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  The Ridge Route Book - Now Available for online purchase  

Welcome to the Ridge Route Comment Page.

Please feel free to share your comments and experiences about the Ridge Route and about our site by sending an e-mail to:

RidgeRoute@yahoo.com

After we review your comments, we will add them to this section of the site.


Ever since I can remember we traveled over the old ridge rt. from Taft (near Bakersfield) to Colton (about 60 miles from L.A.) to visit my Grandma and Grandpa. It seems we did this about 3 times a year.  I will never forget the rising excitement as we approached that first mountain reaching up from the flat desert floor(so majestic, I thought).  I still get the same old feeling, approaching  that mountain, though I seldom  have any reason to visit the South Land, I will sometimes get someone to drive  me around In the vicinity of Lebec and Frazier.

We finally moved up there when I was about 13. I thought I was in heaven with a mountain directly in  front of my door. I hiked up this mountain about every day, even when clouds blew in, causing fog on the middle part of the mountain but on the top I could look down on the clouds. We had a really good snow a few times in the winter and out came the toboggans and all kinds of contrived devices for sledding.  Mamma would drive us all over from the old lodge to Frazier, looking for the " just right" mountain to toboggan down. If you've never slid down a mountain with a lot of brush (no trees' ) with snow completely covering the brush, you've really missed a thrill, going over the top of the bush jumping high into the air and slamming down hard on your rear (once in a while a "unstable positioned"person broke their tail bone when hitting down.) Some times we came close to going through barbed wire fence or sliding out into the road at the bottom.. Yes, we were stupid and young ( really towns folks you see). We missed snow fun in the little desert, oil patch town of Taft, causing us to be ignorant of the risks of sledding.

We could go to the "Lebec Hotel's twice a week movies" if we chose to. A lot of kids went. No place else to go unless you threw a party. It was a sociable place, seeing that we all went to the same places on the same nights. K.C. High school was to far away to attend their social events, but Oh, those "Lebec  Hotel Dances,"what anticipation. Daddy would take me and a friend there
and stay.  He would always say "don't you ever go out of this building for any reason" and "I will dance the last dance with you" (he was a great dancer, had music in his whole body, I never danced with anyone as fun as daddy.) We had some great bands at those dances.

Going back a little, when I first moved to Lebec I attended the El Tejon grammar school. It was a cultural shock, as there were two grades in one class room. I thought those kind of schools only existed in ancient times (back when my dad was a kid). There were only three girls in the eighth
grade and only a few in the seventh grade.  I didn't like this because boys (mean ones) all ways called me "skinny freckle face". I also had a nick name at El Tejon something like "mighty mouse"
because I didn't know how to play tether ball (their only game for the girls). After I learned how to play no one  could beat me, not even the school janitor who was over six ft. tall.
I guess, I was so obnoxious after that, that I was not liked any better and maybe less.

When all of the Ridge Rt. kids, after eighth grade graduation, had  to ride a highschool bus to "Kern County High School" that was another culture shock, in the opposite direction. When I got
home from registering that day I was so depressed by the enormity of the school I cried for the rest of the day. I didn't know how I would ever find my classes and if I did how could I get from one to the other in five minutes?

Well, none of those things were ever a problem. I had one of the most exciting years of my life.
Everything had changed, I was never called freckle face again. Some of those "mean boys" were giving me attention in a completely different way (couldn't stand those mean boys, as I learned their true character way back in the eighth grade and besides there were plenty of really nice boys to notice.)

After four or five years we had to move back to Taft I didn't want to make the move. I was enjoying the best of two worlds, the beautiful mountains of the ridge, the close social life
of my mountain community and  the hour long social, bus ride to the big highschool in Bakersfield.

I wasn't in Taft very long before meeting my future husband. "The incomparable" Dick House;
Never the less, after many years of a good life, given by God. I still have a certain infatuation with Lebec, the lodge (name of the canyon) where my dad built a house for our family. The house is still located "as the almost last house"at the back of the canyon. Daddy never got to do all of the "finish work" on the house, when circumstances caused our moving back to Taft And he had to sell it "as is". I never got to see the house finished and many times I have wished to know the names of the present residents that I might call and ask for a tour of the finished house. Now,at 80 yrs., I still love to venture up to Lebec just to view those lovely old mountains.

From: Mildred House of Taft, CA
8/31/2012

 

 


Carl 9/1/2011
Subject: Sampling the Ridge Route

Dear Ridge Route fans,

I'm a history buff, and I've known about the Ridge Route for years. I live in Oakland and I rarely drive in the Tejon Pass area. I sometimes ride over I-5 in an Amtrak bus; when I do, I often stare at the scenery to get glimpses of the old road. But recently, I had the opportunity to drive part of the old Ridge Route for the first time.

I was going north, guided by a map but no high-tech gizmos. I found the road in Castaic, where it has the Ridge Route name but it's been drastically modernized. However, if you continue uphill, you get to a stretch that resembles the original. It's mostly repaved with asphalt, some curves have been widened, and a short piece was rerouted to make room for I-5, but the Ridge Route is still twisty and you can still drive on bits of 1920-era concrete. At a curve with a spectacular view down into the canyon to the east, I stopped and imagined what it would have been like long ago. You can see the wreck of a car far below. There's a bit of a curb but it's not very protective! The old road is really on top of the ridge, or very close, hence the Ridge Route name. In contrast, I-5 is mostly side-hill or lower.

At Templin Highway, there's a sign that the Ridge Route won't go through. However, it's open to the public for about a mile further north, where another sign says "closed" and mentions the damage from the storm of 2005. I drive a small 4-door sedan, which is perfectly adequate for the sections I was on. In a bigger car, it might be hard to turn around.

Thank you, Ridge Route fans.

Carl


Sent: Monday, August 1, 2011 8:37 PM
Subject: Ridge Route

Thank you for your time to put this site together. I as a child lives on the Grapevine before I 5,when the highway was 2 lanes. Oh the many live that were lost on that road. We lived in the trailer park there in Gorman as my Grandfather worked as a mechanic at the service station to support the lot of us. I remember the old water tank which still resides on the hill overlooking Gorman today. My brother and I used to play up on that hill many a day. I remember a funny day when a Red Racer, that's a snake, came out of now where and scared the by Jesus out of my mom and my grandmother as well. And grandfather heard her scream and he came running looked at the snake looked at her and said that's all your scared of? It's only a snake, he caught it and sent it away. I do think before the old road falls apart and I'm still here I shall go up and see it 1 more time. Thanks for the pictures and the memories.

May God bless.
Bill Spellings


From: Kathy Skelly

Sent: Thu, March 25, 2010
Subject: Neat Site!

  It may have been  20 to 25 years ago when my husband and I realized we could actually get onto part of the Ridge Route.  During our annual Christmas trip between San Diego and Redding CA, we stopped to gas up and take a break before continuing south to San Diego.   Our goal was not to get to Bakersfield, but to get through LA when the traffic was lightest.  That meant we were on the road at night.  So, we climbed back into our Ford Escort (which had little power) and followed the bumpy, snowy section of road for as far as we could.   My grandmother used to talk about "driving to LA in a Packard" via  the "Ridge Route" and "the Grapevine".  I recalled her talking about Bakersfield as the "half-way point".      Though I realized the drive to San Diego was a big deal with my grandmother I never got a real sense of its significance until I saw the road/route between Castaic and Grapevine.    Her trips along the old Ridge Route in the early 1900s as a child, and later as an adult along Hiway 99 between Corning and Long Beach seemed quite interesting.   Finally, in her 80s, she got to ride I - 5 between Redding and San Diego as a passenger in an air-conditioned car with my parents doing the driving.  She actually enjoyed staying overnight at Bakersfield, something mostly lost on me until looking at your photos. I used to wonder why anyone would like stopping in Bakersfield. Reading your historical information and viewing your photos, I have more appreciation of why she liked staying in Bakersfield!  So, when my parents drove her to San Diego, my Dad made a point of stopping at a motel for an overnight in Bakersfield.   I just wish she was alive to see your website and read your book.  I'm putting your book on my wish list.  My husband and I have lived in Columbus GA for 13 years.  I'll check our local library, though I doubt the book is available here.  I'm going to try to buy your book in 2011 and pass it along to a lady working at the local grocery store. She is from Carpinteria, CA.  I'm sure she will like to see the book also.    Anyway - thanks for this great website and I will check back time-to-time to view the progress on road repairs.  Even though we no longer live in California, we left our hearts in California.  I still have family in Redding CA and my husband has family in San Diego, CA.   It's unlikely we will ever have the occasion to be driving along I - 5 between Redding and San Diego, but if we do, we'll explore any portion of the route that is repaired.  I'm just glad we drove along the ridge that night and saw what my Grandmother always talked about. 


On Thu, 10/29/09, Tom Jackson <tojackson@uwsd.org> wrote:


From: Tom Jackson <tojackson@uwsd.org>
Subject: A Valley Boy's memories
To: "'ridgeroute@yahoo.com'" <ridgeroute@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 3:58 PM


During the 1940's, I lived with my parents on a ranch near Fresno .  Once or twice a year, we would travel down Hwy. 99 to visit family in Fullerton .  I remember the big Union 76 service station and garage at the mouth of the canyon, where the highway dropped onto the alluvial plain headed for Greenfield .  I have vivid memories of the old highway, especially the dramatically tilted and folded landscape through Piru Gorge (before the lake). 

 

I can also recall being fascinated by the old Hotel Lebec, still standing, but in disrepair by that time.  It seemed so out of place and out of time even then.  If we took the Santa Fe train to Bakersfield , we would switch to a Trailways bus for the trip over the Grapevine.  The rest stop was always at the old roadside store/café at Lebec.  I don't believe that the old fort had yet been reconstructed to the present degree, but it was still fascinating walking the land there and seeing the remnants. 

 

Lots of cars, radiators steaming, were at each of the water stops along the way.  Of those that made it all the way to Lebec, not a few would be in the garage.  In those days, there were no escape ramps for runaway trucks, which seemed to get loose with alarming regularity on the northbound downgrade.  One, a load of potatoes in a stakeside truck, as I recall, nearly wiped out the 76 station.  As children, we heard many stories of runaways, rolling all the way past Greenfield before being able to slow, etc.  All of that made the Grapevine even more legendary to the younger set.

 

Where one can now zip along at top speed on a superhighway version of I-5, making the trip over the Ridge Route in those earlier days was an hours-long adventure for kids like me.  Highway 99 will always be my most familiar numbered highway, and that stretch of it is indelible.  Thanks for keeping the memories alive.

