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Author Topic: California  (Read 265458 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1425 on: February 25, 2022, 05:45:58 PM »

I followed SR 4 over Ebbetts Pass when I last visited California, in September 2014.  I believe it still has more one-lane segments than any other California state highway, though there are now interruptions where bridges have been replaced with a full two-lane cross-section.

Though it has been signposted with a 24% maximum grade, I found it to be fairly tame because of the switchbacks and had little difficulty negotiating it in a 1994 Saturn SL2 with automatic transmission that is not allowed on the Mount Washington Auto Road because it has no "1" range (i.e., cannot be downshifted far enough that automatic upshifts to 2nd gear are prohibited).  Marin Avenue in Berkeley is still my personal gold standard for scary in California.

Out of the paved roads in California I personally find Blackrock Road north of Balch Camp to be the most treacherous Iíve encountered based off actual road conditions.  The sheer cliff and having to back up encountering oncoming traffic certainly isnít for everyone:

https://flic.kr/p/SiKzQT

Some other challenging paved roads in California Iíve encountered with notable steel downhill grades include:

-  Mineral King Road
-  Nacimiento-Ferguson Road
-  Nine Mile Canyon Road

CA 4 over Ebbetts Pass has the huge benefit of being well maintained given it is a State Highway.  The last time I drove it in 2020 the asphalt was silky smooth and very well maintained.  Itís definitely one of my favorite state highway segments in California.

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kkt

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Re: California
« Reply #1426 on: February 25, 2022, 08:00:59 PM »

I followed SR 4 over Ebbetts Pass when I last visited California, in September 2014.  I believe it still has more one-lane segments than any other California state highway, though there are now interruptions where bridges have been replaced with a full two-lane cross-section.

Though it has been signposted with a 24% maximum grade, I found it to be fairly tame because of the switchbacks and had little difficulty negotiating it in a 1994 Saturn SL2 with automatic transmission that is not allowed on the Mount Washington Auto Road because it has no "1" range (i.e., cannot be downshifted far enough that automatic upshifts to 2nd gear are prohibited).  Marin Avenue in Berkeley is still my personal gold standard for scary in California.

Wow, Marin Avenue, yes, that takes me back to being a passenger in the back seat of the VW Bug with mom driving up up and away...  from the back the view out the front windshield was nothing but sky...
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Kniwt

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Re: California
« Reply #1427 on: February 26, 2022, 11:38:41 AM »

The Fresno Bee reports on safety along Millerton Road north of the city, which has claimed 22 lives in 10 years.
https://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/marek-warszawski/article258437663.html

Quote
Millerton Road is largely a two-lane rural road between North Fork Road in Friant and Auberry Road even though it serves both the casino and Millerton Lake State Recreation Area.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over county roads, since 2012 there have been 16 fatal accidents resulting in 22 deaths along the 5.7-mile stretch between the town of Friant and Auberry Road. A closer examination of accident reports published by The Bee and other Fresno media revealed that a majority of the fatalities occurred in roughly the same place: Millerton Roadís intersection with Marina Drive and Winchell Cove Road, one mile west of the existing Table Mountain Casino and closer to the newly built casino and hotel.

... Due to heavy traffic and shoulders too narrow for bike lanes, Millerton Road has a fearsome reputation among local cyclists. Many avoid it altogether or only ride the segment between Auberry Road and Sky Harbour Road, 1.5 miles where bike lanes striped years ago are now barely visible.

... Plans to widen Millerton Road into a four-lane, divided roadway have kicked around Fresno County planning offices for the better part of two decades. On the 2006 expenditure plan for the Measure C transportation tax, it is listed as a Tier 2 project. (Tier 1 projects received funding priority.) Despite the obvious need, improvements are years away from being shovel ready. Steven White, director of Fresno County Public Works and Planning, said it will take until the end of 2023 to complete the environmental work ďif everything goes smoothly.Ē After that, the county will need to raise $35 million, a sum that includes the acquisition of more than 40 road easements.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1428 on: February 26, 2022, 11:40:58 AM »

I donít know why anyone on a bike would bother with Millerton Road when Auberry Road is the better cycling route.  Lake Millerton and Table Mountain Casino do bring enough traffic to justify a continuation of the four lanes from Friant Road.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: California
« Reply #1429 on: February 26, 2022, 04:51:18 PM »

How is that road? Itís on my list to clinch this summer.

Here you go if you wanted something hyper detailed:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2018/08/trans-sierra-highways-california-state.html?m=1

The narrow road isnít really that big of a deal.  It might not have a center stripe but is just as wide as a lot of rural two lane stuff on the county level.  The incline grades are the real deal though, they are very sustained.  I usually find myself using 2nd gear if not 1st from time to time if Iím heading east.

