Monday, June 30, 2008

Powell Bridge Saved!!

The Joplin Globe reports the Big Sugar Creek bridge at Powell, Missouri has been saved from destruction. Built circa 1912, this bridge was slated for replacement due to its age and having a 3 Ton weight limit. Now the bridge will be preserved for future generations as a pedestrian bridge.

I have a bit of a vested interest in this bridge: not only do some of my photos appear on Bridgehunter, but I was approached back in January by the McDonald County Museum in Pineville, asking permission to use some my photos in a display on the history of the bridge.

It's been 3 years this July since I took my first photos of the Powell bridge. Since then, I have not only upgraded my camera, but I have learned a lot more about taking photos. I really need to go back up there sometime soon.

Blue means STOP ??

A recent discussion on the roadgeek yahoo group yielded the appearance of a blue stop sign. Yes, blue. Not yellow, not red, but blue.

This oddity was spotted in a parking lot in Hawaii and was explained that signs on private property (such as parking lots) can be any color except MUTCD standard (in this case, red). Seems to me like someone has misinterpreted the guidelines.

The actual sign and the story behind it can be found here.

It is reported that a proposed change to the MUTCD will eliminate any confusion and specify that all signs must conform to federal standards, including ones on private property. I wonder if that will affect the non-standard Interstate 55 sign I saw in Illinois a few years back?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Classic Lodging

Back in April, I travelled to St Louis for a Mid-West Roadgeek Meeting (personally, I prefer Road Scholar, but that's another story). At least half of the people Day Tripped, but given the distance from home, I opted to stay in town a couple days (gave me a great excuse to do some sightseeing & photography). I searched the internet looking for the best deal on a motel room. There were lots of franchise motels, but nothing close to old Route 66 where I really wanted to stay. I contacted some people on the Route 66 discussion list and was referred an older motel in the community of Marlborough.

The Wayside Motel is one of the last of a dying breed: the motor court. To my knowledge, it's the last motor court on old Route 66 in Missouri. Where most motels/hotels feature just a room in a large building, the rooms at the Wayside are actually cottages with attached garages. Built in 1940's, you just don't see anything like this anymore. A lot of them (including the Coral Court across the street) have been torn down to make way for subdivisions or blandly generic franchise motels.
I'll be honest: the inside of the room looked like it needed a little bit of work (mostly replacing flat bed pillows or repairing a faulty light fixrure), but the bathroom looked a lot like it probably did when the Wayside first opened: tile floors and walls with a walk-in shower. But the room was clean, quiet and comfortable though slightly on the small side (about as big as the average discount motel room).
OK, I probably paid about $5 more than I would have had I stayed crosstown at a franchise motel, but it was worth it! I can stay at a "super inn" anytime (and have), but a chance to stay at a classic motel such as they Wayside doesn't come very often.
I applaud those who have preserved this piece of classic Americana and hope the Wayside continues to serve weary travellers for generations to come.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Flickring *

I have at least 5 or 6 blogs in my head that I haven't gotten around to posting. I simply haven't had much time. I travel a lot on weekends and have been gone something like 6 weekends in a row. The upside of that is I've taken lots of road photos, which I have uploaded to my Flickr pages. Most recently, I was in Oklahoma and Texas and managed to get few photos of road signs, bridges and this traffic signal in Hugo, Oklahoma at the intersection of Business US 70 and Business US 271.

This is the only remaining signal (that I know of) that has a 4 phase cycle (Green-Yellow-Yellow Red-Red). I first discovered this signal 4-5 years ago and took a couple photos of it then. I returned last week with a better camera and took some more photos as well as a short movie. While I'm a bit surprised this signal is still here, I'm glad it has yet to be replaced by bland modernization.

Now that I have a couple weeks off the road, maybe I'll have time to post a blog or two. Until that time, feel free to explore my Flickr photo pages (now with over 1200 photos from 13 states) and leave a comment or two if you so choose.

(* with apologies to Comrade Otto Yamamoto)