Tom Jackson
Resource Development Executive
United Way of San Diego County


Thursday, November 20, 2008, 5:57 PM

When I read the message from Pat Mefferd from 2005, I was pleased to read of her attending the movies at the old Lebec Hotel. My parents operated the theater which was a conversion of the hotel ballroom. Movies were shown only on Friday and Saturday nights. We would leave Long Beach on Friday afternoon, pick up the movies in Hollywood, and be at the theater in time for showing about 7 pm. Weather permitting. We showed two feature films, a cartoon or two, a short subject and an episode of a thriller serial. Theater operation was an excuse for us to get away from the L.A. area hustle and bustle and we would visit my grandparents, Viola and Slim Mansor, on their ranch. The ranch was located just below Deadman's Curve on the uphill side of the Grapvine Grade. This is an opportunity to explain to all those motorists of the late '40's and early '50's that we were crossing the hiway to go hunting on the other side. We always wondered what the passerby thought of us with all those rifles. Those days on the Grapevine Grade, the dilapidated Fort Tejon, the old curvy concrete hiway sections that we used as hunting trails were the best days a young boy could have.
Jay Babrowski . Palm Desert formerly Lakewood, CA


In 1950, when I was just going into high school, I used to take a Greyhound bus from Long Beach over the Ridge Route up to Bakersfield to visit friends who had moved to Oildale. In 1954 and 1955 while at Pepperdine College our choir took an annual trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco and traveled the Ridge Route for our first performance in Bakersfield.  Still later and newly married, my husband and I often made trips over the Ridge Route, either to see those same friends or to visit relatives in Fresno.  As a native Californian, I have wonderful memories of that long stretch of highway.  In those days, the Ridge Route was the Ridge Route, and the Grapevine was that final winding drop into the Central valley.  Anymore on TV, the journalists NEVER make that differentiation.  It is all compressed into a single word now -- "Grapevine."  When I hear them say that I always talk back to them on the TV: "Get it right, guys.  It's the Ridge Route those guys are driving over."  I know times change and words change, but for us oldsters who throughout our lives have embraced that route, we'd like to have the nomenclature remain as it was.  Cars today do not drive over the Grapevine.  They drive over the Ridge Route!

Bobby Dobbins Title Mira Loma, CA
January 26, 2008


 

Years ago when my family lived in Bakersfield we traveled the old 1915 Ridge Route because my Dad always wanted to take the scenic route. He always told my older Sister and my younger Brother that we should look out the windows and see how beautiful the country was, but as children we just wanted to play tricks on each other and cause trouble. I recently saw the “California Road Trip” program and my Husband and I were very interested in the show. Our family of course traveled the old Highway 99 three-lane road and it indeed was a very memorable trip being my Dad never wanted a slow car in front of us so he passed every chance he got. Needless to say he scared the devil out of all of us. The next time my Husband and I go south we plan to find the Ridge Route and enjoy what I missed in the late Forty's and Fifty's. Thank you for bringing our attention to such a wonderful place to visit.

Ron & Jean Naylor 1-22-08


I just finished reading Harrison Scott's history of the Ridge Route.

My family migrated from the Mid-West to So. CA in the Spring of 1936, when I was two years old.  My dad was from a close-knit family of nine, and nearly all of the other siblings and his parents migrated to Northcentral WA state to raise Apples.  As a consequence, my family spent summer vacations in WA state most of the time starting in about Summer of 1938.

Although I am not old enough to remember the earliest Ridge Route, I do remember the old Hwy. 99 portion of it.  We used to travel Hwy. 99 to Weed, CA, and then Hwy. 97 to Omak, WA.  Our first trip was in the Black 1930 Chevrolet sedan that we moved to CA in.  Then in 1939, dad bought a 1937 Chev. sedan that we had until about 1952.  I am three years and one month older than Harrison, so my travel memories on those old roads start a little earlier than his.

    Ron Williams,  Granite Bay, CA

Monday December 10 , 2007


Saw and enjoyed Huel Howser Program this morning {08/18/2007} on KLCS {Los Angeles City Schools PBS station). Got to travel the Ridge Route as soon as it opens again. I was about 6 or 7 when we drove the 4 lane version out of L.A. to go camping in Yosemite for the first time in my folks new '49 Chevy pulling a teardrop trailer. Stopped for breakfast at the truck stop that was near the oil tanks slightly up the hill from the present "Grapevine Exit. In 1958 we went camping in my dad's new '57 Chevy truck with a Pullman Camper. We were headed to Atmore Meadows NFS campground and from Castaic turned off east from the original Ridge Route somewhere before Hwy 138 junction. As I said, got to see the whole thing soon.

Wednesday August 8 , 2007


I remember as a kid traveling to Idaho from Redondo Beach we took the Ridge Route. This was in the 1950's anyway on the way up the hill from Castaic our car overheated and my dad pulled to the side of the road and stopped by a tree. At this time of course the ridge route was 2 lanes in each direction. I remember looking back and seeing a runaway truck ramp, which is still there along with the same tree we parked by. I also remember going back to cataic and having our car worked on at a small service station I think it was a Richfield station but am not positive.  Anyway it was an experience I will always remember.
Keith Dutson

January 16 , 2007


My memories of that region go back to the '50s and '60s. I grew up in Frazier Park, attended FP elementary, El Tejon, and Bakersfield High. The Lebec Hotel in all its baroque and ornate wonder will forever be etched in my memory.

Portions of Highway 99 merged into the Ridge Route in several places between Gorman and Castaic. Much is beneath water now, but traversing that ribbon of asphalt admidst those towering geologic wonders was one breath-taking, palpitating expedition. The ride back then rivals the most rousing of technologically virtual experiences today. Ridgeroute.com is a wonderful, scenic drive through those wonderous years gone by.

All the best, Kevin Cosgriff

Kevin Cosgriff
Friday, February 2, 2006 4:07:00 PM


Recently, my husband and I were through the Ridge Route and I was trying to see where I thought the old Lebec Hotel had been. I had been there approximately 50 years ago with my mother. We had been visiting someone at Frazier Park and she took me to lunch at the Lebec Hotel. I was about 7 or so at the time, but I remember how old the place was and I was so entranced. I thought it was a wonderful old mansion, and I got to order a French dip sandwich, my first ever, and I felt so special and grown up to be out to lunch in such a place with my mother. I remember the stairway leading into the hotel seemed so immense, and I'm sure as a child, it must've seemed that way. Every time we have traveled that route, I always look for evidence of the Hotel and now that you have a picture of what the site looks like today, I will look for the juniper bushes on my next time through. When I was there, I had remembered more trees around the hotel, but having looked at the picture, I think it might have just been the covering over the staircase. (Isn't the internet great!) This is a great website, and having been born and raised in Bakersfield, it sure brings back lots of memories. I'm going to get the book for my parents, who still live in Bakersfield.

Robin in Washington State
Saturday, January 14, 2006 9:57:46 AM


I viewed Huell Howser program a while back, which really sparked my interest. I recently discovered this website and on a regular basis check the status of the road. I'm waiting impatiently that it reopens so that I too can experience that unique piece of California

Guy Arlet - garlet@bak.rr.com
Friday, September 30, 2005 11:00:46 AM


For some unknown reason the Grapevine came to minds today....I told my wife how my mother and I visited there in the late 30s and early 40s and I recall a vivacious woman who was a long-time friend of mother by the name of Laura McLarty. I can still see her...Leonard's wife. Your site is a wonderful find. We drove the Ridge Route in a 1937 Studebaker Dictator.

John Graham - j_graham@grahamcomm.com
Monday, September 19, 2005 3:40:28 PM


Please note that the Old Ridge Route is officially closed on the Forest Service portion of the roadway. We are having problems with people ignoring the closure. This is an extreme safety hazard as the roadway is impassable in places and the utility companies are beginning their permanent fixes to their damaged utilities in the area. There is large construction equipment in the area and it is VERY DANGEROUS (as well as illegal) for the public to be in the area. Fines are up to $5000 and up to 6 months in jail for violating the closure. We are hoping that the permanent fixes to the utilities can be done in the next few months, then we can begin repairs on the historic roadway. We do have funds slated for this repair, and anticipate the majority of the roadway repair work to commence in 2006. We appreciate the public's cooperation during this time. CID H. MORGAN District Ranger Santa Clara/Mojave Rivers RD

Cid Morgan - chmorgan@fs.fed.us
Friday, August 26, 2005 5:00:53 PM


I am hoping this old road can & will be fixed somehow. I also have seen portions of this road high up on the ridge when driving I5, but never knew if it was accessible until I saw the documentary on PBS this year. Now I want to travel it.

Gary McJimsey - glm@theworks.com
Friday, August 26, 2005 11:07:36 AM


I missed the documentary but I remember the road. My father Elmer Huff and his best friend Alton McGovern used to drive produce to los Angeles in the late 1930s. They would leave Visalia at about 5:30 PM in order to make the Market in Los Angeles by 3:30 AM. Maximum speed up the Grapevine was 5 miles per hour. One day my father was on the fender lifting up the hood to help cool the engine(The hood lifted from the side like a model "A" Ford) when a brand new 1940 Chevy sedan going down hill side swiped them, scattering people all over the road. My father was not hurt due to the weight of the truck. Going south from Bakersfield trucks notice the grade starting about at Greenfield and continuing up the Grapevine. I first remember the road clearly in December 1947. Our 1941 Ford pick up could not exceed 50 MPH, while the 1940 LaSalle of his friends could hit 70 MPH over the pass. I remember reading somewhere years ago that it was thought the concrete highways would last forever like the Roman roads. If the Romans had built the Ridge Route I am certain there would be little damage today. In Three Rivers Ca. there are remnates of a similiar concrete road if you know where to look. Thanks for the memories. Gary Huff formerly of Visalia.

Gary Huff - kc_huff@comcast.net
Tuesday, August 23, 2005 4:04:31 PM


This is a well done web site. Good luck for your continued success in your research. I'll think about the Ridge Route with more respect the next time I am driving over. Joanne

Joanne Cox - jcox3030@sbcglobal.net
Monday, August 15, 2005 8:40:17 AM


I love Huell Howser, and last evening the show was on the Ridge Route. My Grandparents managed the old Sandburg Ranch when I was a young girl! The apple orchards were still there a few years ago, along with the original house. I was able to tour it with my kids...when I was there, Gramma cooked on a wood stove, had oil lamps, the fireplace heated the house...and a great root cellar. I used to run up and down the steps of the Tumble Inn. Gramma used to visit, pickup mail, deliver eggs, fruits and veggies to her friends there. I remember the 1st "RR", have a couple pix with my Mother and Stepfather. We rode the old RR occasionaly. I also remember riding in Grampa KD's old stake truck, hauling cattle to and from the L.A. Stock Yards in downtown Los Angeles. We travelel the 2nd "RR", the 3 lanes w/suicide lane. When my mother rode with us, even as a child, I remember her foot was always on the brake so to speak, and she would be sucking wind. I also rode those hills with him, looking for stray cattle, as well as the Tejon Ranch. Later, Gramma and Grampa KD moved into Gorman, managed the little old motel, she was hostess at the old restraunt, and KD drove ambulance, worked with the Sherrif, in fact I think he was a Deputy. I knew Mr Ralph, his kids, cousins, etc. I also went to the one room school house on the east side of I-5 (old 99) for a short time. I really loved that, as the cattle and horses wandered about outside. Gloria, and I can't remember the other girls name (both neices' of Mr Ralph), we also used to climb the hill behind the old hotel...boy was that a days job for us youngins' Lebec...once in awhile we would go to Lebec, the old hotel there and watch a movie! Nothing but fond memories!

Pat Mefferd - pedigree@cwnet.comTT
Monday, June 13, 2005 6:03:12 PM


I've been over RR several times starting with the 3 lane "99" in the early '40s and later the 4 lane version. By the time I started driving it, it was I-5. Everytime Dad drove it he would tell the stories of driving the original Grapevine in a Model T. It sounded really exciting. I guess that part of the RR is gone for good.

