While following the Union Pacific, Steam Locomotives #844 and #4014 “Big Boy”, on their way back from “The Great Race to Ogden”, I found myself on a path of incredible history, known as The Lincoln Highway.
“The Lincoln Highway was one of the earliest transcontinental highways for automobiles across the United States of America. Conceived in 1912 by Indiana entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway ran coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City west to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California.”
My goal was to catch the train in Granger, Wyoming which is due north of Interstate 80 west of Green River, Wyoming. About 20 miles from my exit off of the Interstate, I spied a county road #233 that was a definite shortcut. I took the next exit, county road #237 and was soon on what was a nice packed dirt and dried mud road when I crossed a very old, steel and iron truss bridge over the Blacks Fork river. The bridge looked like it was a 100+ years old but built sturdy and still in good condition.
I set out down this road, passing numerous telecom cable signs, repeater huts, ranches, and oil rigs. It became clear to me that I was on a special road. I knew the Lincoln Highway was over-ridden and bypassed by the Interstate in this locale. My quick web search showed I was smack dab on a piece of history. Under my wheels was the original, 1913 era Lincoln Highway, the Mormon Immigrant, Wagon Trail, the same for the California and Oregon Trail of the same purpose. It was also the path of the Pony Express, very near the first Transcontinental Railroad, the first Transcontinental Telegraph Route and later, the first Bell System, Transcontinental, Long Distance Telephone Route.
WOW! on this very same piece of earth lay fiber optic cables near my feet moving terabytes of data. The same route where just 160 years ago – wiry young men rode galloping horses carrying a few hundred postal letters to the west coast and back. That’s “some contrast”. Yes!
I was experiencing true, intense American History, in the middle of nowhere – The OutbackUSA!
I am now a “Rookie, Lincoln Highway Fan”. I could type more about this experience but, it would be best to experience and learn much more before I do. With that, I leave you some images along the way. There will be much more to come.
Update: 10/20/2020 – Follow this LINK to the Lincoln Highway Association and this LINK to the interactive map of all Lincoln Highway routes.