn't able to match it up. I'll post the image as soon as I go through my images and let you decide.

 

Based on the Google Earth image you posted I followed the 1921 alignment. In fact, right where you put "1921" was a section of road that had obviously been washed out by the river at some point and a single lane gravel road was graded into the hillside.

 

I'm not so sure about the bridge you labeled as "1934." That bridge is not much more than a single lane wide and goes to a campground. It is also far to close to the water level to be a highway bridge.

 

The bridges I was referring to in my previous post were further south.

 

smithpoint.jpg

 

#1 is the current 101 roadway north and south.

#2 is the 1934 Smith Point Bridge

#3 is the approximate location of the bridge pier. The picture below is taken from the east bank of the river and the pier is on the west bank of the river.

 

MG_2249.jpg

 

 

Roadhound

 

 

 

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