Jim Allen - stray.cat@earthlink.net
Friday, June 03, 2005 8:04:07 PM


Saw Huell Howser's program on Ridge Route recently & found it very interesting. I had not idea of this road from the early 1900's still existed. However, when the recent damage is repaired, my husband and I will make that trip. If it wasn't for PBS & Huell Howser's program, we would not have known about this important part of our California history. And thank you for trying to improve & maintain it.

Mary Feryan, Visalia - marymax3@yahoo.com
Friday, June 03, 2005 1:35:26 PM


I can't wait to travel that old road. Let's get the powers to be on the right road along with us and get it fixed. Thanx, Ric

Ric Potter - ricnbobi@sbcglobal.net
Friday, June 03, 2005 12:38:59 PM


I saw your road on Huell Howsers Road Trip on PBS on June 2nd 2005. Too bad someone couldn't build a rest spot at the midway point on the road for people. Even if it didn't have any electricity. How long is the road all together, or is it only 20 miles? My wife and I live in Visalia, CA. And can it be used as an alternate route to go from Bakersfield to L.A. without getting caught up in all the gridlock when they are working on the newest state road?

Jack Gerow Visalia,CA - DivineEyes377@aol.com
Friday, June 03, 2005 1:44:04 AM


I just saw the show with Ol' Mr Howser. It aired on 2 June 05. I have seen parts of the old road up high on the ridge. I never figured out how to get to it. It's a bummer that the road washed out. Hopefully the Angeles Crest Nat'l Forest and the County will stop bickering about who owns the road and fix it. Hey, if neither one wants to take ownership of it, I will. Then, there are ways to raise money to fix the road and make it safe for all to enjoy. It's a State and National Treasure, the first mountain road of it's kind in America.

Jim in Orosi california -
Friday, June 03, 2005 1:30:52 AM


Saw you guys on California Gold here in Fresno last night on PBS. June 2,05. While I never travelled over your road it was still very interesting. I have gone over the old Pacheo Road on the way to Gilroy, when I was a kid. Scary times. I am thinking of going over your route. Thank You

john Bermuded - john-bermuded@yahoo.com
Thursday, June 02, 2005 11:20:21 PM


Saw the show on Valley public TV tonight and wanted to travel the road. Hope it gets repaired. Have driven down I-5 many times(and 99 when I was a kid) but this road looks like the one to travel on for me.

Steve Weiler - stevweil@aol.com
Thursday, June 02, 2005 10:30:40 PM


I really enjoyed the program on the Ridge Route. It brought back the stories my Dad would tell of driving truck during the thirties when he hauled eggs over the Ridge Route from Fresno to L.A.

Kathy Schmall - eatraisins @ hotmail.com
Thursday, June 02, 2005 9:30:49 PM


Hello I came across your web page as i was looking for info on the Los Padres mine, My dad worked that mine in the 1980s. I know of the kelly ranch aka silver creek later owned by Frank Knapp. Would love to talk to people who know of it.

J Mendenhall - williams311@sbcglobal.net
Thursday, May 19, 2005 7:32:58 PM


I have been traveling 99 since I was an infant in the back seat of my parent's 50 Buick regularly transiting LA to Modesto. All back in the days of the burlap water bag strapped to the hood, picnic lunch at the old Garces Circle in Bakersfield, and looking out the window for the familiar landmarks - natural and human created, that helped me track the miles and the time remaining. I did also drive the old Ridge Route about 20 years ago just to have a better understanding of what came before those days. Thank you for capturing some of those places and times!

Michael Guerin - mguerin@csupomona.edu
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 11:37:59 AM


I saw Huell Howser's show of the old ridge route on KVIE channel 6 (Sacramento). I immediately visited your web site after the program. I loved the show, and love the web site with all the old photo's. I will make it a point to drive the route next time we visit southern California!

Mark van der Mik - sqk7700@sacbeemail.com
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 9:42:42 PM


Viewed Huell Howser's program on Monday's program and I didn't know that there was an older version than "old 99". I was born in 1935 in Bakersfield. We had family in San Diego and were traveling there a couple of times a year. I can remember that it took all day and possibly 2 to get there. But the Ridge Route!! Most of all I can remember my Dad setting the throttle and standing on the running board, driving. In those days we didn't have any potty stops, either. Great memories. (I still call it the "Ridge Route".)

Mary Jefferson - lpmaryj@yahoo.com
Wednesday, April 06, 2005 9:29:39 AM


THanx for the memories. My Father, Justin W. Cheshire, was a motorcycle officer back in the thirties, and rode the RidgeRoute quite often. The Heull Howser story on KCET was a great tour. I am looking forward to getting the book and a tape of that program. I was saddened to see the damage caused by the rain this January. Ron C. =========================

J.R. "Ron" Cheshire - DrPepper@Dr-Pepper.net
Monday, April 04, 2005 9:55:25 AM


I just saw the Huell Howser show on KCOP last night & cant wait to tour this historic road. I have lived in southern California all my life & its the first time I see this or hear about this road. Its a shame its currently closed due to the damage from the record rainfall, but hopefully they re-open the road soon.

Oscar Jimenez - ozcar28@sbcglobal.net
Monday, April 04, 2005 9:47:17 AM


I have lived in Southern California all my and have heard about the old ridge route. I did not know that the road still exsisted until I watched Huell Howser. Pieces of history such as this needs to be preserved for all to enjoy.

Mike Pierce - capnball@intergate.com
Monday, April 04, 2005 9:16:03 AM


Saw the show this evening it brought back many memories. Seeing Charlie Dodge was realy something. When was this Show Taped? In December 1940 my Brother and I had a car accident going down last grade to valley floor, He passed away in 2004 at 84. I have driven this route from the three lane to present and it good to hear about it's History

Ben Millar - millar@usa.com
Sunday, April 03, 2005 11:50:45 PM


Hi. I saw the show on Tv and loved it. I hope the road gets repaired for all to see and use in the future. I look forward to a tour as soon as the repairs are done. Keep up the good work. Thanks, Chris.

Chris Nielsen - commercialstunts@yahoo.com
Sunday, April 03, 2005 10:46:54 PM


Thanks for the memories! Saw the Huell Howser show tonight (4/3/2005) thus it led me to this site. I can recall vividly Dad and I coming over the old ridge route in his '39 Ford. He had a cracked block and we would pour liquid solder in the radiator (I guess) at the bottom of each hill. To young then to know how long it took

Tom O'Loughln - balboatom@adelphia.net
Sunday, April 03, 2005 9:05:07 PM


Just got done watching Huell Howser's replay of Ridge Route. I followed along with it on your web site. My father was a truck driver way back when and as a child I remember the photos would come out whenever cousins would visit and among them were pictures of the drive to Bakersfield. If I can locate the pictures, I'll copy them and send to the museum. Looking forward to taking the tour of the old road. Thanks for preserving some of California's great history.

Harry Almada - offroadrider77@aol.com
Sunday, April 03, 2005 9:02:30 PM


I've only known the CA 99 Ridge Route since the mid-1950s, when I was born, and later, I-5. I was glad to have come across this website which indicates it is still there. Would be fun investigating someday, although a bit far since I'm now in OR. I recall seeing certain rocks that would be painted with different graffiti that were visible on the southbound route of 99. In particular was "Name Rock", where people would put their names. I don't remember exactly where this was located, though.

Brian Lee - bclee.at.peak.org
Sunday, November 28, 2004 12:18:11 AM


Thank you for giving up your Saturday, 11/20/04, to lead the Ridge Route Tour. The four of us will never forget the time & information you shared at each stop. Your book is great but nothing beats an on site look. Our wives want to take a tour next spring when the flowers are in bloom, and we will bring an extra jacket for you in case it gets cold at Lebec.

Frank Lortscher - blackgoldfrank@earthlink.net
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 10:35:22 AM


We, the "A" pick up and I, had a great time on your tour Nov. 20. Good weather ('till the end), good company, and a great presentation. Thank you.

Bill Power - bi890@lafn.org
Sunday, November 21, 2004 8:49:10 PM


Great Site...I live in the SC and fequently use the Ridge Route and Resevoir rd to fish Pyramid Lake.. I know I'm giving away a little secret spot .. but if you don't mind the bumpy trip it's a pretty cool trip down to it...Jeff

Jeff - Stingrayz@earthlink.net
Thursday, November 11, 2004 4:51:56 PM


Having just seen the Road Trip by Huell, it will be a trip I wish to take on my own road trip to marvell at the scenic views available. Huell once again has bought a piece of Californian history to this Australian who wishes to expore more of what this states history has to offer. Well done to the committee to bring this history into print that could have been easily have been lost.

Michael Thomas - michaelthomas@nethere.com
Monday, September 27, 2004 7:47:28 AM


Great blog. Huell did a great piece on the Ridgeroute. Keep up the great work Scotty.

Tom -
Friday, September 24, 2004 2:36:58 PM


Huell's show was great!

Ray Ruppel - rlruppel@hotmail.com
Monday, July 12, 2004 2:15:40 PM


My wife and I like to wander around and we stumbled upon this road a couple of weeks ago. We had no idea where we were and where it would lead us. We figured it was probably the road that existed before the 5 was put in but could not understand why it was so far above the 5 in most places. We wish now we would have seen the Huell Howser show previous to going up there. We will now have to plan a future trip when the weather cools down and do some exploring. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cecere

Joe - jsesere@yahoo.com
Monday, July 12, 2004 12:36:52 PM


I enjoyed reading the story of the old ridge route. I have often looked at the remnants of the Grapevine section visible from I-5 and wished I could drive some of it. Now I will. In the summer of 1963 I drove an old (1939 International) hay truck around Shafter. I was complaining one day about the heat from the engine pouring into the cab, when an old trucker told me about how it was driving the ridge route before 1920 in a Packard truck with solid rubber tires. He said that often times while climbing laboriously uphill in low gear, he would set the throttle control (on the steering wheel in those days) and get out of the hot cab, reaching in through the door to steer.

Bruce Thompson - b.wt@verizon.net
Sunday, July 11, 2004 10:36:05 PM


What a great website. I drove the road 25 years ago and was amazed at the good condition. I will do it again this summer. Let me know how I can help continue it's heritage.

Paul Moshay - pmoshay2002@yahoo.com
Sunday, July 11, 2004 10:12:48 PM


Very interesting, My Wife and Me are planing a trip over the old route

Curtis F. Clark - cfclark81@aol.com
Sunday, July 11, 2004 8:24:09 PM


My husband and I live in California and have most of our lives - it was great to see the show on this area and we plan to visit it soon. Thank you.

