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(first posted 8/11/2013) I’m not complaining, since Oregon has plenty of beautiful scenery and delightful roads. But there’s something about reading a book in German that triggers a desire to, well, not just be there, but also turn back the clock. This splendid picture of the Gothard Pass is courtesy of jjd241. It’s from about 1961-1962 or so, and needless to say, it reminds me of summer trips working our way up similar passes, often in a VW Samba with the sunroof open. Speaking of VW Transporters hauling heavy loads up mountains, that Pickup with the boat on back has all of 30 (net) hp. And if you’ve exhausted identifying all the cars, I found another shot of the exact same location:
The same red truck is even in it, but the picture isn’t as clear, which may make identification a bit harder.
This is a bit closer, Hwy 74 in California. Lots of hairpins, and only 15 minutes from Palm Desert. In fact, a very enjoyable drive all the way from Palm Desert to Idyllwild or 150ft elevation to almost 6000ft.
It looks much like the first scene of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. Could it have been filmed there, you think?
I had the very same thought/question!
Any idea what the truck’s purpose is? It’s facing in opposite directions in the two pictures.
Maybe a regular route for this truck, and he likes to stop at the cafe coming and going?
That’s a common urge and theme, especially for those of us in our sixth decade. It’s not Germany I’m missing this summer but the Adirondack region of northern New York…rolling hills, pine forests, lakes so deep and clear and clean you can (literally) drink from them. Oh…and two-lane roads put in as WPA projects, circa 1932…and aside from shoulders and some stretches, never further rebuilt.
PERFECT for a high-speed cycle run…with the bracing pine scent…
I long to be there, but like the Germany of Paul’s memory, it’s not there for me anymore. The demographics and economics work against it…more development, more money in visitors’ and landowners’ pockets. MUCH more traffic; and much more to sap the heady steam of a revisit-one’s-youth daydream.
Sorry to run off the pavement a bit here…
Just north of the Catskills, I found the mountains of my dreams on Sunday Valentine’s Day under a sky of weathered aluminum, passing through the Adirondacks at frigid daybreak during a 6-hour trip from Metro NYC to get my first Covid shot at The State University of NY at Potsdam, close to the Canadian border. Not a peep or movement in the conifer forests except for gently falling snowflakes, smooth, empty two-lanes that didn’t tax the meager amplitude of my 20-year-old Honda Si’s suspension, stands of perfect, black, balsam fir covered with thick white frosting, and bright, serpentine streams cutting through the fresh snow.
It was nice to have formed such a memory in spite of the biological chaos that created it.
The first picture almost doesn’t look real… more like a very elaborate diorama with miniature toy cars. I wish I could go to this time and place.
I was thinking the same thing. Pretty amazing, everything looks so neat, cheery and perfect.
Me too! I I looked like the best toy set ever created.
I want to stop at the little cafe for spritz, maybe wait for Mr. Goldfinger to come by in his Phantom III…….
Can’t read its name, but you can definitely get a Coke there. Probably with no ice in it.
Had it pegged as a scale model myself. That house trailer ,,waay down yonder really caught my eye as did the yellow convrt rolling “uphill”.
Amazing the snapshots our minds take at a random instant in a life of millions of such photos. My favorite is of my Father, in a moment of weakness, buying a VW 1500 coupe at a tiny gas station/dealership in Cardston, in late summer 1963(?), and importing it to the U.S. They would not be on sale in the states until 1965, so the ensuing shitstorm was an unpredictable saga between the local VW stores and our little three-car showroom point. We took that little gem down through Glacier on Going-to-the-Sun highway. In 1963, my frame of reference for handling was our dentist’s XKE and a brief time having a TR3 as a trade on our used lot. That little VW seemed like it was tracking on rails, at least in comparison to the torsion bars and trunnions of the cars we sold. It was a glorious trip, where my Dad recounted times of his childhood chasing my Mom to the usual spots kids hung out in those days, which were all located throughout this part of southern Alberta. I have a memory of the mist of a spring-fed waterfall fogging the roadway with a rainbow of color while our little car wove in and out of the tourists seeing this wonderful tableau for the first time. A classic time embedded in my brain, still, five decades later. I get it, Paul. These are an indelible section of our memories.
