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The oldest road in the U.S.A.


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It's a shame so many of the old roads get re-routed.  We did US 50 coast to coast, almost, in 2005, on motorcycles.  We stayed true to as much of the old road as practical, until we got to Carson City, NV.  However, on the return, my wife and I made up for it by coming through Sacramento where it officially starts/ends.

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15 hours ago, rickeieio said:

It's a shame so many of the old roads get re-routed

You can blame that on President Eisenhower and the creation of the Interstate System officially the Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. It was a dream he had had since he was a young Army lieutenant. That is in itself an interesting bit of history and another story.

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16 hours ago, rickeieio said:

It's a shame so many of the old roads get re-routed. 

But can you imagine traveling the US routes with all of the truck traffic from the interstate highways on them with you? A lot of the old routes are still there, though not always in exactly the same places but we have found the US routes to be more pleasant because the trucks and heaviest traffic are on the interstates.

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3 hours ago, Kirk W said:

But can you imagine traveling the US routes with all of the truck traffic from the interstate highways on them with you? A lot of the old routes are still there, though not always in exactly the same places but we have found the US routes to be more pleasant because the trucks and heaviest traffic are on the interstates.

Which is why when the truckers moved to the interstate system, we rarely travel on them.  The best way to see this country is on the US Highways and even some of the more scenic state highways.  There was a guy out of the Miami area many years ago who traveled with his cat in a truck camper and put out a newspaper and he referred to avoiding the interstates as shunpiking.  It's rare when we find ourselves on any interstate.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Camper said:

Which is why when the truckers moved to the interstate system, we rarely travel on them.  The best way to see this country is on the US Highways and even some of the more scenic state highways.  There was a guy out of the Miami area many years ago who traveled with his cat in a truck camper and put out a newspaper and he referred to avoiding the interstates as shunpiking.  It's rare when we find ourselves on any interstate.

Great day trip is US 30 (E Historic Columbia River Highway)  picked up outside of Portland, Oregon (at Troutdale) all the way to the Dallas, OR,  rather than I-84.  US 30 runs along the Columbia river and has NUMEROUS waterfalls, usually with a pull out to park and hike to the base of the water fall.  So you get to see so many before getting to Multnomah Falls park.   

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On 9/18/2020 at 7:38 PM, Ray,IN said:

Yellowstone Trail is the oldest road in the U.S.A. Click on the map to see the road, and attractions. in each state.

"If you aren't pulling a car out of the mud, keep your horse off the road."

It's not actually the oldest road in the US (Oldest Roads). The article says, "The Yellowstone Trail was  the first transcontinental automobile highway in the United States through the northern tier of states from Washington through Massachusetts."

Interesting info, though.

Rob

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A few decades ago we rented a Class C and followed US Hwy 2 from Minnesota to the west coast then back following US Hwy 30. We were researching railroads at that time so we followed the BN tracks west then the UP tracks east. It was a great way to do that research. That 3-week trip was what convinced us in 2008 that we could live full time in an RV. I wondering if those people who are RVing for the first time because of this pandemic will some day realize they could do this full time? Are they the future of this club? I hope so.

Linda Sand

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3 minutes ago, Second Chance said:

It's not actually the oldest road in the US (Oldest Roads). The article says, "The Yellowstone Trail was  the first transcontinental automobile highway in the United States through the northern tier of states from Washington through Massachusetts."

Having spent my childhood in Illinois I always thought the Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental road. According to that link it's only number eight in age although it appears it was the first transcontinental one.

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I'm sure it's not actually the  "Oldest road", civilization of the US started in the East, not out West. I'm  thinking the location of where the first car's traveled from where  they were constructed would actually get the distinction of the first  road. The paths by which horses and  wagons all  seem  to be called "Trails" I think. 

