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Keep the Show on the Road!

A Wish For You From Northern Nevada

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I was listening to some vintage music on the MP3 player as I drove along the highway yesterday in Northern Nevada and this song made me think of the good folks on the on the American Road Forum….. so here’s my wish for you.

http://www.vimeo.com/409234

 

Keep the Show on the Road.... and may your road be filled with sunshine, every hour of every day!

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Thanks! What a big blue sky you had yesterday out there.

 

Is that Patti Page?

 

Jim,

 

That was Vera Lynn. She was one of the best known and loved singers of the WWII era. She is English, so she isn’t as well known in the USA. She has an exceptional voice, and enjoyed a long and distinguished career. In fact she is now Dame Vera Lynn.

 

Unlike the midwest, which I can tell from your and others photos is beautiful and lush, much of Nevada, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington is wide open sage and grassland. Even the ranches are many miles apart. It is easy to find stretches where it is a 100 miles between gas pumps, and the passing cars are so infrequent, drivers acknowledge each other with a wave.

 

When you are driving for hours with so few distractions, you can reflect on lots of things. I load my mp3 player with tons of different kinds of music off Napster’s service before I leave home, then choose music to match my mood as I drive. Cruising the vast stretches of the west would probably be boring for some...for me it often provides a feeling some need drugs to achieve. No wonder I enjoy the two lane roads.

 

Did you happen to see the post about the old alignment where I “cached” the half dollar bill? It would have been your cup of tea! In fact even a look using Google Earth (go to the coordinates cited) is interesting. I got home last night so I am now going to research what I saw!!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Jim,

 

 

Unlike the midwest, which I can tell from your and others photos is beautiful and lush, much of Nevada, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington is wide open sage and grassland. Even the ranches are many miles apart. It is easy to find stretches where it is a 100 miles between gas pumps, and the passing cars are so infrequent, drivers acknowledge each other with a wave.

 

When you are driving for hours with so few distractions, you can reflect on lots of things. I load my mp3 player with tons of different kinds of music off Napster’s service before I leave home, then choose music to match my mood as I drive. Cruising the vast stretches of the west would probably be boring for some...for me it often provides a feeling some need drugs to achieve. No wonder I enjoy the two lane roads.

 

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Amen to that. There's nothing like having the road to yourself with just the right tunes coming out of the speakers. Memories of some of the places that I have been come flashing back whenever I hear certain songs. Whenever I hear Springsteens "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road" it reminds me of 25+ years ago driving highway J14 in San Jauquin County in my Chevy Vega with then girlfriend (now wife). We had just spent a day out in the sun at the reservoir and decided to take the backroad home.

 

Roadhound

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I looked up that spot, Keep. You seem to find all these abandoned alignments just sitting there in the open. Maybe it's just your part of the country. Anyway, instant jealousy! jim

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I looked up that spot, Keep. You seem to find all these abandoned alignments just sitting there in the open. Maybe it's just your part of the country. Anyway, instant jealousy! jim

 

Jim,

 

The old alignment is just east of the semi deserted village of Golconda, Nevada (see this 15 second video). I kind of found it by accident, (see this 18 second video) and then was amazed at the road building “lesson” it represented. You could have driven all three alignments in a pickup, but since I was driving a rental car, I declined to try the oldest. But it was a perfect example of different periods. Standing where the oldest road and the middle road diverged at the east end of the cut (see this 34 second video), the traffic on the modern freeway raced by through a humongous cut, while in front of me was a 1940’s size cut and fill, and to the right the old road went around the hill..with no cut or fill.

 

There was no evidence that the oldest alignment had ever been paved, so I placed it as perhaps the Victory Highway alignment. I have to do a little research to find out. As too often is the case, I didn’t know where I planned to go on this little adventure, so I didn’t have my maps, etc with me. I suppose that has one advantage in that what I discover seems like a real discovery, and not a visit to a well established site!

 

I didn’t even notice the old alignment the first time I was past the site, but on my way back (west bound) I could look down off the freeway and see it, so I pulled in. Some fellow was flying model airplanes along the beginning of the old alignment, so we chatted for a few minutes. He said he raced the cars on the freeway and usually won. At first I thought he meant with his car, then it dawned on me he was racing the trucks with his airplanes. I guess it would be a little bit disconcerting to have a plane seemingly racing you out in that desert!

 

I am transferring some old 1966 road trip 8mm movies, but as soon as I get the chance, I will post some photos and the story.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Fascinating stuff. I could only watch the 34-sec vid because the others appear to be "protected," but that was cool enough.

 

How did you pull in? Did you just stop on the shoulder of the freeway?

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Fascinating stuff. I could only watch the 34-sec vid because the others appear to be "protected," but that was cool enough.

 

How did you pull in? Did you just stop on the shoulder of the freeway?

 

Jim,

 

The movies are now all “public.” Apparently the default is “private.” I think you may enjoy both.