This picture reminds me of the Richard Scarry children’s books that have all kinds of crazy things going on in the pictures.
Is the driver in the Beetle by the truck and crosswalk getting a ticket? Another Beetle has a flat tire. There are pedestrians (and a cyclist?) on the highway. Looks like a picnic in the top left of the picture, towards the snow shed. And of course all those cars – Beetles and others.
JPT – Agree about missing childhood places as we get older. For me it is the small roads through the villages and lakes of rural Maine, north of Augusta. Alas, according to Google Earth, the rustic log cabin we stayed in has been replaced by a McMansion in the last couple years as the area becomes a bedroom community for Augusta.
If it’s curvy mountain roads and books (or in this case websites) in German that you like, then take a look at Curves Magazine.
Thanks; I see that one of their “dream destinations” is Hwy 101 on the Oregon Coast. That’s less than an hour from our house, and a regular weekend outing, in the winter, usually. Superb indeed.
I’ve driven the Oregon coast, one of the best drives I ever had, from right down near the California border all the way up, saw some great sites along the way, just beautiful. Being a flatland Floridian all my life, mountains, cliffs and elevation changes just impress the shit out of me.
Oregon is a driver’s paradise. The coast is of course a classic, but there are endless fantastic roads through woods, mountains, high desert, and grasslands. What makes it all so appealing is our very low population density; I never cease to be amazed at how few cars one sees away from the few main highways and roads. I
The scenery in the Alps is hard to beat, but I’m always a bit challenged by the population/car density. When I come back here, it’s like I’m in a different world, and I can breathe a bit slower and deeper.
How active are the Oregon highway patrol and local sheriff?
A few years back, due to budget cuts, the Highway Patrol was really skinny. There’s more now. And the Sheriff is pretty understaffed too.
I’ve gotten very good at knowing how far away from the cities they patrol actively. And once you get off on a secondary road/highway, it’s very rare to see them.
I’ve changed my driving style in recent years: in the more built up areas, I always set my cruise control at 10 over, and just relax. When I get to where I think it’s safe, I shift mental gears, and start having fun. My Scion is really a quite good back-road carver, and it has to be driven hard (which I like). I hit 110 on a mountain road straight just a couple of weeks ago.
I have not gotten a speeding ticket in ten years (now I’ve jinxed it). So even if I do, it’s not a big deal (unless it’s for exceeding 100, then they can hit you very hard).
I live in Tigard and with today’s high fuel prices, you never see the police unless somebozo calls them. Regular unleaded at my corner Chevron? $5.59/Gal
Paul, there are still enough deserted roads with lots of curves here in Austria, you just need to know where and when (“somewhere in the Waldviertel”)…
what a great picture i love old color pictures there a very rare ford consul classic in it [mint car]
You’d be bored in Europe today.
Too many tunneling and less and less hairy chested men drive alpine or Pyrenees passes left.
All four lane highways and you’ll need to look to find the Timmelsjoch or the Stelvio pass.
When on one of these passes you’ll annoy yourself by all the idiots driving them who have not got a clue of how to behave on a mountain pass.
Did the Stelvio in my 159 Alfa Diesel and when climbing, people who descend just drive you right of the road these days.
Nor are they able to look 5 6 curves ahead if on coming traffic is on its way.
Worst of all are my fellow countrymen, the Dutch, who have’t got a clue and keep on hitting the brakes on the way down.Or do it towing a caravan or a recreational vehicle.
When my Impreza WRX type R will be ready we’ll go deep into France to do the Massif Central and its tiny roads.
But never during the tourist season !
I’ve been back, so I know what you mean 🙁 Yes, the last time I did some passes, there were some hairy moments, because of poor drivers.
