History of a different sort

Road trip! I’ve long been fascinated by maps, roads and highways. From what I remember, I’ve spent many an hour looking over maps of different places when I was still in elementary school. I lived in north Oakland County, Mich., at the time, and near Dixie Highway. I was interested in the Dixie Highway name, why such a name would be in the heart of the North. It was a time in the 1980s when the U.S. 10 and U.S. 24 designations were seeing changes. There was the completion of the I-69 freeway between Lansing and Flint.

It left me wondering how these highways came to be.

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of reading. Thankfully, I’m not the only person who is interested in these highway evolutions. Here at Michigan Highways, there are listings for each road, their current and past alignments, all done through great research. There’s some really interesting articles. One of my favorite ones to read over, from time to time, is the story of Henry Ford stopping a road, M-35. And, when I moved to Wisconsin, the author had a site for Wisconsin Highways, too.

When I lived in Wisconsin, I learned about not just Highway 29 and U.S 53, but also some of the routes of the area I lived near. The Great River Road, a route that lines both banks of the Mississippi River caught my eye and of course my interest. There was another, though, that went right through Chippewa Falls, and that was the Yellowstone Trail.

Back in Michigan, and now the west side of the state, I get to explore the West Michigan Pike. It’s the precursor to U.S. 31.

Pretty much everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve looked into the roads, their past and present. And present can be a lot of fun, too, thanks to Google Street View.

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