Scenic, steep, narrow, winding with some tight hairpin curves.  It's fun to drive if you have time and patience, but is mostly useful for access to trailheads and recreational areas and is not a very efficient way to cross the Sierra; CA 88 which parallels it to the north is the speedy route.  CA 4 opens for the summer after snow clearance and any necessary repairs around the second week of May, on average.

Here's Max's thread:  https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=23391.0

I followed SR 4 over Ebbetts Pass when I last visited California, in September 2014.  I believe it still has more one-lane segments than any other California state highway, though there are now interruptions where bridges have been replaced with a full two-lane cross-section.

Though it has been signposted with a 24% maximum grade, I found it to be fairly tame because of the switchbacks and had little difficulty negotiating it in a 1994 Saturn SL2 with automatic transmission that is not allowed on the Mount Washington Auto Road because it has no "1" range (i.e., cannot be downshifted far enough that automatic upshifts to 2nd gear are prohibited).  Marin Avenue in Berkeley is still my personal gold standard for scary in California.

Thanks for the responses I do want to do a little hiking and make it into a 2-3 day trip. Itís been on my radar. I will check out those links. Thank you Max!
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kernals12

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Re: California
« Reply #1430 on: February 26, 2022, 07:52:10 PM »

My Mom sent me these photos from I-10 heading from LAX to Palm Springs




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Occidental Tourist

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Re: California
« Reply #1431 on: February 27, 2022, 03:40:36 AM »

That first photo is California 60 through the Badlands.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1432 on: February 27, 2022, 09:14:25 AM »

San Gorgonio Pass on I-10 in the second photo actually.  Thatís the San Bernardino Mountains with snow in both photos. 

Took this one from CA 243 south of Banning myself this month:

https://flic.kr/p/2n4cMJX

And this one from CA 79:

https://flic.kr/p/2n4cq7m


As an aside speaking of US 60/CA 60 in the Moreno Valley Badlands here is the original pre-1935 Jackrabbit Trail:

https://flic.kr/p/2n4fKmS
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skluth

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Re: California
« Reply #1433 on: February 27, 2022, 10:22:59 AM »

^ Second photo is the San Jacinto Mountains south of I-10
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1434 on: February 27, 2022, 10:36:18 AM »

^ Second photo is the San Jacinto Mountains south of I-10

Thatís right, you can see the concrete stub of Old US 99-60-70 right of the exit sign.
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skluth

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Re: California
« Reply #1435 on: February 27, 2022, 02:43:58 PM »

^ Second photo is the San Jacinto Mountains south of I-10

Thatís right, you can see the concrete stub of Old US 99-60-70 right of the exit sign.
Thanks. I had no idea why that old concrete road was there. It's strange that Google has GSV along the road as I don't think it's supposed to be open to traffic. It's certainly not a through street there. It would be nice if they cobbled together these stubs and cutoff sections as a nonmotorized path for bikes and pedestrians from Banning to Whitewater; it would be empty during the summer but I can see it being popular during the winter and spring (at least when the winds aren't blowing). I'd also like it if the off-freeway gaps were filled to route traffic when accidents block the highway.

I can see why you mistook the mountain range. That's as low as I've seen snow in my four winters here. I have never seen snow on that low mountain in the foreground. They showed it snowing on I-10 on the news last week.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1436 on: February 27, 2022, 03:03:10 PM »

^ Second photo is the San Jacinto Mountains south of I-10

Thatís right, you can see the concrete stub of Old US 99-60-70 right of the exit sign.
Thanks. I had no idea why that old concrete road was there. It's strange that Google has GSV along the road as I don't think it's supposed to be open to traffic. It's certainly not a through street there. It would be nice if they cobbled together these stubs and cutoff sections as a nonmotorized path for bikes and pedestrians from Banning to Whitewater; it would be empty during the summer but I can see it being popular during the winter and spring (at least when the winds aren't blowing). I'd also like it if the off-freeway gaps were filled to route traffic when accidents block the highway.

I can see why you mistook the mountain range. That's as low as I've seen snow in my four winters here. I have never seen snow on that low mountain in the foreground. They showed it snowing on I-10 on the news last week.

There are quite of few old segments of US 99-60-70 like that east from Banning towards Indio.  The 1923 Whitewater Bridge is probably most famous stub segment that comes up amongst old highway fans. 

I actually just missed that storm by a day or two.  I was up at Big Bear earlier in the week when they had about 3 inches of snow.  I ended up looping 330, 18 and 38 through the San Bernardino Mountains.  I did 243 also but the San Jacinto Mountains had nowhere near the level of snow at the time.
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pderocco

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Re: California
« Reply #1437 on: February 28, 2022, 02:32:00 AM »

CA 4 over Ebbetts Pass has the huge benefit of being well maintained given it is a State Highway.  The last time I drove it in 2020 the asphalt was silky smooth and very well maintained.  Itís definitely one of my favorite state highway segments in California.

I drove it last June, and it was fine. The "one-lane" part is over 22 miles long, which is much longer than any other road I've seen with two white stripes down the edges.

