My November 2014 Photo of the Month is Wildwood, a photograph made on Old Highway 80 near Descanso.
The Wildwood Glen Lane segment of Old Highway 80 is one of my favorite stretches of the old road. This section is now closed off, because West of Ellis Spring, near the location of Deadman’s Curve (the curve was located at the current Scenic View area and Interstate 8 cuts across the curve), Interstate 8 obliterated the original road.
The road has belonged to the Cleveland National Forest since the opening of Interstate 8, so you can walk/hike a 1.5 mile stretch of concrete panels. In some areas, you can still make out yellow paint that demarcated the middle. Some panels have dates imprinted. The asphalt shoulders have been lost to time, yet these 80 year-old road stretches still look perfect in areas.
The only evidence of modern life is that this road stretch is used by several companies for running fiberoptic cable, so there are occasional posts off the roadside to demarcate their existence.
Weather, particularly dramatic weather, is what gets me excited. This storm, while not too wet, was blowing through. I loved the contrast between a warm, beautiful, sunset and the foreboding, dark clouds.
As far back as I can remember, I was quite interested in cities, roads, and maps. A Thomas Guide was a desired birthday or Christmas gift. My view on cities changed as I learned about urban sprawl and the effect it had on the larger environment I learned to love. When I discovered photography as an art, it was only a matter of time before the interests of my childhood would intersect with my interests as an adult. Old US Highway 80 in San Diego County was sitting right there for me to discover.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image!
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.