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DennyG

By Motor To The Golden

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I just now finished reading an online copy of By Motor to the Golden Gate which I enjoyed about a zillion times more than I thought I would. I enjoyed it because it is interesting and well written. It exceeded my expectations so much because my expectations were so low. I knew its author, Emily Post, only as an etiquette guru and I knew she was chauffeured and that car and occupants had reached the coast on a train. I expected nothing but whining and negative comparisons of everything she encountered to east coast high society. Was I ever wrong!

 

The book is an excellent tale of a very early (1915) cross country drive. There are a few descriptions of interior decorating and clothing fashions but there are a lot more descriptions of cities, landmarks, people, and the road. And even decorating and fashions are kind of interesting when they're from nearly a hundred years in the past. The expected whining is pretty much absent and Emily actually spends a night camping -- by choice -- in the desert although she sleeps in the car and not on the ground. Even the shipping of the car was not quite the sin I had thought. It did not occur until they had reached Winslow, Arizona, and was probably a prudent thing to do given the beating the car had endured. Emily sounds sincerely disappointed. Plus, the car was not hauled to their San Francisco destination but to Los Angeles where they picked it up and drove south the San Diego before heading north along the Pacific coast.

 

Detailed expenditures and notated maps are included along with some wonderful photographs. Unfortunately, many of the photos in the scanned copy appear water damaged so lose some of their impact. The book has been reprinted so I may just have to buy a copy to get a good look at those pictures. I'm sure many folks here read this long ago. I'm really sorry I waited so long.

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Denny,

 

Thanks for the tip. I think I have read parts of it. But it raises a question.

 

Day before yesterday I met a women in Cle Elum, Washington, who had a copy of a letter written by a fellow to his wife describing part of his 1909 trip to a Seattle exposition. The lady was in her mid eighties and so her recollection wasn't perfect.

 

I didn't see the letter, but she was willing to share it, and since I will be going through Cle Elum on the National Parks Highway trip, I might follow up. Does your memory of early cross country trips bring up any connections with her comments? I will research it myself, but I thought you might know off the top of your head.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Note, I checked. It was apparently the "great race of 1909." I'll give the woman a call and see if I can get a squint at the letter.

 

Dave

 

Note: I have called the woman and she is going to let me know by next week if I can see the letter. I'll keep all posted. It may lead no where, or it may be a fun "discovery." I think it was reported in the local newspaper years ago, so it isn't like finding a letter from Lincoln! B) But it may be interesting.

 

Dave

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The top of my head produced absolutely nothing but a quick web search revealed that an almost forgotten Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition did occur and that there was an almoster forgotten New York to Seattle race preceding it. The letter could be quite interesting. Remember, a digital camera is a photocopier without the sheet feed.

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By Motor to the Golden Gate is a great read. It's amazing what these early motorists accomplished, simply because they didn't know it couldn't be done. LOL The true American spirit of adventure.

 

I also have, somewhere around here, the book about the 1919 Army transcontinental truck romp across the U S. The current interstate system was born from that little jaunt.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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By Motor to the Golden Gate is a great read. It's amazing what these early motorists accomplished, simply because they didn't know it couldn't be done. LOL The true American spirit of adventure.

 

I also have, somewhere around here, the book about the 1919 Army transcontinental truck romp across the U S. The current interstate system was born from that little jaunt.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

 

I assume everyone on here has seen, or at least heard about, "Horatio's Drive"? It's a recounting of the very first transcontinental auto trip, before there were really ANY auto roads to speak of outside of major cities. IIRC it was first broadcast on PBS in 2003 to mark the 100th anniversary of said drive in 1903. I have it on DVD--very interesting!

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I assume everyone on here has seen, or at least heard about, "Horatio's Drive"? It's a recounting of the very first transcontinental auto trip, before there were really ANY auto roads to speak of outside of major cities. IIRC it was first broadcast on PBS in 2003 to mark the 100th anniversary of said drive in 1903. I have it on DVD--very interesting!

 

I picked up the book that went with the program.

 

They went through country I'm familiar with, and past or through the Craters of the Moon area in Idaho. From a little research, I think the route is still there, as they had to follow the old Goodale Cutoff of the Oregon Trail, which necessarily skirted the lava fields wherever possible. There is a clear track along the northern edge of the lava fields, which most probably represents the route they, and Goodale Cutoff travelers took.

 

The pouch (Bud) with his goggles on reminds me of Spirit, Ara's dog.

 

When I get over to Idaho next, I plan to see if I can drive a bit of Horatio's route....ah, more to do!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Dave,

 

Don't forget that Cle Elum is on the Yellowstone Trail! You might make inquiry about any info at all about early travel in the area. Most any tidbit from before 1930 or so would be useful.

 

Also, don't forget to check out Northern Exposure sites in nearby Roslyn.

 

John (Yttrailman)

 

Your quote:

Day before yesterday I met a women in Cle Elum, Washington, who had a copy of a letter written by a fellow to his wife describing part of his 1909 trip to a Seattle exposition. The lady was in her mid eighties and so her recollection wasn't perfect.

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I had never heard of any of these books/stories, so thanks for sharing!

Then maybe you've never heard of Alice's Drive (originally published as Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron) either. You're gonna have a lot of reading to do next winter.

 

BTW, Horatio's Winton is in the Smithsonian.

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