We continue on Pomerado Road from the previous Part and the old surface alignment from 1935 to 1950. This is also the site of the very first portion of the old highway to be signed as Historic Route US 395, by the City of Poway. We'll then conclude our survey of the old routing with Lake Hodges, just south of Escondido, and its remnant trail alignment on the lake's northern shore which has been hidden and bypassed today by the Interstate.
Continuing northbound on Pomerado Rd/old US 395 down the hill into Poway.
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The descent into the valley has been considerably upgraded since the days of
most of the very sharp curves in particular on this portion of Pomerado
Rd have been reduced or bypassed entirely.
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One of the bypassed segments of the old highway is near the bottom of the hill.
There is a geocache
(membership required) near here, but I'll let you dig around to find it.
Please note that this strip of road is abutted by private property owners
who would appreciate your care in investigating it.
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As we climb up back to the main road, note that most of the
striping and asphalt has survived.
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Leaving San Diego city limits for the
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The origin of Poway is a little obscure, probably a corruption of 'paguey' or
'paguay' (a Diegueño or Luiseño word which is variously
translated as "end of the valley" or "the confluence of two [small?] valleys"
-- there is some controversy on this). The name was first applied to the valley
in 1828, although dating
of various pictographs in the region imply it was inhabited
by Indians as long ago as the 16th century AD,
but the modern spelling did not appear until 1870 when the US Post
Office botched the name for their new mail stop. Despite being settled in
the modern sense for
over a century, the modern city did not incorporate until 1980. Its
present-day population is 48,044 .
This junction is the intersection of Pomerado Rd and Scripps Poway Pkwy, but this expanded alignment and intersection wasn't part of US 395 either.
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Instead, the original routing of Pomerado Rd started here, on this abandoned
section now cordoned off as a fire lane and signed, starting from here, as
Old Pomerado Rd.
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Old Pomerado Rd is now a residental road and recalls little of its heritage.
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However, some of the old bridges remain, ...
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... and there are markers, erected by the City of Poway, declaring the highway
as Historic Route US 395. The markers on Old Pomerado are the first ones we
will come to that actually mark the old highway as of this writing. To the
City of Poway, I can only say, jorb well done.
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Joining Pomerado Rd and turning left to continue NB.
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Metate Ln. Ironically there is now a truck route marker on the mastarm.
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There are also US 395 markers on Pomerado Rd itself. (Note that I'm taking
pains not to call these shields, since they're not.)
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Poway Rd, SDCo S4. This county arterial links Interstate 15 to the west with
CA 67 to the east.
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NB Pomerado Rd/Historic Route 395.
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Ted Williams Parkway. Ted Williams Pkwy was named in 1992
for Theodore Samuel "Ted"
Williams, famed Major League left fielder for 19 seasons with the Boston
Red Sox (interrupted twice by his decorated military service as a Marine Corps
pilot during World War II and the Korean War).
Born in 1918 in San Diego, Williams debuted with the Red Sox in 1939,
was American League MVP in 1946 and 1949,
led the league in batting six times, won the Triple Crown in 1942 and 1947,
and finally retired in 1960 after which he was inducted into the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 1966 and managed the Washington Senators (Texas Rangers)
from 1969 to 1971. Hitting a home run on his very last at-bat on 28 September
1960, he had a career average of .344, 521 home runs and a .551 on base
percentage, and was the last major league player to bat over .400 in a single
season (1941, when he hit .406). Williams attended Herbert Hoover High School
in San Diego as a North Park resident, later playing for the then-minor
league San Diego Padres in 1936 before signing with the Sox. Despite his long
association with the Sox, his relationship with fans and with the Boston
sports media was best described at most as
merely cordial. Annoyed by fickle
spectators and what he perceived as hack jobs by the local newspapers, Williams
never tipped his cap on his home runs, even for his last at-bat despite the
crowd cheering, and in fact the only time he ever did so was when he threw the
ceremonial first pitch in the 1999 All-Star Game, barely able to walk, for
which he received a standing ovation. However, Williams was also
noted for his generosity to charitable causes, and on his induction into the
Hall of Fame in 1966 was particularly noted for his verbal recognition of the
players of the Negro Leagues, specifically recognizing greats Satchel Paige
and Josh Gibson who were later inducted in 1971 and 1972 respectively.
