I’m working on a new project called Forgotten Highways.
The idea is a series of documentaries about “the old roads” of America.
You know- those bumpy strips of concrete you see veering off your current route. Call them scenic roads, the business route, historic bypass, whatever. Every interstate owes its double-yellow stripes to a winding two-lane nearby that most people have forgotten. They’re everywhere and all it takes to find one is a tank of gas and a Sunday afternoon.
But it takes more than that to really discover these gems. You have to get off the Superslab® and meet people. In my opinion exploring the history of an old road can make for great video. Of course, maybe I’m biased.
This project is a natural evolution of Two Wheel Oklahoma. In fact, it will essentially follow the same format of that show. You’ll see a little more history, a little more Ken Burns-esque camera work, but the vibe will be the same. A couple of guys on motorcycles discovering treasure that’s hiding in plain sight.
The first forgotten highway we are working on is a little known predecessor of the famous Mother Road. The Ozark Trail was a private highway endeavor organized by a group called the Ozark Trails Association. It predated the Federal highway system and attempted to link private roads, trails and wagon ruts across Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. The route extended from St. Louis, MO to Las Vegas, NM and was marked by a series of tall obelisks. Towns along the route would build these as landmarks for travelers and decorate them with lights. They are usually referred to as pyramids and only seven remain today.
This route eventually vanished after the National Highway System created Route 66. But much of the stretch through Oklahoma and Missouri follows the same path as the long forgotten Ozark Trail.