Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Flickring

I have a few more photos up on Flickr, including a few from Tahlequah. Unfortunately, it was late in the day so I'll have to go back for a reshoot. I also made it over to Muskogee (actually, I went there first) and spent a couple hours exploring. I found a nice truss bridge over the KATY Railroad Court Street Viaduct-Side View

as well a few old traffic signalsOld Signal in Muskogee.

I had a really good find near Fort Gibson: an old railroad crossbuck LOOKOUT

I don't know how old it is, but you rarely see the wide crossbucks anymore and you definitely don't see "Railroad Crossing/ Look Out for the Cars".

I did manage to snag a couple signs in Tahlequah as the sun was going down such as "No Parking"

Tla Adi Yigi


Even a street sign: Corner of Guwaya Udeyasdi & Guso Galanudvi

Also a nice truss railroad bridge over the Illinois River near Gore
 Illinois River-UPRR Side View

I'll have to go back again, though: I got a couple shots of the Town Branch Creek bridge, but the  light wasn't good, so I'm not real happy with the photos


But that's something for another day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Popeye's Cuts the Mustard

I don't care a lot for fast food. Much of it is overpriced and overrated. I don't even remember the last time I stopped at the golden arches. One place that I do like is Popeye's Chicken. I first discovered them in Mississippi probably 8-10 years ago on a trip to Lumberton. My favorite item is the spicy chicken strips with a side of the Cajun fries and hot "Mardi Gras Mustard" dipping sauce.

Last month when I stopped in, I was told they were out of the hot mustard. I was disappointed, but things like this happen on occasion. Imagine my surprise, though, when I went in last week only to be told the mustard has been discontinued. WHAT? No more mustard? Blasphemy! Well, in its stead, I was offered some spicy honey mustard, but it was, quite honestly, not the same: I found it too sweet and too bland.

Well, I've contacted Popeye's, but haven't heard back from them yet. I am majorly disappointed that I can't get the spicy mustard anymore. Yes, I will live, but Popeye's just won't be the same anymore.

NEWS FLASH: Mardi Gras Mustard is back (May 2010)

What Might Have Been

I am an e-bay addict. I enjoy perusing the various listings for old road signs. I rarely buy anything, but if I do it's usually an old map. I did, however, buy an old yellow/black STOP sign a few years back (one with the old square-style sign font).

The other day I was looking around and found what was described as an older Interstate sign. But it looked nothing like I had ever seen before.

After asking a few people on misc.transport.road, I figured out it was an old prototype sign from the 1950's. When the Interstates were first being constructed, a contest was held amongst the states to design a shield for the fledgling highway system. In all there were something like 100 entries. The winning design was a combination of Texas and Missouri.

Well, the shield was designed by Texas, so Missouri must have had the “right” color scheme. There are actually a couple websites with pictures of some of the other rejected designs.

This comes from Idaho... I'm guessing that's a eagle?

The state isn't identified on this one, but a couple people have commented it looks like a Civil Defense sign.

This just in: H.I. Goldman reports on Roadgeek that it is an modified Civil Defense Logo 'The three-point triangle also represented a connection with Canada and Mexico "in a mutual bond of friendship and defense."' This shield was designed by Minnesota.

This seems simple enough, but it reminds me of the old Illinois Tollway logo.

So, I guess we should be happy with what we have: simple yet stylish, though a bit 60's

Friday, January 16, 2009

Negatives and Positives

Well, due to an absence of work and a slowing down of SCA eventing due to the economy, I've been doing a lot of housecleaning this past week. I've set up a small sewing studio in the living room so I can make a few homemade items for Gulf Wars. This means I've been going through old boxes looking for stuff I don't need anymore and getting rid of it (Freecycle is your friend ;) ). Amongst other things, I found a bunch of old photos from school, church and Boy Scouts. Also some photos of my old SCA costume that "disappeared" many years ago (my van had been broken into and my costumes and half my merchandise were stolen).

I also found a whole bunch of old road photos and a large bunch of negatives. I have no idea why I have negatives, but no photos (maybe lost in the move 2 years ago), but at least I have those negatives so I can have new prints made. This time, I'll save everything to CD so I can find them again later.

