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Author Topic: Max's Pacific Southwest Roads  (Read 19258 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #75 on: September 04, 2016, 10:20:57 AM »

I'll believe it when the CA 178 freeway connects to 99....  :rolleyes:  CA 204 always adequate for that task....granted I say the former statement with a lot of sarcasm.  Granted it would be interesting in the winter to head back up to Lake Isabella to see what road ruins can be found on the lake bottom given how low it is right now.

A friend of mine already did when the lake was lower and took photos - http://socalregion.com/out-of-the-lake-old-highway-178-and-the-town-of-isabella/

Well that was a bookmark right there, sure will make things easier whenever I decide to check it out.  :)

Yes, it's water... agriculture, gardens.  Also California having ports and a more pleasant climate.

Nevada still has some mineral wealth, even though they've gotten what can be got cheaply and easily.  Nevada should have wanted the nuclear waste depository, that would be a source of decent jobs forever that don't depend on tourists or being the only place with gambling and prostitution.

Funny...with the Nevada Test Site and all those nukes that were detonated that pretty already is a thing....at least from the military's perspective.  That's the one big huge economy driver in that empty swath of land between Tonopah and Vegas...military R&D at Nellis and the Test Site.  Even the Navy has a bunch of squadrons that train up in Fallon and some agriculture in the area as well along the Carson River.  Mining is still a thing in Ely especially with the copper boom.  I'm actually surprised with the advances in mining techniques that the industry hasn't rebounded as much state side since WWII when the non-essential mines got shut down....the EPA Act probably can be thanked for that.  The towns on I-80 survived fairly well post US 40...well because they are really the only places to stop.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 10:27:47 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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TheStranger

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #76 on: September 04, 2016, 09:43:47 PM »

Even the Navy has a bunch of squadrons that train up in Fallon and some agriculture in the area as well along the Carson River. 

Hey, the Navy has squadrons in an agricultural part of California too (Lemoore, near Hanford)! :D
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Chris Sampang

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2016, 10:22:14 PM »

Even the Navy has a bunch of squadrons that train up in Fallon and some agriculture in the area as well along the Carson River. 

Hey, the Navy has squadrons in an agricultural part of California too (Lemoore, near Hanford)! :D

Heh...don't think TOPGUN would have had the same impact rolling out of Fallon and Lemoore instead of that Miramar Beach backdrop.  :rolleyes:

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #78 on: September 05, 2016, 12:23:38 AM »

Quote
In Ridgecrest CA 178 multiplexes a lot of the US 395 BL which if I recall correctly is the old alignment of US 395.

From what I know, US 395 used to follow Brown Rd through Inyokern before it was relocated onto the Super Two expressway that runs midway between Inyokern and Ridgecrest. I do not believe US 395 ever followed Business US 395 through Ridgecrest. SDMichael knows of this and can help me clarify.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #79 on: September 05, 2016, 06:04:28 PM »

^^^^

Yeah I didn't want to make it seem like I had actually researched where US 395 had gone, because that's not the case.  There is a lot of roads up to Lee Vining that appear to have some connection to US 395 prior to the expressway being built.  I'd be interested to know regardless where US 395 was around Ridgecrest.

Alright....so...found myself with nothing to do today so I decided to test out the new tires on the Sonic.  I headed up CA 65 to CA 198 before sunrise to Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park.  There wasn't anyone on the Generals Highway today roughly almost all the way to the Giant Forest.  A guy broke down with his truck and trailer...looked to have gotten he trailer stuck on a retaining wall, they ain't kidding about that 22 foot length limit for those switch backs. I won't touch on things that I've already talked about but I have pictures...lots of shields this go around starting with Moro Rock:




I can't decide which is the better picture...  The pano that I started facing left is really dark while the one from the right is blurred out by sun glare.  Of course I had to take about a dozen each and pick out the best that I liked...or didn't.  Got a couple I did like as the sun was just about to come over the Western Divide:



The good thing about being so early that even on Labor Day I was WAY ahead of the tourist crowd which allowed for a short mountain run through the Giant Forest near General Sherman:





Looking at my park map the other day I found a road to an over look near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park that overlooks the canyon itself.  One thing was very apparent on the way up the Generals Highway....holy shit what a difference new tires made.  There was virtually zero road noise and worlds more grip than I had the last time I was up here.  I would speculate that I was able to take turns 3-10 MPH faster than before.  Mind you....I replaced tires that had 6mm of tread left on them, so Chevy must have cheaped out with the OEM sets of Hancooks.

I want to say the road to Panoramic Point was called "Crystal Springs Road" but it may very well be unnamed.  The road up to Panoramic point is the right turn where you would normally turn left to Grant Grove heading northbound.  Basically the road to Panoramic Point begins behind the John Muir Lodge and it's about 4 miles long, but only about half that to the actually overlook:



I thought it was kind of neat to have Hume Lake in the foreground of Kings Canyon.  Personally I like the Confluence Overlook better but definitely this is an infinite step up over the crappy Kings Canyon Overlook to the south on the Generals Highway.  For some reason traffic is forced into the parking lot whereas you used to be able to take a right and head south to the park fire watch tower.  I wasn't in the mood for a 4 mile round trip run/hike so I'll just illustrate that the GSV had been up there in the past to prove my point:



Now the street view:

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.7359145,-118.943397,3a,75y,90h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5W6JFj7w3ala_5SOuZHxHA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Damn shame too, looks like a well graded dirt road to the fire watch.  I seemed to recall it being advertised so I wonder why there is no signage directing you up to Panoramic Point or the fire watch?  I would suspect it might have something to do with the lane and a half road since it's narrow and had a crap ton of fast switchbacks for something so short:






Of course I went across the street to the Grant Grove.  By now I want to say it was about 9:30 AM so it's getting close to time to book out:



Of course 90% of the traffic is likely to head back down to San Joaquin Valley via CA 180 because Fresno is a direct shot some fifty miles west of Kings Canyon.  I almost always use CA 245 since it has virtually no traffic and hundreds of curves to challenge:



Which raises the question....how many curves ARE on CA 245?  I would have imagine it's pretty damn high since you really aren't going straight for much more than a quarter of a mile until you get down from 5,500 feet to about 1,200 feet.  I hadn't gotten a decent photo from the highway before aside from the CA 245 sign in front of Dunlap Road, so why not?  Funny thing though there was a guy in a Honda Accord that I ran into running southbound in front of me at about 1,500 was having a really difficult time getting down hill.  He kept swinging over to the other side of the highway to make turns and really wasn't gaining anything by doing so.  I suspect that a lot of people ended up on CA 245 this weekend simply because they were staying somewhere like Visalia.  I had another car cross over the median on a turn heading northbound and almost ran me off the road around Badger...  Still, I was able to establish that these mountain roads are going to require a lot less manhandling with new tires.  That bodes well for a Sherman Pass visit this Saturday, I need to get that done before snow hits.  This also puts Ebbetts and Sonora Passes back on the table for early October. 