One day it would be nice for the "Roads" to be set up for multi use without integration. Trucks get two lanes, cars another two, motorcycles one with it being split for riding and passing. All would be strictly  enforced for slowest traffic on right and passing only on the left. If you are on cruise control it stops working in the left lane. If you cannot pass in the time it takes for two links of the vehicle you are passing to go by you are forced back behind and not allowed to  attempt again. Won't the newest roads be  wonderful ;)

Rod 

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8 Oldest Roads in the United States

Truckers History Report: America’s Oldest Highways

The catch is that we need to define the term highway before we get too far into this as there were trade routes that were frequently traveled in what is now the United States of America, long before European settlers arrived. 

Edited by Kirk W
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30 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

8 Oldest Roads in the United States

Truckers History Report: America’s Oldest Highways

The catch is that we need to define the term highway before we get too far into this as there were trade routes that were frequently traveled in what is now the United States of America, long before European settlers arrived. 

Thanks  Kirk, 

It is too bad  we  don't have a "like"   and maybe a "dislike" button, but if I really wanted that I could go back to Social media instead  of  a forum. History relies on who is telling the story and how many tell the same story enough to  make it seem believable. No one person really knows, knew or told the entire story. Only the people actually there  witnessed  it. Today we  do  have the  benefit/regret of having recordings of events, but again it's only seen and portrayed in the view  of the person sharing. It's still not the entire scene or the  total activities  or actions that lead to  the final projection.

Rod

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

8 Oldest Roads in the United States

Truckers History Report: America’s Oldest Highways

The catch is that we need to define the term highway before we get too far into this as there were trade routes that were frequently traveled in what is now the United States of America, long before European settlers arrived. 

Those are some old roads! I find it fascinating that some can be traced back to indigenous trails, dating back many centuries...

Indian trails turned scenic highways/byways

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On 11/28/2020 at 5:18 PM, dixonge said:

I think things like this should be the 'oldest' ...

The Great Hopewell Road

Or, if you want to think in terms of European colonization:

El Camino Real

The El Camino Real is the route the Franciscan priests took from Mexico to Northern California building Missions along the way. San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara are all examples of the Missions. It is now called Highway 1. 

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1 hour ago, Ray,IN said:

Man, I started this  for something interesting to follow in an RV, it has morphed into a history lesson..

It could be a little bit of both. We have followed most of the Lewis & Clark route by RV, Route 66, US80, and most of the Natchez Trace. Some of those old, historic roads can lead to very interesting as well as educational adventures. 

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15 minutes ago, Twotoes said:

The El Camino Real is the route the Franciscan priests took from Mexico to Northern California building Missions along the way. San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara are all examples of the Missions. It is now called Highway 1. 

Last night I did a search, because I was raised in Northern California, and lived near the Sonoma Mission, in fact visited several over during the 50's, so thought that was the ONLY El Camino Real.  Well, it's not and if you search around a little there are websites that shred what we were taught in school.  I choose to go with the story of Father Junipero Serra and the Missions.  Interesting to find the other 'roads' called El Camino Real.

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3 minutes ago, dirtyboots said:

Last night I did a search, because I was raised in Northern California, and lived near the Sonoma Mission, in fact visited several over during the 50's, so thought that was the ONLY El Camino Real.  Well, it's not and if you search around a little there are websites that shred what we were taught in school.  I choose to go with the story of Father Junipero Serra and the Missions.  Interesting to find the other 'roads' called El Camino Real.

Yeah, the original was Mexico City to just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. But any 'official' state road was a Camino Real (royal road). There were additional ones in Mexico as well as what is now California. It was a network that connected Cali and the Pacific to the Gulf. This page has a nice map:

Camino Real de Tierra Adentro

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I believe there is other terminology for orgininale roads refering to the "Kings Road or the Queens road."  I think many times it has been Americanized. IE  Kings Hwy in  Texarkana.  I believe there is or was one from San Antonio to Nacogdoches, Tx

On just minimal googling I found there was one that went from Mexico City to San Antonio then from there through east Tx terminating in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Edited by bigjim
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