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Keep the Show on the Road!

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  1. The history, route, and enjoyment of the Lincoln are interwoven with the Pony Express and the Overland Stage of the 1860’s, and of course with US 50, called the Loneliest Road in America. Therefore it would be difficult to travel the Lincoln and not stop to enjoy the historic sites associated with these related travelways. I will intersperse comments about the Pony Express, primarily from the historic account of Sir Richard Burton who traveled the Overland Trail and Pony Express route in 1860. I will also use the splendid book The Lincoln Highway – Nevada which is Gregeory M. Franzwa’s fifth book in his Lincoln Highway series, a “must have” for any Lincoln Highway fan. It contains photos, lucid descriptions of sites and the old road, well researched history, and comprehensive maps. Lincoln Highway Pioneer Branch ad in 1920 Automobile Blue Book A good place to begin the eastward travel on the Lincoln in Nevada is in Carson City on the 1920 and later Pioneer Branch. Carson City is an interesting town itself, and if you get off the main streets, you can enjoy vintage streets and structures. A good starting point is the Lincoln Highway sign post in front of the Nevada State Museum. It was placed in 1928. The museum is a great place to visit, and the bookstore is among the best for finding Nevada materials not available elsewhere. Eastbound on US 50, you are following the Pioneer Branch of the Lincoln. Swing into the little town of Dayton, about 12 miles east of Carson City. This was a pony express stop in 1860 and a station on the Overland Stage. Main Street is the old Overland Trail of 1862-68 and the old Lincoln Highway Pioneer Branch. Franzwa notes a vintage Lincoln Highway sign on the corner of the Courthouse building. The Pony Express station was at the site of the brick red Union Hotel at the end of the street in the photo below. An original wall is all that is left of the station today. (I think the Union Hotel has been repainted pink! I guess nothing stays the same.) Dayton Main Street There is lots of old west and Lincoln Highway ambiance in Dayton. When I talked with the woman at the historical society housed in the 1863 brick school house, she showed the pride of the community in their Lincoln Highway connection. She was quick to mention they were hosting a Lincoln Highway lecture and presentation in the next few weeks. The building on the right in the picture above is the Odeon Saloon and Billiard Parlor, built in 1863. Mark Twain was a visitor, and President Grant addressed the townspeople from the balcony in 1879. Dayton Odean Saloon and Billiard Parlor That is sheila, Rose of the Road peering through the window at the interior. She is kind of shy It has nothing I can think of to do with the Lincoln Highway, but Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable's last movie, The Misfits, was filmed in and around Dayton in 1960. Being this close, after you leave Dayton eastbound you must take US95A south 8 miles to Ft Churchill and Buckland Station. The fort was built to garrison soldiers after the Piute uprising in the early 1860’s, and Buckland’s was a stage station. Burton writes of Ft Churchill: We went straight to the quartermaster's office and there found Lieut. Moore, who introduced us to all present, and supplied us with the latest newspapers and news. The camp was Teetotalist, and avoided cards like good Moslems. We were not however expected to drink water except in the form of strong waters, and the desert had disinclined us to abstain from whiskey. Finally, Mr. Byrne, the sutler, put into our ambulance [note: an ambulance is a type of wagon, narrower and fully enclosed, in contrast to the more familiar Concord coach] a substantial lunch, with a bottle of cocktail and other of cognac, especially intended to keep the cold out. Ft Churchill Ft Churchill Adobe Buildings in 3D (To view in 3D, stare at the two images, and cross your eyes until a third image appears in the center in 3D! It may help to tilt your head left or right a little.) When you return to US 50 and the Pioneer Branch, head east toward Fallon. Fallon was proud of its association with the Lincoln Highway and promoted travel on the Pioneer Branch as is demonstrated in this 1920 advertisement. Fallon Chamber ad in Automoble Blue Book Guide of 1920 The vintage Fallon Overland Hotel and Saloon served Lincoln Highway guests in the teens and 20’s, as it does today. Friends who have been into the hotel tell us you can enjoy a Basque meal in the restaurant or a drink at the western bar. They reported that during the happy hour cowboys with spurs mingled with Native Americans and other locals to create as close to an old western scene as one is likely to find anywhere. (Note the Lincoln Highway signs on the pillars in front) Overland Hotel and Saloon I talked by phone with new owners Mark and Judy as I put this post together. They are renovating the upstairs to provide accommodations complete with period furniture. They plan to continue the Lincoln Highway connection. It sounded to me like it would be worth a closer look. Share your experience with us on the Forum. Fallon 1920 Ads Across the street is the Fallon Garage, complete with old style gas pumps on display. Gas Pump in the Fallon Garage I can’t ever forget Fallon because we stayed there the night of September 10, 2001. We didn’t turn the TV on in the morning in the room and when I walked to the office to check out I found a small knot of people in various stages of shock staring at the TV. When we left later going east on US 50 into the barren and largely uninhabited desert, the fact that we were hundreds of miles from any possible bomb or other attack was of some little comfort. But we had no idea what we all would be facing as the day went on. It was almost surreal traveling the long, often deserted road across the desert listening to the reports as they came in on the radio. As a final note, below is the description of this section of the Lincoln Highway in 1920. Carson City to Fallon, Nev. - 65.7 m. Via Mound House and Dayton. First 20 miles good graded gravelly dirt, next 25 miles fine natural prairie road; balance fair with some rough stretches around Lahontan lake, which will in all probability be in good shape for 1920 travel. Leaving Carson City the route follows an irrigated valley for 20 miles, then traverses an open rolling prairie country to the Lahontan Dam, again entering a well developed irrigated section just beyond. Meals and supplies may be had at Dayton. This road has recently been added to the Lincoln highway system and officially designated as the Pioneer Branch of the Lincoln highway. The next installment will take us past a rediscovered Pony Express station, a brothel, and to Eastgate where Lincoln Highway travelers carved their names into the sandstone walls.