Patti James - ajasgma@verizon.net
Sunday, July 11, 2004 7:19:53 PM


travelled the Ridge Route yesterday, was a great experience. they dont make roads like that anymore, for some of you concerned about road conditions, I made it with ease in a 27' motorhome. road was totally wide enough for passing traffic (not that there was any) didnt see another sole the whole way. was a very peaceful and educational day. if it wasent for this site, I may never have had this experience. THNXS

Robert - Ram1692000@yahoo.com
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 4:38:40 PM


Greetings from England Thanks for the opportunity of see-ing and reading about this fascinating piece of American History. It is definately on my list to visit next time I am Stateside. Preserve and cherish it all, it is irreplaceable and it also belongs to future generations. best regards Geoff Hope

Geoff Hope - geoffhope@yiscali.co.uk
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 8:17:45 AM


Hi, Love this site. My daughter just told me about it last night. I just spent some time sitting by that water tower. you see My Husband, Ronald James Rogers inherited that land that Cornelia Callahan owned from His Father, Charles James Frank Rogers. Cornelia was my husbands Great Aunt, maybe great, great. I have lots of pictures and documentation on the ridge route and her proterty. I even have the original Homestead Papers on Cornelia's property. I went to the ridge route just last weekend to do some reminiscing, but to my surprise, it is soon to be destroyed by a land developer. Soon it will be just track homes. 4000 I was told. I tried to talk with a Real Estate Man there, but he had no idea who Cornelia Callahan was. I was glad to hear the Cordova's are still there. Grazing their cattle, like they did in the seventies when My husband and I spent time on the land. I suggest anyone that wants to see it in its original splendor, go now. It will soon be plowed over in parts near that water tower. Also if anyone out there can tell me what happened to Martin and Mildred DeCeta. I would appreciate it. I know they passed a long time ago but would like to know their burial location if possible.

Eva Rogers - eva.rogers2@verizon.net
Thursday, May 27, 2004 6:27:11 PM


There with my father as a child - rode it again on my Harley in the 70's. Thanks for the memories - Great Site ~

Michael P Dooley - deuceandahalf99@yahoo.com
Thursday, May 27, 2004 12:31:41 AM


I have been going over the pass to Los Angeles for over 50 years and it is GREAT to see some of the old sites. Thank you for putting them on line so everyone can enjoy. There are quite a few of old memories every time I travel hiway 5 route south and north. Thank you for the memories Rooster Sadler

Rooster Sadler - roostersaler@aol.com
Friday, March 26, 2004 9:09:07 AM


When I was at San Fernando High School in1950 I went to visit Cornelia Martinez Callahan with my two cousins. My uncle is related to her and told us where she lived. As I recall, the building was one or two rooms and had a dirt floor. She sat on her bed ( a cot, I think ), dressed in black, but was not very communicative. I was 15 and quite amazed. A friend would bring food and supplies for her every few days, from Castaic. As a matter of fact, I found this web site by entering the words "cornelia ridge route" in the Google search engine just today.

Curtis Plumb - curtisplumb@adelphia.net
Tuesday, March 23, 2004 10:25:44 PM


Very interesting and informative web site. I toured the area seeking features of the San Andreas Fault Zone. While access and features can be viewed from I-5, the Ridge Route offers the best, unaltered, or should I say, the best physical unaltered, natural views of the fault. The San Andreas Fault Zone is best viewed along the Ridge Route from Quail Lake to Frazier Park. Good web site. Well done! Peter Terrill, Brisbane, Australia.

Peter Terrill - emu@dr.com
Wednesday, March 10, 2004 7:29:12 PM


After a year and a half in California, I finally found and drove the old Ridge Route! It was on a rainy Sunday afternoon and it was a thrill! The mud and the fog really made it a surreal experience and took me back to the 'old days' of this road. I'm looking forward to going back some sunny day now for a little exploring!

Dale Houston - songman@bak.rr.com
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 11:48:39 PM


TOOK A RIDE ON THE ROUTE ON MY HARLEY. NICE RIDE.

ACOSTA - MANHUNTER@EXCITE.COM
Wednesday, January 07, 2004 10:24:33 PM


The Ridge Route is worth the trip to see it, there are also a lot of Forest Service Dirt roads to explore if you have a 4x4 vehicle. And afterwards you can head over to Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation area in Gormon. I only wish I had a chance to travel the raod when the old gas stations and the old inns were still there. In fact I I would have preferred to live back in that generation. It seems like the quality of life would have been much better. No gangs, Less Crime, People were friendlier, people stayed married..etc. I'm really into OLD ROADS, OLD BUILDINGS..Ghost Towns...etc. I found this cool website www.roadsideamerica.com that lists cool stuff like those buildings they used to have back in the 50's in the shape of a GIANT ORANGE along highway 99.

JeepTracks -
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 3:52:06 PM


I got a chance to travel the road. it was great.


Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:28:56 AM


Your web-site is memory trip for me. My first trip over THE Ridge Route was in 1932 (I was just 2) in a 1927 or 28 Studebaker. My folks were making our first trip to Yosemite that summer. For many summers after that we went to the High Sierras, even through out WWII. The NEW road was 99. One my most persistent memories is that I always got car sick! We'd leave very early in the morning from home in South Gate and get up into the mountains sometime late in the afternoon. Thanks for the memories. Is there any way I could get a copy of the TV show?

Ophelia Pujol - opujol@aol.com
Sunday, October 05, 2003 4:44:54 PM


What a treat, we traveled the "Old Ridge Route" in our 1928 Model A, last week, Sep 26, 2003. We had a group of 10 Model A's and had a great time with no problems, we made several stops to look and awe at the sites. Those Model A's were built for that road and the 15 mph speed limit was probably about right.

Max & Nadine Howard - HowardMxN@juno.com
Tuesday, September 30, 2003 5:11:41 PM


Wow!!! What an awesome site!! I'm so fascinated about how "Old" California was like before the freeways and traffic. I plan on driving the Ridge Route very soon to see what it was like for our Grandparents and Great Grandparents getting into Southern California without Route 99 or I5. Thanks so much for an incredible website

Jose Gonzalez - djlatnhouse@yahoo.com
Thursday, September 18, 2003 10:40:40 PM


Really enjoyed Huell's show on "The Ridge Route". I'm making plans now to take a little trip ourselves along the ol' road. Perhaps this season in a convertable car. Thanks to everyone who make this web site possible. Very informative. Happy Trails Ya'll!

Mike & Vicki Frantz - Hibiscus@socal.rr.com
Thursday, September 18, 2003 10:20:37 PM


Way back when (50's) was able to get on part of the road but scared off by potholes, washouts etc. It is so great to see preservation,restoration etc.going on now. It makes you feel good that this is still going on even with those goliath developments being built at either end.

Bob Adams - adams6380@sbcglobal.net
Friday, September 05, 2003 12:56:11 AM


I've loved the 'Ol Ridge ever since I was introduced to it back in '77 on a bike ride (bicycle). Have ridden it at least once a year ever since until moving to South Carolina in 2001. I'm so glad to hear you got at least the upper part on the National Register, and just in time too, as I hear the devolopers have started moving in with their buldozers to tear it all up. At least part of it will be protected.

Chris Zacho - ChrisZCorner@webtv.net
Wednesday, September 03, 2003 6:25:52 PM


Keep up the GREAT work 99 was the west coast 66 and should get the same respect Gosh aint I-5 boring :)

Rick - rickcaller@yahoo.com
Wednesday, September 03, 2003 12:13:30 AM


I remember crossing in an old plymouth with canvas water bags as everybody always overheated going over the Ridge Route. Was there an old restaurant at the bottom with a large gorilla or large horse statue? I seem to remember looking forward to seeing that. Perhaps it was further over on 58 coming down from Tehachapi?

Diana Watkins - datawoman@hotmail.com
Thursday, August 28, 2003 11:13:31 AM


I travelled the Ridge Route as a child in the '50's going back and forth from Orange County to Manteca. I remember the hairpin turns...and the Big Orange stands with their hamburgers and cold shakes. Your site is marvelous and a trip back in time for me. I just ordered your book and can't wait to read it. This time of year, summer, I always get road fever to take a trip up through the Tejon Ranch and see the sites. It's all changing - too damn fast. Keep up the excellent work and safe journeys.

Brenda -
Saturday, July 19, 2003 11:54:24 PM


Hi, Very interesting website. I grew up in Kern County. Traveled the 'Ridge Route' many many times in the 50's and after. Good to learn the history and stories of those early years of this famous route. Now, a resident of San Diego(hello Chuck), I visit the 'valley' often via I-5. Hope to travel the first route in the future. John Spurrier .

John Spurrrier - spurrjls@earthlink.net
Monday, July 14, 2003 10:11:47 AM


Boy,That Huel sure is a popular guy.Hehehe We love his show and as always he's provided us with an opportunity to experience a part of California's history that wont cost us a fortune to see.We plan to make the Ridge Route treck this weekend and will write about our experience when we return.This web site is very informative and we look forward to adding our part to it soon. Thank you, Brian and Shelley Baker P.S. Were in our young 30's.You dont have to be "Old" to watch PBS :-)

Brian Baker - sp0iler2u@yahoo.com
Wednesday, July 09, 2003 5:32:05 PM


Just made the Ridge Route trip on 5 July 2003 on my K1200LT BMW. What a trip! And, what a view of the country side - nothing like you would see on I-5! The road does need work in some places, but is passable for most cars. You low riders stay clear of this road - you'll lose your mufflers for sure! I only saw three cars on my trip. There are markers at key points on the road side but nothing on them telling you about where or what you are looking at. I will get the book on the RR and take it with me next time I make the trip. Be sure to take your time while on the route; speed is not possible. Enjoy the view and have a great trip! Cheers, Rick

Rick Remelin - pilotrem@comcast.net
Tuesday, July 08, 2003 6:40:59 PM


I just want to give a BIG THANK YOU to Huell Houser and all the Ridge Route Group that were responsible for doing the May Segment about the Old Ridge Route. We were able to see the tape today as a friend purchased it for my mother who is 99 years young. She drove the Ridge Route numerous times in 1925 and 1926 in her Model T as she went back and forth to UCLA from her hometown of Lindsay , California. The movie brought back so many memories for my mom as she had been to all the places talked about in the movie and she could think about how it was in the "Old Days" When I went to school in the early 50's I drove the 99 or the second RidgeRoute. I was stuck up there many times due to car trouble or road situations, so my memories are of many nice people I met during the years I drove the 99 from Burbank to Fresno. My mother doesn't miss a Huell Houser Program , in fact as I am typing she is watching tonight's program!! I want to thank Huell for the wonderful programs that are very informative and bring much enjoyment to my mother, who at 99 is pretty much confined to home. The programs bring her information and much happiness. I guess when she is 100, we will have to ask Huell to come do an interview!!! Thanks again for the wonderful programs you bring to the homes of California residents. As Ever, Marcia Myers Fox

Marcia Myers Fox - myersfox517@earthlink.net
Sunday, July 06, 2003 7:37:27 PM


Such a great program and so informative! As a native Californian(Orange County) I've traveled North often, never realizing what history there is even on the roads we drive. Thank you so much.

Lupe Bermeo - aurio@msn.com
Thursday, July 03, 2003 2:47:09 PM


I finally went to the old ridge route this Tuesday,Only saw one other vechicle.I was surprised how good the road was. I noticed that somebody is installing stone markers ,along the route that will be nice.It was warm ,not much shade to sit under untill I passed Tumble Inn.

doug goens - gogogoens@aol.com
Tuesday, July 01, 2003 10:16:47 PM


As I was surfting channel to channel I happen to stop at KOCE yesterday on Huell Howser's story of the Ridge Route I find it so intersting that I will go there and visits the Old Ridge Route first hands.....I travel the 5 freeway so much I didn't even know the Old Ridge Route was there. Hopefully that the State will put up some sign pointing to the Old Ridge Route for people to see....

David Nguyen - disney91david@netscape.net
Monday, June 30, 2003 12:16:25 PM


I used to live on Old Ridge Route Road. We had a nice size Ranch up there on top of the mountain. I remember the winter we got snowed in and had to use a snow mobile to get food up to our house as you could not get past a certain point on the road. We had some great times up there and great hikes all over those mountains. It's a great place to take your mind off all your troubles and get away from the big city. Get the family together, pack a nice picnic lunch and head on up to Old Ridge Route Road.

