Completed in 1915, the Ridge Route was carved from the San Gabriel Mountains by workers using mule-drawn dirt scrapers. From ridge top to ridge top, they cleared a 20 foot-wide roadway which was the first direct route between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, uniting Northern and Southern California. Today, a 30-mile portion of the abandoned Ridge Route between Castaic and Gorman, can be found hidden in the mountains just east of Interstate 5 which long ago replaced it.
Huell is joined by Harrison Scott, a retired Pacific Bell engineer, who, with the help of U.S. Forest Service archaeologists, was largely responsible for landing part of this engineering marvel on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Together, they recreate a journey along the Ridge Route, complete with Model Ts and stops at the remnants of the inns, cafes and service stations that once marked its many twists and curves.
*Streaming until 5/7.