  2. Well, I got the whole post up and previewed, and then hit the post button and got kicked off! Like the dreaded disk crash, everything went away and I couldn’t get back to the forum. I wanted to keep my promise to get the first section post up tonight, but maybe it will be in the AM. I am going to prepare everything down to the last comma and hyperlink off line, then copy it to the forum. That way I won’t lose two hours of work so easily. This isn’t the fault of the American Road folks. They are great. I should add that this is actually fun (glitches aside) as it gives me a reason to use my thousands of photos (No, I only put up five or six) and my map and guide collection. I also telephoned folks at some of the premo sites to check on their status, and talked as a consequence with some great people. For example, one of the best stops on the Lincoln is in Fallon at the Overland Hotel and Saloon. It has a fantastic exterior, and is even advertised in 1920, but 2 years ago it was just maybe a little rough around the edges on the inside for a gentile guy like me!! But I discovered it has new owners (Mark and Judy) and they are doing a period renovation that sounds like it will not change all the good stuff, including the connection with the Lincoln, and add a bit of polish. I’m eager to stop there myself again, but I hope you will report on the place on your trip. Well back to the drawing board after I feed ole Bo, the Malamute Wonder Dog After all, we must Keep the Show on the Road!
  3. Good thoughts! I will put the posts up on sections of the road. It may take a couple of weeks overall, but it will also spark my memory as I do a little research, and hopefully serve the interests of others with a similar trip in mind. I think I should have the first section by tonight. I started at Carson City (not Fallon) and ended at Fallon. Carson City was on the Pioneer Branch of the Lincoln, has an original Lincoln Highway post out front the state Museum that was put there in 1928, the Museum has the best bookstore for Nevada materials, and you can stop at Dayton, Ft. Churchill, and Buckland Station before you get to Fallon. At Fallon you can visit the terrific Overland Hotel with its buffalo and elk heads over the vintage bar, and its real cowboys and Indians at the rail, not to mention the opportunity for a possible feast on Rocky Mountain oysters in the restaurant.
  4. Bliss, that is gold! I had surmised some of it, but not most. If I do put the idea of a cruise out there, I will heed those words of wisdom. I’ll have to rethink things a bit. The start point I had in mind is 90 miles by freeway from Seattle, and there is no two lane route over Snoqualmie Pass. If anyone drove at 55 they would be sitting ducks for every vehicle on the road. I thought we might also take the vintage Yellowstone Trail’s Blewett Pass (graded dirt) and stay at a renovated 1906 hotel with nothing like covered parking. If that is how it plays out, there will be no vintage rigs. Again, your thoughts are gold. I too am surprised that more people don’t use the great little FRS walkie talkies. I carry 4 little cheapies in the car all the time. When we team up on the road with anyone, I pass them around. Years ago I got disconnected from a group going down US 395 and through Death Valley. We had to communicate through the CHP to reconnect! No more! And as an aside, they are marital aids as well. When my wife and I go to the mall or super stores, we can go our separate ways, and not spend half the time trying to re-locate one another. Also, she likes to shop a lot more than I do, so I can go back to the car and read or take a nap, and at any time inquire as to our projected departure time or if she needs my manly presence. It has all but cured my Male Impatience Syndrome. We both love them. Thanks to you and DennyG again! It sure helps Keep the Show on the Road!