DonnieAnn -
Monday, June 30, 2003 9:37:18 AM


My parents courted and amrried on a 1947 Indian motorcycle. Their desciption of going picnicing on "the OLD" ridge route leads me to believe they were talking about the first ridge route rather than old 99. After seeing Huell Howser"s program I intend to see this route first-hand thank you for keeping this part of old california alive.

Wynn Musser - whd@ridgenet.net
Sunday, June 29, 2003 9:23:38 PM


I was passing through the PBS station and saw Huell Howser. Naturally I stopped to see what his show was about and was hooked for the next hour! Fascinating show on a real part of California that made our state what it is today. My recollections of the "grapevine" is pulling the grades out of Castaic Junction on the old 99. I will never forget the truckers who rode the side steps down the hills with the cab doors open so they could jump if the trucks got to be a runaway. Then there was the fog. One night in our 56 VW bug my dad was driving in the slow lane and from the back seat I asked my dad what those lights were up in the fog. He slammed on the brakes as hard as he could when he realized that it was the back of a semi trailer I was looking at. So much history has been lost by the demolition of the old buildings. If the hippies didn't ruin them, the brush fires would have eventually taken them. It is a fun road, and now I want to take my girl friend for a drive with a picnic lunch and remember the times when my grandparents came over the hill to Bakersfield on the Ridge Route. Great website is an understatement!

Christopher Boles - alfadoctor@yahoo.com
Monday, June 23, 2003 1:25:01 AM


Thanks to "Road Trip" last weekend, we enjoyed our drive on the Old Ridge Route yesterday(along with other curiouse travelers). Being an Indiana transplant and my mother here for a visit, it was a wonderfull California history lesson. Bravo to the prservation efforts. We followed the map and watched for the sites of the gallery pitures of today.Again, BRAVO.

Ida Ann - ida_ann10@yahoo.com
Sunday, June 22, 2003 2:42:20 PM


I was fascinated by Huell Howser's story of the Ridge Route and had always wondered if it had truly existed...now I know! In 1958 when I was 12, my parents and I drove to San Francisco from Los Angeles and got caught in a sandstorm on the "Ridge Route", as they had called it. However, as I perused the comments just now from the Guest Book, there apparently was a two lane "Ridge Route" going each way (which is what I remember)...Thanks again, Huell, for your supurb shows...I enjoy them all...they are "amazing".

Lora - Guinevere235@aol.com
Saturday, June 21, 2003 10:43:43 PM


I discovered this site through Huell Howser's California's Gold. I previously knew about this road, having traveled in on the south side from Lake Castaic in the late 1980's and from the North sometime in the mid 1990's. I was on a street motorcycle both times and never believed that the road still went through, so as the road got rougher and rougher, I chickened out and eventually turned around. However, if I was able to get through those times, I would have never known at that time about the history of the old roadside establishments that used to exist. This is exactly the type of nostaglia that I search for when I travel through California. I'll have to get the book!

David Roberts - robertsdavid@yahoo.com
Saturday, June 21, 2003 9:48:23 PM


In 1988 my wife and I decided to try a trip on the "Old Ridge Route" after having read a story in "Westways Magazine". About halfway along the road we stopped to remove a small rock from the tire, as I was sraighting up from this little chore, I looked up the road to see a "Model T" touring car waiting for me to get out of his way, it wouldn't have been so bad, but they were in costume as well, I swear I heard the theme from "Twilight Zone" playing. We very much enjoyed the trip, and after seeing the show by Huell, we will be making the trip again, not however in the 88 T-Bird.

Ken Davis - Fdavis2564@aol.com
Saturday, June 21, 2003 9:44:06 PM


I drove it for about the fourth time June 20. The plant life up there is gorgeous. I first drove it about 1999, and the road was in bad shape. Now it's easily good enough for a passenger car - if you take the gravel very slow and steer around sharp rocks. Lake Hughes road is a good place to catch it. Pine canyon road east is also a very nice forest drive. From that you can catch Lake Hughes road or San Francisquito road back to I5. San Francisquito road has a lot of color, due to the regrowth after the fire. And of course there is the St. Francis dam.

Tom - 104073.3433@compuserve.com
Saturday, June 21, 2003 9:15:52 PM


Thanks Huell Howser for showing me yet another amazing piece of California history. I love to drive and I cannot wait to take my truck out to the Ridgeroute and take an ultra slow drive in the Tehachapis. I have lived in California most of my life and this is the first time I ever heard of the Ridgeroute! Congratulations to all who are helping preserve this great road! And this website is excellent!! Especially the before and after pictures.

Ambrose Smith - ambrssmth@aol.com
Friday, June 20, 2003 9:15:38 PM


My grandfather made a living trucking groceries on the Ridge Route and actually met an unfortunate death doing so in 1933. Thanks to all for helping me share a fascinating part of his life.

Marrk - marrk@earthlink.net
Wednesday, June 18, 2003 4:13:02 PM


Sounds like most viewers are confussed with the old 2 lane each direction highway 99, which for the most part is west of I-5, which we all drove back in the '60's and before. And the original single lane in each direction ridge route, east of I-5. Just like the old Tehachapi highway 58, single lane back in the '60's. Wow, it's a piece of cake now-a-days. Or highway 178 to Lake Isabella. They all have came a long way this last century.

Lorin Owens - happybla@yahoo.com
Tuesday, June 17, 2003 8:20:01 PM


I,ve been a truck driver for about 35 years now, when I started out, I "cut my teeth" on the grtapevine hill, in those days a lot of the old drivers where still around and I would hear all their stories of "the good old days!", they said they went so slow up ( and down ) the hill, that they could look down and see coyotes "hiking" their legs on the wheels!!. in the 70,s I hauled bricks from the castic brick plant, and allways wanted to keep driving to see where the road went, I pull the " hill" 5 or 6 times a week now, and after watching pbs the other day, I guess it,s time for me to get up off my " bumper " and go check it out!. have fun.. " slow roll " said it.

bruce gregg - ttdb711@aol.com
Tuesday, June 17, 2003 8:25:59 AM


By chance, I saw the TV show on the road and will be comming up from San Diego in July to drive it and hopefully to camp along side the road along a pull off in the back of my pickup truck. It should be a lot of fun.

Doug - watchit@lawyer.com
Monday, June 16, 2003 8:06:17 PM


Back in the late summer of 2001, I was a contractor working at the National Cement plant on highway 138. I was living up in Frazier Park. Every day I'd pass the sign 'Ridge Route'. After working far to many months of 10 hour days 7 days a week, I drove my 1991 Toyota Tercel down to Templin Highway and found a road and a sign "Not a through road". So I drove it. WOW! It came out on highway 138 right where I passed by every day. I told everyone about the cement road and curbs. Described the view. Found the ruins of Tumble Inn. Then Sunday June 15th, while visiting friend, I saw 'The Ridge Route' and your web site. Thanks. Now people believe my story. You can really see the history, in the road, in the hills, and why it is the 'Ridge' not the 'valley' or 'easy' or 'straight' Route. I rode the ridge.

Lorin Owens - happybla@yahoo.com
Monday, June 16, 2003 7:30:22 PM


I hitched a ride on a log hauling diesel truck in 1949 on highway 99 and while chugging up the grapevine our exhust pipe turned cherry red and started logs to burn but instead of stopping and losing our top speed of 15mph the trucker held me by the seat of my pants while i stood on the running board and using a pump type fire extinguisher put out the fire Leonard Standish, Cabazon,Ca.

leonard standish - cabazon@pe.net
Monday, June 16, 2003 6:42:41 PM


What a great program - loved every minite of it. My wife and I drove the ridge route many years ago in our 1926 Model T Ford Roadster Pickup which we still have today. Thanks for the great Program - Gert

Gert and Joyce Gehlhaar - gehlhaar@sbceo.org
Monday, June 16, 2003 3:56:30 PM


OH BOY!! WOW!! Great program. I think most all of us natives have heard our parents and grandparents talking about the ridgeroute and it is still there for us all to explore and enjoy.

Phillip Sandoz - plms44@msn.com
Monday, June 16, 2003 2:49:52 PM


I have always enjoyed Huell since hearing him originally on the Ken Minyard Saturday Special on KABC. I am going to seek out this fabulous route as soon as I can. I am expecting a traffic jamp from the amount of feedback on this great site. Keep up the good work.

Joan Trossen - joni@askjoni.com
Monday, June 16, 2003 2:36:32 PM


We really enjoyed Huell Howser's TV program last evening.Thanks to all the people who helped preserve this part of CA history. My uncle used to tell me about coming to Ca in the Twenties via the old Ridge Road. He said it took two days from Bakersfield to LA-Now I know why! We sure have it easy nowadays,but on I5 we surely can't collect such beauty or memories! Thanks again

Heinz Barthel - hetobar@earthlink.net
Monday, June 16, 2003 2:12:02 PM


Enjoyed this web site very much! Found it to be very interesting & enlightening.I plan to drive the old ridge route very soon, starting out from La Verne,CA. Sincerely, Keith Irwin

KEITH IRWIN - KIRWIN99@TSTONRAMP.COM
Monday, June 16, 2003 11:06:39 AM


I turned on the TV about 5 minutes before Huell Howser signed off the Ridge Route program. Talk about frustrating! I'm planning on taking this drive when the summer heat cools down. Thanks for your wonderful programs, Huell.

Judy - akwmn89@hotmail.com
Monday, June 16, 2003 10:34:35 AM


Like many others, it seems, I discovered this site (and the Ridge Route) by watching Huell Howser tonight. While all his shows are interesting, I think this is by far the best so far. I only wish I had heard about it while I could still drive! Thanks to those who maintain this site, and those who share their experiences from driving it.

Bob Owen - owen.bob@earthlink.net
Monday, June 16, 2003 2:00:53 AM


Very great show by Huell Howzer on PBS today, esp. note about how state of Cal sent highway engineers to the Alps in 1915 to see how the Europeans built their mountain roads. I'm down in Oxnard but plan to travel the RR soon in my little turbo Merc Capri if she doesn't overheat. About midway through the route 15 miles to the west is Piru condor refuge, take binoculars and maybe you can see a few from the road.

Bill Oswald - Philkfi@worldnet.att.net
Sunday, June 15, 2003 10:47:56 PM


I really enjoyed your PBS show of the Ridge Road! I also see you're a non profit organization who is looking for funds - to maintain and improve the road. Call me and I'll show you how to setup an online golf game that'll provide you the residual money you need. Again, great show - Thank You! David Lundgren www.hbn.com/mvp www.hbn.com/freegolf ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ David Lundgren, CEO, HBN.COM | DIGITALSECRETS.COM Specializing in "Virtual Database Systems" that help YOU digitally organize your business and automate your follow-up so you can expand your business and get more customers! 1. Free - Digital Marketing - Book ===> www.hbn.com 2. Free Test Drive - Online Business ===> www.hbn.com/david/ 3. Free Demo - Automatic Marketing ===> www.digitalsecrets.com USA/Canada 1-800-214-9212 | International (805) 383-0071 david@hbn.com | ICQ: 137713460 | Now in 108 Countries! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

David Lundgren - david@hbn.com
Sunday, June 15, 2003 10:44:53 PM


We just watched the PBS program with Huell Howser. What a great piece of California history! We are going to plan a weekend "retreat" around making this drive.