SO, with that in mind...Sequoia and Kings Canyon Highway signage is leaps and bounds better than what is seen up in Yosemite.  First off, no White Spades on brown guide signs:








So...a little mystery I touched on prior on in the thread.  Does CA 180 technically exist in the Grant Grove district of Kings Canyon National Park?  The signage around Grant Grove above and here seems to suggest that's a yes, the park map says no, and cahighways was vague on a verdict:





CA 180 never has any "TO" signage on it's implied route while CA 198 does, in addition to these placards telling you that you are on the Generals Highway:



Of course there is actually a couple CA 245 Shields in the Giant Sequoia National Monument:





Grabbed a couple more CA 245s just so we don't have a shortage of them anymore on the forum...anyone know how to submit them for additions to the gallery?  That 30 foot advisory is no joke either:




Some more rare bird shields:

-  CA 201 from the junction with CA 245


-  A pair of CA 216s around Woodlake...one kind of looks weird.



-  A not so rare CA 198 hiding behind the CA 245 END.


-  CA 65 on a guide sign....still should be on what is now CA 245, but what do I know?....route gaps and forlorn planned extensions.  :banghead:


-  CA 63, with photographic proof it really is signed for about a block on the CA 198 expressway.  And Scott wonders why I think the route ought to be relinquished completely and decommissioned:



SO...major decision now that I'm confident in the new tires.  Do I try for Sherman Pass before my oil change or after?  I might want to lump Mount Hamilton/CA 130 into a Lassen Peak trip in November, so it might work out after all.  The question is do I head all the way to the Mojave on Nine Mile Canyon Road if I hit Sherman or do I double back to California Hot Springs or the western CA 190?



BakoCondors

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #80 on: September 05, 2016, 07:46:03 PM »

Apparently Kern Canyon is up for consideration on a bypass route for a full four-lane expressway to Lake Isabella.  I haven't heard much about the idea but I suspect I'd be long gone from Bakersfield by the time it ever gets started:

There are local maps showing the supposed Kern Canyon bypass going back decades. It was a pipe dream then, it's a pipe dream now.

I'll believe it when the CA 178 freeway connects to 99....  :rolleyes: 

Yet another pipe dream. You can thank 50s-era Bako mayor Frank Sullivan for stopping the 178 project at M Street, and current Ward 2 city councilman Terry Maxwell for fighting tooth and nail in the courts to stop the current 23rd/24th Street (relinquished route 178) widening project.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #81 on: September 05, 2016, 08:04:26 PM »

Yeah but back in the 50s Bakersfield wasn't even 60,000 people yet.  I'm sure that fighting road expansion was a lot more viable considering that I bet nobody in those days would have ever thought the city would have almost 400,000 residents half a century later.  Personally I don't really have a dog in the fight...I'm just a passerby...at least I hope so, it's been about five years.  :-D

Found this on Youtube, someone posted a motorcycle ride up 245 north of Woodlake:

sdmichael

Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #82 on: September 05, 2016, 08:17:18 PM »

Quote
In Ridgecrest CA 178 multiplexes a lot of the US 395 BL which if I recall correctly is the old alignment of US 395.

From what I know, US 395 used to follow Brown Rd through Inyokern before it was relocated onto the Super Two expressway that runs midway between Inyokern and Ridgecrest. I do not believe US 395 ever followed Business US 395 through Ridgecrest. SDMichael knows of this and can help me clarify.

US 395 Business in Ridgecrest, CA was NEVER US 395. It was also never a State highway south of Ridgecrest Blvd.
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BakoCondors

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #83 on: September 05, 2016, 08:38:58 PM »

I'm just a passerby...at least I hope so, it's been about five years.  :-D

Uh-oh...no one told you? Bakersfield is like the Hotel California. You can check out anytime you like (for road trips and stuff) but you can never leave.  :bigass:

BTW, great work on all the photo-journeys.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 08:42:31 PM by BakoCondors »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #84 on: September 05, 2016, 09:05:52 PM »

I'm just a passerby...at least I hope so, it's been about five years.  :-D

Uh-oh...no one told you? Bakersfield is like the Hotel California. You can check out anytime you like (for road trips and stuff) but you can never leave.  :bigass:

BTW, great work on all the photo-journeys.  :thumbsup:

Thanks, I figure this would be 600 pages long for Nevada and California if I went back and posted everything from my first two stints here with work.   For what it's worth it's been a lot better up here this go around than it was when I had to work in L.A. and San Diego....they couldn't drag me out of Phoenix if they tried back in those days.  :-D

Quote
In Ridgecrest CA 178 multiplexes a lot of the US 395 BL which if I recall correctly is the old alignment of US 395.

From what I know, US 395 used to follow Brown Rd through Inyokern before it was relocated onto the Super Two expressway that runs midway between Inyokern and Ridgecrest. I do not believe US 395 ever followed Business US 395 through Ridgecrest. SDMichael knows of this and can help me clarify.

Was andy right about the original alignment?

sdmichael

Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #85 on: September 05, 2016, 10:49:34 PM »

Was andy right about the original alignment?

Yes, Andy was correct about the alignment of US 395. The pre-1957 and 1966 alignment of US 395 followed Brown Road prior to the current alignment.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #86 on: September 09, 2016, 05:12:06 PM »

Alright the obligatory CA 1/Big Sur/Pacific Coast Highway post.  I won't beat a dead horse with the highway history of CA 1 since it's one of the most documented out there of any road.  BUT with that in mind I will talk about observations and just stuff I saw in general.  Some background though, usually I do this road at least once a year in the off-season which is of course winter.  In this particular case this was late February and I had my wife with me.  She was actually looking for a place to spread ashes near San Simeon since her grandma was a big Hearst Castle fan.  I believe that I found a good place or two but nothing has happened as far as progress on that front due to random family members needing surgery or just not having the money right now to travel west...oh well, fun road regardless.

