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Harold de Bock

Lincoln Highway On Motorcycle

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As a Dutchman interested in riding my semi-classic motorcycle over the historic highways of the US, this September 2011 saw me riding the original 1913 Lincoln Highway from Fort Wayne Indiana to Laramie Wyoming - and back to my American home base Bloomington Indiana. Lincoln Highway is well-signed by the active LH Association - on previous trips I found signage on Dixie Highway completely missing and on Route 66 lacking detail. However Brian Butko's "LH Companion" is indispensible for original details. Riding dirt and gravel sections does pose somewhat of a challenge on a tour bike but turned out to be quite doable - and very much worth the effort.

 

It was a rather adventurous 10-day >3.000 miles trip which you may follow in words and pictures for your own inspiration and planning by

+ go to www.yamaha-triples.org

+ log in top right with username Lincoln and password Holland

+ click through to Forums and then Ride Reports.

 

The Lincoln Highway offers a magnificent perspective on the American West: both the attempts to keep history & architecture alive as well as the decay & desolation resulting from people draining away to larger urban centers.

 

Lincoln Highway: very much deserving to be traveled also today!

 

Harold

 

Ride to write

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Definitely an interesting looking trip and it seems you enjoyed it a bunch despite that roguish electricity escaping whenever you weren't looking

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Denny,

 

Riding these historic highways is a pleasure every mile regardless what happens.

After Route 66, Dixie Highway and Lincoln Highway, I am not quite sure what could be a next one.

Perhaps the Jefferson Highway which I would have to pick up around Kansas City, 500 miles from my Bloomington Indiana homebase.

There is an interesting website on JH, comparable to the one for LH.

I don't see a JH Forum on this American Road website with JH travel reports.

And last time I was in New Orleans was 40 years ago.....

 

Harold

 

Ride to Write

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That JH website and the group behind it looked quite promising and I still have hope though there hasn't been much news lately. There was an organizing meeting in March but the website hasn't been updated since sometime prior to that. It was mentioned in the ARM summer issue and was the subject of a Foster Braun podcast here.

 

Kansas City looks to be about the mid-point of the JH and, since you mentioned New Orleans, I'm guessing you're thinking of driving the southern half. There are a few other old auto trails that pass through Indiana including the Yellowstone Trail, the Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway, and the National Old Trails Road and there are plenty of miles of LH & DH still waiting.

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Denny,

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

 

The Yellowstone Trail appeals most to me. I haven't traveled the northern-most states of the US. The Yellowstonetrail.org website offers starting information but appears to be very much under construction. I will certainly follow-up on this advise of yours!

 

I also haven't traveled to New England, so I may look into an historic route from Indiana to NE.

 

Pikes Peak and the National Old Trails seem to overlap roughly with what I rode on original Route 66 going west and the route I took back going east from Santa Fe NM to Bloomington IN.

 

DH (to Key West and back) and LH (to Laramie WY and back) I consider 'done'.

 

My interest is in exploring new old territories.

 

Harold

 

Ride to write

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I suspect by now you've visited the Yellowstone Trail forum here. It's moderated by the same folks who have the yellowstonetrail.org website. There are also other forum members familiar with the western portion. East of Chicago, it seems the trail was neither well marked nor very popular even during its heyday and things haven't improved.

 

Hopefully some folks familiar with the great northeast will step up and prove me wrong but I'm not aware of any named auto trails in New England that extended beyond the region. Theoretically the Yellowstone Trail reached Boston but note the previous "neither well marked nor very popular" comment. My guess is that, during that era, most westbound New Englanders would connect with the NOTR or LH around New York.

 

When the numbered US routes took over, the two longest start/end around Boston. US 20 was the longest and US 6 the second and both go through Indiana. I've not driven US 6 east of the middle of Pennsylvania but I've heard positive comments. I can vouch for there being some very scenic sections in western PA and both Six and Twenty have some very pleasant sections in Ohio though both do pass through some crowded cities including Cleveland. I consider a stop at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame compensation for the congestion but you may not.

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Denny,

 

I did look at the YT Forum here, indeed, as well as the YT.org website.

 

My next step will be to find maps of the original YT route and then to see what current route would be called for if signage is basically lacking. I did the same 'map archeology' for the Dixie Highway, using a 1923 DH map.

 

This September, I took US 6 Eastbound coming from Laramie WY but leaving it at the point where it moves up north very close to LH and then on towards NW Chicago.The Chicago area is to be avoided. I did ride LH Westbound from Fort Wayne IN through the Chicago area and would advise anybody: don't; it is totally clogged up with endlessly repetitive shopping centers and traffic lights. Against my principle, I would advise here: do take the Interstate here and pick up LH Westbound near Aurora Ill.

 

I will keep following the YT Forum here and the YT.org website.

 

Thanks for your valuable feedback!

 

Harold

 

Ride to write

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Denny has been leading in replies to you, and I feel a little guilty I haven't joined in. The Yellowstone Trail would certainly meet your interests. I am the "Washington Correspondent" for the Trail, an honor I think I received because I was more verbose than any of the competitors!

 

The Association publishes a newsletter, The Arrow, which is available here:

 

http://www.yellowstonetrail.org/Arrows/Arrow18.pdf

 

(Change the 18 to a lower or higher number for other issues)

 

There is not a detailed map of the entire route yet, but I believe John and Alice Ridge are nearing completion of one. I don't know their planned publication date.

 

I don't know how closely you want to follow the original route. I have followed most of the early route between Seattle and eastern Montana. Some of it is still dirt, and might not be great motorcycle riding. But there are good two lane paved roads that were later iterations of the original Trail that are fascinating that substitute for the dirt.

 

With a little advance notice I could put together a Yellowstone Trail road map for you to follow from eastern Montana to Seattle using Google Earth or Delorme.

 

I'm sure other Association members will gladly help as well.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Hi Dave,

 

The Arrow is a really nice publication and I will certainly look through the various issues.

 

As to the itinerary: I am not a fundamentalist, prefer to ride the original route as much as possible, but also know from riding Route 66, Dixie Highway and this year Lincoln Highway that concessions are unavoidable and not to be regretted.

 

YT's original dirt sections I would like to try and follow to some extent depending on their condition, the weather (rain doesn't help) and how much time I have given the distance I am planning to ride. And you are quite right: usually there are equally scenic quiet 2-lane alternatives nearby that I am very happy to cruise along.

 

As to the far west: given my home base in Bloomington Indiana, I am not quite sure I will be able to make it all the way to the Pacific as I have to ride back as well. Yelowstone Park would of course be a natural turning point for me. That would make about a 3500 miles trip in total, so quite doable within a 2-week period which I see as a max.

 

My wife and me have never been to YT. So, I could have her fly into YT for R&R of a week or so before riding back for me and flying back for her to Indiana. I will put this on our travel planning board.

 

In the mean time I will follow The Arrow and the various YT sites to see what will become available in terms of more or less original mapping.

 

Thanks very much for your observations!

 

Harold

 

Ride to write

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