John & Terry Burkhart - bajapilot@earthlink.net
Sunday, June 15, 2003 10:26:20 PM


If the nation had listened to the hippies, the Ridge Route would have been dismantled and the land returned to the chipmunks.

John McCleary - hippiedictionary@attbi.com
Sunday, June 15, 2003 9:57:59 PM


I just moved to Bakersfield from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I love the PBS show that Huell hosts. The show on the Ridgeroute is his best one yet. I will definitely be traveling this beautiful trip both north and south. Keep up the great work Huell and thank you to the people who have worked so hard to preserve this scenic route.

Patrick Frase - patfrase@neteze.com
Sunday, June 15, 2003 9:25:03 PM


I was Born in 1935 and my grandparents lived in L.A. and many relatives in Bakersfield. I remember traveling this route at least 3 times between 1941 and 1944, in an old 1933 model car. I am a visual learner and even at that young age it was the most beautiful scenery I had seen to that time. I did have the advantage of not driving. By the way we also had numerous breakdowns.

Rawland M. Pannell - rawlandpannellsplace@msn.com
Sunday, June 15, 2003 8:51:55 PM


Finding the beginning of the ridge route is easy if you check the Thomas Bros. Los Angeles County map book. If you exit at Templin Highway and turn left undere I-5 it will take you to the 2d incarnation of the Grapevine and dead ends just before you get to the dam which forms Pyramid Lake. It is interesting and you can hike to the dam.

bruce - bmstark@adelphia.net
Sunday, June 15, 2003 8:45:08 PM


I heve seen parts of this road from I5 and wondered if it was part of the old road over the mountains. I'm going to drive it next fall when it is cooler. Larry

Larry G. Jones - lar2652@pacbell.net
Sunday, June 15, 2003 8:34:21 PM


turn LEFT on Old Ridge Rd

correction on last post -
Sunday, June 15, 2003 11:19:35 AM


here is a map I made that shows how to get in from the south. www.royhooper.com/OldRidgeRouteSouth.jpg Exit at Lake Hughes Rd, go east about 1/4 mile and turn right on Old Ridge Rd. Take this north about 3/4 mile to get out of the town and then it finally turns into the old road. This section as ridable on a motorcycle but later when you cross Templin Highway the road has a lot of loose sand. Smaller motorcycles can make it but still need to be careful. www.royhooper.com/OldRidgeRouteSouth.jpg

Ojai Roy- SOUTH ENTRANCE -
Sunday, June 15, 2003 11:17:46 AM


the before/after photos are great. I love this road.

Ojai Roy -
Sunday, June 15, 2003 11:01:20 AM


What a great site! A co-worker of mine forwarded me the link after watching the special on PBS w/ Huell Howser, after knowing my particular affinity for all things highway. Thanks for having an outpost about the Ridge Route -- what a spectacular part of California history!

Neill Kovrig - glickfix717@yahoo.com
Monday, June 09, 2003 7:33:48 AM


very good site, i need more of this.

mugu oma - mugu@mail.com
Saturday, June 07, 2003 4:59:15 AM


I also saw Heull's show last night .What a cool road to travel but people are right we need better directions to find where to go i would love to travel this road one day this summer on a weekend.

scott cabral - ilovetheraiders@adelphia.net
Thursday, June 05, 2003 8:30:21 PM


I also saw Heull's show last night .What a cool road to travel but people are right we need btter directions to find where to go i would love to tavel this road one day this summer on a weekend.

scott cabral - ilovetheraiders@adelphia.net
Thursday, June 05, 2003 8:29:45 PM


Just saw Huell Howser's PBS show on the ridge route last night. I lived in Canyon Country for 16 years & didn't know about it till last nights show. What a great piece of history. My dad traveled the road three times I just found out. I hope to take a drive on it soon. To bad the old buildings were destroyed.

Pam Faust - prfaust@msn.com
Thursday, June 05, 2003 7:19:45 PM


I'm glad Huell Howser featured the Ridge Route last night on KPBS. I never heard of it and I wonder how many people don't know it exist. What beautiful country. I hope I'll have the opportunity to make the drive. I agree with the senders of an email of 6/4; good directions on how to get to a starting point would help. I'm not familiar with that area. Thanks for this very nice website.

Virg - varriea@yahoo.com
Thursday, June 05, 2003 6:26:11 PM


Great production on California PBS stations. I saw it on KPBS-TV in San Diego. Very nice. A "California Must See". Thank you for the website. Chris Carmichael Oceanside 92056

Chris Carmichael - ChrisCarmichael@Yahoo.com
Thursday, June 05, 2003 5:33:20 PM


The most detailed maps of the route are available in the USGS 1:24,000 topographic series; you would need the Newhall, Warm Springs Mtn., Whitaker Peak, Liebre Mtn., and La Liebre Ranch sheets in this series. A less detailed map in the USGS 1:100,000 topographic series is the Lancaster sheet. It's not exactly clear, but it looks like there's an exit at the south end of "old ridge route" off the I5 that hooks up to the Ridge Route Rd; someone please confirm what exit to look for coming from the south.

paul - pleverenz@ucsd.edu
Thursday, June 05, 2003 11:48:02 AM


I just saw Road Trip with Huell Howser. I have driven part of the ridge route,it is one of the states best views. As a firefighter I would have liked to see more information on the old fire station just below Sandbergs. I was a residental station for LA County Forester & Fire Warden and later LA County Fire Department. I to was a big part of the ridge route. Thanks and keep up the good work on protecting the Road.

Carl K - faeeng37@aol.com
Wednesday, June 04, 2003 10:54:43 PM


As I am an avid two lane Harley Davidson rider, I will soon be traveling this dimond in the rough.

Robert Pejovich - sportyiride@cox.net
Wednesday, June 04, 2003 10:10:30 PM


We enjoyed Huell Howser's Road Trip along the Ridge Route and look forward to exploring this bit of history. This excellent web site should include, however, the directions for accessing the route that were in the TV program. Finding the route would be difficult without the information!

Lonnye & Ralph Pickels - lonnye@eudoramail.com
Wednesday, June 04, 2003 9:28:47 PM


Hi All! Just saw Huell Howser's story on the road today. It was a great glimpse into California's and L.A.'s important past. I hope to be able to ride my bike with some friends over the route before it gets too hot up there, or else in the fall. Thanks for preserving this historic route! Bill Matella

Bill Matella - bmatella@earthlink.net
Wednesday, June 04, 2003 9:19:02 PM


I just drove the Ridge Route today for the first time, at the online siggestion of another geocacher. I could not wait to get home & look up more info. What a fantastic job you have done with your Web site! Thank you so much, also, for working on getting this route listed on the National Register of Historical Places. I hope the route will always be preserved--it is simply amazing.

Gemma DoeWalking - gemmadwNOSPAM@yahoo.com
Thursday, March 20, 2003 9:23:55 PM


My sister and I had a great time, it is to bad some people had to ruin this lovely ride, I would like to see some kind of markers so I know where to look. I was driving in my modle-t down the road. thank for a great time. 3-11-2003

Lynne - raylyn123@aol.com
Tuesday, March 11, 2003 8:23:27 PM


A group of us in one car drove the old Ridge Route in 1966. We liked the ghosted Sandberg, California. I remember the curves along the hstoric highway. This was during the summer, so we cosequently had a lot of water, apple juice, orange juice and food stocked along. I remember my dad driving this route later on a pleasure trip to Gorman, Frazier Park and Bakersfield. We also drove the Golden State Highway (Old U.S. 99) when it was in operation before 1968. U.S. 99 was decommissioned and no longer exist; save California State Highway 99 in the San Joaquin Valley. Excellent site with full history, you have! Sincerly; Dave

David L. Fiorella - Spooky2626@DSLExtreme.Com
Thursday, February 27, 2003 2:12:41 PM


Ridge Route is the best historic thing i have ever saw I think that u should put more historical things about Ridge Route .

Dominique infante - SNaughtygirl13@aol.com
Wednesday, February 26, 2003 8:36:20 PM


We enjoyed your website several times and today took a road trip on part of the Ridge Route and celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. We were able to identify many of the locations described in the Ridge Route Book.We were pleasantly surprised to see how much of the original concrete paving was still usable and the extent of the Macadam paving in the widened areas. We are both civil engineers and historic roads and bridges are always a delight for us to explore, in person or via books.

S & C Walker - sc@slwalker.net
Monday, February 17, 2003 9:18:37 PM


This sight is fantastic. As a child in the 50's, I rode over the then-Ridge Route on many occasions, and it always fascinated me. I will get the book ASAP, and plan to tour the old parts of the road as well. Thank you for helping to preserve this most significant and interesting part of our area history.

Madeleine K. - mjaye@gte.net
Sunday, February 16, 2003 9:45:34 PM


I grew up in Lebec in the 60's and 70's, went to school there. Lived in Berkeley now for several years. Your pictures really are beautiful but it's nothing like seeing the snow stop the traffic and the peace and quiet is incredible. Love your site. Linked to mine at jjdelmos.freeyellow.com/ You should have a link to the Fort Tejon website.

John Jeffrey Delmos - jjdelmos@hotmail.com
Thursday, January 30, 2003 10:41:45 PM


I stumbled on to the Ridge Route while near Castaic and drove it to Gorman. My mother, now 81, would tell me of how she would join her father, Orville Skaggs, who owned a trucking business in Reedley, CA, near Fresno, on L.A. runs. The trucks would climb so slow that the drivers would set their trottles and walk beside their trucks. I wish I had found your site first and THEN drove the route. Now I guess I'll just have to go back and do it again. Jim Voelkl

Jim Voelkl - advn2rs@aol.com
Thursday, January 02, 2003 10:02:57 AM


I received your book for Christmas, and enjoyed it very much. I now understand why my Mom and her sisters hated to travel. They would frequently make trips between Taft and Long Beach to visit relatives and always looked at these trips as painful. As a history teacher, I enjoyed the book as a piece of local history. If I can work more local history into my classes, I will look to this book for references about the "Uniting" of California. Thanks Curtis Houghton

C. Houghton - choughton@bak.rr.com
Wednesday, December 25, 2002 9:09:02 PM


Thanks for the great site. My great-grandparents The Decetas lived on that road. They owned Martins and it's nice to see that they're "part" of history.. Thanks again, Jef

Jeff Selph - jselph1587@attbi.com
Friday, December 20, 2002 6:32:12 PM


As a truck driver from canada and a history freak, I can only say, "What a awsome site".The Flying J truck stop in Frazier Park has quite a few pictures on there walls on the Ridge Route,well worth the stop to see. Thanks again for the site.

george bonneteau - bonn@uniserve.com
Sunday, November 10, 2002 11:03:49 AM


What an awesome part of California history. Thanks for preserving it!

Hilary Cahn - madison12@bnet.org
Monday, November 04, 2002 12:18:17 PM


Looking forward to getting the book and passing it on to our son John in Colorado. What a wondeful piece of history you have helped to preserve. Our best to you!