A few items of possible interest: a brief appearance by AR 270 and AR 65B in Pine Bluff, some random traffic signal shots from Oklahoma & Missouri, a couple shots of the Pruitt Bridge (though I really need new photos) and a wall mural from Pawnee, Oklahoma (home of Chester Gould of Dick Tracy fame). Beyond that, who knows? I may have a couple gas station pics, but I'll have to see. Overall, I probably have 30-40 photos to have made, but probably only half will actually get posted...we'll see. Hopefully, I can have them ready by next weekend.

Those other photos? Well, maybe I'll post them to MySpace or maybe I'll just stick them in an envelope and let them sit another 20 years.

Well, I best be on my way. I just found out my scanner doesn't work well on photo negatives, so I'll talk to one of the local photo processors to see if they still print from film negatives.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Happy Birthday!

On January 8, 1999, Interstate 540 officially opened between Alma & Fayetteville. Costing over $400 Million, it has all but replaced US 71 as the main route of travel over the Boston Mountains. Before 540 opened, travel time on the 2 Lane 71 was an hour or more, depending how many trucks you had to follow. Now, it's 35-40 minutes depending how fast you drive.

540 dates back to at least the mid 1960s when AHTD initially proposed a 4Lane highway to replace 71. But a lack of funding and cries from environmentalists denouncing the proposed highway delayed it for nearly 30 years.

Originally proposed as a new alignment of U.S. 71, it would come to be designated as I-540 as a concession to the tourist courts and souvenier shops dotting the old road who feared losing business to the new highway. Eventually, 71 and 540 would become part of the Boston Mountain Scenic Byway to encourage more tourist traffic along the old roadway.

Gone are the days when you would see a familiar bumpersticker: I Travel US71 in Arkansas. Pray For Me.

Now, if I'm in a hurry to go somewhere, I will take I-540. If I feel like taking my time, I travel US 71.

So happy birthday, I-540!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Announcing the creation of two new photo groups on Flickr photos: Louisiana Highways and Mississippi Highways. There are so many things to see from signs and bridges to old highway alignments, historic buildings, etc that it's nearly impossible for one person to find them all, so I have created these 2 groups to show off some of what each state has to offer.

Feel free to come by and have a look, even post a few photos if you have them. :)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Something Old, Something New

I've added some more photos to my Flickr pages over the last couple days. Some of it is new, like the Big Lee Creek bridge near Short, OK : Big Lee Creek-Side View

But I've also added some more photos from my trip to Mississippi last March
including the US 11/49 bridge at Hattiesburg:
US11-49 Bridge

I don't know how I forgot to post those, but they're up now.

I'm still wanting to get to Tahlequah, but it probably won't be today. I'm also working on a tentative trip itinerary for this coming March when I'll again be headed for Lumberton, MS for Gulf Wars.
As of now, I am planning to tour US 51 between Memphis and Jackson. Return trip is still unknown. I may swing over to US 61 and follow it back to Memphis or I may continue my journey along US 80 west from Jackson. Then again, I missed so much in Baton Rouge two years ago, I may go back and continue my search for old US 71. We'll see.

*Sigh* So many roads, so little time. I need a TARDIS.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, I fell short of my goal: I didn't reach the "magic number" of 2300 photos on my Flickr pages. Still, I did manage 2259 photos which isn't bad for my first year of posting my own photos. The fates seemed to work against me and I never made it to Tahlequah, though I did manage to get a few photos of the Big Lee Creek bridge west of Short, OK. Ideally, those photos should count towards my year-end total given they were taken yesterday, but I haven't had time to edit them and upload them. So I guess they will count towards my 2009 photos.

I haven't set any firm goals yet for 2009 except to continue taking photos of the odd, obscure and otherwise neglected road sign plus interesting bridges I may find in my travels. The price of gas is cheap right now, but money is tight, so I don't know how many roadtrips I'll be taking in the immediate future. I guess we'll see. In the meantime, I'm working on putting all of last year's photos on CD's so I can clean up my computer a bit.