About

The 8N04 Ridge Route Digital Gallery is dedicated to preserving the Old Ridge Route through photographs and video. Making the road accessible to those who may not be able to see it in person… or live halfway across the country! Using photography and video to freeze time, track changes in the road and bring awareness to this beautiful place.

Photo courtesy of Austin Gebhardt

Goals…

  • Preserving the Ridge Route and it’s history through photos, videos and interviews
  • Showing up-to-date conditions of the road
  • Making the Ridge Route (digitally) accessible to anyone
  • Documenting the entirety of the road

The whole story…

2015 – I found the Ridge Route while tracking down a fire late at night. I took a turn on to an unfamiliar road, looking for a good vantage point. As I kept going, the houses disappeared and the road opened up into nothingness. I came back the next morning to investigate.

Working for a local news station, it was my job to tell local stories. I was drawn to passionate people and raw emotion. I could spot something special and draw it out. This road was definitely something special. You could almost feel it in the air.

When I went back to my news director, I told her about this road I found and it was as if she saw a ghost – “You drove the Ridge Route?!” The road was so illusive. Information was sparse. No one was entirely sure if it was passable or even still existed. I was hooked.

Bit by bit, the road opened up to me. Little hints and clues of it’s past started to appear. The more I drove it, the more beautiful it got. Starting with investigating the Castaic end, I got to know the curves, the lookouts, the concrete. I was up on that road any chance I got.


2019 – The research started, scouring Google for any bits of it’s past. Though, the biggest breakthrough came through social media. I found a group based around Highway 99 and the Ridge Route was one of the roads covered. I started asking questions and finding people who had actually been a part of this road’s history. What a treat!

Stories flooded in, so many people recalling their trips along the road growing up, stories told by their grandparents, families who had owned property along the road for generations – a gold mine of historic wealth!


2020 – Inspired by all of these stories and information and wanting to have a home for it all – free for anyone who would like to learn about the Ridge Route! As a lockdown project, I was archiving and putting together galleries of photos of the road. Current conditions, foundations, locations, information…. anything I could find! The goal was to raise awareness of the Ridge Route with modern day photos of the actual condition of the road while gathering research sites to help direct anyone who wants to dig deeper into it’s history.


2022 & on – This site, as well as the Facebook page continue to draw the interest of many. Inspiring people to see the Ridge Route, learn about it’s history and share their accounts of the road. I’m constantly looking for new ways to document the road, introducing drone photography, 3D models and in depth videos, and to tell people’s stories.

At the core of this, I believe history is for all, as it belongs to all who experienced it. First hand, through stories from friends and relatives, to the modern day events. It is meant to be shared and passed down for future generations.

Photo courtesy of HJ Crawford

Sydney Croasmun

Professional Photographer, FFA Part 107 Licensed Drone Pilot, Amateur Historian

Ridge Route fanatic since 2015, I’ve been tracking down history, taking photos and building a greater picture of the community around the Ridge Route.

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