So basically getting up CA 1 I took CA 99 and CA 46 along to the coast near Cambria.  I turned south on CA 1 for about a mile to Harmony Valley Road and Old Creamery Road to the village of Harmony.  Apparently Harmony was around back in the 1860s when ranching and creameries in the area were big.  Word was that the name "Harmony" came about in 1907 and was actually somewhat viable to the 1950s.  I'm fairly certain that CA 1 or the road that became it ran through Harmony along Old Creamery Road but I haven't researched it all that much:




Of course before joining CA 1 I had to take the obligatory shield picture:



I took Main Street through Cambria because I really just felt like it and by the looks of things is an obviously older alignment of CA 1.  Didn't take too long to get to San Simeon, in fact we were way early even for Hearst Castle to open for the opening tour.  San Simeon has been around since 1797 when it was established as a mission.  Basically it even had a substantial port at one point and really has declined despite it becoming much more known since Hearst Castle.  I thought that the overlook in the first picture might be good for ash spreading since I didn't really think the state park or the Hearst estate would be up for that thing:




Of course Hearst Castle...is really just, well Hearst Castle.  It's not really my bag to look at the things that rich hoarders kept just for themselves.  The history of the place is pretty well documented so if you're interested I would suggest looking up some independent articles and maybe watch Citizen Kane since Xanadu and Charles Foster Kane are representations of Hearst Castle in addition to William Randolph Hearst.  Great movie though...especially when you understand the context of the time and who it was "really" about.  Anyways Hearst Castle Road is interesting since it splits off in one-way alignments and has various ruins from the Hearst Estate on it.  But for what's worth the Castle was above the cloud line....apparently you can spread ashes via plane drop right over the coast.....for some reason that got a laugh out of me.  I can just picture some rinky dink plane dropping ashes like some sort of cluster bomb.  :-D






Of course had to take some pictures of the coastal animals.  It was actually kind of fun being able to drive as close to 55 MPH as possible almost the way to the Bixby Bridge.  Things really don't slow down all that much until Big Sur proper up in Monterrey County.




Of course I had to stop at the Bixby Bridge since nobody was really around.  It seems that somewhere to the south someone had driven over the edge of the road.  There was at least twelve emergency vehicles that passed me headed south, probably just got through in the nic of time.  Regardless the Bixby Bridge is pretty damn beautiful when it isn't covered in tourists:





Anyways spent the night in Monterrey visiting some friends.  The next day we took CA 156, CA 152 over Pacheco Pass, I-5, CA 46, and CA 99 back home...nothing special.  If I don't sound like I don't have my usual "oomph" for this trip it's because I wanted to take the Challenger and didn't get to.  Worse I had to stop at a lot of tourist traps that I don't like either...but I've spent much worse times on lesser roads.  I'm hoping to go back in December to document some older alignments and things that interest me more so.




Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #87 on: September 09, 2016, 06:55:14 PM »

All right final road report before I'm caught up for 2016.  I'm going to do a little cheating on this one since there is some stuff from Arizona.  I don't plan on opening a Mountain West Thread until next month and a lot of the trinkets I ran into had some origins in California...so yeah.  So with that mind I'm talking about Old US Route 66 back in February when I picked up my Challenger from my brother in Prescott after I got moved into my new new condo and back in January when I was returning from a work conference in Dallas.  In February I jumped up on a longer section of 66 starting in Ash Fork via AZ 89 and in January it was from CA 62 in addition to US 95.  The clearer skies are in February and the clouds are January...I'll try to say which is which.


SO!  With that in mind got a mid-day start out of my brothers from Prescott since I was only staying in Needles for the night.  A quick run up AZ 89 and I found myself in Ash Fork:



Of course you can't take 66 west out of Ash Fork anymore and you have to jump on I-40 at exit 144.  66 is behind a gas station on the south side of the ramp and there is a bridge with a tree growing through it that's worth seeing...but I wasn't stuffing the Challenger down it given the bad condition of the road.  I jumped back onto 66 west at I-40 exit 139 and basically stayed on it to the state line.  There is an old bridge over the railroad tracks where the town of Crockton was.  I always though that the grade north of 66 was an old alignment but it turns out that it's an abandoned Santa Fe Rail Grade which you might be able to see in the left of the photo:



Of course heading west you run into Seligman.  Almost every building has some sort of Route 66 theme to it, although it's not as walking friendly as Oatman or hell...even Hackberry.  Wasn't the easiest thing getting back up to that US 66 sign with weekend traffic:





Somewhere just prior to the Yavapai County/Mohave County line is the "technical" start of AZ 66.  My understanding always has been that it has something to do with part of the highway being turned over to Yavapai County or ADOT having a policy against a route terminating at the same place...in this case it would have been I-40 in Kingman and Seligman.  There is another ghost town south of 66 and the railroad tracks that has some nice old buildings...not something that I would take the Challenger down a dirt road to go see.  I did stop at Grand Canyon Caverns to take pictures of the dinosaurs before blowing past Peach Springs.  You really don't want to mess around in Peach Springs given that it's on a reservation, too bad since there is a nice old alignment behind a fence line east of town:



Besides Truxton and Valentine have more vintage 66 ruination to check out on the side of the road:





West of Valentine you'll come across Hackberry and the Hackberry General Store.  Basically this place was really the last relic of the town of Hackberry after I-40 bypassed what was US 66.  Hackberry was basically totally abandoned until a new owner bought the General Store and did a huge 66 roadside theme with it.  There is all sorts of good stuff here; 66 signs from all over the country, gas pumps, Burma Shave signs, engines, and all sorts of other things.  My personal favorite is the huge California Spec US 66 cut-out in the General Store itself.  Basically there is all sorts of road porn wherever you look...usually there is a C1 Corvette at the gas pumps:








Of course AZ 66 ends at I-40 in Kingman but I took Andy Devine through the city to the Powerhouse Museum.  The wimpy way to California is the post 1953 route through Yucca which follows I-40, the real 66 is on the Oatman Highway:



What I didn't expect was that most of the Oatman Highway was recently repaved.  Before heading up Sitgreaves Pass I stopped in the rebuilt Cool Springs Station:



The Oatman Highway over Sitgreaves Pass is a pretty bad ass little road.  I would speculate that the road is about 16 feet wide at best on average and can kind of get nuts on the western side around the Gold Road Mine and ghost town.  The reason US 66 went through Oatman originally was likely due to the substantial gold mines that were in the area until they were shut down in WWII due to being non-essential metals.  There used to be an ice cream shop at the top of the pass roughly from where I'm taking pictures.  The speed limit is low but basically I just usually ignore it...in this instance this was the first REAL mountain road for the Challenger and it handled way better than I expected.  I wasn't sure how much the road surface had to do with it since it was new...almost a shame to see the rotted out asphalt go...incidentally the Oatman Highway is actually Mohave County Route 10:






Of course I wasn't going to try to wedge the Challenger in some dirt lot or narrow road in Oatman that has about a billion donkeys on it:



Although Oatman was around for awhile it was the site of one of the more recent mining town booms in the 1910s.  Most of the older part of the town burned in 1921.  Of course given it's status as a mine town with a peak population at 3,500 it's pretty easy to see why US 66 took the road to Oatman given that Yucca wasn't much of a destination despite the much easier terrain.  The mines were shut down in 1941 and the Burros that the miners had were cut loose.  Basically the wild burros wandering the town today come from the pack animals the miners had.  There is a lot of choice signage on some of the shops that are most of the tourist variety.  There is some interesting antique shops with real 66 signs near the Oatman Hotel...I seem to recall a very ornate button-copy 24x24 for sale running about $2,000 dollars:







Heading out of Oatman you run through the ghost town of Old Trails.  Taking the Oatman Highway Old 66 passes the Boundary Cone and the town of Topock.  I WOULD have gotten a picture of the Boundary Cone but someone in a Fusion didn't think 55 MPH was fast enough and diverted my attention until I got rid of him.  After the Topock Marsh you have to jump onto I-40 exit 1 and head west into California.  The original bridge US 66 was the Colorado River Arch Bridge which is in the background of this picture....the replacement would have been next to the rail tracks:



And I'll continue with California and the Mojave in the next post.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #88 on: September 09, 2016, 08:30:34 PM »

To get the last photo I had in the previous post requires you to jump off of I-40 exit 153 around Park Mobai.  You have to turn east on National Old Trails Highway which will take you to the Colorado River Arch Bridge.  If you try to continue west from Park Mobai you run into a heavy washout where US 66 was ripped up at the crossing of I-40.  I've gotten past it in an ATV but it's not something a car could ever do.  Nice section of road to explore if you can get to it though...could always try on foot.  :eyebrow:  Anyways I jumped off on US 66 at exit 148 which would have multiplexed US 95 into Needles.  I actually found a reasonably priced Chevron where the Basha's used to be on Broadway.  Seems that a lot of price gouging stations have gone under while the name brand ones have stayed.  I was trailed by a Needles PD Officer down Broadway until I cut up to the El Garces Hotel which looks to almost completely renovated at this point:




The next morning I jumped onto I-40 and got off at US 95 which would have been the pre-1931 alignment of US 66.  There is a naming theme with the towns along this section of the Mojave when they were railroad sidings; Amboy, Bristol, Cadiz, Danby, Essex, Fenner, Goffs, Homer, Ibis, Jaba, and Kleinfelter.  Really the only trace of anything east of Goffs is Kleinfelter here on US 95:



As pre-1931 US 66 breaks away west of US 95 you'll eventually come to the railroad tracks and Goffs.  Goffs plain and simple is just a straight ghost town.  There is a railroad museum here but the hours are wonky at best.  The General Store is a complete wreck but has plenty to see:




As you travel west on Old US 66 you'll come to Fenner at I-40 exit 107.  Basically this place is infamous for it's high gas prices but if I recall correctly they operate an RV park and might not be totally connected to the power grid?  Anyways I took this photo back in January from the actually ramp on I-40:



Speaking of Fenner...love the review write-ups on Google:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hi+Sahara+Oasis,+Inc./@34.8158312,-115.1958426,14z/data=!4m7!3m6!1s0x0:0x9b0857fbe0b3cef6!8m2!3d34.8172782!4d-115.1830781!9m1!1b1!6m1!1e1?hl=en

Something must have happened to the Goffs Bypass alignment of US 66 since it's blocked off.  I would speculate there is a wash out of something down the road or San Bernardino County just doesn't want to maintain it anymore.  The pre-1931 alignment of US 66 is actually signed as part of CR 66 and seemed to have some pretty new pavement.  The post-1931 alignment was a straighter route and obviously didn't go to Goffs but also; Fenner, Homer, Ibis, Jaba, or Kleinfelter and would have gone to where exit 115 on I-40 is today.  This stretch of road was open just a few years ago, I don't know exactly what happened.



Essex is interesting....apparently this was one of the last places in the lower 48 states to get cable TV and was even featured on the Tonight Show in 1977.  Apparently there is only 8 to 10 people left on the 2013 census, I would say it might be just a handful at this point.  I'd be careful here since there ARE attack dogs behind some of the fenced yards:




Basically the reason this stretch of US 66 is dead is because I-40 turns directly west through the Bristol Mountains while the former went around them near the railroad tracks.  Basically this would be one of the examples where the Interstate really and truly killed off some section of small town America.  Fun part is though that the Bristols are so remote that nuclear bombs were considered as an excavation tool.  :-D

Of course San Bernardino has gotten a lot better with the CR 66 signs above.  West of Essex is Danby (pic from January)....which I guess grew from the tracks up to the highway as time went by.  There is actually a crap ton of guard dogs here so the buildings are maintained by something, but they aren't worth really seeing anyways.  The low weight limits on the bridges are interesting...too bad I didn't take a pic of them:



Now west of Danby US 66 took Cadiz Summit while actual townsite is located below near the rail tracks south of Chambless.  Cadiz Summit used to have a gas station and motel which is what the ruins consist of.  The story is best told on DesertUSA:

http://www.desertusa.com/dusablog/cadiz-summit-yesterday-and-today.html

Basically the mostly intact structure is the garage, you can see the mounts for the pumps, parts of the foundation of the motel/cafe.






Of course I really dig the "REPENT NOW" and creeper chair that mysterious popped up...makes you wonder who really passes by?  Anyways this was Cadiz Summit back in 1948:



Of course this is probably a good opportunity to explain that the painted US 66 signs are apparently there due to sign theft along the route.  I got a better picture of the Cadiz Summit one back in January:



Down the hill west of Cadiz Summit you'll find Chambless.  There isn't much signs of life along the road but there is evidence people still live in the buildings north of the Route 66 monument.  This is also where the ruins of Road Runner's Retreat is:






Now according to everything I've read there must have been a town called Bristol along the rail tracks south of US 66 before Amboy.  However I have my own theory that there was never actually a town and the Bristol in question is simply Bristol Dry Lake which is a very obvious land feature.  Regardless you can bail out of this section of Old US 66 up Kelso Road to I-40 before Amboy....or Kelso Depot in the Mojave Preserve if you like.  But for what it's worth Amboy is pretty worth seeing and pretty much the only "somewhat" friendly place out in this stretch of the Mojave.  Amboy had 700 something people at it's peak and probably it's just the people working in Roy's Cafe who live there now.  Apparently the guy who owns Juan Pollo bought the whole town of Amboy back in 2005 and reopened Roy's.  Roy's Cafe doesn't really have food but they do have drinks, trinkets, bathrooms, and now all grades of gas.  You can wander the grounds at a whim too provided you don't try to jump the fence to the Amboy School:





Now this is where I doubled back to I-40 on Kelso Road in February and where I continued west in January:



West of Amboy and Amboy Road you'll come to the Amboy Crater which is an extinct volcanic cone.  My understanding is that some kids once set some tires on fire here to make people think that an eruption was happening.  :-D  Apparently there is also a fighter jet out there somewhere in the lava flow but I've never found it:



This tree is where the town of Bagdad was.  Bagdad was apparently the setting for some movies and where the Bagdad Cafe in Newberry Springs gets it's name from.  Word is that the town site was demolished back in 1991:



West of Bagdad is the rail siding of Siberia which can be seen near the tracks.  Really all that's left is one partially standing wall near the tracks.  I should elaborate on why the Challenger didn't go this way in February....this section of CR 66/US 66/Old 66 (getting tired of switching the names) is in really bad shape.  The pavement is rough and heavily pitted, so much so that's probably just easier to drive in the center of the road:



In January I continued all the way to Ludlow which is where the first chain gas station west of Needles is.  Apparently Ludlow was one of the bigger rail sidings out in the Mojave at one point and actually had a downtown district as evidenced in the background of the photo.  Basically this place has been around since the 1880s:



From here I jumped back on I-40 and headed home on CA 58.  You COULD pass under I-40 and bridge the cut portion of Old 66 and continue all the way to Dagget before you'd be forced onto I-40 because of the Marine Corps Station in Barstow.  Really I could have gone way more in depth about the alignment histories along with the townsites but it's really worth venturing out to 66 yourself.  I just wish the California side would get a little bit more friendly to tourism like Arizona is....not really anything else is keeping these places going.  But hey...big difference between hostile desert versus mild high desert to plateau.


Avalanchez71

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #89 on: September 09, 2016, 08:38:44 PM »

Are there CR 10 signs along the route?  I would imagine that they didn't make it CR 66 as those signs would likely have been stolen.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #90 on: September 09, 2016, 08:58:32 PM »

Are there CR 10 signs along the route?  I would imagine that they didn't make it CR 66 as those signs would likely have been stolen.

I want to say there "was" CR 10s but I don't recall seeing them this time around.  I'll scan the GSV after dinner and see what I can find.  If they were ever there it was likely at Boundary Cone Road Road and Oatman Highway.

Edit:  Seems that recently this is what the GSV is seeing for route signage on the Oatman Highway:

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.1388262,-114.107956,3a,75y,270h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZpl3kAsdF9eyuWEOqYLTDQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en



^^^

-  Seems the sign above matches the brown one I found in the window of the Hackberry Store.  Maybe I'm just remembering the other county routes since Mohave County usually seems to be pretty good at signing them....I could swear I've seen a CR 10 though.

Edit Again:

-  Look what's on eBay right now:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/REAL-AUTHENTIC-ARIZONA-24X24-HISTORIC-ROUTE-66-SIGN-HIGHWAY-SHIELD-ROAD-SIGN-/142112820904?&_trksid=p2056016.l4276
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 10:03:50 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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jrouse

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #91 on: September 10, 2016, 10:21:52 AM »

Continuing on with CA 49 in Tuolumne County....

Just over the Tuolumne County Line CA 49 multiplexes with CA 120 near the Don Pedro Reservoir.  The weird thing is that this largely a 65 MPH zone for whatever reason instead of the standard 55 MPH two-lane highways you usually see in California.  This kind of reminds me of other highways like CA 62 east of 29 Palms....I would speculate that for some reason wide should width yields that extra 10 MPH bump to 65 for whatever reason.  Continuing east would get up you either your choice of the New Priest Grade or Old Priest Grade...but I've talked about those.


The segment of CA-49 from Moccasin to Chinese Camp was supposed to be part of a 4-lane freeway/expressway facility on CA-120 from Oakdale to (I assume) somewhere near Groveland.  This would have included a replacement of New Priest Grade.  Because it's built to 2-lane expressway standards, the speed limit is higher.  The James Robert Bridge across Lake Don Pedro was built to accommodate 4 lanes.  You can see that the piers are wider than the structure itself with Y-shaped bent caps that only support one set of lanes..very odd looking. 


iPhone
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cahwyguy

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #92 on: September 10, 2016, 12:03:08 PM »

I'm going through this chain looking for anything I missed for the next update before I do that last part of updates, and noticed this:

Back onto to US 299:

-  According to cahighways LRN 28 was the route between Alturas and the Nevada State line, it clear refers to US 299 running the entire distance post 1935:

http://www.cahighways.org/025-032.html

However the maps from 1963 and 1964 show a different story.  1963 still shows US 299 ending in Alturas while LRN 28 goes to the Nevada line, in 1964 it's all CA 299:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239528~5511852:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1963?sort=Date&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Date;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=54&trs=86

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239525~5511850:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1964?sort=Date&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Date;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=56&trs=86

Given that this might indicate an error on my pages, I looked at the link. Part of the problem is that I've never had a definitive list of what was signed post 1934. Although it is clear that LRN 28 was signed to the Nevada border, it is unclear what, if any signage was used on that route E of Alturas. On the Nevada side it is 8A and 34. None of the maps I could find easily in my file drawer show a sign number E of Alturas. So, for now, I'm going to conclude I've got an error and make the correction. I'll keep looking to see of LRN 28 had any signage E of Alturas.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #93 on: September 10, 2016, 09:27:31 PM »

I'm going through this chain looking for anything I missed for the next update before I do that last part of updates, and noticed this:

Back onto to US 299:

-  According to cahighways LRN 28 was the route between Alturas and the Nevada State line, it clear refers to US 299 running the entire distance post 1935:

http://www.cahighways.org/025-032.html

However the maps from 1963 and 1964 show a different story.  1963 still shows US 299 ending in Alturas while LRN 28 goes to the Nevada line, in 1964 it's all CA 299:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239528~5511852:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1963?sort=Date&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Date;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=54&trs=86

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239525~5511850:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1964?sort=Date&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Date;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=56&trs=86

Given that this might indicate an error on my pages, I looked at the link. Part of the problem is that I've never had a definitive list of what was signed post 1934. Although it is clear that LRN 28 was signed to the Nevada border, it is unclear what, if any signage was used on that route E of Alturas. On the Nevada side it is 8A and 34. None of the maps I could find easily in my file drawer show a sign number E of Alturas. So, for now, I'm going to conclude I've got an error and make the correction. I'll keep looking to see of LRN 28 had any signage E of Alturas.

