roadhound Posted August 20, 2007 Report Share Posted August 20, 2007 Last July my father, son, and I embarked on a journey to follow a few old trails, railroads, and highways through the western deserts of Nevada and Utah. I am skipping over the first two days of the journey for now and will post those at a later date. On the third day of the trip we started out in West Valley City, Utah, bound for Ely, Nevada. Our intent was to follow the early alignment of the Lincoln Highway across the Salt Lake Desert as much as possible. The first part of the route We followed Utah 201 west away from the urban area surrounding West Valley City, passing Magna, Arthur, and Garfield making our first stop at the Pony Express marker alongside the highway at Toronto Caves. This section of roadway lies on the Kennecot property and is not open to the public. The Pony Express marker was placed in 1946 and did not mention the nearby Lincoln Highway. The classic view of this section of roadway that has been seen in a few books about the Lincoln. We continued along past the Kennecot facilities following Utah 201 until it merged onto westbound I-80. Our stay on the Interstate was brief as we exited I-80 and headed southbound on Utah 36 until turning west on Utah 138. Utah 138 took us into Grantsville were we jogged over 1 street to the North and followed E. Clark St. through town. Since it was still early in the morning the Donner-Reed museum was closed so we continued on through town turning right on Old Lincoln Highway which ran parrallel to Utah 138 for a few miles northwest of town. Turning back onto 138 we continued north-westerly until reaching Mistway Road. A left turn kept us on what appeared to me to be the roadbed for US40 or a late incarnation of the Lincoln. The roadway was a full 2 lanes wide, asphalt, with faded striping down the middle. The roadbed ended at the base of Timpie Point were it was cut off by I-80. Getting around Timpie Point required a climb up and over the point along a steep and rough road to continue on as there was no access to the Interstate at that point. I might have been able to drive around the base but chose to take the road up the hill and exercise the four wheel drive. The dry land between the base of Timpie Point and the Great Salt Lake has been used as a transportation corridor dating back to at least the wagon trains. In the past it has been used as part of the Hasting's Cutoff (California Trail), Lincoln Highway, Victory Highway, US 40, and is today used by the Union Pacific Railroad, powerlines, and Interstate 80. Mistway Rd. Looking east. The green signage along the interstate can be seen on the right side and Timpie Point is at the end of the raod. On the west side of Timpie Point was Big Springs and a marker for the Hastings Cutoff. The story of this route of the California Trail is quite interesting and part of the Donner Party lore. More information on the Hastings Cutoff can be found at http://www.utahcrossroads.org/G_HR_Tea.htm Hastings Cutoff marker From Big Springs the Lincoln headed south down Skull Valley towards Dugway. We opted to follow the paved road, Utah 196, which was 1/2 mile to the west and eventually joined the same route as the Lincoln. Evidence of earlier alignments were present running alongside and occasionally crossing underneath our path as we headed south towards Dugway. The Lincoln heading south from Big Springs and Timpie Point. Brown's Ranch along Skull Valley Road At the end of Utah 196 is the entrance to the Dugway Proving Grounds. The Lincoln is now within the Army Base and cannot be followed unless you gain special clearance, and even then I have heard that photography is very controlled. Our route would have to take us around the proving grounds and along the Pony Express Trail. The Army takes its security seriously here. Stay tuned for Part 3; Antelopes, Ponies, and Obelisks. Oh My! Roadhound Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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