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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,012

    Default Here's to the road ahead.

    Sorry to hear that your trip got somewhat 'bumpy' along the way, but pleased to hear that it appears to be getting back on track.

    Looking forward to when you have time and inspiration to share more from your travels.

    Take care.

    Dave.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,052

    Default Suprises!

    I just love stumbling upon suprises along the road, and today was no exception.

    Having been to New Orleans for a Moth event on Tuesday (8th Oct), it left me with four days to get to Bonifay FL, where my roadtrip will end. Decided to drive along US90 again. I had driven a lot of it earlier on, headed to California, but heading east one is on the side of the road where all the pull-offs by the beach are. I made good use of them.

    Not that I am a beach person, far from it. I seem to have an aversion to sand and salt water. It is just peaceful sitting there in the car. Spent a half hour or so sitting on the wall, just watching the water and the sand. It was a glorious day. There was no one else to be seen.






    Someone forgot their shoes.

    What interested me in particular was the large number of antique, classic and hot rod vehicles on the road. Then this morning I was listening to local radio and heard all about the Seventeenth Annual Cruisin The Coast. As I headed from Gulfport to Biloxi I drove right into it. A bit hard to take pictures when driving in busy traffic, but when I got to a store, there was one parked. I asked the owners if I could take a photo. They were about to drive off. They got out, and allowed me to take some pictures.




    It is a Chevrolet, though I do not know anything about its age or model. Did not want to hold them up any longer, by asking lots of questions. The owners climbed back in - the vehicle does not have doors - and drove off to where all the action is.

    Since the earliest I am due in Bonifay is Saturday evening, I'm planning on hanging round here a little longer, and maybe get a closer look at some of the more spectacular models I saw on the road.

    Lifey

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,052

    Default Nostalgia.

    It is four months ago, but coming across Cruising the Coast is still uppermost in my mind. I did stay another day, spending most of it at the many areas where these wonderful old cars congregated.

    From the days when the American Automobile reigned supreme.






    There was row upon row of well cared for and much loved cars, in this supermarket carpark.


    This one was so much like the Ford Customline my father bought in 1954,
    though his was powder blue.





    I loved this little ute, with the airconditioning coming in through the gap by the door.

    Listening to the stories of the restoration was fascinating, even to this mechanically challenged mind. Their love and care for their vehicles, and the era they represent was amazing.

    It is these gems which make a roadtrip so worthwhile (for me).

    [Figured that since I have bought the ticket for my next trip, I really should make an effort to complete this thread with the highlights which I relive constantly, through the photos on screensaver.]

    Lifey

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    304

    Default Love the cars.

    Hi Lifey, love the hot rod pics.
    The cars were one of my favorite photographed thing from last year.
    I was saddened to read last week that part of the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green,Kentucky had been swallowed up by a sink hole.
    I spent a memorable few hours there last year.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,494

    Default

    All is not lost, they are shipping the damaged cars to Detroit where Chevrolet is going to restore them.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Thats good to hear glc.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,052

    Default Colorado, off the beaten track.

    It was a very hot day, in the middle of July when I entered Colorado, on my way back east. When I got to Grand Junction I stopped at the Welcome Centre to pick up a State map (if available). As it was, it was the only thing which was available... from a stand outside the building. There were workmen everywhere. Appears the aircon was not working, so the centre was closed. (How did we ever survive before aircon?)

    It did not take much more than a cursory glance to pick up a scenic highway on the new map. This was not indicated as such on the AAA map, nor in the Rand McNally. It would possibly make an interesting detour.

    I called in at the visitor centre in Parachute. This centre, run by volunteers, was staffed by Bill. Bill had just celebrated his 90th birthday. He was a fascinating character, and we spent much time talking, reminiscing about days gone by, and for my part, learning about the history of the place. Of course I spent much too long here.

    Bill assured me that the Flat Top Scenic Byway was a spectacular route, and one I certainly should not miss. He warned me about construction on the road from Rifle to Meeker. At the construction site was another surprise. Here was one of the workers, orange vest and all, washing the large orange striped barrels used as safety markers. He said, with the construction they tend to get all covered in mud. That bit of road was muddy and slippery, but at less than 5mph, we coped.

    The ladies in the Meeker Chamber of Commerce assured me that the Flat Top Trail is indeed an excellent road, and I should not hesitate to drive it. Loaded with a hand full of brochures about the trail, I set out looking for the library.... which of course was not where Mr Garmin said it should be. It had moved some two years earlier. (So much for updating the GPS.)

    The large building where I looked for the library, was open, but appeared deserted. After some time looking around a gentleman came out of a door. He was about to go somewhere, and asked if I needed help. Turns out he was the coroner for the little town of Meeker. The only person who is proud to stand up at town meetings to say that his area is quiet, not much doing. Turns out he had worked all over the world, including Australia and had now come back to Meeker to be the Coroner there.

    He directed me to the new library.

    That evening I spent in the town park. I had been told at the Chamber of Commerce that for $15.00 one could park / camp overnight, complete with nearby facilities and electric hookups. Water also was readily available.

