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Replica of La Bajada Hill sign erected August 15, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Signs.
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In recent days, “Roamin’ Rich” Dinkela commissioned a replica of a warning sign that long ago graced the top of La Bajada Hill between Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico.

La Bajada Hill served as Route 66 during the 1920s and the early ’30s, although the path itself dates to the 1500s as part of the Camino Real. The steep and narrow roadway featured 23 switchback curves. So the locals felt obligated to warn motorists what they were getting into.

Incidentally, the road is little-changed in the 90 or so years since Route 66 was realigned. It’s eroded in spots, and only four-wheel vehicles should attempt to drive it. So the re-created sign’s warnings are still relevant. If you’re wanting to explore La Bajada Hill, it’s best done while hiking.

Brian Shawn McClenahan of The Sign Guy in O’Fallon, Missouri, was commissioned to paint the sign. He created a time-lapse video of how he made it which, helpfully, includes a rare image of the bullet-ridden original sign:

(Image of La Bajada Hill by Jon Lewis via Flickr)

A chat with Rich Dinkela June 4, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, People, Road trips, Web sites.
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KC Keefer, the guy behind the ongoing Genuine Route 66 Life video series, produced a new clip about “Roamin’ Rich” Dinkela. The interview occurred at the closed MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis.

For a seven-minute clip, it nicely encompasses Dinkela’s approach and his many activities on the Mother Road.

You can follow Dinkela at his YouTube channel here, on Facebook here, on Twitter here, and on his Hooked on Route 66 website.

A closer look at the MacArthur Bridge December 21, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, History.
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Rich Dinkela produced this video that takes an in-depth look at the long-closed MacArthur Bridge that connects East St. Louis, Ill., to St. Louis and served as an early alignment of Route 66. The bridge also has been called the St. Louis Municipal Bridge or Free Bridge.

The bridge has been fenced off and part of the roadway deck removed right in the middle for decades. However, Dinkela learned the railroad that owns the bridge is slowly removing all of the road deck. So Dinkela felt urgency to document what was left.

Dinkela interperses the clip with old images and even used a drone for aerial footage. (I predict drones will be used much more in the future to document hard-to-access areas on Route 66.) This footage is unprecedented because the bridge is so difficult to access.

Dinkela has produced a bunch of videos (his channel is here), but this is the best thing he’s done.

(Old postcard image of the MacArthur Bridge by katherine of chicago via Flickr)

Old road west of Glenrio November 13, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways, History.
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Rich Dinkela posted this video of an old and hard-to-access piece of Route 66 west of the ghost town of Glenrio in New Mexico. This old road carried Route 66 from the 1950s to the early 1970s and runs up to the current Russell’s Travel Center.

You can see the old road on satellite imagry here:

View Larger Map

I’ve walked that portion just west of Glenrio, but not the one that stretches north of the interstate. Fascinating.

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