Nonetheless it's an intriguing thought to think that there may have been a tongue and cheek plan to extend US 299 at some point.  I'm half convinced there has to be some sort of AASHTO document showing a possible extension that has been lost time....or the internet at least.  Who know?...maybe something new will pop up one day?

Continuing on with CA 49 in Tuolumne County....

Just over the Tuolumne County Line CA 49 multiplexes with CA 120 near the Don Pedro Reservoir.  The weird thing is that this largely a 65 MPH zone for whatever reason instead of the standard 55 MPH two-lane highways you usually see in California.  This kind of reminds me of other highways like CA 62 east of 29 Palms....I would speculate that for some reason wide should width yields that extra 10 MPH bump to 65 for whatever reason.  Continuing east would get up you either your choice of the New Priest Grade or Old Priest Grade...but I've talked about those.


The segment of CA-49 from Moccasin to Chinese Camp was supposed to be part of a 4-lane freeway/expressway facility on CA-120 from Oakdale to (I assume) somewhere near Groveland.  This would have included a replacement of New Priest Grade.  Because it's built to 2-lane expressway standards, the speed limit is higher.  The James Robert Bridge across Lake Don Pedro was built to accommodate 4 lanes.  You can see that the piers are wider than the structure itself with Y-shaped bent caps that only support one set of lanes..very odd looking. 


iPhone

Good to know...so that's why CA 14, US 395, CA 177 and CA 62 all have 65 MPH two-lane zones?  Does the same rules apply to the 60 MPH zones such that are seen on roads like CA 178 near Walker Pass or CA 62 east of CA 177?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2016, 09:31:34 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #94 on: September 10, 2016, 10:40:30 PM »

Alright I got a treat for you guys today, FINALLY got my car sorted out the way I want and crossed Sherman Pass this morning.  I'm telling you the higher quality Goodyears have made a world of difference over the Hancooks that came with the Sonic.  Anyways my path over Sherman today was from CA 65 in Ducor to US 395 at the end of Nine Mile Canyon...so roughly about 115 miles across.

Since I'm familiar with how little vehicle traffic Sherman Pass gets I started out a little later than I normally do at about 6 AM with a quick shot up CA 65 to Ducor where I turned east on J22.  J22 eventually becomes Mountain Route 56 and climbs up to California Hot Springs. 



California Hot Springs basically is a ghost town these days.  Apparently the place dates back to 1882 when it was used as a health spa.  Word is that it had a hotel and shopping plaza by the 1920s but they burned down two fires that happened in 1932 and 1968.  M56 is an okay road, it is actually pretty solid until it gets close to the 3,000 foot above sea level range within the vicinity of California Hot Springs.  I should note M56 is where I ran into 2 of the 3 cars that were heading eastward on this trip over the mountains.  Basically this is all Sequoia National Forest lands from here to Kennedy Meadows.  M56 dead ends where you can turn right for Pine Flat or left for Mountain Route 50:




I'm not sure how long M50 has been around but it was at least 1935 since it played a hand in the sawmill at Johnsondale.  M50 briefly goes over 6,000 feet above sea level around what is apparently called (I think that I saw it on a road sign) Parker Pass.  M50 intersects M90 at about 5,500 feet which is called the Great Western Divide Highway and will take you past some Sequoia Groves northward to the western segment of CA 190:





Directly east of the M50/M90 intersection is Johnsondale at about 4,700 feet.  As I was saying Johnsondale was set up by the Mount Whitney Lumber Company in 1935.  Apparently they used the same road that is now M50 from California Hot Springs to set up the original mill.  The Lumber Company build was is now M99 which connects Johnsondale to Road's End in 1937 which ironically is where the road really ended.  The original mill burned down in 1943 but was replaced a year later.  Lumber operations were shut down in Johnsondale in 1979 and the town was abandoned until it became a ranch resort in 1989:





To get to Sherman Pass you need to take a right on M99 down into Upper Kern Canyon.  I don't know when the older Johnsondale Bridge at the Kern River was built but I do know it's an older alignment of M99 as the old road is still driveable.  I would speculate that the old bridge is from the original M99 construction back in 1937 but I can't prove it.  The replacement had a time stamp of 1983.  Just east of the Kern River is the turn off for Sherman Pass Road which is Forest Route 22S05.  I should mention that the elevation here is about 4,000 feet above sea level:






I should note that there is another sign that says "next gas 75 miles" which is a total lie since there is regular unleaded for sale in Kennedy Meadows for $4.89 per gallon. 

Anyways...I remember ASACmapcollector once saying Sherman Pass Road was a dangerous road since it was listed on dangerousroads.org.  :rolleyes:  Sherman Pass Road is a perfectly good road and very well maintained considering it is a Forest Service Route.  The accent out of Upper Kern Canyon to Sherman Pass is very gentle and easy to maintain a good 35-40 MPH pace heading up hill without much engine strain.  At 8,000 feet there is a really huge overlook of Upper Kern Canyon with a snow cap.  At 9,200 feet you reach Sherman Pass and Mount Whitney in addition to Olancha Peak can be seen some 40 miles to the north.









From Sherman Pass the terrain levels out on the Kern Plateau a lot but holy shit there is a crap load of rock fall on the eastbound lane.  I found what WOULD be a wonderful overlook at about 8,500 feet but alas.  Also found this sign showing the Forest Route number for Sherman Pass Road:




Gradually Sherman Pass Road descends to about 6,400 feet in Kennedy Meadows.  The bridge over the South Fork Kern River was dated 1960.  Sherman Pass Road becomes J41/Nine Mile Canyon Road at about the Kennedy Meadows General Store but there isn't any County Route markers:






Now the real highlight of this route for me is Nine Mile Canyon Road.  Basically for whatever reason once J41/Nine Mile becomes a thing, at least in Tulare County the maintenance sucks.  There is no center line on the roadway as it ascends up 7,300 feet for the drop into Nine Mile Canyon.  I can't find any history of Nine Mile Canyon for the life of me but the road is completely bad ass.  Basically you drop from that 7,300 feet to 2,600 feet in just a couple miles on a heavy downhill grade.  I usually use 2nd gear through here since the road gets really narrow and has monster drop offs.  There is a center line once Inyo County starts but it disappears in the narrow portions of the road which are about 14-16 feet wide.  The last vehicle I passed was here...guy with a trailer...that must have sucked.  There were also sky drivers that were landing in the side of the canyon, that must have been interesting trying to get down.  I used 2nd gear from about 6,500 to 3,000 feet before continuing on to US 395:




I just wish that it was easier to upload photos here since I took a ton of Nine Mile Canyon heading down hill.  NOW...if someone wanted to call Nine Mile a dangerous road I'd probably be okay with that, but not Sherman Pass Road.  Totally worth the trip if you are looking for something a little more on the obscure side from Tioga, Sonora, Carson or Ebbets Pass for a weekend drive. 

