Among all the nooks and crannies and all of the little surprises you can find along the quiet southwestern coast of Nova Scotia is the Sandford Drawbridge. Purported to be the world's smallest manually operated draw bridge, the Sandford Drawbridge is located in the small fishing village of Sandford, not far from Yarmouth. The bridge was constructed so fisherman and visitors could cross from one side of the wharf system to the other without having to travel out to the road and around. Boats are brought in through the narrow channel between opposite sides of the wharf in Sandford and the small drawbridge allows the boats to pass through to where they are be moored.
This past weekend while returning from Lake Tahoe I crossed over the crest of the Sierras at Donner Pass. My goal was to seek out the old Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road and the abandoned Central Pacific Railroad tunnels.
I've written about Donner Pass several times before; the history of crossing dating back to 1844 up to the construction of Interstate 80 can be found here:
As stated in the Donner Pass Road article above the original purpose built road over Donner Pass was the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road (DF&DLR). The DF&DLR was a wagon route over Donner Pass which was constructed by the Central Pacific Railroad to assist in construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad. In 1861 the State of California granted the Central Pacific a 10 year franchise on toll rights to the DF&DLR which completed by 1864. The DF&DLR was used to finance the Central Pacific's construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad fr…
This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway. Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.
The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.
The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869. The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park). By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding. After the…
While completing California State Route 89 between Lassen Volcanic National Park and US Route I took a detour in Truckee up the infamous Donner Pass Road.
Generally I don't dispense with the history of a roadway before the route photos but the history of Donner Pass is steeped within California lore and western migration. The first recorded Wagon Crossing of Donner Pass was back in 1844. The infamous Donner Party saga occurred in the winter of 1846-47 in which only 48 of the 87 party members survived. Although the Donner Party incident is largely attributed to poor planning and ill conceived Hastings Cutoff it largely led to the infamous reputation of Donner Pass.
The first true road over the Sierra Nevada Range via the Donner Pass was known as the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road. The Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Wagon Road was
completed by 1864 to assist with construction of the Central Pacific build the First
Trans-Continental Railroad over Donner Pass. The website belo…