@ Rammstein: Stay away from the main roads and the tourist traps. You will be surprised. Of course, local knowledge helps – I have my own “private” test course starting a few Km from where I live (which is only 10 Km outside Vienna so not, strictly speaking, out in the sticks) – there’s hardly any traffic and no police but tons of curves and elevation changes. My car is in bits too but the g/box will hopefully be going back this Wednesday so…
What an incredibly beautiful location! The two photos are wonderful snapshots of another time. I love the range of cars present – Beetles, Mercedes finnies, Ford Taunuses, Peugeots, Renaults, Citroens – and in the first photo, is that a PA Vauxhall Cresta with its boot open at the top left? The pair of photos would be fantastic framed on a wall somewhere where I could just unwind into them and soak up all the cars and all the detail.
I do like the VW truck with the boat on the roof and bed, just tie the boat on and go!
Not one of the houses my parents owned when I was a kid still survives – that is what comes from living in the country in the 1940’s and 1950’s within easy commuting distance from Tacoma and Seattle. Neal Road is now South 360th Street. A lot of the original roads are there, but boy, has everything else changed.
The place at Box Canyon, Nevada is gone too. A copper settling pond is there now. There’s enough of a trace of sulfuric acid in the water so that any scrap iron in the pond will soon become coated with copper from the waste water from the copper mine up the hill. At least when the water finally runs down to the Reese River there won’t be much copper left in it. The roads in that area are all the same except for the big wide one that the mine trucks use. We can still drive from Battle Mountain to Austin along the Reese River and laugh about the old stories about how some shyster in Nevada’s early days set up the Reese River Navigation Company and sold shares to easterners; the joke being that any water in the Reese River can be difficult to find in drier seasons – it’s a typical Nevada river.
It’s too bad that VW’s hadn’t come into use yet in this country when we lived there. The air-cooled motors and their general dependability would have made one useful for a prospector, which is essentially what Pop was.
It’s interesting how the uphill lane has a continuous dark path in about it’s center. The downhill lane has much less darkening. Could this be related to the cars working hard to go uphill and depositing oil or exhaust soot or tire rubber on the road?
I would say car deposits especially in those days.
Minor quible: This is not the Gotthard pass but rather the Gotthardstraße that goes up through the Schöllenen Gorge to the Urserental and Andermatt. The Gotthard pass is further to the south, connecting the Urserental to Ticino. The Urserental is also connected to the Furkapass that leads you west to Valais and the Oberalbpass taking you east to Graubünden.
I still have the copy of NG magazine featured this photo (top one). Yes, it depicts the cheery & carefree ’60s.It is really disheartening to see what this place looks like today.
The restaurant is long gone & so is all the glamour & glory. It seems time has gone backwards for this place.
Thanx for the updated picture ! .
I know of many similar roads but the traffic is intense these days, why I loved the old ‘No Frills Iron Bottom Motoring Tours’ so much ~ they used tiny back roads that had little traffic and one could have serious and safe fun .
My dad, who followed Patton into Germany, used to complain about all the hairpin turns on the major roads on Colorado’s mountainous Western Slope:
Why don’t they just build bridges? That’s what they did in Germany.
Pictures like this make me think ‘Tour de France’. One of the best things about watching the Tour is the beautiful helicopter footage – a three week long tourism ad for summer in Europe.
Stunning shots! If I had extra coin sitting around, I’d commission Australian diorama artist extraordinaire Luke Towan to recreate one of these scenes. Fellow Aussie Peter Wilding can create the cars. They’d do it amazingly well.
Here’s something suitably sporting and vintage. No, it’s not a Mitsuoka…
Absolutely gorgeous Peter! Beautiful work. thank you.
Thank you. (You’ll find more of my models on FB, I usually post a different one each day).
Thank you. Would you be willing to post your FB link here? I don’t use FB, but your photo gallery might be available for public viewing.
Few people consider Africa when contemplating scenic mountain driving. Darn shame because there is a lot of beautiful scenery. Going over Serra da Leba pass (AKA The Serpentine) on the Lubango-Namibe highway was always a favorite drive. Until I lived there, I never appreciated how much flat maps conceal the true scale of Africa. Angola is the size of Texas and California combined. There’s a lot to see – and Angola is just one country.