  5. Aside from the "little woman" comment (I know you did it in jest), I love your post! I appreciate the time that you took to figure all this out. Very informative. Becky As I was researching some planned posts about the Lincoln Highway, I came across the following description of the costs of a transcontinental trip in 1912. I used the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to adjust the dollars to current values. The surprising result was they are about the same in both years. That is to say, the costs of auto travel in real dollars haven’t changed much in the last 95 years! Some are a bit higher, others a bit lower, but overall, not significantly different. Of course the quality of the accommodations, the level of comfort, the reliability of the vehicles, and most certainly the nature of the roads are worlds apart! In 1913 (the first year of the series) the CPI was 29.4 and in January 2007, it was 606.3 (1967=100), a 20.6 fold increase. To keep it simple, I used a 20 fold increase and entered the adjusted number in red beside the 1912 number. The actual adjustment would probably be closer to 21 times for you purists. The source of the cost data is my 1912 Automobile Blue Book, Volume 6, Mississippi River to Pacific Coast. The quotation follows with my notes in red. While no hard-and-fast rule can be laid down as to cost, it is possible to give some approximate figures as to the daily expenditure per capita upon a trip of this sort. I will assume that there are not more than two cars forming the party—an ideal arrangement, by the way, owing to the difficulty of always finding adequate accommodations west of Nebraska and because of the ability of one car to help the other in case of a breakdown. The cheapest way would be to take a camping outfit throughout the entire journey, as that would bring expenses down to about $1.00 [$20] per day per head for personal expenses. Adding another $3.00 [$60] per day, gasoline, oil, etc., should be amply allowed for. Gasoline, it should be added parenthetically, will cost anything between 15 cents [$3] and 45 cents [$9] [ouch] per gallon. If the tourist decides -and, I think, wisely-to dispense with the extra encumbrance of camping outfit, he should, under average conditions of luck be able always to make some kind of night accommodations. In such case the daily expense would amount to about $3.50 [$70] per head, and for two persons, such as man and wife, the cost ought not to exceed a daily average of $6.00 [$120]. The cost of running a 4-cylinder, 5-passenger car of moderate wheelbase would account for about $55.00 [$1100] per week, this item including the driver's [chauffeurs] expenses but exclusive of tires. The average cost of a hotel room throughout the trip is $1.50 [$30] a person, where the tourist wishes to have the best accommodations each night stop can offer. Regular meals at the hotels average 50 cents [$10] per breakfast and supper (where noon dinner is served), and 75 cents [$15] for the midday meal. This is the rule throughout the smaller cities of the West. It will be found a highly practicable arrangement to take luncheon in the car. If the tourist is not pressed for time, and wishes to enjoy the pleasures of fishing and hunting en route, an ideal arrangement would be for the owners of 3 or 4 cars to club together and provide a motor truck with chef [Why not the little woman? Kidding, Kidding, Kidding! I didn't mean it, really!], mechanical equipment and a camping outfit. Camping would then become a delightful diversion, especially if a start were made in early summer, and the awkward contingency of being- compelled to abandon the slower running vehicle be avoided. In the case of our own trip, we made it without any mechanical troubles to speak of, with a grand average of gasoline consumed of about 10 miles per gallon, a mileage of 106 miles to every quart of oil consumed and 297 miles for every pound of grease used.
  6. More really good advice! I'm glad I asked. It is easy to forget the KISS principle. I like the idea of a road guide, and I plan to scout out prospective routes and places to stay in the next week, or as soon as we get some sunny days here in the Northwest. Should I be aware of any considerations for folks who may want to drive a vintage vehicle? The last vintage vehicle I owned wasn't vintage when I owned it! In fact, is it likly that most will show up in a vintage machine? Thanks! Let's Keep the Show on the Road!
  7. Great advice!! I'll take all of it, and I hope it helps others as well. Thanks for the help. Keep the Show on the Road.
  8. Rick, Great!! You are doing it right! You have enough time for the trip, enough time to get informed in advance, and not a bad time of the year to go. With all that going for you, you are certain to see through your eyes, and in your mind, what the old west was really like. Our “price” for the advice will be that you share your experiences with us. You are going to get to visit some places I’ve missed, because I didn’t have the knowledge I do now. I would really enjoy hearing about your trip, as will lots of others. I want to give you a few initial suggestions because they have added immeasurably to my enjoyment of the Lincoln in the area. I already told you about the University of Michigan site which you must visit, You will enjoy it more and more as you begin to link modern sites with the old photos. I downloaded and printed some, and even ended up providing some for the museum at Eureka, NV when I stopped there. I put them in a binder so I could compare the then and now as I traveled. Second, because it is a rare first hand view of the area you will be traveling, see if you can get a copy of Sir Richard Burton’s book. The copy I have is titled “The Look of the West 1860, Across the Plains to California.” He was traveling the route right after the Piute uprising and the destruction of several stations and the death of several station keepers. It is a great read throughout, and an outstanding and often cited original source. It will “background” you so you will start to build the mental map which makes traveling the Lincoln such a great experience. If you jump to ABE.Com today you can pick up a used reprint for under 10 bucks. But I also note some of the dealers want over $100 for a reprint, so maybe you should buy it soon. Third, I would also start to review the Pony Express. The old Lincoln and the Pony Express are interwoven and a trip on the Lincoln is also a visit to the overland stage and Pony Express routes. Again you can start with a web site. There are several good ones. What I would look for are accurate descriptions of