After his retirement and his admittedly undistinguished time as manager,
he became an avid sportsfisherman and was later inducted into
the International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame in 1999, the
same year The Sporting News ranked him #8 on their 100 Greatest Baseball
His later life was plagued with strokes and multiple heart problems, requiring a pacemaker and open heart surgery and eventually leading to his death of cardiac arrest in 2002. Grotesquely, his death was nearly as colourful as his career, as son and business manager John Henry Williams flew his body to a cryonics company in Arizona and had his head and body separated and placed in cryonic suspension. His wife protested, stating he had wanted cremation, but John and Ted's daughter Claudia produced an informal "family pact" on a stained napkin declaring Ted's changed intentions. Despite the strange circumstances surrounding its creation, the "pact" was found legally sound; Ted today remains on ice at the facility, and upon John Henry's death of leukemia in 2004, he joined his father there shortly thereafter. Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston is also named for him, designated in 1995.
Ted Williams Parkway is also the surface continuation of CA 56, the west-east arterial for northern San Diego city proper, and the CA 56 freeway is in fact named the Ted Williams Freeway. CA 56 is the most direct inheritor of the old Select Arterial 680, which was to be built with county money to connect Interstates 5 and 15; this project fizzled due to coastal opposition and the funds were redirected to CA 56, which does connect I-5 and I-15, and CA 56 was opened between those points in 2004. CA 56 is supposed to connect to CA 67, but no one knows when, and CA 56 today stops at I-15 where Ted Williams Pkwy begins.
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Historic Route 395 reminds you to Wear A Helmet. So does Cameron Kaiser, MD.
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Coming around towards San Diego city proper again.
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This is the final Historic Route 395 sign within the city limits of Poway as
of this writing.
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We know we've left Poway due to the reappearance of the distinctive San Diego
city street signs ...
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... and of course the city limit sign.
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NB Pomerado Rd.
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Junction Rancho Bernardo Rd. Rancho Bernardo is another community of the
city of San Diego, named for its original land grant in 1789 from the
King of Spain as la
Cañada de San Bernardo (the St. Bernard Gorge). Mostly arid
rancho for much of its time, development moved into Rancho Bernardo in
earnest during the 1960s. It was severely devastated by the 2007 Witch Creek
Fire, the largest of the catastrophic October 2007 conflagrations in San
Diego county; these pictures were taken before the inferno.
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Continuing on the since-widened Pomerado Rd towards Escondido.
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Most of this area is suburban residential today, with smaller shopping
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Making the final approach towards Lake Hodges.
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Junction Interstate 15 at the Pomerado Rd/West Bernardo Rd exit (formerly
Highland Springs Rd exit).
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A view from the road, looking north over Lake Hodges into Escondido and
Interstate 15 snaking up into the mountains.
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Lake Hodges and the Old Highway 395 Trail
Both the freeway alignment of US 395 (more in Part 5)
and the old Pomerado routing crossed Lake Hodges roughly here, shown during
the construction of the bike bridge which is still under way. Ironically, the
bike bridge will look an awful lot like the old one did, as depicted in the
1940s Frasher Foto postcard at right. This was the first crossing of the
Lake, built in 1919 as the Bernardo Bridge (here is a
41K archival postcard
of the Bernardo Bridge, probably taken in the late 1920s) and signed
originally as CA 71 with the first signage of state routes in 1934, to become
US 395 just shortly afterwards.
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From there, we swim across the lake (as far as you know) to roughly this point
where an old dirt road trundles towards the west end of the lake. But that's
not the way we're going -- there's a whole different something if we head east.
