Skip to main content

An Essay on 2020

Well, what can I say? 2020 was a year like no other. The losses humankind suffered during this period were unimaginable when the year began less than 400 days ago. We lost so many things – friends, loved ones, co-workers, colleagues. We lost the things we’ve taken for granted all our lives - human touch, family traditions, concerts, and school. We also lost jobs, careers, our patience, our sense of security, and our health. And some lost hope. But something else happened in 2020 – we *found* a lot of things too. We found Zoom & Skype. We found heroes, healthcare workers, and other selfless essential personnel. We found comfort, deeper connections, strength, and resilience. And so many of you found… us.

In 2020, our websites, blog posts, and YouTube channels were found and viewed by countless new sets of eyes. For example, the encyclopedia of highway footage that is the ‘roadwaywiz’ YouTube channel was never more popular with audiences than it was this past year. People flocked to the channel in numbers not before seen and the channel’s expanded *live* programming schedule incorporated road enthusiasts from all corners of America and entertained many more. Given that everyone was stuck in their homes wishing they could travel instead of actually doing so, outlets such as this one enabled folks to do just that - virtually taking viewers to most corners of North America from the comfort of their own homes.

People have asked me what my favorite memory from this past year is and, on the surface, it might seem like an odd question, given the tumult of the last 300 days. It was March 28 – I was sitting in my living room in Dutchess County, NY and I was giving a live webinar presentation on the freeways of Las Vegas. (Go on YouTube and search “Wiz Webinar Las Vegas” – you’ll find it.) In the past, I had done these presentations with other folks in my direct company and I never had the desire to become proficient in Skype/Zoom in order to bring folks into the conversation remotely. Yet that is what was necessary and that is what happened. I and many of my “roads scholar” friends became experts in these services overnight in order to make this presentation possible. 

Yet there was something else that struck me in the middle of this episode. It happened during the 2nd half of it or so, probably during the video portion of the program. It all just hit me that during this day of fear, darkness, and uncertainty, here I was talking with my friends Steve, Doug, and Josh about ROADS. Just like always. For two hours, it was almost as if nothing was wrong in the world and that little “Moment of Zen” (to borrow the expression) is what stayed with me all this year, and it’s the one feeling I remember most fondly about 2020.

Dan's living room - March 28, 2020

Gribblenation also continued to expand its reach in 2020 by incorporating new bloggers and introducing audiences to new locations. We were there for you when things looked their darkest and we’ll continue to serve as your next best distraction when you need it. It may not take me very long to tell the stories of America’s roads and historic sites, but rest assured that Adam, Tom, and Doug will always be “up to something” and it’s our collective mission in 2021 to pick up where we left off and continue sharing our experiences with you. Why? Because every road has a story!


"Auld Lang Syne"



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

I-73/I-74 and NC Future Interstates, Year in Review 2022

Another year over, already? 2022 turned out to be quite the year if you are a fan of new interstate routes, and it wasn't bad for some long standing favorites. As per the tradition, I will review what happened with I-73 and I-74, and then the other new and future interstate routes in North Carolina... Work continued on the one segment of I-73 under construction, the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. As of the beginning of December, work was getting close to being 2/3 complete at 60.1%. Progress could be seen from US 74 on constructing of the future interchange at the Bypass's southern end. Here's a look from US 74 East in September from Google Maps Street View: Here's a photo from US 74 West taken last week by David Gallo: Work is now scheduled to be completed in October 2025, though the road itself could open earlier that year.  Progress on I-74 earned more publicity in 2022 with the opening of 7.5 more miles of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from US 311 (Exit 49) to NC

Interstate 605

Interstate 605 is a 27.4-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitain Area.  Interstate 605 begins at Interstate 210 near Duarte and terminates at the Interstate 405/California State Route 22 junction to the south near the boundary to the city of Long Beach.  Interstate 605 is known as the San Gabriel River Freeway and has three unconstructed miles which would extend it south to California State Route 1 near Seal Beach.  Much of the corridor of Interstate 605 was built up from what was the original California State Route 35.  The blog cover photo is taken from the July/August 1964 California Highways & Public Works which featured the initial segment of Interstate 605 to open between Whittier Boulevard and Peck Road  Part 1; the history of the San Gabriel River Freeway and Interstate 605 The origin of what is now Interstate 605 begins during 1933 with the addition of Legislative Route Number 170 (LRN 170) to the State Highway System.  The original definition of LRN 170 was