Ann Gambrell - gambrellann@aol.com
Sunday, November 03, 2002 12:19:17 PM


I remember when I was a kid we were going on vaction and while climbing up from Castaic our car broke down. The smal tree we parked next to is still there. Looking back down the hill we could see the runaway truck ramp. Now that strech of road is a one way road-North bound. We had to go back to Castaic and get our car fixed at a Richfield gas staton. We went back to Redondo Beach and started over the next day.

Keith Dutson - kdutson@scccd.com
Friday, October 25, 2002 1:33:49 PM


Thank you so much for the beautiful web site. It is a nice tribute to the Ridge Route. Last year a group of us took the ride along the Ridge Route with the Kelly's. A reporter for the Los Angeles Times went along with us. We got our group picture and an article published in the Times. What fun. Keep up the excellent work.

Nancy Pounds-Long - PoundsLong@aol.com
Wednesday, August 28, 2002 10:48:53 AM


I remember watching I-5 being built "way up high" above Hwy. 99 to bypass the future reservoir. I also recall the "runaway truck ramp" and frequently seeing tire tracks in the sand. What a scary ride that must have been! One suggestion--a map to show exactly how and where one can drive the old RR today. Thank you!

Sharon - SCVhistory@earthlink.net
Saturday, August 10, 2002 10:03:11 AM


I just wanted to say that it was good to see some old stories and read the comments of the travels over the ridge.We used to go south to L.A, tp see family members in 1929 in a Chevrolet.Truckers used yo stand on running boards while driving and sometimes walk along side due to heat and slow gear up long grades.It was an all day trip to go south in that date and time.I was 8 years old at the time. Walter

Walter Parsons - waparso@earthlink.net
Saturday, July 27, 2002 9:48:52 AM


I had the pleasure of driving Scotty over the Old Ridge Route on a beautiful spring day in my 1917 Ford Model T. A photo shoot was done that day and I am pleased to see those photos featured on his web site. The sound of the Model T chugging up the hills with water boiling out of the radiator made me realize what an adventure it was for the early motorists who drove the Old Ridge Route. Scotty, thanks for the wonderful day. Daniel

Daniel Holthaus - tncpriv@kcwa.com
Thursday, July 18, 2002 11:08:29 PM


Wow! Thanks for a great site. I just rode the Ridge Route on my Honda VTX today, starting at Pine Canyon Road and riding into Castaic. It was very fun and challenging. The VTX, BTW, is a 700+ lb. cruiser, and it made it with no problems. So if people are concerned that they may need 4 wheel drive, etc, don't worry. Just go slow and make sure it hasn't rained recently and you will okay! Thanks again for a great site.

Terry Bradshaw - terryb@opus4.com
Monday, July 08, 2002 12:15:45 AM


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been trying to find the ridge route for years and never would have found it but for the Westways article. I rode today from Templin to Tumble Inn and back on a mountain bike. Will return soon to this wonderful destination...nothing else like it!

John - east@bigvalley.net
Thursday, July 04, 2002 12:48:02 PM


Nice site. Looking at those curves, I'm glad that I'm too young to have "enjoyed" them!!

Laurence - laurence@maller.net
Friday, June 21, 2002 4:29:29 PM


What a great site and great story-I can still remember my first and to date only drive on the old ridge route about 12 years ago.I was driving my 1968 vw beetle and it was a bit of a challenge to make it thru but I did.It was a great time for me!

Joe Koegel - joe1138a3@earthlink.net
Friday, June 14, 2002 8:17:12 PM


Thank you!! for all these greats pictures and information on the Ridge Route and Grapevine areas. I have traveled this part of the I-5 since I can remember. My grandfather talked about the old grapevine road, and what a road it was. It is great to see how it looked back then!...I have traveled this road all of my 34 years on my way to Lake Isabella. It is great to know the history of this area. This is a website I will email to my family. Thank YOU again for all the great inforation!

Mindy Schock-Severns - minseverns@yahoo.com
Friday, June 07, 2002 7:35:17 PM


We drove the RR today, Sat, 25 May 2002. We found both ends of the route open and the road was in very good shape. We were in a truck but I believe I could have taken the car. We met only two cars going the opposit direction, south. It was a great drive. We had lunch at Tumble Inn. The name Tumble Inn has been scratched on the top step. I wonder if that is from the original hay day or a more recent addition?

stephen curtis - skcurtis@hypersurf.com
Saturday, May 25, 2002 10:32:01 PM


Thank You Scotty your continueing efforts to help preserve this rare treasure. And also the extensive efforts to get it added to the National Registar of Historic Places. I would also like to thank Jack and Sidney Kelley for all of the time and effort that they put into arranging and conducting guided tours of the RR. My wife and I just completed our third trip over the route yesterday. I first got interested in the Ridge Route after reading the Westways Article last year. We did a self guided tour late last fall and just made a weekend of it with Jack and Sidney. The Botanical tour was great, Maynard and Ray really know how to present the information in a way that makes it fun and interesting. We then spent the night in Valencia and made the Historical tour on Sunday. Wow what a great weekend getaway. I hope to go back many more times both with Jack and Sidney and by ourselves. Thanks Jim

Jim Williams - jwilliamsjr@socal.rr.com
Monday, May 20, 2002 11:24:27 AM


Thanks for the tour,it brings back memories.

Elmer J. Carey - careyon13@yahoo.com
Saturday, April 13, 2002 5:52:46 PM


My husband and I just got back from the Ridge Route. Since we run 4-wheel drive tours in the desert and the Sierras, to real ghost towns, it was a different type of adventure for us. Compared to what we are used to, the roads were in good condition. We were in our Forerunner, but I would not hesitate to take a car up it. Of course we are experienced in worse conditions, I would advise someone not used to the backroads, to be more cautious. We had a great time, and enjoyed the views and the history! I am calling this the "Ghost Highway"!

cecile - ccvargo@yahoo.com
Sunday, March 03, 2002 5:04:46 PM


We traveled the ridge route on Our Harley-Davidson's (4 of them) last weekend and the gate was open. My friend told me of this route and said his father use to haul drilling pipe from Los Angeles to Bakersfield 3 times a week at the rate of $5.00 a day. We stopped at the old Tumble Inn and marveled at the stone work. The only thing left is the foundation and the water tank, which still had water in it. It just amazed us that this road (the equivalent of one lane today) was a two way thoroughfare. The road, in places, was in pretty good shape considering it's age and when it was poured. I was amazed at looking down at interstate 5 (Grapevine) and how high up we were. Thanks for keeping up this web site, it answered all the questions we had regarding the road and the structures. We had so much fun, were planning on doing it again.

Michael Harris - mharris@vieweng.com
Monday, February 25, 2002 3:24:46 PM


I first learned of the RR through a story in the LA Times in about 1987 I drove it with my wife at the time it was surprisingly in decent shape to drive still. I went again with my kids yesterday being 1-19-02 and saw that the road has considerably deteritated since then. Its getting to be that its best to go on with a truck than a car. If you do go in a car make sure you have good tires and go realy slow there are some narrow spots because of the hillsides that have cut the road down. But it still was realy neat tinking of all the old cars that were on it. Right now you cannot accest it from the south end but still can from the north take the 138 off the 5 and right after quail lake youll see a sign for the ridge route. Happy trails

Jack Dedrick - Jdedrick@aol.com
Monday, January 21, 2002 8:56:16 PM


Thank you, Scotty, for a great day! We so enjoyed ourselves and are getting a group together to go back. Now we can really say "I drove the OLD Ridge Route". Your narrative made it very interesting, a real trip back in time. Thank you for all of your hard work, looking forward to reading your book. Jerry and Laura Oreskovich

Jerry & Laura Oreskovich - jloreskovich@aol.com
Monday, November 26, 2001 9:19:39 AM


I just wanted to express my thanks for your wonderful Web site. My great x2 grandmother wrote her life story where she briefly mentions the ridge route. I was curious to know if this was the same as the grapevine of today. Your Web site answered all my questions and more. ". . . in July, 1928, Stella, Johnnie, Water, and I took a trip up north with our final destination to be Vancouver, British Columbia. We left early one foggy morning in July. Walter could hardly see to drive. We made it as far as the ridge-route when Walter got really sleepy. He pulled off to one side of the road to take a nap." freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~isabell/

Heatherdawn - heatherdawn@home.com
Sunday, November 25, 2001 11:46:37 AM


Thanks for a long-overdue tribute to the "road that saved California". My grandmother did all the driving in her family in the 'teens and '20s, and had many stories to tell of travesing the Ridge Route in the early days. A constant problem in winter was "fog", caused by the roadbed being placed on top of the mountain ridge lines. This would put the road literally "into the clouds", making visibility almost nil in the middle of day. Most often, cars would "caravan" behind either a truck or an intrepid lead car, and literally "feel" their way across the road. Sometimes the only thing that kept anyone on the road was the concrete curbing placed at some of the more dangerous curves. Generally, a trip north out of LA would mean staying at the Tumble Inn or Sandberg's for the night before descending the Grapevine into Bakersfield. I drove the old road again in 1998 in my pickup, and found it to be indeed a trip back in time. Thanks for all your efforts. Bob Scarborough

Bob Scarborough - desertbob@rglobal.net
Saturday, September 08, 2001 4:40:07 PM


Thanks for your site. After studying it, I was able to locate the Old Ridge Route Road pretty easily. What a fascinating trip! I drove the entire segment from Passaic Reservoir to hwy 138 without seeing another soul. Stopped and explored the ruins of the Tumble Inn, and was surprised to find its cistern still full of water. It's amazing that there is so much of the original surface still intact. It wasn't hard to imagine what it must have been like to be a hot, thirsty traveller on that road back in the 20's. Dave Sutton; San Francisco

Dave Sutton - vermins@postoffice.pacbell.net
Tuesday, August 21, 2001 2:00:09 PM


Great Site! I remember my grandfather telling me about driving his truck from the sideboards because of the intense heat going over the Ridge Route. I remeber the Lebec Hotel as a child and wondered where that grand old building had gone. Keep up the good work! J. Record Citrus Heights, CA

Jeff Record - jarecord@home.com
Saturday, July 21, 2001 9:45:04 PM


My father use to drive everyday from Los Angeles to Bakersfield delivering bread. On a few weekends we would explore the old Ridge Route. Those are some of my fondest memories and your work has helped keep some of those cherished moments fresh in my mind. Thank you.

Robert Larson - rlarson@gatefold.net
Saturday, July 21, 2001 6:51:58 PM


I also found the site from the Westways article. I intend to drive the route as soon as possible. Great site, it's good to see people keeping different aspects of history alive!

Andy St Laurent - theexbrit@home.com
Saturday, July 14, 2001 4:42:55 PM


Found out about this great site by reading a recent Westways article. You are to be saluted for your efforts. I thought I was the only nut who had a passion for the old ridge route but I guess not. I'm not as old as some of the others who left comments for you. My travels in that area were on the old 99 alternate built back in the early 30's I believe. From L.A. to Bakersfield back in the early and mid 50's to visit my uncle and aunt. I can always remember getting stuck behind slow moving trucks even on that newer road and calling them turtles. Would like to see more of where exactly the old sites are located today. Keep up the great work.

Steve Harris - BigRedOne68@aol.com
Friday, June 08, 2001 5:53:38 PM


I just discovered this site today (at 2 in the morning). It's fantastic! I've been a highway afficionado for just about all my life.