Now regarding the issue of CA 190 which we all discussed awhile back in another thread...yes this route is maintained to a very similar level of a California State Highway.  The only part that would probably need a substantial upgrade is J41/Nine Mile in Tulare County...but even then it's only Ebbets Pass, CA 146, and CA 236 levels of bad maintenance.  I'm not saying Caltrans ought to pick up maintenance...but what I am saying is that maybe it's time to abandon Olancha Pass for good to connect the two segments.  Just because it wouldn't be a California State Highway doesn't mean that route continuity couldn't be maintained.  My idea is as follows:

1.  From CA 99 use the current western CA 190 to Camp Nelson.
2.  From Camp Nelson resign M90 as M190 and use actual signs.
3.  Co-sign M190 along with M50 to Johnsondale.
4.  Cut M99 back to Sherman Pass Road and have it re-signed as M190.
5.  Have Sherman Pass Road signed as FR 190.
6.  Have J41 re-signed as J190 to US 395.
7.  Co-sign CA 190 alongside US 395 to eastern CA 190.  Legislatively this would be US 395 of course.

Now I know that will never happen but it would be nice to have some route continuity and a completed Route 190.  Next post will be the voyage home...

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #95 on: September 10, 2016, 11:02:46 PM »

Took a strange route home today.  I got over Sherman much sooner than I expected and I didn't want to be home before 3 PM.  So with that in mind I decided to jump onto Old US 6 and then CA 178 over Walker Pass.  I had to stop for a second to get the weekend brigade of bikers heading out of Ridgecrest off my ass...thankfully the Fremont Junction Ghost Town Site was available to wander for a couple minutes:





I've always like Walker Pass over Tehachapi....a lot less traffic and honestly better scenery with the Kern River Valley.  Funny...my understanding is that Walker Pass is technically the end of the Mojave Desert despite Joshua Trees extending down into the Valley for a good distance:



I was having a good time heading down CA 178 until I saw multiple cars flashing their headlights....of course me being a local, I know this means a weekend speed trap up ahead.  SURE ENOUGH....some Kern County Sheriff came blasting eastbound through traffic from Onyx a couple miles later in pursuit of someone.  Almost ran me and the other guy in the other lane off the road....note like I could get over anymore since there wasn't a should.  I'm sorry for the mini-rant but this is complete crap that there is so many speed traps on this route on the weekend.  The worst part is Kern River Canyon when Bakersfield PD and Kern County Sheriff LITERALLY wait for you at the canyon mount....total BS.  So with that in mind, I decided it was time for an even more scenic route with CA 155:



I stopped at Isabella Dam for a decent photo of Isabella Lake.  Apparently back in something like 2006 the dam was found to be deficient and could only hold 60% of it's design capacity.  I figure it's probably the year to get up to Old Kernville while it's still above water...but that's a winter thing.  Old Kernville was discussed a couple replies up from this one....the old town site was flooded over in 1954 after the Isabella Dam was finished in 1953.  Basically the original town site was near Wofford Heights from 1858 to 1948-51ish.... 



Swinging up to Greenhorn Summit there was ANOTHER Sheriff blasting eastbound....at least this one was more careful.  I stopped a little west of the summit where there was a recent forest fire.  CA 155 despite being near some major travel corridors doesn't get much traffic and has ton of twisties:



Of course all things must come to an end...at least it was with a surprise button-copy CA 65 guide sign that I forgot about:





Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #96 on: September 11, 2016, 09:39:24 PM »

Leave it to a cycling site to have the grade information I was looking for with Nine Mile Canyon:

http://www.pjammcycling.com/32.--nine-mile-canyon-road--ca.html

And I quote:

"The Nine Mile Canyon Road climb begins a bit west of Death Valley, and the temperatures during the summer can be stifling.  The average high temperature during July and August exceeds 100 degrees.  The scenery through the first 10 miles is high desert, stark and barren.   Miles 2-4 are 8.1%, mile 5 averages 8.9% while miles 8.2-9.2 spike to 10% average (very tough in 100 degree weather).  During the summer months, and even in cooler weather, this is a very challenging climb.


Traffic and Roadway report:  The roadway surface is good throughout the ride with two lanes divided by a center line for the first 10 miles.  There is minimal traffic along this route and the roadway has a safe feel to it."


They also had a write up on Sherman Pass Road:

http://www.pjammcycling.com/12.-sherman-pass-west--ca.html

"Sherman Pass is a challenging climb in a remote region of the southern Sierra Nevada mountain  range in the Sequoia National Forest.  As can be seen from the elevation profile below, unlike the  Central Sierra climbs (Owens Valley), the strong pitches are more evenly distributed throughout the ride (e.g., the violet [8-12%] segments appear intermittently from beginning to end).  The views  throughout the ride are initially of distant mountainous terrain as we are surrounded by an arid  landscape which gives way to a more alpine setting as we reach the 9-10 miles mark.  Sherman  Pass has been victim to forest fires that have destroyed much of the forest we would otherwise  enjoy through the climb, yet this is a wonderful and challenging ride that is a must on any  California climbing bucket list.   Beware that the heat during the summer can be stifling (the  temperatures when we first climbed Sherman in August, 2011 hit 106 at the bottom of the climb).


 Traffic and Roadway report:  The roadway surface is rough, but major potholes and cracks had  been patched within a week of our climb in August, 2014.  Descend with caution as there is  gravel/dirt/sand in locations which create a real hazard for the unwary.  The road is narrow with no  shoulder, bike lane or center line, although the very few vehicles you will encounter along the way generally travel at  low speed."

-  I actually thought the road was in much better shape this go around than I remember it previously.  Even coming out of Upper Kern Canyon I didn't see much in the way of rocks.  Most of the fallen rocks were north of Sherman Pass.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Road Reports
« Reply #97 on: September 17, 2016, 08:40:09 PM »

Alrighty.....enough boring freeway, surface consistency, and taxes talk.  Took the scenic route home this morning from a work trip in up in Fresno. 

