Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
black85vette

Road Trip 2013

Recommended Posts

Not focused on a single road or destination. 13 states, 4045 miles, 70+ geocaches, and 3 national parks in 11 days.

 

Intersected or drove on parts of; Lewis and Clark trail, Santa Fe trail, Oregon Trail, Lincoln Highway, and the Overland Stage route.

 

Had a great trip. Made this route;

 

http://goo.gl/maps/R6Zpf

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a fair amount of driving. It looks like a lot of it was on the interstates. 4000 + miles in 11 days is a pretty good clip, given that you did some sight seeing along the way. What were the highlights?

 

Dave

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normally we avoid the 4 lane stuff. But in this case we had some serious distance between stops. #1 highlight was 2 days in Yellowstone. Had a great time there. Photographed; a grizzly w/ cubs, 2 black bears, big horn sheep, moose, coyote, and prong horn deer. #2 highlight was stopping at Cheyenne for "Depot Days". Got to tour the old Union Pacific depot and they opened the steam engine shop for tours so we got to tour the facility where they keep their steam excursion train. Only open to the public two days a year. Also went by the park to see engine 4004, a "Bigboy", the most powerful class of steam engines ever made. #3 highlight was the Little Bighorn battlefield. Really helps to see a place to understand the history behind it. Also spent about a day and a half around Mt Rushmore. Spent time in Lead and exploring around old mining areas. Stopped to see the steam train but did not get to ride it. Explored around Sioux Falls / Council Bluffs area and went to the train museum there as well. The old warehouse destrict in Omaha was really nice and has plenty of places to eat. Thanks to a geocache we found the site of an Overland Stage route stop off I-80. Got to see the original location of the Lincoln Highway memorial, again, a geocache spot.

 

We are working on finding a geocache in all 50 states. Next major trip will be New England. Then Oregon / Washington with a cruise to Alaska.

 

This trip did get me more interested in traveling more of the Lincoln Highway. Much like 66 it had a number of vintage bridges on its older alignments. We love to find old bridges. We drove US 60 all the way to the east coast 2 years ago. I think we need to do the same with Lincoln.

Edited by black85vette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that sounds good! The opportunity to see a Bigboy would be a sure highlight for me. That was real “heavy metal!” Do they get her under steam, or it a static exhibit?

 

I had an uncle who was a blacksmith in the Spokane Hillyard facility of the Great Northern. Too bad I didn't consider him the great resource he would have been, but I was too young to appreciate his experience.

 

You sound like a steam fan....hard not to be once you have been up close to one of those magnificent machines! I go back far enough to remember Dad boarding the Daylight for a trip between Glendale and San Francisco, but alas, I wasn't going along!!

 

I understand your growing affection for the Lincoln. My favorites are the National Parks Highway and the Yellowstone Trail, probably because they crossed my state of Washington and I have studied each “on the ground.” But I have enjoyed following the Lincoln in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Nevada.

 

Thanks for the details!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I know there are only 8 remaining Bigboys and all are static displays. They were 4-8-8-4 configuration. In the shop in Cheyenne was also Challenger class number 3985. It is the most powerful steam engine still running. It is a 4-6-6-4 and like the Bigboy both sets of drive wheels have their own pistons so it like two engines under one boiler. Both the Challenger and Bigboy are articulated. The front wheels pivot under the engine to be able to go around corners.

 

Engine 844 will be going out this summer on a couple of runs. It was the last steam engine that UP bought. I felt so fortunate to be there for one of the two days the shop was open to the public.

 

Doesn't get much better for me and my wife than to combine a road trip with geocaching and steam engines!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great road trip! Yellowstone, steam engines, and a battlefield. What more could you want in an 11 day trip?

 

The only thing I might have added was a trip to the Aerial Firefighting Museum at the airport on US 14 outside of Greybull, Wyoming, but last I heard it had been closed. At least while passing through I would stop and listen to the ghosts of Hawkins and Powers. I'll bet if you listen real close you can hear the sounds of the radials still reverberating off the nearby hills and through the canyons.

 

UP 844 passed through California a few years back and I took the opportunity to follow it. What a gorgeous piece of machinery to see in action. I hope to make it up to Cheyenne one of these days for Depot Days. Sounds like the place to be if you like trains.

 

I0000m5LfF4YogvE.jpg

 

UP 844 on a siding in Oroville, California.

 

More pics of 844 HERE

 

Roadhound

http://www.rwphotos.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, radial engines also get my attention. We just recently had B-29, B-25 and B-17 bombers at an airport near here. Love to hear them flying over.

 

Wow! the photos of 844 are awesome. Thanks for posting the link. It is going out on a run in July from Denver to Cheyenne and tickets are on sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like the Confederate, er, Commemerative Air Force (got to be PC) was in town. It's been 15 years since I was able to see Fifi (the B-29) fly. It doesn't make it to the west coast that often. Hope you got a chance to see it in the air. You would have enjoyed Greybull when Hawkins and Powers was still operating there. Lots of big planes with radial engines.

We have the Collings Foundation making its annual stop this weekend. Always a thrill to see and hear a B-24, B-17, and B-25 in the air. I was fortunate enough to do an air-to-air photoshoot with them a few years ago. Story is HERE

Are you going to try to catch 844 while its out on the rails? If so, be careful. Train spotters have a level of fanaticism that is hard to match. They will do just about anything to get the pic or video.

Roadhound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some more really nice pics. BTW; I used to actually work on a plane with radial engines. I worked Comm/Nav on Marine Corps aircraft and had 4 C47s in our squadron at Cherry Point NC.