I first learned of the Ridge Route in 1989. I did a lot of research, trying to trace it's history and location (Thanks, Beale Library). A year later, I drove it for the first time. I took many pictures, some of which I still have. I remember coming to a portion of the road that had been partially covered by a mudslide. I thought my '86 T-Bird would go over the side trying to get past it! Luckily, it did and I got to drive the Route 10 more times between '90 and '94.

Keep up the good work and thanks to everyone associated with Ridgeroute.com

T.J. - nat10kfan@earthlink.net
Saturday, June 02, 2001 2:47:36 AM


My friends and I tried to go over the RR but were stoped by a locked gate. We would like to try again....

Ray Griego - wefour@ncinternet.net
Tuesday, May 29, 2001 6:53:53 AM


A wonderful site. Wish there were more pictures. My wife and I just went from Gorman to the Templin Highway using the Ridge Route. It took awhile but was well worth it. Drive slowly(like you have any choice).

Cam Coulter - ccoulter1@socal.rr.com
Saturday, May 19, 2001 5:28:56 PM


Very nice web site !!! My Grandfather drove a Walnut Oil Truck over the Ridge Route back in the Early 50's. Now 46 years Later I drive a Autocarrier Truck over the now called Grapevine Daily from L.A To Kettleman city. The histoy will keep continuing on.

Robert - Horob7@aol.com
Sunday, May 06, 2001 7:35:24 AM


I ride motorcycles with a number friends and we are always looking for new roads to ride. After reading the WestWaysarticle we went to check it out Saturday May 5th 2001 a friend and I rode from Lompoc over hwy 166 to hwy 33 to Lockwood valley road to Fraiser Park. We then took I-5 to Gorman and hwy 138 to the old ridge route road. The road turned out to be quite a challenge on our bikes but the history and views were spectacular.

Mark Davis - M.davis123@verizon.net
Saturday, May 05, 2001 6:13:49 PM


My friend and I have taken two drives on the old Ridge Route. She remembers it when she traveled with family in her younger years. I've only lived in SoCal 20+ years, enjoyed it thoroughly, but didn't know the history. The first trip, May 2000, we were on our way to Liebre Mountains to see the oak woodland and wildflowers there. Since the Westways article, I've visited your web site and copied everything for my friend to read. We drove RR recently, and saw the Model T touring group along the way. We also saw wonderful wildflowers, including masses of tree poppies covering the hillsides in yellow. My friend and I love to get out and take photos of wildflowers, and the RR's low traffic volume easily allows it, so it was GRAND!! Regarding the Newhall tunnel. I'd read about it several years ago, but my husband and I tried to find it one day, but were unsuccessful. Is it accessible today? Thanx for your wonderful and informative web site. Gwen Barnes

Gwen Barnes - owengwen@earthlink.net
Saturday, May 05, 2001 9:12:47 AM


The Auto Club article caught my fantasy, so off I went exploring the old RR. It was really fantastic and worth every mile. Some historical reference signage would be helpful, nevertheless delightful! Fellow explorers should be sure to have a truck or 4WD in good condition. You are a long way from civilization. Thanks!

Greg Schubert - schu49@gateway.net
Monday, April 30, 2001 5:20:13 PM


Congratulations on the successful accomplishment of saving more of California history and creating such a great website. I enjoyed your brother's presentation of your project at the Santa Clarita Historical Society a couple of years ago. It is great that your efforts can now be seen by the world through the website.

Chuck Russell - carussell99@earthlink.net
Tuesday, April 10, 2001 10:02:19 PM


What a wonderful surprise! I really enjoyed another "trip" over the Ridge Route, as it was very much a part of my younger years. Many of the comments left by others remind me of the stories my mother told us when my parents traveled over the Grapevine in the '30's & 40"s. Thanks for a chance to travel over a road so full of history~ once again.

ginger chabot~weeks - ginwks@webtv.net
Wednesday, April 04, 2001 9:15:35 PM


Like many others leaving comments, my interest in the old RR was re-kindled by the current issue of Westways. Both my father and grandfather used to tell me about the RR of the 20s and 30s that they had to drive with San Joaquin Valley produce enroute to the LA Produce Mart downtown. (My mom and dad spent their wedding night at the Lebec Hotel). Being "caught" behind a slow-moving truck was a common thing, and boiled over radiators were to be expected. My earliest travel over the "new" RR was in the early 1950s; often stopping at the Caravan or Tips. My next day off, I'm heading for the hills to experience a part of the past. I'm sure the wildflowers will be glorious. Thanks for the preservation effort.

Steven Cate - sandccate@earthlink.net
Sunday, April 01, 2001 1:44:55 PM


Being born and raised on the huge Tejon Ranch Company, in 1932, I remember the Old Ridge Route, fondley. I am originally from kern County, now of Los Angeles.

Eddie Montes - watachee@hotmail.com
Saturday, March 31, 2001 1:47:18 PM


You have an excellent, well designed website! I came across it via Westways, and definitely plan to explore the Ridge Route. I think my kids, 12 and 8, will enjoy it also! Love the history, keep it up--

Stan Pacolt - sjpacolt@earthlink.net
Thursday, March 29, 2001 1:42:13 PM


In the very early 1970's, when I was about 16, my closest friend and I traveled the Ridge Route on our motorcycles; even at that time, the route was trecherous, yet exciting. At that time I wasn't aware of the history; but I still enjoyed the rise. On Saturday, March 17, 2001, my wife and I traveled the RR in our Jeep (definitely needed) and I relived my memories once again. Keep the spirit of the RR alive and great job on the website!

Dan Halsteadq - dhalstead@aol.com
Monday, March 19, 2001 9:36:04 PM


I traveled this route many times in my life, the first being in 1938 in Dad's hudson terraplane We moved to Los angeles and then sunland our uncle and grand mother lived in Fresno we went to meet them at Bakersfield for a picnic visit many times. Lots of memories, I can barely remember some of the old stopping places. thanks for your efforts Peggy Knudsen Lee

Peggy Lee - peggylee592@msn.com
Saturday, March 17, 2001 12:11:41 PM


I saw the article in Westways and had to check your sight. I've heard about the Grapevine from my parents when they traveled it in the 30's. I remember going over it many times in the 50's +. Thanks for your efforts to document and preserve this piece of our history and culuture.

Don Honaker` - dhonaker@aol.com
Sunday, March 11, 2001 5:11:26 PM


Nice work! Great story! Those terms seem trite for the feelings you have brought forth from my heart. Years ago, my motorcycle dog and I rode the length of RR from Castaic to Quail Lake and were enchanted by the rustic sites and block remains. Thanks for putting the story together for the younger generations to appreciate, and thanks for your 'leg work' to keep it from being completely forgotten.

ckrt26s@earthlink.net
Tuesday, March 06, 2001 10:20:19 PM


Nice web site! I read about you in WESTWAYS magazine this month. I always enjoy historic photos of California. I was a technician with Pac Bell for over 20 years and traveled almost everywhere in the course of my job. My base in the 1990's was the east San Fernando Valley, but we worked in the Santa Clarita Valley frequently too (this was an adventure for me!). So one time I was sent to Pyramid Lake on a job, see... so I tried to follow the Ridge Route out of Castaic. This was for two reasons: One, because the telephone lines pretty much ran that route; and second, just to see the "old road." Unfortunately, as the road got worse, I chickened out and got back on the highway. But the old narrow concrete road sure is different. It was before my time. Thanks again.

Greg Golden - gxgolden@pacbell.net
Monday, March 05, 2001 5:39:26 PM


Mr. Harrison, I need to ask a question about Tip's restaurants. I remember that there were two locations, both in Castaic, one on the North side of U.S. 99 and the other on the South side of 99. My grandparents often sold them fresh peaches, walnuts and grapes. This must have been during the late 30's and 40's. What happened to the Jardin(e) family? Your information will be most helpful.

Richard A LaFond-Viner - RAVNDLP@hotmail.com
Sunday, March 04, 2001 3:49:09 PM


A truly great web site. I have always had an interest in the development of the highway systems of So.Cal. I enjoyed my solo jaunts up the old Ridge Route during my college days in the early 70's but had not been on the old road until several years ago. What a great road to drive! I look forward to checking onto your site in the months to come.


Saturday, March 03, 2001 8:37:21 PM


Thank you for taking the time to encapsulate this California treasure! I discovered The Ridge Route in the early 1970's the same way you did - and began taking vintage car clubs on guided tours through the area in 1974. (My predictions on the story of The Tumble Inn proved accurate!) Have tried many times to find a way to get onto the remaining isolated portions, esp. north of Gorman. Truly beautiful work you've done, and you passion shows and is shared. LARRY BLODGET, Founder, FABULOUS FIFTIES FORD CLUB OF AMERICA.

Larry Blodget - BestInFord@aol.com
Saturday, March 03, 2001 9:20:06 AM


Very nice site. Great to finally see where Dead Man's Curve is located. Keep up the good work, it' s appreciated very much! Dan Steward

Daniel Steward - velkrokids@ncinternet.net
Friday, March 02, 2001 9:50:46 PM


A truly fascinating look back. Congratulations to my old friend Scotty!

Bill Stanley - wdstanley@earthlink.net
Friday, March 02, 2001 10:33:29 AM


Your site is excellent. I enjoyed it very much. Would love to take your tour later on when the weather gets a bit better. I can tell you "guys" really love what you do. Thanks for sharing. Mitch

Mitch - mitch@mol.net
Thursday, March 01, 2001 7:26:34 PM


I TRAVEL OVER THE RIDGE ON I 5SEVERAL TIMES EACH YEAR. ALWAYS REMEMBERED WHEN MY UNCLE TOOK ME OVER THE OLD ROAD IN 1933 IN A MODEL A FORDWHEEZING AND GROANING ALL THE WAY. I WAS 12 YEARS OLD-WONDERED IF THE OLD ROAD WAS STILL THERE. THIS MONTHS ISSUE OF WESTWAYS MAGAZINE OPENED UP A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE---LOVE YOUR WEBSITE AND CANT HARDLY WAIT TO MAKE THE TRIP BACK IN TIME.-YOUR WEBSITE IS ON MY 'FAVORITES' LIST.-CAL

Larry 'Cal' Welch - LWELCHH@gateway.net
Thursday, March 01, 2001 4:27:06 PM


Great website. I rode over the Ridge Route as a child in the early 1950's in the family 1939 DeSoto. Last year I became interested in the various routes' histories as an organizer of the May 2000 re-enactment of the 1913 Pan Pacific Road Race. The fifty old race cars retraced the pre-1915 route up through San Francisquito Canyon Road over a three day run from the ACSC (AAA) headquarters in L.A. up to Visalia. Pete Cowper - Visalia

Pete Cowper - pcowper@webtv.net
Wednesday, February 28, 2001 7:10:16 PM


I have just recently signed onto this site,mainly because of the article in this month's Westways magazine. I am familiar with stories about the ridgeroute, my mother and her parents drove it frequently in the late twenties and throughout most of the next 5 years. Keep up the great work.

Richard Viner - RAVNDLP@hotmail.com
Wednesday, February 28, 2001 9:16:43 AM


I like your site. I've traveled the RR several times and missed most of the historical sites. It would be great to add GPS coordinates and current photos of the sites to make our historical searching a little easier. Perhaps that is a project I might take on this spring. Best of Luck.

Dave Tolley - Dave@Celebcentral.com
Tuesday, February 20, 2001 9:33:41 AM

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