Started out taking CA 99 down to CA 137 since I've never taken the highway to CA 65 before:



Figured I would try to get a CA 137....they all turned out crappy before sunrise and that was the best of all them.  Boring road to be sure...but the farm crowd was up and about.  Hit CA 65 for a couple miles and hit the expressway south from Lindsay:



But I wasn't taking CA 65 back to Bakersfield....I was taking the "scenic route" and continuing the saga of CA 190...so I turned east on Avenue 196 in Strathmore.  Basically I'm to understand this is all part of CR J28 all the way east to CA 190...didn't see any shields.  Regardless got a pretty decent view of Tule River Canyon where CA 190 follows the Middle Fork Tule River to the top:



Speaking of CA 190....shields abound:




CA 190 east of Springville is almost....well paved too good for how narrow and winding it is.  A little over 2,000 feet there is a nice pipe bridge which apparently belongs to a power station in the nearby S-hairpins:




Funny to see a chain control sign this early in the year.  There was decent views west into Tule River Canyon at about 3,000 and 4,000 feet before the main tree line hit:




Of course the tree line is pretty heavy at 4,000 feet:



So what's the story with the "Wellsville Saloon" near Camp Nelso?  I could never find any evidence that a Wellsville ever existed in the area...this place has always intrigued me.  Anyways Camp Nelson is lapping the 5,000 foot line:



CA 190 rises to about 7,000 feet above sea level before it ends and the road becomes M107/The Great Western Divide Highway.  Someone jacked the shield that was above the "end" marker but the starting reassurance shield is still there.  Weird part is that both shields were in the westbound lane for some reason...a theme you see all the way up or at least past Camp Nelson:




I should mention that everything east of Springville is technically within the southern segment of the Great Sequioa National Monument.  Basically CA 190 was intended to continue directly east from here via Olancha Pass....but that ain't ever happening.  Of course the road can be taken over Sherman Pass as can be plainly seen a couple posts before this one.  Apparently someone didn't like the control city sign, my destination was Kernville:



A little affirmation of the height on M107/Western Divide Highway.  Incidentally...I think that I referred to this road as M90 for some reason when discussing Sherman Pass in case you read this far and got confused.  It was about 37F at this point:



For whatever reason I couldn't find the pay station at the Trail of 100 Giants...so guess they didn't get my $5 dollars.  Disappointing since the campers walking by were completely useless pointing out a pay station.  There was a sign saying "pay the forest ranger" and there was none to be had the early hour.  I didn't feel like being cheap so I just continued on...got a decent view of the valley below M107 and Kern River Canyon off in the distance before said wriggamoral:



This is where I intersected my Sherman Pass trip at M50.  I took M50 down to M99 but instead of heading up Sherman Pass Road I stayed on M99.  I was able to get better pictures of Kern River Canyon and M99....one shot is looking from the ridge M107 is on east to Kern River Canyon:






Apparently M99 has a 35 MPH speed limit.  At least that's what I was led to believe when I saw a random "end 35 MPH" that I had never noticed before.  Regardless once you reach the Kern River Canyon Bridge the need for a slow speed limit really ends...I did 45-50 MPH no problem.  The bridge is also the end of the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

During my last trip I really started digging into the original town sites of Old Kernville and Isabella.  It doesn't seem that old CA 178 and Isabella are currently accessible but Old Kernville sure was.  At New Kernville M99 becomes Burlando Road as it approaches Wofford Heights.  Old Kernville can be accessed off of Old Cemetery Road and taking what appears to have been a boat landing down to the town site.  Kernville was originally founded in 1858 along the Kern River when gold was found at what would become the Big Blue Mine.  Of course from 1948-1951 the Old Kernville site was gradually moved to the new one during the Lake Isabella Project.  There is actually a crap ton of foundations actually left to find along with some traces of asphalt under the sand.  I would recommend parking at the bottom of the boat ramp since the terrain gets kind of rough and really sandy:











Of course taking Burlando Road to Wofford Heights takes you to CA 155 and Lake Isabella.  I could have taken CA 178 home.......but:




That would be just so damn passe given it's the weekend and there is a crap ton of cops waiting at the city line.  So I took Bodfish-Caliente/CR 483 instead.  Great views of Kern River Valley and Lake Isabella on the accent out of Bodfish:



Of course I'm a sucker for hairpins:



Basically this road was largely built in the 1860s and 1870s as a mining access road that intersects Walker Basin.  The first major site of interest was the Havilah. Havilah was the original Kern County seat when it split off Tulare and Los Angeles Counties in 1866.  Havilah hung onto the county seat until it was moved to Bakersfield in 1872.  The town was founded in 1864 when gold was found in a nearby creek.  Apparently the peak population was about 2,000 before the mines played out.  The courthouse and school house are apparently replicas:




CR 483 despite being a two-lane road for it's duration is a pretty bad ass little road.  The surface is coming up really badly and at times it's extremely narrow.  There are a crap ton of hair pins between Havilah and Caliente....the road apparently rises to about 4,000 feet in places:





Before cutting south on Bealville Road I passed Caliente.  Caliente is a town that was founded in the 1870s as a staging camp for the mines in Kern River Valley.  The town came into it's own in 1875 when the Southern Pacific built a railroad through town.  Caliente peaked out apparently at about 200 people but it doesn't appear to have changed much:




I cut south on Bealville Road to the railroad tracks where the town of Bealville once was.  Apparently Bealville was founded in 1879 and only lasted for a couple years.  There aren't any traces but the town would have been at the railroad tracks.



I headed east for a couple miles on CA 58 to finally knock out Cesar Chavez National Monument after all these years....that makes 49 or 124 for me:



Coming back down to Bakersfield to the east I took pictures of shields for 223 and 204.  I missed 184/Weedpatch Highway because of a phone call.  At least I got a picture of the button copy stuff before CA 99:





Anyways....fun day and knocked everything south of Yosemite Valley south in the Sierras for the summer season.  Looks like Hetch Hetchy is going to have to wait until later in the week but Ebbets and Sonora Pass should be on the menu shortly thereafter.  Scott...if you're reading this now you understand why I'm not in favor of this bullshit mileage tax your buddy Jerry Brown is after.  Sure would ruin a lot of weekend fun at least....



Mod Note: Fixed first image tag under the line "Speaking of CA 190....shields abound". —Roadfro
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 02:38:04 PM by roadfro »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Fury Road Reports
« Reply #98 on: September 17, 2016, 10:34:54 PM »

21:00 and after is Caliente-Bodfish Road:


This is from the same location as my second Old Kernville pic on apparently "Cow Road?"  Anyways it would seem that at some point there was some additional sand deposits between 2012 and today:

« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 10:50:38 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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kkt

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Re: Max's Pacific Southwest Fury Road Reports
« Reply #99 on: September 19, 2016, 10:18:44 AM »

I always laughed at that road name, "Real Road."  Makes me wonder if there was a "Fake Road" somewhere.  I supposed it's actually Spanish for Royal Road.
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