Old highway 99

I’m not sure why, but old 99 has been something that has always interested me. I had this idea that some day I wanted to drive as much of old 99 as I could, perhaps with a return trip along the pacific coast highway.

I get a kick out of finding out where 99 was in each town along it’s pathway, usually not that hard since it’s main street in most towns. I think the strongest connection with 99 has always been in Seattle for me, through downtown and north as Aurora and south.

I was fascinated by the fact that old 99 made a right angle through Olympia. On a lark, I was following 99 south through Olympia on Google maps, and it appears that there’s another right angle north of Centralia.

I once found a map of old 99 at Storey’s, a book shop that used to exist in downtown Seattle before having to move several times and finally I lost track of after it moved to … um, Ballard? Anyhow, I kept that in case I ever managed to take my big road trip.

There’s a couple of sites about 99, here, here and here.

Wikipedia notes that it was on old 99 that the first white lane divide was painted, unofficially. I also remember reading that 99 was built in response to work done by the Seattle Motoring Club, if I remember that correctly.

It’s always been one of the first things I do when I am in a town or city, is to find the main roads that cross or mark boundaries as both landmarking and learning the primary paths through a place.