Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2018

Throwback Thursday - May 31, 2018

This week's Throwback Thursday takes us back to October 2003 to Hamilton, Ontario. As you may be aware, a number of provincial highways in Ontario were downloaded to local control on January 1, 1998 (or decommissioned, if you will). One of those highways was the Ontario King's Highway 2, which was downloaded to municipalities with the exception of a short stretch near Gananoque in the Thousand Islands. When I took this photo on King's Highway 6 in Hamilton, it was a sign that remained from before the downloading.


Throwback Thursday; Colossal Cave and the Old Spanish Trail

Back in 2012 I visited the Colossal Cave which is located on an old alignment of the Old Spanish Auto Trail north of Vail.





There is a signed section of the Old Spanish Trail which runs from the entrance to the Colossal Cave Mountain Park northwest to Broadway Boulevard in Tucson.




I'm not certain when the Colossal Cave segment of Old Spanish Trail was in use due to maps from the time frame being sparse.  What I do know is that US 80 didn't use the alignment but instead was on Old Vail Road which can be seen on this 1927 regional map. Colossal Cave can actually be seen present on the map north of Vail.

1927 Four Corners Regional Map

Colossal Cave was originally used by several Southern Arizonan tribes before being rediscovered in 1879.  Colossal Cave is considered to be a dry cave and has a constant temperature close to 70F.  The main cave is closed to access aside from a guided tour.







I'm fairly certain that the Old Spanish Trail was realigned upon the completion of the 192…

The eastern start of Interstate 90

Heading out of Pioneer Square and downtown Seattle I took 4th Avenue to the eastern beginning of Interstate 90. 


Ultimately I took exit 2A to head south on I-5 towards SeaTac International Airport.  What is interesting about I-90 in downtown Seattle can be seen in the oddity of the exit numbers starting at "2" heading eastbound.  Originally I-90 was envisioned to continue about another block west to US 99 on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  Apparently there was stub ghost ramps present on the Alaskan Way Viaduct intended to reach I-90.  I'm to understand that the ghost stubs were demolished in 2011 during the first phase of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel.  Either way I found it interesting that the longest Interstate at 3,020 miles doesn't even have a single sign indicating it's grand scale or terminus all the way in Boston.

Seattle Underground and the great street regarding of Pioneer Square

The final location I checked out before leaving Washington was in the Pioneer Square neighborhood; the Seattle Underground.






The Seattle Underground is a series of catacombs beneath Pioneer Square which were the original street grade.  When Denny Party arrived in what is now Seattle they attempted to establish a settlement called New York Alki on Alki Point in what is now the modern neighborhood of West Seattle.  The settlement was moved across Elliott Bay in 1852 to a low lying flat land which became the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle.

Pioneer Square was surveyed during low tides which led to various problems as the City of Seattle began to grow.  Waste plumbing was pumped into Elliott Bay via a wooden pipe system which would often back flow into the buildings during high tide.  In addition to the plumbing issues Pioneer Square was subject to frequent flooding from Elliott Bay.  The majority of original buildings in Seattle were wooden which would ultimately lead to their demi…

Pike Place Market

After returning from Mount Rainier I went to downtown Seattle to check out some of the more notable streets.  Probably the most well known street in Seattle is Pike Place which is the location of the Pike Place Market.  Pike Place Market is roughly located at the intersection of Pike Street and Pike Place.






The street Pike Place was originally built as a planked road above Western Avenue on Denny Hill.  The planked Pike Place can be seen in it's original form on this photo below. 

Planked Pike Place

I believe Pike Place was present in the late 1890s but I can't find a definitive date of construction. Denny Hill was regraded in 1906-1907 which allowed room for the Pike Place Market to be built.  For comparison sake on the photo above the dirt street on the hill on the left is Stewart Street.  This is the view from Stewart Street facing out to where the photo above was taken.





Before the creation of the Pike Place Market local farmers in Seattle sold their good through commercial …

2016 Summer Mountain West Road Trip Part 1; US Route 40 Berthoud Pass

Back in 2016 I took two significant road trips to the Mountain West region.  The first trip was during the summer months when all the mountain passes in the Rockies had cleared.  I flew in from California and stayed my first night in Denver.  The following day I started out by heading west on I-70 into the Rockies where I picked up US Route 40.  I took US 40 over Berthoud Pass to US 34 to reach Rocky Mountain National Park.






At the bottom of Berthoud Pass about 8,600 feet above sea level is the small town of Empire.  Empire has less than 300 residents left and founded in the early 1860s during the silver boom in Clear Creek Valley.




US 40 west of Empire begins to climb to Berthoud Pass via series of switchbacks that are largely two-lanes.  I thought the grade was pretty solid but I the climb is steep enough that the climb to Berthoud Pass is likely a dangerous one in the winter months.  Berthoud Pass lies at an elevation of 11,307 feet above sea level which makes it among the highest a…