National Road

In Putnam County, Indiana, this weekend, I saw a number of  signs for the Historic National Road, otherwise known now as US 40 Highway.

At one point, the old road from the Model T automobile days is still visible and drivable, although in terrible condition.  I drove a couple of miles on it.

The history along this route is palpable.  With the new, wide-shouldered US 40 just a few yards to the south, this old road still creaks along.  Occasionally one finds a shell of an old filling station, with a single service bay attached.  And one sees the leftovers of old motor lodges — little cabins, or an old strip of motel rooms, some now used a (very) low-rent apartments.

From Wikipedia:

U.S. Route 40 (US 40) is an east–west United States Highway. As with most routes whose numbers end in a zero, US 40 once traversed the entire United States. It is one of the original 1926 U.S. Highways, and its first termini were San Francisco, California, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the western United States, US 40 was functionally replaced by Interstate 80 (I-80), resulting in the route being truncated multiple times. US 40 currently ends at a junction with I-80 in Silver Summit, Utah, just outside Park City.


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