the stations, their history, and locations. Franzwa does a good job, but he isn’t writing about the Pony Express, so he doesn’t attempt comprehensive coverage. I don’t know how you and computers get along. You referenced Delorme. That shows you know your stuff! If you have a laptop, and you don’t own their Topo USA disk set with the GPS unit, spend the money now to get the combination. You will be happy you did, not just because you can plan the trip with great tools, but because it is possible to make a wrong turn in the desert and the GPS display on the map as you drive can prevent that problem. Plus its fun to know where you are in real time! A bit on the esoteric side, but you might enjoy reading contemporary (1911-1920) news accounts of the route from Utah newspapers. I recall a story where the sheriff went out to learn why ranchers were turning their irrigation water across the road out on the stretch you will be traveling. When you add it up, the circumstantial evidence was that they were adding to their income pulling stuck autos out of the mud with their teams. There is a notice in one of my Blue Books or Lincoln Highway Guides that you should build a fire using the sagebrush if you get stuck, and Mr. Thomas(or Jones) will come out with his team to rescue you. My guess is that Thomas was digging ditches by day, and renting his team at night! Just speculation, of course! The Sheriff came back empty handed. Utah has lots of old newspapers on line, and a search on the Lincoln Highway turns up lots of gems. Search first for Utah digital newspapers, then read about how the Lincoln was viewed by the people of the time. Those leads should get you started! BTY, you mention “strip maps” in your first post. If you have original 1917 or 1920 era ACSC or CSAA Nevada or Utah strip maps of the Lincoln, stop using them immediately, protect them in plastic sheets, scan them, and use the copies. You might be holding the Holy Grail for old map collectors like me! I sold three Lincoln Highway Strip maps for $160 not too long ago, and they were in California. A set for Nevada would bring at least twice that on Ebay. I paid over $300 for just the 1912 road description a few weeks ago, and now I’m broke. I have Automobile Blue Books and both original and reprinted Lincoln Highway Guides in my collection, as well as old Topos and copies of old maps. I can make selected copies for your review on the Forum. Well, that’s another drink from a fire hose.! Thanks for helping Keep the Show on the Road!! Dave
  9. Why would I drive the old Lincoln between Ely and Salt Lake? Because no where else in America can you truly immerse yourself in what travel was like 90 to 150 years ago in this country. Now that is a pretty bold statement, and if some of my forum friends want to dispute that opinion, let the fun begin! As you well know, the two lane roads of America provide wonderful windows into the past, and a palette for the senses that is almost never offered on the interstates. It is hard to find an old two lane road not worth traveling. And I love them all. Each has its special character. You truly can get your kicks on old Route 66, and as far as I’m concerned every American should. And a drive along the Oregon Coast on old 101 will make you forever hunger for salt water taffy and the crash of Pacific breakers on a rocky shore. But the Lincoln in Nevada and Utah will make you marvel at what early auto travelers routinely experienced, and even what stagecoach travel was like in 1861. It is truly possible to hear and see in your mind’s eye a Pony Express rider approaching in a cloud of dust, or envision the 1915 auto traveler who perhaps stayed in the bunkhouse at Eastgate, carving his name and initials into the sandstone wall before he left. And who can pass a deserted brothel in the middle of the desert without at least a little reflection?! I recognize that folks differ in their preferences, so I need to be clear about what the Lincoln in this area is and isn’t. It definitely is not anything like Las Vegas or Disneyland! And what is there has not been “restored.” You won’t see a Living Museum of Pony Express History, complete with shootout and Indian attack. What you will see is westerners still living a small town or genuine ranch life. And if you know where to look you will find the past quietly laid out before you in so many ways you will leave with a lifetime of memories. And perhaps best of all, it will be yours to enjoy without crowds, waiting lines, or for the most part, other tourists. In fact, it is likely to be at times a lonely experience on the Loneliest Road in America. If you don’t enjoy the shadows and roadways of your mind, you may not like the Lincoln as much as I do. It won’t always be that way because, as you well know as a pro yourself, old road travel is growing by leaps and bounds. If you are a young man, do it before it is overrun with folks looking for souvenirs to carry home, and if you are an old codger like me, do it before you are confined to your easy chair! You could make the whole trip without rolling a tire on an inch of dirt road. Or you could go for the full Monte and travel about 150 miles of dust and dirt, past ranches, express stations, and desert watering holes, like it was in 1913 or 1919. Or you could do about 90 miles of smooth dirt, and enjoy a really good sample of the old Lincoln, without a compass! If you don’t do at least the 90 mile sampler, you will kick yourself forever. Before I close this little stream of consciousness, I want to add a unique resource to your list. It is easy get, free, and an unbelievably rich treasure trove of old Lincoln Highway photos. Go the University of Michigan website and look at the photos taken in the teens along the Lincoln in Utah and Nevada (and California for that matter). The UofM has the Lincoln Highway archives on line, and it is unbelievably rich. (I’d do a Google search on “University of Michigan” “Lincoln Highway”) Many of the sites you will view in the photos are there today. One of my favorites is the one of Tippets (or Tippetts, or Tippet, depending on who spells it) Ranch about 70 miles northeast of Ely. You can stand today where that picture was taken and nothing but the roadside sign has changed. Even the huge wooden hay lift is still there, as are the buildings. More later, as my objective is to Keep the Show on the (American) Road! Dave PS. Denny's the man! He is so well connected and informed he practically glows. I do have the advantage of having driven a good deal of the route between Ely and Salt Lake City, but not all. I'll post some pictures and maps. When do you plan to leave?
