Today's dashcam video upload comes from the lovely Route 66 state of Oklahoma. We traveled here in October 2021, and several times we forgot to record our car's dashcam as we went! But we did remember to catch a section featuring the William H. Murray Bridge.
Crossing the William H. Murray Bridge, also known as Pony Bridge, westbound
This famous Route 66 bridge crosses the Canadian River a few miles west of El Reno, OK. It's often called the Pony Bridge, because it boasts a whopping 38 pairs of camelback pony trusses. Now part of US Highway 281, it was completed in 1933 and opened the following year as part of a new alignment of US 66, bypassing the towns of Calumet and Geary on the original, unpaved, 1926 alignment of Route 66.
The 1933 alignment of Route 66 west of El Reno, OK
A view from the west end of Pony Bridge
This bridge was Oklahoma Federal Aid Project No. 164-H
We didn't have a ton of time to get back home from Oklahoma on this trip, so we stayed on the 1933 alignment for this drive, which is mostly a straight line and pretty close to Interstate 40. But it's still a nice drive on a lot of vintage 1930s concrete pavement, and I-40 is mostly out of sight, so I uploaded the full 10 minutes of the 7-mile drive, with nothing sped up or cut out. It is embedded below, or you can view it directly on YouTube by following this link, for more sizing options.
This drive ends with a minute-long crossing of the Pony Bridge. Rather than a video filled with roadside activity, this one is more of a relaxing, idyllic cruise in real-time for a lazy Sunday. And the drive across the bridge, with its pony trusses scooting by from 4 different angles at once, is kind of mesmerizing. I hope you enjoy it! If you wish to drive the original bridge yourself, you will have to hurry: this bridge is scheduled to be closed around June 2022 for a major reconstruction project lasting 2 years. The famous pony trusses will remain on the sides of the reconstructed bridge, but the old roadway will be replaced with a new, wider structure.
Looking east on an overcast October day. The pony trusses seem to stretch on forever.
As many Route 66 travelers will know, there has been a long-term closure of a section of Route 66 in the eastern Mojave Desert in California. Due to the abundance of questions about this area on Route 66 Facebook groups, I decided to write up a summary of what is signed for travelers on the affected roads. Our October trip to the Road Runner's Retreat provided the opportunity to photograph all of the road signs that have been placed to deter travelers from the closed area. Two segments of Route 66 between Needles and Amboy have been closed for a couple of years, and there is no timetable for reopening. Many bridges were washed out in flood conditions and San Bernardino County has not finished repairing them all, as they are an enormous county without a lot of funds. After having a chance to photograph all of the signs, the source of travelers' confusion becomes clear: the signs are a jumble of contradictory and often wrong information. I will try to lay it all out here,
A Trading Post Outing On Memorial Day weekend we had an opportunity to help out the Route 66 Co-Op, a non-profit group that recently purchased the Painted Desert Trading Post . This long-closed trading post is considered to be a sort of 'holy grail' of Route 66 destinations. It is located along an abandoned segment of Route 66 east of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. In the 1950s, the business closed for good after the highway was rerouted onto a new alignment. Its isolation kept it relatively safe and intact for some 60 years. It has been virtually inaccessible on private land, unless you knew the right people to ask for access, or were willing to trespass and hoof it several miles down abandoned 66. The Painted Desert Trading Post in 2014. In recent years, the land surrounding the PDTP has been used for cattle grazing, leading to increased damage as cattle could walk around inside the building, bump into walls, etc. Without action, it would not survive fo
With the Christmas season upon us, and so many businesses clamoring for our gifting dollars, I would like to shout out for all the Route 66 businesses who deserve to be supported with our Christmas shopping. Winter is the off-season for Route 66, so for many small businesses on the Route, getting a sales boost in December is a great help to get through this down period for visitors. If you live near Route 66, I encourage you to head down to one of your local Route 66 businesses to see what they have on offer for your gift-giving. And if you don't live near Route 66, there is still a way you can help! Listed below are many Route 66 businesses and attractions that you can support through their online stores. Spread that Christmas cheer around and get some cool & unique Route 66 gifts for your loved ones! If you know of another Route 66 store with online shopping that you think should be included, email me and I will add it to the list! The Jack Rabbit Trading Post is a world
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