[Floodgap Roadgap presents the Summer of 6]

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7 August 2006: The End of the Summer of 6: El Centro, CA to San Diego and the Pacific Ocean
 
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23 October 2006: US 80 Special: Historic US 80 in San Diego, CA (Part II)
 

22 October 2006: US 80 Special: Historic US 80 in San Diego, CA (Part I)

I lied. I have two more things for y'all :) since we did so much of historic US 80 on the return trip (see 08/02/06 for a recap of US 80, and 07/31/06 for the beginning of the parts of US 80 we already covered [from Alabama east]), I think it's only fair to subject you to the grand opening of Historic Route US 80 in Southern California, a whole gala event featuring dual caravans from San Diego and Yuma meeting in the "middle" at the Viejas casino near Alpine. Yours truly and several others of us in the California roadgeek "community" were honoured to take part in the caravan and look at some of the major points US 80 passed through in San Diego. In particular, thanks to Andy Field for the invitation, and to Casey Cooper, Russ Connelly and Mike Ballard who also accompanied. It was great to meet them all!

My apologies to people on dialup: this one is a big entry because it was just too good to not photograph the heck out of.

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We start at Seaport Village, near what was US 80's terminus after World War II but before the construction of the modern US 80 freeway in the 1950s (most of which is now Interstate 8 -- see 08/03/06 for the beginning of our I-8 return trip). Originally, US 80 terminated at the corner of 12th St and Market (likely with US 395), and after the construction of the Camino Del Rio freeway it terminated at the US 101 freeway, or what is now Interstate 5. This terminus here, which was also shared with US 395, is roughly at where Pacific Highway meets Harbor Drive today (although it has been subsequently reconfigured), but was originally Market and US 101. I need to update the US 395 entry on this, btw, which I'll do with the next clot of changes.

This year is especially important as US 80 is eighty years old, formed as America's first all-weather transcontinental highway, and an original 1926 US highway.

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The caravan is starting to form. We had some great cars in this group; you'll see a number of them.

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Setting up for KUSI's live remote. In addition to our event organizer Jeanette Perez from the San Diego East Visitors Bureau on the left, we also have Dave Scott, KUSI's weatherman, who was Grand Marshal.

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"Good morning, San Diego!"

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After the initial musical interlude (with a singing triplet that we in the surrounding audience overwhelmed with our ill-timed cheer on live TV ... oops), we set up for the first of several ribbon cuttings. Here's our gang: Casey ("cutting up"), yours truly, Andy, Russ and Mike.

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We had quite a crowd for the initial one. Here's one of the commemorative signs (this one was used at all of the cuttings for the San Diego East Visitors Bureau).

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Chuck Hansen, the MC at the cuttings (also from the Bureau), with Assemblyman Jay LaSuer (R-77th), one of the primary forces for designating the historic route. Mr. LaSuer presented a proclamation ...

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... then snipped the ribbon ...

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... as Dave Scott and a representative from the Auto Club presented the plaque that will grace the small monument to US 80 here.

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Yours truly mugging with Mr. Scott.

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The San Diego Police came by on this trip with period cars and period uniforms. They call these their "sauna uniforms" for the effect on the body in these thick coats :)

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Hugh Hall, one of San Diego's major highway architects and champions, telling us about Governor Reagan opening the Coronado Bay Bridge in 1969. Mr. Hall was a primary leader in the formation of the city's highway network and, along with US 80, is 80 years old -- he, too, was born in 1926.

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At the San Diego Auto Museum, the Market/Pacific terminus street signs are preserved (both US 80 and US 395, as I mentioned above).

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The opening of the Mountain Springs road into the Jacumba Mountains -- we saw this in the very last entry of the Summer of 6 trip heading home, except this is 1913 and US 80 didn't even exist yet. (Courtesy SD Historical Soc'ty)

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Part of the old Plank Road -- this is original wood. (We visited the Plank Road here.)

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Art Madrid, mayor of La Mesa, cutting the ribbon at the Auto Museum.

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El Cajon Blvd, the major alignment of US 80 in San Diego. We reach it from, in large terms, Market to Park (the actual turns are altered due to construction work).

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The Lafayette Hotel, one of North Park's famous buildings considerably restored.

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Mr Hall's wife gets the honours here.

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A lonely Interstate 8 business shield on El Cajon Blvd. There's still a few of these left, but not many, and all of them are in bad shape. This is probably the best of the bunch.

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The San Diego Collection, an intriguing auto museum just west of La Mesa. We will ignore the US 66 shields on the door for the time being.

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Yummy! Each of these stops had a little snack like this, although this was certainly the most ornate.

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Some of the classic cars in the Collection.

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"Ironman" Ivan Stewart, the legendary off-road racer and a heck of a nice guy, very funny and approachable. I spent a lot of money on his game machines too. The one in the Warren Lounge at UCSD got a lot of quarters out of me.

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More tomorrow!

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7 August 2006: The End of the Summer of 6: El Centro, CA to San Diego and the Pacific Ocean
 
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23 October 2006: US 80 Special: Historic US 80 in San Diego, CA (Part II)
 


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