  10. Here’s a case where being right may provide the wrong advice! DennyG is one of our most knowledgeable members and he is correct, you can’t stay on the Lincoln all the way between Ely and Salt Lake City. You will have to detour around Dugway along the Pony Express Trail for about 40 miles, but that isn’t exactly a bad experience! In fact I consider it a bonus. When you are out buying books buy two of the Gregory M Franzwa series, The Lincoln Highway - Nevada and the Lincoln Highway - Utah. They are the definitive word on the Lincoln in those states. Franzwa is the founder of the modern Lincoln Highway Association and he not only provides detailed descriptions of the road and pictures, he provides hundreds of detailed maps showing the route. I have traveled much of the Lincoln in both Nevada and Utah several times, and you will regret it if you miss the Ely to Salt Lake drive. It can be taken in a passenger car and I have done much of it in my sedan. The only real deterrent is weather as it is dirt and will become slippery mud in any serious rain storm. I had planned some time ago a post and pictures of the road as far east as Ipabah, but hesitated because my last trip was a year and a half old, and therefore a little stale. I think now I may finish it and post it. I am a long time Lincoln Highway fan and I promise you are in for some sweet road tripping on the old Lincoln in Nevada and Utah. There are fascinating sites all along the way, and because much of the road follows the Pony Express and Overland Stage routes of the 1860’s you get a double treat. The towns, old Hotels, deserted ranches, and abandoned Pony Express Stations along the way will take you back to the old west like no where else, and I know! For example Sir Richard Burton made a stage coach trip along the route in 1861. At the Sand Springs Pony Express station he describes a man dying in the corner of the room. In the 1970’s the station was rediscovered buried under the sand and preserved for those who will walk a few hundred yards. You can stand in the old rock station, beside the fireplace where the man lay dying, and unless it’s the 4th of July, you are likely to be completely alone with only the sound of the wind blowing, as it did then. Or stop at the International Hotel in Austin and have one of the best burgers you ever ate. The old International has been serving Lincoln Highway travelers since the beginning, and looks like it did back then. Or stop at the bunkhouse at Eastgate and look at the names and dates carved for the last 90 years by travelers along the Lincoln. Spend awhile at Stone House where a Pony Express Rider took an arrow to the skull, and Lincoln Highway travelers stopped for water and perhaps a meal. You will have the place to yourself, without the fear of arrows. Stop at the deserted Tippetts Ranch where a young Dwight Eisenhower and his army convoy stopped and camped in the teens, and where early travelers wet their whistle at the bar and got suppilies and gas at the store. The goodies go on and on. When do you plan to make the trip. If you want suggestions, all of us can help. Oh, and I have old maps of the Lincoln from 1913 on, and turn by turn directions from 1920 and before in my collection. Happy to share in any way. (And BTY I am writing this from memory so I will correct any mistakes in dates, etc )tomorrow We have to Keep the Show on the Road Dave
  11. The Dixie Highway event inspired me to plan an inspection spin along the Yellowstone in eastern Washington. I thought I might do it this week but we are “enjoying” a forecast of clouds and sprinkles, so I’ll wait for at some promised sun breaks. No problem, I can go any time because I don’t suffer DennyG’s paycheck addiction any longer. I tried it for 35 years and didn’t like it! Actually, I had a wonderful career, but retirement is even better. I know the Yellowstone fairly well from both reading and traveling, but there are always new “discoveries.” For example, the last time I was in the village of Rosalia, south of Spokane on the older southern loop, I “discovered” a beautiful restoration of an old Texaco station. And I may have spotted an original painted YT arrow (I would attach photos but apparently I’ve exceeded my 500K allocation of “global” attachment space. Either that or I’ve been banned without knowing it! The moderators are looking into it.). I am pondering the possibility of suggesting a group trip on the Yellowstone in Eastern Washington like the one you folks did on the Dixie. Do you have any helpful hints? What works, what doesn’t? I would probably shoot for a long weekend in late September or early October. I have some ideas in mind, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself until I check out some places. Anyway, would anyone on the Dixie trip (or similar) like to offer some advice? I’ll also start putting out some feelers on the Yellowstone Trail section. Maybe John or Alice will have some ideas. I want to Keep the Show on the Road! Dave
  12. I think I may take a few days next week and savor a bit of the Yellowstone Trail in eastern Washington. Sheila, Rose of the Road will be baby sitting at the grandkids, so it would just be me and Bo, the Malamute Wonder Dog. If anyone has advice as to places to stay, eat, or visit, let me know. I’ll take the laptop and try to stay where I can get wifi so I can keep a running post of the trip in the Yellowstone Trail section of the Forum. I think I will look first at the post 1925 route via Cle Elum, Blewett Pass, and Waterville. The Waterville Hotel, built in 1903, was host to many a YT traveler. It is nicely restored with original period furnishings. I may also swing down from Spokane along the earlier southern loop of the Yellowstone and check out the wonderful small towns between Spokane and Walla Walla along the old road. And I plan to take a look around Ellensburg. The original pre 1925 dirt road from Ellensburg toward Yakima is an interesting ride, and other than being better graded and maintained now, it is largely unchanged. Let me know any ideas for eats, photos, lodging, etc. Trying to Keep the Show on the Road!!
  13. I understand…fun comes before reporting. And I had already enjoyed your earlier journal entry, thanks. I don’t know if it’s a case of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but your itinerary sounded really interesting. It prompted me to pull out some early descriptions of the area, when the road was “gravel or rough and stony” on the Dixie along your route. The image of the blue grass of Kentucky and the sipping of a fine bourbon by the wigwam has an appeal for an old westerner who used to fortify himself against rattlesnake bites with a little Jim Beam! When you do report again, maybe include a bit of a description of the country side. In 1920 it was sparsely settled hilly farm country, according to the 1920 Auto Blue Book. I’ll look forward to the rest of the story!. Gotta Keep the Show on the Road
  14. OK, the dog ate your homework, huh? We are sitting at the edge of our easy chairs looking for the next report. Let’s Keep the Show on the Road!