 

Still thinking about making the run back up to see 844. It is about 12 solid hours to Denver from here. I would really like a couple of days to scout the route and find the best locations. Yeah, from what I have seen, when a rare train is out on the rails it is like a shark feeding frensy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to be so late to the party. Gotta do some shotgunning.

 

black85vette: Your trip reads like a section of my bucket list. Yellowstone, Little Big Horn, and Rushmore are all still in my future. I definitely encourage you to drive the Lincoln but don't view it as another Route 66. I've talked with some who did and, not only were they disappointed, they missed enjoying a great route with truly unique history.

 

KtSonR: The Yellowstone Trail is very much on my bucket list. Know of any guides for the west portion who work for peanuts -- and an occasional beer?

 

roadhound: At last year's Doolittle reunion in Dayton, I had 20 B-25s (The most in one place since WW II) fly over my head. Even without the background and appreciation you and others have, the sound was incredible. BTW, 3 of the 4 survivors met in Florida this year and announced that there would be no more public reunions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Denny,

 

Wow, the prospect of three road luminaries dropping by!! John and Alice Ridge will be visiting in July. You don't mention when you might make a Northwest expedition....but three road pro visits in a year would be riches beyond belief!! The Western Division of the Yellowstone Trail Association will roll out the Yellow Carpet!

 

BTW, Curt C, I, and our better halves did a YT trip on Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend and scouted out a few discoveries, which I will describe in a future post. Your guides await.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Dave. Didn't mean to scare you. I'm really thinking of the YT for 2014. 2013 is being pretty much gobbled up by the Lincoln Highway and its centennial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

roadhound: At last year's Doolittle reunion in Dayton, I had 20 B-25s (The most in one place since WW II) fly over my head. Even without the background and appreciation you and others have, the sound was incredible. BTW, 3 of the 4 survivors met in Florida this year and announced that there would be no more public reunions.

 

Denny,

 

you've got me beat by 8 Wright R2600's. The most I ever was able to see was 16 sometime in the late 90's as they made a pass over the USS Hornet which is now a museum at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. If you're ever out this way the carrier is well worth spending half a day exploring.

 

The Doolittle Raiders final gathering in Florida was the last "public" gathering of the remaining airmen. They intend to have a private gathering to break open the bottle of 1896 Hennesy Cognac and make a final toast. Men like that are few and far between.

 

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130421/NEWS/304210004/Doolittle-Raiders-gather-final-reunion

 

Roadhound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Denny,

 

you've got me beat by 8 Wright R2600's. The most I ever was able to see was 16 sometime in the late 90's as they made a pass over the USS Hornet which is now a museum at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. If you're ever out this way the carrier is well worth spending half a day exploring.

 

The Doolittle Raiders final gathering in Florida was the last "public" gathering of the remaining airmen. They intend to have a private gathering to break open the bottle of 1896 Hennesy Cognac and make a final toast. Men like that are few and far between.

 

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130421/NEWS/304210004/Doolittle-Raiders-gather-final-reunion

 

Roadhound

I don't know that I ever got all twenty in the lens at one time while they were airborne but you can see the 2012 reunion from my point of view here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mom and dad met working for Wright Aeronautical in Patterson NJ.

 

My dad had a car and gas ration cards. So they commuted from the Bronx to Patterson.

 

My mom said she made pistons or the cylinders for the radial engines. I can not remember which one of those two parts. I think mom said it was for B 24's.

 

My dad said a boss took a liking to him, promoted then taught him how to use a slide rule and he would run the engines on test stands. Break them in and make sure they were ready to go.

 

Part if his job was to record engine data. Such as horse power curves, oil consumption per hour, specific fuel consumption curves. This data then went with each plane. In the old movies when the pilot would ask the navigator do we have enough fuel to make it to reach the coast, my dad's SFC curves would enable the navigator to determine the distance they had left on the fuel in their tanks.

 

That generation including my uncles did not talk much about the Big One. Though I had uncle in the Army Air Corp. He spoke in general. That he was in Africa, France, Italy. He did not say much in detail. Though he held the B 17's in high regard.

 

He said I never saw planes shot up so bad and those B 17's would still make it in. Then he said the B 17's replacement, bad memory again I think it was the B 24. I think he may of called them the Liberators.

 

What I do remember is he said they called them (the B 17's replacement) Flying Coffins. One hit and they would go down.

 

Any way so much for my bad memory and wishing I had asked more questions from my grandparents, aunts and uncles.

 

If you guys ever make it to NY. In Rhinebeck is the Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Air Field and museum where they fly early vintage aircraft and have museums set up in old hangers. About an hour north of NYC on the Hudson river.

Edited by 32vld

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it was the Consolidated (later Convair) B-24 "Liberator". While the B-17 did fly well before the first flight of the Liberator, they were usually considered as contemporaries of one another.

and yes, the B-17 did have a much "tougher" reputation than the B-24.

The B-24's ace-in-the-hole, though, was it's substantially larger fuel capacity and, thus, longer range than the 17. For long-range bomb missions in Europe, such as the Ploesti (Romania) oil refinery strikes, the 24 was the only choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The B-24 could also carry a larger payload than the B-17.

 

The Navy version of the B-24 Liberator was the PB4Y Privateer which operated primarily as a long range patrol bomber. The most notable difference between the two was that the B-24 had an "H" tail and the PB4Y had a more conventional looking tail.

 

Hawkins' and Power's which operated aerial tankers out of Greybull, Wyoming flew a number of PB4Y's The old bombers worked well as firefighting tankers until a wing spar broke on one of them while making a drop resulting in a loss of plane and crew. The rest of the planes from that era were grounded as aerial tankers.

 

My story about Hawkins & Powers and some photos from Greybull are HERE

 

Roadhound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×