 

When I was in Winnemucca, I got a post from Roadhound recommending Carlin Canyon, east of Winnemucca. I determined to head that way, but to take each off ramp to see what was there. Golconda was mostly a ghost town but I could see a road paralleling the freewway eastbound. I drove it and met the fellow with the airplanes. He said that there were few to no old alignments eastbound, so I returned to Golconda and took the freeway eastbound. This put me on the other side (south) of the site I later noticed, and it was blocked from view by the freeway.

 

I drove as far east as Battle Mountain but decided that Roadhound had probably done the definitive treatment of Carlin Canyon. I was tossing around the idea of doing a run down to the old Lincoln at Austin, but I have been along it several times, so I thought I would give this section of the Victory Highway a closer look, and maybe enjoy a Basque meal in Winnemucca at the historic hotel (more on that later as well).

 

I returned to Golconda and decided to follow the alignment I had abandoned earlier when the airplane guy discouraged me. And I did.

 

Funny thing, I was laboring under the impression that when the Lincoln was forced north (from the Tippetts route) to the south side of Salt Lake in the later 20’s, that it continued from Wendover to Winnemucca and on through Reno and Truckee. That is definitely the logical route, and in fact the route 3 out of four travelers took. But the Lincoln insisted on going through Ely, and then west mostly on its original route via Austin.

 

I got all enthused that I was on a Lincoln Highway alignment. I should never make such a stupid assumption, but I guess I needed a map!! Not planning to go to Nevada, I didn’t bring any maps of the area. Ironically I could have pulled up one on my own map site. This is why airplanes crash...a series of poor decisions and driver (pilot) error.

 

Anyway, the alignments I did find are interesting and the Victory gets too little attention anyway!

 

Keep the Show on the Road

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Funny thing, I was laboring under the impression that when the Lincoln was forced north (from the Tippetts route) to the south side of Salt Lake in the later 20’s, that it continued from Wendover to Winnemucca and on through Reno and Truckee. That is definitely the logical route, and in fact the route 3 out of four travelers took. But the Lincoln insisted on going through Ely, and then west mostly on its original route via Austin.

 

I got all enthused that I was on a Lincoln Highway alignment. I should never make such a stupid assumption, but I guess I needed a map!! Not planning to go to Nevada, I didn’t bring any maps of the area. Ironically I could have pulled up one on my own map site. This is why airplanes crash...a series of poor decisions and driver (pilot) error.

 

Anyway, the alignments I did find are interesting and the Victory gets too little attention anyway!

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

If you look at the map the Ely to Carson City route is fewer miles which may explain why the Lincoln Highway Board was so insitent on that route. Plus, the I-80 corridor through Nevada was mostly railroad towns which were well served by the railroad, as opposed to the towns along the US-50 corridor which relied much less on the railroad. Just a theory I have. After all, wasn't part of the goal of the Lincoln to encourage people to use the products produced by the companies that were run by those on the Board of Directors? Plus, by the early 20's the LHA had already invested quite a substantial amounts in road improvements across Nevada.

 

I agree with you on the Victory, very few people know what I am talking about when I mention that it ran through California and terminated in the SF Bay Area. There is a monument just north of where I live that I need check out one of these days. Its a plaque that lists all the local casualties of WWI and was originally placed along the Victory Highway at the base of the delta crossing in Antioch. As I understand it there were a number of these plaques placed all along the Victory's route. The plaque now resides at the entrance to the Contra Costa Fairgrounds. Something for me to check out one of these days and report back.

 

 

I was going to ask you about the Lincoln statements. At first I had assumed you were going as far east as Wendover and then heading south. Then I assumed that you knew what you were talking about and started looking at the limited reference material that I had to see if they mentioned an alternate route through Golconda.

 

One thing I do wonder is the route of the PPOO through that area. Is it possible that the oldest alignment was the PPOO when it terminated in San Francisco before they re-routed it to L.A.?

 

Another thing to consider is that the railroad and the emigrant trail all go north and around that mass of land that I-80 now cuts through. I would assume that it was a possibility that the very first auto road through that area followed the emigrant trail.

 

I had considered doing some explorations in that area during my trip out last summer but decided that the possibility of me passing through that area again in the future was greater than spots further east and decided to bypass it. I sort of wish I had be able to allow an hour or two to explore now.

 

Roadhound

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I’m sorry I sent you off on a wild goose chase after information about the “never was “ Lincoln Highway route. It is kind of embarrassing, but I have paid little attention to the latter day Lincoln route, I suppose because I have thought of it as being “forced” on them by the Utah folks. Anyway, I have bigger snafus to live down, so I will get on with the shreds of my status as “Roadie.”

 

I’m like you, I always figure I will be back someday for a closer look. It would be interesting to learn a bit more about the Golconda Summit story. It is pretty clear that the road I was on was the main road before the freeway. The earlier road had no cuts or fills, but it did have two concrete culverts it traveled over, so it was obviously”improved.”

 

I have just made a great discovery.....The George Stewart US 40 book has a photo of the highway exactly where I was!!!

 

Post will follow as soon as I can scan it!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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