From this part on, we are in the
San Dieguito River Park,
administered by the
San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority
(whew!) formed by the county of San Diego and the cities of San Diego, Del Mar,
Escondido, Poway and Solana Beach. The San Dieguito River Park is planned to
extend nearly 55 miles along the San Dieguito River from its mouth near Del
Mar up to its headwaters on Volcan Mountain, near Julian.
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One last look at the old river crossing;
what might have been an old piling or possibly part of the northern anchorage
is still here on this photograph taken before construction of the new bike
bridge had started.
Lake Hodges is named for Walter E. Hodges, the private secretary to the president of, and later a vice president himself of, the legendary Santa Fe Railroad (the terminus and original station in San Diego still stands). Today's Rancho Santa Fe was one of the land purchases he helped engineer (then San Dieguito Rancho), but hit financial disaster with a massive local flood in 1916. The Railroad wanted to sell, but there were no reliable sources of water and potential buyers passed. Hodges was swayed by Colonel Ed Fletcher, a local development booster (Fletcher Parkway in La Mesa and El Cajon is named for him) who was similarly affected by the flood, to erect a dam on the San Dieguito River that would ensure more dependable water management after an idea by Fletcher's friend William G. Henshaw (the Henshaw in Lake Henshaw). The railroad president was similarly impressed and approved the project; it was finished by 1918 at a cost of $350,000 but had hardly the effect on land prices that the Railroad had hoped. In return for his expensive failure, Hodges was functionally demoted to a sinecure in 1919 from which he retired in 1930; Fletcher, on the other hand, flourished and his relations with Hodges were by all accounts sour thereafter.
Because of its unusual origins, Lake Hodges is notorious for widely variable
lake levels including and "down" to nearly nothing.
This has put a real cramp in the style of the boosters of the
Lake Hodges Monster myth ("Hodgee"), but who knows -- maybe there's a cave
in there somewhere. It would be hard for such a creature to hide in the very
shallow Lake that US 395 crossed in 1947, however, as shown in the image
(this image is from my archive of a defunct Hodgee fan site; I apologize for
the uncredited photo as I don't know from where it came originally).
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If we turn around from that dirt road in the picture-before-last, we realize
that it is the continuation of asphalt. This is the old routing of US 395 on
the northern lake before 1955, when a second bridge was built and the
approaches for both crossings
constructed directly into Escondido along the course of what is now Interstate
15. This composite crossing lasted until 1968.
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Its age is not only evident by the crumbling surface but also the white centre
line; yellow centre striping was not demanded by the U.S. Manual of Uniform
Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) until 1971.
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In case you didn't believe this is Old Highway 395, a charming old wooden
sign was placed to remind you.
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Some of the old railing and older surface is seen in the brush on either side.
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We lose the center striping as we get closer to the I-15 bridge, which we
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Trail signage and a place for weary US 395 travellers to sit and rest on the
west side of I-15.
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Looking east over Lake Hodges again, with more water in it and possibly a
monster, now from the east side.
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Although the 1955 alignment is probably buried under Interstate 15 now, the
earlier alignment was actually here along this new bike path slightly east
of the freeway.
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Don't believe me? If we look along the chainlink fence on the right, there
is a small artificial something sticking out of the ground.
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Yup, it's a C-block! C-blocks were erected by the California Division of
Highways from 1914 to 1934 as survey markers along angles and curve points,
as well as fixed intervals on straightaways. There are others along US 395
today, including a very easy-to-find one in
Inyo county south of Bishop. Joel Windmiller
has a page dedicated to
right of way monument. What this proves is that state highway ran along
this alignment at some time past; it would have been built very near to
wherever the actual roadway existed, and the Interstate is clearly too far
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A closer look at the C-block, with its copper centre post visible on the
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One of the choked little side creeks of the Lake as we walk the bike path
north to Escondido.
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The northern end of this bike path is here just south of Via Rancho Parkway
with a parking area, in case you'd like to come down and explore the Park.
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Just watch for the cameras. They might not be able to spel right, but they can
stil see you.
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Heading north into Escondido along this old bridge with the wooden rails still
intact, sort of.
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It may or may not have been part of US 395, but it's still fun looking.
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