Skip to main content

Great Lakes Road Trip Day 9; back to civilization on freeways and expressways

The character of my trip changed a ton on day 9.  For the most part I was traveling on two lane highways in some rural parts of the Great Lakes but that changed on the journey to southbound to Chicago.  I started out by US 53 to reach I-535 off of Miller Hill.  US 53 is a partial freeway approaching I-535 and has a weird traffic light/left entrance interchange with I-35/I-535.









I-535 is only about 2.8 miles long from I-35 in Duluth across the St. Louis River to Superior.  The Interstate is completely multiplexed with US 53 through the duration of the alignment.  I-535 uses the Blatnik Bridge which was opened in 1961 which replaced a prior swing bridge which carried car and rail traffic.  I-535 was part of the 1957 Interstate system but wasn't officially designated until 1971 when the ramps with I-35 were completed.  I-535 ends at the interchange with WI 35/US 2, I stayed on US 53.




I took US 53 all the way south to I-94 in Eau Claire through the center of Wisconsin.  Aside from Superior US 53 south to Eau Claire is a divided expressway or freeway the entire way.





I-94 wasn't so bad with traffic before the merge with I-90, but talk about a whole lot of country with nothing to see.





I did stop at Mill Bluff State Park to check out some of the sandstone formations lapping I-90/94.  I also managed to get some decent photos of the Interstate below.









I stayed on I-90/94 to Milwaukee and split off on I-894 briefly.  I noticed a large utility project alongside I-90/94 that had a large plank road used by the trucks which was about the only thing that was worth seeing.  Traffic was heavy but it is to be expected on one of the biggest trucking and transportation corridor in the country.






I pulled off I-90/94 upon entering Illinois to stay at a hotel near Naval Station Great Lakes near US 41.  I stopped in to see some old digs but there wasn't much to write home about for the rest of the day, really I was just putting myself in position for downtown Chicago on Saturday.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mineral King Road, the White Chief Mine, and the unbuilt California State Route 276

Back in July of 2016 I took Mineral King Road east from California State Route 198 to Mineral King Valley within the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia National Park.  This June I revisited Mineral King Valley and made my way up to the White Chief Mine.


Mineral King Road is a 24.8 mile rural highway maintained by the National Park Service and as Tulare County Mountain Road 375.  Mineral King Road originates at California State Route 198 in Three Rivers near the confluence of the Middle Fork Kaweah River and the East Fork Kaweah River.  Mineral King Road climbs from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level at the White Chief Mine Trailhead in Mineral King Valley.  Notably Mineral King Road is stated to have 697 curves.


Mineral King Road has an average grade of 5.1% but has several stretches between 15-20% in places.  Pjammycycling has a detailed breakdown on the grade levels over the entirety of Mineral King Road.

Pjammycycling on Mineral King R…

Hetch Hetchy Valley; Hetch Hetchy Railroad, abandoned Lake Eleanor Road, and the Wapama Fall Bridge

This June I took a trip out to Yosemite National Park upon receiving my COVID-19 Day Use Reservation.  My destination in Yosemite National Park was out in Hetch Hetchy Valley.  I sought to hike to the Wapama Fall Bridge which took me through some of the path of the former Hetch Hetchy Valley Railroad and abandoned Lake Eleanor Road.



Part 1; Hetch Hetchy Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, and reservoir roads

Hetch Hetchy is glacially carved valley similar to Yosemite Valley which is located on the Tuolumne River of Tuolumne County.  Hetch Hetchy Valley presently is impounded by the O'Shaughnessy Dam which was completed during 1923 as part of a project to deliver water and hydroelectric power to the City of San Francisco.  Before being impounded Hetch Hetchy Valley had an average depth of approximately 1,800 feet with a maximum depth of approximately 3,000 feet.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is approximately three miles long and as much as a half mile wide.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is located dow…

California's Rogue Sign State Route Shields

While recently revisiting Yosemite National Park I took a couple minutes to capture some of the California Sign State Route shields posted by the National Park Service ("NPS").  None of the NPS shields were actually posted on roadways maintained by Caltrans but were clearly intended to create route continuity with the Sign State Highways.  This phenomenon is not exclusive to Yosemite National Park and can be found on numerous roads not maintained by Caltrans throughout California.



Part 1; Route continuity over who maintains the route

In the very early era of State Highways in California the Division of Highways didn't actually field sign the Auto Trails or even US Routes.  The responsibility of Highway signage fell to the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC").  The Auto Clubs simply signed Highways on roadways that best served navigational purposes.  These navigational purposes often didn&#…