2 June 2006: Welcome to the Summer of 6!Officially open for business finally -- thanks to all the testers who patiently helped me out and offered suggestions while the content management system for Summerof6.com was being put together.
Until I get on the road 1 July, I'll be making twice-weekly posts here to catch up on US 6 so far (photographed out to Coaldale, NV and the US 95 junction). But first, the itinerary eastbound, numbered by day:
Next week, I'll post my itinerary for the south and westbound legs, which will be along various Eastern Interstates, and then home along I-20, I-10 and I-8.
Just like my twice weekly posts until the drive actually begins, each daily or every-other-daily post while I'm off will show highlights of the road along with mini-writeups, starting with this entry here. To get this started off "right," I'll do a bonus of four from Inyo county and the beginning of modern US 6 at US 395 in Bishop, CA along the eastern Sierra Nevada. When the final writeups are done, lots more photographs will be added along with full travelogues; for now, please enjoy the "quick picks."
The western terminus of the mighty 3,205 mile US Highway 6 at US Highway 395 in Bishop, CA, a friendly town in the eastern Sierra Nevada. I have a little more about the history and scenery of Bishop in the US 395 photoessay parts 5 and 6, since US 395 is the main street of town. This is getting up towards the northern city limits; US 395 diverges west and north towards Mammoth and Mono Lake. We will veer right at the traffic light ahead (not visible here).
This marker was obviously posted after 1964, as former US 6 continued on along with US 395 to Inyokern, CA and then southwest along what is now CA 14 into Los Angeles until California's Great Renumbering of state routes that year. A full travelogue on "old US 6" (both surface and freeway alignments) will be done as part of the future exhibit, for all you highway historians out there.
New highway dweebs will note that California still uses cutout shields for its US highway signs instead of the boring, yucky square blanks that every other state has (some cutouts survive mostly in Virginia, but California is the only state to still specify them). I think that these venerable highways deserve a more ornate marker than most states give them, and I'll be very irritated if California starts using those crummy square blanks too. Fortunately, we're very contrary out here in the far West ...
The Grand Army of the Republic name first appeared in 1934, suggested by Army Maj. Wm. L. Anderson, Jr. and promulgated by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in honour of the Union army. Because US 6 is a transcontinental route and AASHTO presented the request for name change separately to each state it crossed, the process took over a decade and US 6 was not formally dedicated as such until 3 May 1953 in Long Beach, where a marker remains to this day on Ocean Avenue (see our CA 110 exhibit for what happened to US 6 in Los Angeles). Before this, there were all sorts of names for various portions of the highway, but this stretch in California was the former Midland Trail, established in the 1920s as a southern route into the famous Lincoln Highway (now US 50 in this region; see US 395, Part 11).
Next Tuesday: US 6 through Mono county, CA, and the southbound leg on the East Coast!
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