Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Old Highway Route


Barbed wire blocks passage to the trailing end of the old Highway 101 roadbed at the south end of the valley. The current highway at this point is up where the line of passing traffic is just visible at the top left of the picture. From there, south to just below Ukiah, the highway is four lanes, bypassing the winding path of generations of road trips; families or newlyweds off to explore the pastoral ranches and towering redwood forests in lovingly maintained open roadsters or sedans. With more widespread ownership of automobiles after World War I, daytrips and camping trips brought city-dwellers out to lands of natural splendor with ease and independence. With the travelers came new economic opportunities to serve tourism locally. Such business benefits fueled the interest of north coast counties to contribute to the Redwood Empire Association, and the subsequent building of the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s.

15 comments:

USelaine said...

I'm being a pest today, and letting all the CDP bloggers know that the November Theme has been chosen, and it's time to vote for the December Theme in the Portal Forum section!

Abraham Lincoln said...

The road seems in good shape after not being in use. I guess that shows what traffic does to roads in use. Wears them out big time.

Knoxville Girl said...

Can you still travel on the old road? Does it meet up with the new one? I'll bet my parents cruised that 101 in the 50s when my dad was stationed in Cali. I love these where-the-sidewalk-ends shots; good one, Elaine.
tsk, ok I'll go check the theme.

Hilda said...

When old roads stop getting used, I wish the local government would at least break them up so the plants can take over faster. They eventually do, I know, but it would be nice to hasten the healing a bit.

Saretta said...

Does that itsy bit of barbed wire actually stop people? Wouldn't stop anyone here in Italy from barging on through! ;-)

Kelly said...

What a cool shot, the barbed wire and all! The text was great too! I am glad you are taking over the Theme Day for awhile! Thanks for stepping up!

Virginia said...

You are not a pest. We love hearing the theme so early and getting to vote. I am tickled with the next theme. Although I have a book photo today, I have another up my sleeve. Thanks for doing this while we all sit around and yak.
V

Like your photo and story as well. Looks like lovely country up ahead.

Chuck Pefley said...

Elaine, love the theme for November :) Perfect for pre-winter.

Barbed wire seems odd as a road barrier ... looks like private citizenry in action rather than some government DOT. Bet it took less than a crew of 5 to put up that string of wire.

Dina said...

From the picture I thought it would be a sad story. But you made it a happy one. :D

Laurie said...

This is a really melancholy image. I love it. The wood in the foreground makes the shot. Gorgeous, Elaine.

ANd thanks for the heads up about the December theme day.

Halcyon said...

I like old roads. People don't travel like they used to - now most people fly and if families do take cars, they're filled with MP3 players, DVD players and the like. I remember when my brother, sister and I had to entertain ourselves with games.

Tash said...

This is quintessential USelaine! Wonderful post.
thanks for the theme vote reminder.

Tash said...

PS - I went back to your serendipetous (sp?) photo - what a lovely girl you captured.

Petrea said...

"Fueled." Good word. Nice shot.

You could never be a pest.

USelaine said...

Abe - Yeah, those heavy trucks mash and crack the surfaces all right. I wish they would get back to hauling by train.

KG - You can travel on parts of it. Where it goes right through Willits, you are on the original route. And when they engineer easier curves or straighter sections, sometimes the bowed-out sections get a new name. This is now the end of "Walker Road", which still provided access to some farms and other homes.

Hilda - I think sometimes they don't know if it will still be useful at some point, I think. As long as the Department of Transportation retains the right-of-way, they can keep their options open. But I know what you mean.

Saretta - This is now just an end stub that breaks off not far ahead. The homeowners off to the right probably didn't want young drivers just parking right behind them. I didn't include the yellow diamond "END" sign in my shot, but it's to the right of the camera along the wire fence line. If someone was truly motivated, they could cut through, but there isn't anything to see. I should add that there's a private gravel road that doglegs off to the right of camera, to the homes now, from this still public road.

Kelly - Thanks! I expect everyone to do their duty if they are registered CDP bloggers, and VOTE on those themes. Anything less than a hundred voters, and I'll take it personally.

Virginia - As far as I could tell, the polls for the themes have always closed within a week after the first of the month. The only way to find out what it is has always been to look at the voting thread to see. Closing times were always about the same, but sometimes Jenny got delayed putting the new selections up for voting. But I know you know what to do, and where to go, and never have to feel "in the dark" again. 6^)

Chuck - I hope you voted early and often! December awaits your discerning taste!

I think these wire fences are mostly aids to people that are lost. It shows that they really, really should not explore beyond the "END" sign.

Dina - I do feel nostalgic for the days when we didn't know better, and rumbled along on cheap gas to explore the world. Two-lane highways through the redwoods are wonderful.

Laurie - Thanks. The melancholy comes from realizing that way of life couldn't last forever.

Halcyon - Speed requires big, straight freeways, and the interesting things to see stand too far back to be inspected from the back seat. My mom taught me how to harmonize by ear with her as we rode along in the car. A lot of people get confused by someone harmonizing when they are supposed to sing the melody. They end up going off in wild directions and don't know what's going on. I used to think everybody knew how to do it.

Tash - Thank you, twice. 8^)

P - You've been warned. But thanks.