    In this remote and tiny town of Meeker, is also the only place where I have seen a full size transfer station accessible to the public. There was a place to deposit newspaper; glossy paper; boxes, such as cereal boxes; large cardboard boxes; milk bottles; water bottles; juice bottles; aluminium cans; etc. There was a place for everything. I had a large quantity of recyclable waste in my van. I made good use of the facility.

    Lifey

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,052

    Default Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway.

    "The historic Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway spans a remote 82 miles and connects the towns of Meeker & Yampa Colorado."

    That next morning I set out early to drive to.... wherever I would end up. The only plan that morning was to drive the Flat Top, and make my way to Trappers Lake.

    The western 30 or so miles of this remote high altitude road are paved. A well maintained gravel road continues on to Yampa. Not far from Meeker, and just after the turn off onto the Trail is an internpretive turnout. This tells of how the land had been inhabited by the Ute Indians and how it was taken by the Pioneers. The story is told from both viewpoints. I have to admit that I felt more than a little disturbed by the arrogance of the Europeans of that era. (It is akin to what happened at Botany Bay.)

    It was a beautiful spot. Besides reading the history one can sit and take in the beauty and serenity of the high altitude valley. So close to town, yet so remote. It was time for a cup of tea.

    Some miles further on, in the White River NF, the road runs right by the river. It is a popular fishing spot, and this early in the morning there was a gentleman fishing right in the river. There were a couple of campgrounds in this area, but it appeared they were all closed.

    At the end of the pavement the road was still in an excellent condition. About half way along is the turn off to Trappers Lake. That too looked like a good road, though there was a little washboarding here and there, and some sandy spots. It is narrow, winds through a beautiful valley along the North Fork of the White River and demands to be driven slowly. The only sign of civilization is the Rio Blanco Ranch, right by Rainbow Lake, one of the largest lakes on the way to Trapper Lake.


    Trappers Lake was not able to be seen from the parking area, but a very short walk brought me to a picnic table whence there was a magnificent view of the lake and surroundings. The effects of the Big Fish Fire in 2002 were all too visible. All of the forest at the far (eastern) end of the lake, was dead.


    On the other hand, the distance between the picnic area and the lake was a carpet of wildflowers. As was the walk from the car and the surroundings in which I found myself.

    It was time for lunch.

    The rest of the Trail to Yampa takes the traveller over two mountain passes - Dunckley Pass at just under 10000' and Ripple Creek Pass at 10343' - both affording wonderful vistas. For getting off the beaten track, this is a wonderful summer detour through remote Colorado.

    Even though this scenic byway runs through open range country, I was fortunate not to meet any cattle on or near the road. There is an old cattle yard and truck ramp, which is apparently still used by local ranchers.

    It was well into the afternoon when I reached Yampa, where I made the decision to make my way to Laramie, my stop for the night.

    Lifey

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,012

    Default My kind of drive.

    Loving your description of this drive and it sounds perfect ! It's certainly on my radar now.

    Dave.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,052

    Default Elk Country Scenic Byway, PA.

    There is one more scenic drive which stands out in my memory and my notes. It is a drive of which I do not have any photos. Still memorable!

    When I finally got hold of a State map of PA - they seem to have always run out when I get there - it jumped out at me, just as it did on the CO map. The gent at the Welcome Centre gave me some brochures and told me about it. It would not be a massive detour, as the byway lies just north of I-80 (between exits 111 and 147), and is completely paved. The 36 miles along the freeway would probably have taken me less than 45 minutes. The scenic detour took several hours. But what a detour.

    Just off exit 111 there is a State Park, where I decided to stop, not only to carefully study the map, but have lunch in serene surroundings. Highway 153, 255 and 555 lead to scenic byway 120. But this being Pennsylvania, there is little driving which could not be regarded as scenic.

    Halfway to Driftwood is the Elk Country Visitor Centre in Benezette. On the edge of the Elk SF, they have tours and elk viewing daily. One really needs to be there early or late in the day. Being there on a fairly hot day, I was told that the elk probably won't be out till close to dusk. The visitor centre was quite comprehensive, and of course, very commercial. Still there were interesting videos of the elk in the area, as well as educational displays to do with elk and elk habitat. A worthwhile place to visit when in the area.

    All along scenic byway 120 there are boutique eating places and accommodation. None of the large chains, mostly small hotels and B & Bs. A very pretty area which appeared to have many facilities for the visitors, hiking, biking, fishing, etc. Most of the way to Renovo the road had followed various branches of the Sinnernahoning Creek. There appeared to be many activities in and along the water. One was tempted to stop, and camp for the night.

    It was a slow and interesting drive, and I was glad I had not chosen to go back to I-80 from the Elk Visitor Centre..... even though I was by now (as usual) running late.

    At Renovo I could have continued on scenic byway 120 to Williamsport, but considering the time I chose to head back to I-80. In retrospect, a BIG mistake. The drive along 144 was very slow, narrow and twisting, and takes one through the Sproul SF, which also beckoned me to come and stay a while. On reflection, I could have, but at the time, chose not to. Maybe next time. It definitely is a place where I could spend much more time. So close to the interstate, yet so few people taking advantage of its amenities.

    When I finally hit the road again on I-80 it was well after 4pm.

    Lifey

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