  15. The Pacific Highway, later US 99, follows the Cowlitz Trail northward between the Columbia River and Olympia, Washington. This is the northern branch of the Oregon Trail, which carried the first white settlers from the United States into the Puget Sound. The site of that first settlement at Tumwater Falls on the Deschutes River is within a few hundred yards of the now closed Olympia Brewery with its familiar slogan “It’s the Water.” The old Brewery offered tours and was a familiar stop on old 99. Anyone who took the tour will remember the great copper kettles, filled with a swirling mixture of hops and yeast, and of course the water from artesian wells. And if you were old enough, you got to sample the brew. In 1936-37 the Pacific Highway was rerouted a bit so that it was carried across the Deschutes on a new art deco bridge that featured a pair of totem poles at each end. It provided a fine view of the brewery. The bridge was built as a depression era public works project. The bridge, totem poles, and art deco lamp posts are still standing and in excellent condition. The bridge carries traffic on Capitol Way. The totem poles are a familiar reflection of the region’s Native American heritage, but with a modern (1937) art deco influence. Headed north you can turn left (west) just across the bridge, go about 200 yards and turn left again down the hill beside the brewery. This is the pre 1937 route of the Pacific Highway. It crosses the Deschutes River on a recently renovated bridge. At the west end is a small monument placed by the DAR in 1916 to commemorate the northern end of the Oregon Trail. Looking straight ahead (west) on the new bridge you see a lovely 30 foot retaining wall and savor the sounds of the I-5 freeway. Before the freeway paved over old Tumwater, you would have been looking at the Tumwater Drug Store and the north end of downtown Tumwater. A turn to the right will take you to the Tumwater Historical Park (watch for the sign on your right) and a view of the original Brewery which was at water level at the very end of Puget Sound. As you drive out of the park, you may enjoy visiting the home of Bing Crosby’s grandfather, Nathaniel Crosby III and the Tumwater Historical Society across the road.. You can backtrack to the intersection at the north end of the totem pole bridge (officially the Capitol Boulevard Crossing Bridge) and turn left (north) to follow old 99 into Olympia. Does anyone have a recollection of old Tumwater, the bridge, US 99 in the area, or the brewery to share? Just trying to Keep the Show on the Road!
  16. As was common in the 1940’s my father worked a 5 and a half day week, working until noon on Saturday. He came home and worked in the yard, then if we were lucky we headed off for Burbank (California) in our 1949 Chev torpedo back sedan to Bob’s Big Boy Drive In and later a movie at the San Val Drive In theater on San Fernando Blvd. The restaurant, which I think still exists, was a combination drive in and sit down affair, but I don’t recall that we ever went inside. We pulled up to an empty stall and ordered our food from the carhop. I may be wrong, but as I recall they wore a red (maybe brown) cowboy hat and neckerchief, and a white blouse. She delivered the food and attached the tray to the top edge of the window, in our case usually on the passenger’s side, as Mom doled out the food. The tray had rubber tipped legs that were adjusted against the outside of the window and secured with a large knob that tightened a slider. Some may think the Big Mac was the first double deck hamburger but Bob's had the original double decker. It was delivered on your window tray in a little white wax paper sack with a Big Boy image on it. It had a French dressing type sauce I still recall and which probably contributed to my preference for French dressing on my salads today. If you needed something, or when you were finished, you blinked your headlights to attract the carhop. It was considered impolite to honk your horn. We raised our own rabbits and chickens and most home cooked meals featured one or the other. A Bob’s double decker cheese burger was the best thing I ever ate, until I was in my early twenties and had a filet mignon at the Domino Club in San Francisco. Keep the Show on the Road!
  17. Thanks for the heads up! I took a look using Google Earth at the site, and if I am correct it is the bridge at lat 40.1200, lon -74.9772. If it is that bridge, it is highly accessible, just a few hundred yards off US 1 via a signaled intersection off the main road, requires no lengthy walk, would readily be handicapped accessible, and even enjoys enough surrounding space for parking and a small interpretive site. To top it off there are existing tourist facilities immediately adjacent and a major hotel across the road.. It is the oldest arched bridge in the area , was once a link in the Kings highway, and is a fine example of the type. It also appears to offer access to a possible jogging or walking area along the old Lincoln Highway alignment and into the Park for hotel guests. Do I have the wrong bridge? If not, it is certainly worth an effort to save it! After all, we want to Keep the Show on the Road!
