Skip to main content

2016 Cross-Country Road Trip Part 2; Weird US 180 in Texas

Leaving Abilene westbound on I-20 I was begin to approach the Mountain West and infinitely more interesting terrain than I saw the first three days of my road trip.  I wanted to get to a couple National Parks which meant that I had to divert off of I-20 towards US 180.  My trip on US 180 to reach the New Mexico State Line was through some of the weirder areas Texas has to offer.






I left Abilene at about 6 AM in the morning on I-20 westbound which I consider to be a somewhat ordinary time to hit the road.  On the west side of Abilene I-20 picks up a multiplex of US 84 which I intended to use to reach US 180 in Synder.  As I was making my way down an empty I-20/US 84 a Texas Highway Patrol truck slowed down to approximately 30 MPH in the passing lane and followed me almost all the way to the turn-off for Synder. 

The THP Officer pulled me over just before the breakaway towards Synder on US 84 since I was apparently following a truck at 500 feet at 70 MPH.  I was advised by the officer that there was a lot of drug running on I-20 (The truthfulness of this story I  question) with drivers with out of state tags (This is what known as a pretext stop when you pull someone over fishing for a bigger infraction or crime) and I was asked why I was on the road so early in addition to why I didn't take I-10.  I explained that I was on my way to Carlsbad Caverns National Park for some hiking in the caves and my overnight stay was in Las Cruces.  After receiving a warning ticket for following too close I continued on US 84 and took it to US 180 Synder where I continued west.

US 180 traverses some of the smallest counties in Texas, many are among the least populated in the United State.  Passing through Borden County I encountered the County Seat Gail which largely resembled a ghost town.  Gail apparently has a population of just over 200 and has been the County Seat of Borden County since the 1890s.  Borden County itself dates back the 1870s and has a population of just over 600.






West of Gail US 180 picks up US 87 and heads into Lamesa in Dawson County.  I pulled off of US 180/87 on County Road 20 to stop at Los Ybanez.  Los Ybanez is the smallest incorporated city in Texas with a 2010 population of 19.  Los Ybanez was incorporated in 1983 to sell liquor in the otherwise dry Dawson County.  There isn't much to Los Ybanez aside from some really haggard old looking buildings which I'm to understand were built atop an old World War II era glider base.








Most of western Texas on US 180 was extremely muddy due to a fairly fresh snow melt.  I stopped in Seminole for breakfast after picking US 62 and followed US 180/62 to the New Mexico State Line. 






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yes, the color of your nearby fire hydrant matters...

...and here's why. You will find White, Red, Yellow and Violet colored fire hydrants pretty much everywhere.  But there's a reason for this - and it's because of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  This association has issued guidelines for color coding standards for fire hydrants.  These color codes from the body of the hydrant, top of the hydrant, and in some municipalities the outlet caps are designed to allow fire fighters to know what type of system, water flow rate (Gallons Per Minute or GPM), and level of water pressure.  This guideline is known as NFPA 291 and is intended to be used universally throughout the United States. The NFPA guidelines are specific to the body and the top cap of the hydrant.  If a hydrant is WHITE or YELLOW - it means that it is connected to a public/municipal water system.  If a hydrant is RED - the hydrant is connected to a private system, typically a well.  These are most common in rural or unincorporated areas

Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway (in the making since 1947)

On September 15, 2022, the Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway opened in the city of Modesto from California State Route 99 west to North Dakota Avenue.  Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway was built upon a corridor which was tentatively to designated to become the branching point for Interstate 5W in the 1947 concept of the Interstate Highway System.  The present California State Route 132 West Expressway corridor was adopted by the California Highway Commission on June 20, 1956.  Despite almost being rescinded during the 1970s the concept of the California State Route 132 West Expressway corridor lingered on for over half a century and became likely the oldest undeveloped right-of-way owned by California Transportation Commission.  Pictured above is the planned California State Route 132 freeway west of US Route 99 in Modesto as featured in the May/June 1962 California Highways & Public Works.   The history of the California State Route

Aptos Creek Road to the Loma Prieta ghost town site

Aptos Creek Road is a roadway in Santa Cruz County, California which connects the community of Aptos north to The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks.  Aptos Creek Road north of Aptos is largely unpaved and is where the town site of Loma Prieta can be located.  Loma Prieta was a sawmill community which operated from 1883-1923 and reached a peak population of approximately three hundred.  Loma Prieta included a railroad which is now occupied by Aptos Creek Road along with a spur to Bridge Creek which now the Loma Prieta Grade Trail.  The site of the Loma Prieta Mill and company town burned in 1942.   Part 1; the history of Aptos Creek Road and the Loma Prieta town site Modern Aptos traces its origin to Mexican Rancho Aptos.  Rancho Aptos was granted by the Mexican Government in 1833 Rafael Castro.  Rancho Aptos took its name from Aptos Creek which coursed through from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Monterey Bay.  Castro initially used Rancho Aptos to raise cattle for their hides.  Following