If anyone is interested in clinching state routes, be aware that the access road off of CA-4 to Bear Valley ski resort is unsigned CA-207.
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heynow415

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Re: California
« Reply #1438 on: February 28, 2022, 11:55:10 AM »

How is that road? Itís on my list to clinch this summer.

Here you go if you wanted something hyper detailed:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2018/08/trans-sierra-highways-california-state.html?m=1

The narrow road isnít really that big of a deal.  It might not have a center stripe but is just as wide as a lot of rural two lane stuff on the county level.  The incline grades are the real deal though, they are very sustained.  I usually find myself using 2nd gear if not 1st from time to time if Iím heading east.

I'll go one better - I've ridden this road on a bicycle and it was great.  Sure, it's narrow in sections but the traffic volumes are so low that there is no problem with oncomiing/passing vehicles.  A few years back a buddy and I were training for a series of rides in the French Alps and did this from Markleeville to Lake Alpine and back (and the next day went from Markleeville to 395 and back over Monitor).  There are two summits on this:  Ebbetts and Pacific Grade. Yes, the climbs were brutally steep in spots but it really is a fantastic road for scenery and meandering through the woods.  I've also done it several times on motorcycle trips where the serpentine nature of the road made for fun riding.  If you time it right in the fall, the aspens turning is really spectacular.  Highly recommended!
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: California
« Reply #1439 on: February 28, 2022, 01:58:55 PM »

Quote
If anyone is interested in clinching state routes, be aware that the access road off of CA-4 to Bear Valley ski resort is unsigned CA-207.

There used to be a trailblazer up but it doesn't seem to have been replaced. I think there is some advance signage on the EB side, too, as memory serves (I'll have to dig out my video footage).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1440 on: February 28, 2022, 02:06:55 PM »

Quote
If anyone is interested in clinching state routes, be aware that the access road off of CA-4 to Bear Valley ski resort is unsigned CA-207.

There used to be a trailblazer up but it doesn't seem to have been replaced. I think there is some advance signage on the EB side, too, as memory serves (I'll have to dig out my video footage).

This is what I have for CA 207, the reassurance shields are mounted super high and somehow one was even hit by a truck:

https://flic.kr/p/2jD8Ub6

https://flic.kr/p/2jD88gF
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: California
« Reply #1441 on: February 28, 2022, 02:11:21 PM »

There's a trailblazer on the WB side too, or there was. It disappeared by my third time over the "hill." I have that somewhere as a single photo.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1442 on: February 28, 2022, 02:14:26 PM »

I did note a CA 207 shield on in both directions between CA 4 and the ski area.  There is no ďEndĒ placard but the terminus of state maintenance is very apparent once the asphalt degrades to this:

https://flic.kr/p/2jD6phY
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gonealookin

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Re: California
« Reply #1443 on: March 04, 2022, 12:09:15 PM »

The Tahoe side of Echo Summit on US 50 suffers from periodic rockslides.  The one that happened late yesterday afternoon is the biggest I can recall since I've lived here.  They're going to get rid of the biggest boulder with dynamite and hope to have the highway reopened by late this afternoon for weekend tourist traffic.



(Photo from Caltrans District 3 Twitter)
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: California
« Reply #1444 on: March 04, 2022, 12:29:00 PM »

I said it on Twitter and Iíll say it here; that is a Boulder the size of a large Boulder.
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kkt

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Re: California
« Reply #1445 on: March 04, 2022, 12:54:41 PM »

Wow.  Not to tell them their jobs, but I hope they're not going to try jackhammering that boulder while they are standing on it.

Love the California mountains.

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gonealookin

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Re: California
« Reply #1446 on: March 04, 2022, 01:12:46 PM »

Wow.  Not to tell them their jobs, but I hope they're not going to try jackhammering that boulder while they are standing on it.

Love the California mountains.

No, they blew it up with dynamite a few minutes ago.  It was shown live on Youtube and somehow the camera even survived.  It looks like they can get the debris with bulldozers and if the roadway isn't too badly damaged, reopen the road reasonably quickly.
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DTComposer

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Re: California
« Reply #1447 on: March 04, 2022, 02:22:30 PM »


Unfortunately, it looks like they didn't tighten the camera tripod enough, because the view slowly drifts upward and by the time of the actual blast (about 4:10) you just see the dust cloud and some debris spray.
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gonealookin

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Re: California
« Reply #1448 on: March 04, 2022, 02:28:45 PM »

Unfortunately, it looks like they didn't tighten the camera tripod enough, because the view slowly drifts upward and by the time of the actual blast (about 4:10) you just see the dust cloud and some debris spray.

This is what I was watching, much better view with Fire In The Hole at about 0:30.

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DTComposer

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Re: California
« Reply #1449 on: March 05, 2022, 01:17:58 PM »

So much better, thanks for sharing!
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