  18. Thanks for the tip! But how does a guy pass up homemade pie? Must be it’s a lot easier to come by in Wisconsin than it is out west! Never been into that area. I took a look via Google Earth. It looks like heavily farmed prairie country. What are the highlights of a drive along US 51 in the area? Streets and Trips shows several small towns centered on the railroad that spill over to US 51 when it runs near the rail line. What are the small towns like? Your post led me to visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation site. Some states, such as mine (Washington) provide on line access to a photo data base of every foot of state roads, usually with the view ahead and to the right. I didn’t find that in Wisconsin, but I did discover an interesting program they call Rustic Roads. They have identified over 100 rural roads with special character. I clicked on a few and they sound like terrific side trips on any two lane trip in Wisconsin. I looked for one along your route on US 51 and the route described below popped up as an example. “Rich in heritage, Dyreson Road travels through fertile farmland and wooded areas. The road offers an excellent view of Lake Kegonsa as it crosses County B. Historic Dyreson Bridge over the Yahara River is the site of early Indian and pioneer crossings and is adjacent to ancient Indian effigy mound sites. Nearby wetlands provide glimpses of native waterfowl, fish and wildlife. Also located on the road is Dyreson House, an early Wisconsin homestead listed in the Wisconsin State Historical Society’s Inventory of Historic Places.” (I have included the Ken Zingg photo of the Dyreson Bridge from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Site) That’s some 2.9 mile stretch of road! And many of the others are as interesting. Bravo to Wisconsin. A great idea!! Thanks for the post and Keep the Show on the Road!
  19. Congratulation to Fordtractor! A great shot of the old mining activity at Mosquito Pass! You caught the clear blue of the Colorado skies and the warm tones of the old wood building perfectly. Lots of impact. It has been 40 or 45 years since I was there, and it’s great to see that it is just as photogenic as back then! Takes me right back! Did you do other photos of the buildings?
  20. Thanks for the very kind words! I wasn’t a Route 66 fan until my wife, our big Malamute, and I took a trip along it in the Southwest this winter. Thanks to the good folks at American Road Forum, we were steered in the right direction as we traveled. I like the Meteor City shot myself because it seemed to shout out Route 66! Frankly I was amazed at the photos opportunities. All my shots are spur of the moment, and there were lots of great moments on old 66. I took my first trip along US 66 in 1951 or 52 as a kid in the days when we carried a water bag hanging from the front bumper. Of course this was before air conditioning. The trip was made in July from LA to Grand Canyon and back. Dad had purchased a wind driven evaporative cooler that hung on the passenger’s window, sort of like a drive-in food tray. It looked like a small barrel on its side with a wind driven fan in the front that turned a cloth covered drum into a pool of water in the bottom of the barrel. It had a duct that was supposed to divert the “cooled” air into the car. The primary virtue of the “cooler” was the fine mist it sprayed on back seat passengers as we drove through the desert! Thanks again!! Keep the Show on the Road! Dave
  21. Ah, come on…You know…THE THING …rectangular, Jeepish, often orange, convertible metal box with what looked like corrugated steel sides. They were selling in the US (1973-74) when you bought your new PINTO in 1973. Remember now? Bet you wish now you bought it rather than that Pinto. Right? Thanks for the list!! Keep the Show on the Road!
  22. I note that the Columbia River Highway is among the vote leaders in the West in the voting for favorite drives. I agree! It is always a beautiful drive, any time of year. We have taken it many times, including two visits this winter (12/06-1/07). If you are not familiar with the highway, it is the two lane road designed in 1916 by famed highway engineer Samuel Lancaster along the south side of the Columbia River. The history of the road is almost as fascinating as the road itself. The road follows along the Oregon side of the River. It was an engineering marvel in its day, because the Columbia runs through a steep walled volcanic canyon carved out in part by the humungous Missoula Lake floods of the ice age, about 15,000 years ago. The Missoula Floods were so gigantic that they swept huge boulders the size of locomotives many hundreds of miles, and scoured the land in much of the eastern part of Washington, in the process forming gigantic water falls (e.g. Dry Falls) that dwarfed today’s Niagara. Creeks entering the Columbia were cut through by the 650 foot deep rushing water and now fall hundreds of feet into the canyon. Multnomah Falls (620 feet) in the photo is the best known. The Columbia cuts through the Cascade range of Mountains on the route followed by Lewis and Clark. Many of the landmarks they note in their journals are landmarks along the Columbia River Highway today. For example, in the photograph of the river from historic Chanticleer Point (today called Women’s Forum Viewpoint), in the far distance on the left is a basalt plug called Beacon Rock by Lewis and Clark. This view is upriver, looking east. The photograph of Multnomah Falls was taken when the temperature was low enough to freeze the mist onto the banks. For scale, the spots on the bridge are people viewing the falls. Lewis and Clark note the falls: “ ….streams fall from a much greater hight, and in their decent become a perfect mist which collecting on the rocks below again become visible and decend a second time in the same manner before they reach the base of the rocks.” The old road can be entered at several places. Coming from the west, I find the best exit off the I84 freeway is Exit 22 to Corbett. This takes you up to Chanticleer Point, the site of the river photo. You can then stop at famed Crown Point (the building in the river photo) and take the serpentine road down to the river and Multnomah Falls. Westbound, take Exit 35. If you want to travel the old road, don’t assume you can take the Multnomah Falls exit off the freeway!! It does not connect with the old road and leads you to a large parking lot instead. Finally, the Columbia River Highway is now officially the Historic Columbia River Highway. It was also a part of US30 and before that, the Old Oregon Trail auto road (for auto trail fans). Keep the Show on the Road!
