ROAD QUEEN of the Highway

Dear Michelle & Stacey:

Sending heartfelt appreciation for your steadfast “Pioneering” of Art Rural Route Blue!

As a mother of the road, my heart feels your testament-of-endurance in determination to forge beyond this mega road building process!  Thank you, Stacey for your phone call last evening to reassure me that I’m not forgotten along this (seemingly lost highway); and to you, Michelle for sending me the joys of motherhood that we mutually share on this journey of life.

You two “Sisters of The Road” remain bonded in Gold and sparkle brilliantly as “Golden Pioneers”, leaving a legacy enshrined in blue for Canada’s Mother Road!

Looking back in my rear view mirror, I am drawn to one of your “pioneering” presentation submissions (of 2014 Re. Heritage Highways & Byways for Open Road Learning) that states: “British Columbia & Canada becomes the [Bridge] from the USA {Route 66 to Alaska} by telling the stories of the historic First Nations trails of the past. 

Working with governance (Federal, Provincial, Local & International) is an endless undertaking, constantly holding you at the mercy of the “changing of the guards” for the powers that be who are on duty to oversee our economic & political well being.  This political obstacle course is difficult to navigate; and only the strong willed can survive the tempest of its decree.

Michelle & Stacey, Kudos to you two brave ‘way-finders’ for being such “Servant Leaders” (in the highest degree) to drive “Route Blue” into the soul of our society.

I’ve been touched by you!


“Everything will come to pass, victory or failure because life is just a moment in time” (Excerpt from the One Crystal Book)


Beyond our Braided Trails

Written by L. Fleming – February 2, 2018


‘Route Blue’ speaks boldly to our rural communities, reinventing a sustainable society with a renewed sense of place, deeply rooted in Arts & Eco-Culture.

         Our Beautiful BC is poised to follow the lead of “The Mother Road” as a conduit for historic, cultural & conventional travelers to embark on the journey and perhaps ‘stay a while’ to savor the spell of the ‘North’!  There truly is ‘life’ beyond the city limits and the borders that divide us, waiting to be rediscovered.  Steeped in history, our social studies & geography lessons are learned through engagement in the experience of ‘being there’!  This gateway to discovery lies directly ahead (beyond all borders) . . . 

         The Route Blue Vision generates a unique subset etched into the landscape introducing a health & wellness life-style component into a tangible tourism & spinoff services that will drive small towns along the ‘97 Corridor’ into the core of economic growth.

         Through the lens of a seasoned traveler, a descriptive imprint of Route Blue is reflective of “an altruistic moral compass”, manifesting a socially, culturally, environmentally & ecologically viable linear community that supports a new age of consciousness to infuse a sense of permanence and well being into rural living.  This land of opportunity is sourced via an international “Cultural Highway”, an intrinsic connective conduit primed to showcase the merits of each townsite as a reciprocal & tangible entity.  Shall I say, “Route Blue puts us in the saddle”, moving travelers & homesteaders on a joyful journey, cultivating new relationships & cultural experiences by means of the Arts.

Goals that we set are ever changing, whereas, visible Art adorned in public view throughout each community leaves a permanent mark in the landscape of humanity.  A sense of place in perfect balance for every rural stakeholder is a priceless, viable and natural fit to stimulate local economies in the breadth of the ‘Route Blue’ initiative.

Braided Trail System:

  1. The Great Osage Trail:  The Osage first people and other tribes traveled among a variety of routes later named “Osage Trails” by white settlers.  The famous Route 66 through southern Missouri Ozarks follows the route of one such “Osage Trail”, which in 1825 became known as the first phase of the Santa Fe Trail.
  • Santa Fe Trail:  A transportation & trading route opened by the Spaniards at the end of the 18thcentury.  Used afterwards in the 19th century by Americans as a transportation & trade route through central North America that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, NM (the 2ndoldest city in North America).  It served as a vital commercial conduit until the introduction of the railroad in 1880.  Special Interest:  Susan Shelby Magoffin (1827-1855) was the wife of a US trader and her spirit of adventure made her one of the first American white women to travel on the Santa Fe Trail in the late 1840’s.  The diary in which she recorded her experiences has been used extensively as a source for historical tracks of the time; and remains a valuable record on the development of the “West”.  
  • Oregon Trail:  A part of westward expansion during the mid-1800’s, the 2,200 mile east-west trail served as a critical transportation route for emigrants traveling from Missouri to Oregon and other points west.  Travelers were inspired by dreams of gold riches and fertile farmlands.  (From about 1811-1840) the trail was laid down by traders & fur trappers who traveled by horseback or foot.  By 1836, the first of the migrant wagons were put together, starting in Independence, Missouri and traveled a cleared trail that reached Fort Hall Idaho.  Work was done to clear more of the trail bed stretching farther west and eventually reached Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Improvements on the trail in the form of better roads, ferries & bridges made the trip faster & safer.  Settler traffic increased during the 1830’s through 1869; and when the first railroad was completed, allowing faster and more convenient travel, use of the trail quickly declined.
  • The Old Spanish Trail (Trade & Auto):   A historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements near Santa Fe with Los Angeles & southern California.  Explored by Spanish explorers in the 16th century and extensively used by pack trains between 1830 to mid 1850’s.  The Trail is a combination of known navigation routes used by Spanish explorers, trappers & traders with Ute and other tribes.  In early 20th century, the trail connected St. Augustine Florida with San Diego and crisscrossed & overlapped multiple trails to develop the southernmost national highway and the National Old Trails Road.
  • National Old Trails Road (Predecessor of Route 66):    Also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway est. 1912, became part of the National Auto Trail System in the USA covering 3,096 miles (4,983 km) stretching from New York to California.  Much of the route follows the National Road & the Santa Fe Trail; and in 1926 portions of the road certified as US Route 66 by the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials).  
  • Yellowstone (Auto) Trail:  Established May,1912 as the first transcontinental automobile highway through the upper tier of the USA.  It was an auto trail that ran from the Atlantic Ocean in Plymouth MA through Montana to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming out to the Pacific Ocean in Seattle WA.    
  • Semiahmoo Trail:  Began in 1858 as a series of pioneer trails between the Fraser River in the north and the USA border at Blaine, Washington in the south.  A wagon road established in 1873 to open settlement in Surrey (previously accessible from the waterways) provided an overland link between New Westminster and the USA.  

Historical Significance & Monuments:  

US Boundary Commission:  In 1856, the USA formed a ‘boundary commission’ to mark the border; and Great Britain soon followed.  The two countries then arranged to work together in what became known as the International Boundary Commission to establish & mark what is now Washington State’s northern border with British Columbia.

The Oregon Treaty:  In June 1846, the US & Britain signed the Oregon Treaty, ending the Oregon boundary dispute, which made the 49th parallel the official boundary between the USA & British North America (it would not become known as Canada until 1867; and BC would not join the new country until 1871).  The treaty granted the Hudson’s Bay Company navigation rights on the Columbia River for supplying their fur posts; and left the British with good anchorages at Vancouver and Victoria.

The International Boundary Commission:  In June 1857, American & British commissioners met in Esquimalt Harbor to discuss commencing the work necessary to mark the boundary between the USA and what is then know as British North America along the 49th parallel (about 410 miles from the Strait of Georgia to the summit of the Rocky Mountains).

Peach Arch Monument:  Built by Sam Hill & dedicated in 1921, is situated near the westernmost point of the Canada-US border, between Blaine, WA and Surrey, BC.  Commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 and stands on the exact US-Canada boundary between I-5 & Highway 99 in the grass median between the northbound & southbound lanes.  The Arch has the flags of both countries mounted on its crown; and two inscriptions on both sides of its frieze.  The words on the US side reads: “Children of a common mother”; and the words on the Canadian side reads: “Brethren dwelling together in unity”.  Within the arch, each side has an iron gate mounted on either side of the border with inscriptions above each gate that reads: “May these gates never be closed” … 

“Travel is not reward for working, it’s education for living”

Entrance to Weed, California with Mount Shasta in the background.  “Weed like to Welcome you” is their motto!  Situated at the Junction of Route 99 & 97 and touted as the Beginning of the Al-Can Highway… 

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