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Old 11-05-2008, 07:51 PM   #1
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The Lincoln Highway

Has anyone driven the Lincoln Highway?

I understand that it is the first improved road that stretched from coast to coast, from NY City to San Francisco.

It sounds like it is a two lane road that is not always paved, and it sounds like it is rather historic with more than a few sites along its way.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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Greg, haven't driven it, but this site might help: http://lincolnhighway.jameslin.name/by_state/
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:10 AM   #3
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There was just a show on our PBS channel on the Lincoln Highway. I recorded it but haven't watched all of it yet. You might check your local listings since some of those programs are repeated. From the few minutes that I did watch, you're correct...parts are still dirt. It looks like an interesting way to see some new country!
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:23 AM   #4
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I've driven large parts of it. Especially in Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada and California.

The PBS show certainly makes one want to travel the entire route. Quite interesting.

The PBS show had a brief glimpse a bridge with "LINCOLN HIGHWAY" cast into the sides of the bridge. That bridge is in Tama, Iowa. There were many of those bridges made, but this is the only one left.

Along that highway you will find many 'Lincoln' businesses.

Not only was the Lincoln Highway a (the?) main route through the middle of the country, but the railroads followed the same path. For many hundreds of miles through the prairies you will see train after train right along the highway.

It's a great roadtrip, and I need to travel the unpaved section in Utah.

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Old 11-06-2008, 10:27 AM   #5
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I just saw the PBS show as well. Makes me want to head out tomorrow.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:10 AM   #6
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Now that I've had a few minutes to think about it, it's not just the Lincoln Highway, it is secondary highways in general.

I remember reading a book, Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. Called that because on the maps he used the main highways were red and the secondary highways were blue. He lost his job and his wife and set out on a journey around the US on blue highways. On primary (Interstates) highways it is always the same - the same food, same rest stops, same national chain restaurants, same plastic smile, the same people with the same bored looks. It seems you meet real people in the little towns on the secondary roads.

Since 1976 I've taken a road trip to visit family in Iowa every year. And I've tried to take a different route every trip. From Mexico and into Canada I've taken many, many blue highways on these trips. And the worst of the blue roads is better than the best Interstate (unless you are in a big hurry). Our many trips across country have convinced me the destination is just an excuse to go, and the best things about a trip are the things we run across on the way.

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Old 11-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #7
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That reminds me of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance discussing the art of taking back roads, as being on a motorcycle on large Highways and Interstates can be dangerous and exhausting.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:50 PM   #8
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Every summer I do a 3,500 mile week on my motorcycle, all secondary roads. Mostly in the mountains anywhere from Durango to Jasper Canada. For next year I am considering shipping my motorcycle to Boston and ride it on secondary roads back to Lake Tahoe. It's about the same mileage, and I will see different scenery. oclv
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