  23. I know exactly what you mean! I have many of my maps and travel guides in drawers, which makes them virtually impossible to easily locate. I did find a fairly simple way to organize them, however. I bought 2.5 or 3 inch wide binders and those clear sheet protectors. I then put a map in each sheet protector, grouping them by state or type. Now they sit on a shelf nicely. I imagine I have one of the most comprehensive road map and guide collection in the Northwest (I’m sure Ypsi Slim of this forum has much more, but he’s not in the Northwest!). I enjoy following an old road in my easy chair, then trying it on the ground, so to speak. I use the Automobile Blue Books a lot because they give pretty detailed descriptions and you can run the road both directions. For many of the western routes I also have strip maps, which are pretty good. I combine that with Delorme’s Topo maps on CD, which most often show the old road, and if necessary an aerial image like Google earth. When you can find them, the historic USGS topos are also great. Many were done in the teens or 20’s. If you are following an old road, they will nail it down to a nat’s eyebrow. There are websites with most of the Northeast available, and some universities have made their collections available on line (eg Chico State in California, Washington State in Washington, etc) In the Northwest and Northern California, the Medsker County Maps of the late 1940’s and early1950’s (pre freeway) are very useful, and usually cheap. We didn’t destroy or abandon a lot of roads between 1920 and 1950. Mostly we upgraded. I don’t think it was until the advent of humongous road building equipment that we cut through mountains, filled valleys and bee-lined the system. There is nothing like being there to identify the old routes, but on a cold Northwest evening I can enjoy a virtual trip via map. And if one of the forum members has 49 trips already documented, on his website I can “virtually” drive the road! PS. Did you ever read my second post (after I got home) regarding the Old National Trails Route question you posed. The ABB description of the Gallup route was as negative as I have ever read. It sure explained why the Springerville route was preferred!
  24. Living in England you don’t have to take a back seat on maps!! Nor absolutely amazing two lane roads, (some closer to one lane with hedgerows!) When I was in Hay on Wye bookstores years ago I picked up as many old Great Britain maps as I could put my hands on. They are beautifully done, and some are works of art! Mine aren’t valuable, but they are treasured in my collection. I’ll have to pull a few out and enjoy them again! The British are master map makers, and guide makers to boot. I don’t think they get the kind of attention here they deserve! And of course your AA produces excellent modern maps and guides that are invaluable. I used to own a 1958 MGA, jet black with red interior, with spoke wheels, so I can claim a little British auto knowledge. In fact I still have the spanner out of the tool kit. Driving it was hands down the most fun you can have and not go to jail! I bicycled England, Wales, Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland in the 1970’s on a two month visit, and Sheila and I have been twice by auto to visit. In 1977 I bicycled over the Snowdonia road through Bleanau Ffestiniog into Llandudno, then out to Hollyhead.. Sheila and I drove it a few years ago, and I am glad I made that ride when I was still in my 30’s! That area can’t be more than 50 miles from Liverpool. We have missed Liverpool (because I avoid big cities), but have been within 15 miles a couple of times. As you well know, you have some jaw dropping beautiful and historic two lane road scenery within 30 or 35 miles of Liverpool. Just thinking about it makes me want to scout budget air fares. I can almost taste a good old fashioned English breakfast served on a white tablecloth at a country bed and breakfast! I know the forum is American Roads, but why don’t you give us a post of a two lane road trip in England. I doubt that those who have never visited realize the beauty and great roadside interest that would await them on a trip to your country. Like here, get off the motorway and onto the A and better yet, the B roads! Make our week and post some road trip photos from your part of the world, if you get a chance. I would love to see the area again. Thanks for helping to Keep the Show on the Road
  25. Thanks for the post! Right, the old Blue Books are a good source of directions until the route they were describing was paved over by a freeway, or the like! It is tough to get old maps of Mississippi. Apparently it wasn’t a big touring state like say California or New York. Where do you find your maps? Ebay or locally? I see your home is in Mississippi. A great state! I have a good friend in Coffeeville. He is (or was) chairman of the Mississippi Civil War Commission. We met because my great grandfather was a member of the infamous 7th Kansas Cavalry who were in northern and central Mississippi during the Civil War. The 7th got its b** whipped at Coffeeville and great grandfather nearly got killed. Lucky for me, he didn’t!!! I’ve been to Mississippi only once five years ago, but thoroughly enjoyed the two lane roads I traveled. Fascinating small towns dot the countryside, and I would give a bundle right now for some good ribs prepared in the Mississippi manner! My 90 year old uncle wanted to see where his grandfather had been so we landed at Baton Rouge and worked our way north to Corinth. Of course we stopped in Natchez and followed the Trace for a ways. I missed so much along the way, I would enjoy getting back one day when I had more time. I don’t think Mississippi gets enough credit for its old roads. Have you posted any trip descriptions or photos. I would enjoy seeing some. I see you must be near US 11. It looks like a fascinating route. I will have to take a closer look at it. If you do any photographs of the area, please share them if you get a chance. Back to the maps. I have a 1927 Automobile Blue Book of the “Mid South.” By 1927 they didn’t need the turn by turn directions anymore, and it is more like a modern AAA Tour Book. It does have great photos and descriptions. Unfortunately it is in bad shape. And right again, any map without an interstate shield is good. I carry a couple of old Shell pre freeway maps in the side panel of the door, just to have them handy wherever I drive. The whole travel experience changes when you get off the freeway. Thanks again for the feedback! It helps Keep the Show on the Road
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