Monday, January 28, 2013

Travelling M-46

I did stuff for my mother early because I decided I wanted to head home by way of the west coast.  For as long as I've been doing this blog I've wanted pictures of those lighthouses with a layer of ice on them.  Since the weather has been particularly cold and the roads were clear, I decided to head over that way.

Based on google maps, there were a number of ways that I could take over there.  One of them took me out of my way to the north, the other took me out of the way to the south (but it was mostly freeway and I was considering that).   The most direct route was to take M-46 once I reached Saginaw.  It was also probably the most rewarding.

M-46 was designated in 1919 and ran from Howard City until Saginaw.  It picked up again from Tuscola County until Port Sanillac.  It wasn't quite the same route as it is today, as it went directly into Howard City.  It also went directly into Alma.  (It does neither of those things now).  In 1927, the gap between Saginaw and Tuscola county was filled in.  At that time, it was also extended to Muskegon.

In 1936, the highway was altered to straighten the path from Howard City to Amble.   That created a gap in the highway again.  The highway was changed a few more times until the 70's when it was mostly given it's current configuration.  There is a little jaunt where it is shared with US-131.  In the 1980's, the final changes where made when the extension to the ferry docks was eliminated.  Now it ends at Business 131 in Muskegon.  One of these days, I may have to take it from Port Sanilac to Muskegon as I didn't have much time yesterday.
 As I said, I was a little rushed because there was a weather front moving towards the state and I didn't want to be stuck on that side of the state in bad weather.  However, certain things will catch my eye and prompt me to stop.  In this case, a T-33 Shooting Star was serving as a gate guardian in front of a veterans post in Breckenridge.
 The T-33 was an offshoot of the P-80 Shooting Star.  The design of the P-80 was lengthened to add a second seat for an instructor.  It's first flight was in 1948.
 It served as an advanced trainer until it was slowly phased out in the 1960's.  After that it was still used as a proficiency trainer and then used as a drone.  Many other air forces still used it long after they were retired from the Air Force.
 There was a fairly large silo in Breckenridge with a bunch of train engines though.
 My next stop was St. Louis, MI for lunch.  I had to take some pictures of the town while I was there.  I think there is a set of blueprints that is labeled "quaint Midwestern town" somewhere because it seems like many little towns like this look similar. 
 Looking down the street.  I still like the looks of these old towns.
 Trying for a view of just the storefronts.
 I love some of the intricacies on old buildings.
 I thought this bank was kind of cool looking but it has been long closed down.
 Another view of the downtown.
 This seems to be a fairly common statue as well.
 More details on one of the other buildings.
 A couple more buildings.
This section looks like it has seen some recent loving.

There were some other neat sights along the way which means that I'm going to have travel this way again at some point but I had other missions yesterday.

1 comment:

J. Moyer said...

I have drove on M46 many times as I live on the west side of the state and I have family in Saginaw. I never knew this history of it. We would stop at the Petticoat junction (Alma off of 27) to get a bite to eat or see the "Middle of the Mitten" in St. Louis. I did recongize the statue. I remember the gas station in Amble, which has long been closed down, that we used to stop at. It is now in disrepair and weeds growing up around it. Great story.