Archive for June, 2008

2008 LHA conference in Evanston – day 1

June 18, 2008

Lincoln Highway fans were in Evanston, Wyoming, on Monday to kick off the 2008 National Lincoln Highway Association Conference. Tours were given of the roundhouse and railyard, then a get-together was held for first-time conference attendees followed by a welcome reception in the railroad machine shop, and capped by a buffet dinner with keynote speaker Mark Foster, University of Colorado professor and author of Castles in the Sand: The Life and Times of Carl Graham Fisher.

Above photos show a family from Colorado with one of the cast-iron state line markers, Bill Arick with Mindy and Rodney Crawford, and art show entries including a painting from a student and a photo detail of the Fisher Mausoleum by Jan Shupert-Arick.

Cyclists’ daily LH blog offers maps, info, images

June 18, 2008

As reported earlier, 71-year-old Dr. Bernard “Buddy” Rosenbaum is driving the Lincoln Highway coast-to-coast with long-time cycling friend, 72-year-old Bob Chase. They started in San Francisco June 13 and will end in New York City’s Times Square on July 14. The pair is riding three-wheeled Piaggio MP3 scooters, getting some 55 miles per gallon.

Read more about the trip at their blog www.noagelimitpiaggio.us/. There are tons of pictures, virtual Google maps, and info on restaurants and roadside stops. The pair are about to enter Wyoming.

2008 LHA conference in Evanston – early arrivals

June 17, 2008

Lincoln Highway Association President Jan Shupert-Arick reports that a number of attendees arrived early for the 16th Annual National LHA Conference in Evanston, Wyoming.

Above, several of the attendees from Utah, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan gathered for Mexican food on Front Street.

Next door at an old gas station, an original LH sign took them by surprise as no one in the group had ever seen this rare treasure.

Following dinner the group explored Evanston on foot. The city is all dressed up for the conference, having hung over 100 LH banners. The group stopped by the Machine Shop (a main conference location) and peered into the windows to see rare LH artifacts from the early years of the road.

It was a full moon on a beautiful evening in Evanston. Near the the depot and round house, train whistles in the distance made it a perfect first day.

Henry Joy monument site gets historical marker

June 16, 2008

Historian, trails authority, and former LHA president Randy Wagner reports that the State of Wyoming will install a new historic site sign commemorating Henry B. Joy and the Lincoln Highway today, Monday, June 16. Those headed to the LHA conference in Evanston, Wyoming, from the east can look for it just south of the I-80 Continental Divide Exit (184) about 30 miles west of Rawlins, at the original site of the Joy Monument.

Above: The Henry B. Joy monument at its current location, I-80 exit 323.

Joy, one of the leading players in the original LHA, had camped at this site in 1915 and the stunning sunset led him to declare his desire to be buried here. He was not, but a monument was erected in 1939 that included 8 of the 1928 concrete markers. The site is very isolated but vandals nonetheless took a toll until the stone tablet and 4 of the posts were relocated to the Summit Rest Area (I-80 exit 323) east of Laramie in 2001 (as seen above).

PBS crew making its way across Nebraska

June 13, 2008

Folks have been asking how the Rick, Bob, and Glenn — filming a Lincoln Highway program for PBS — are faring after their tornado troubles. Rick called to say they’re having a bit of trouble posting to their blog, understandable in the midst of so much weather-related damage. They’re back on the road this morning, heading to Wyoming, but first were about to check out Fort Cody Trading Post, one of the Lincoln Highway’s coolest roadside attractions. Make sure you visit next time you’re in North Platte, Nebraska.

Here’s a brief videoblog they were able to post from Omaha yesterday:

UPDATE 1 PM EDT: They’re back online and updating their blog. A couple days later, here were Bob and Glenn at Green River, Wyoming:

Harsh weather slams Cedar Rapids, much of Iowa

June 13, 2008

“Iowa, Jones, Cedar counties are virtually impassable” ~ headline from [Cedar Rapids] Gazette

“Photos, videos and words cannot express the true horror, shock and devastation that’s going on here. This is not just some knee high deep water around town.” ~ comment on ABC News

Rick Sebak’s brush with a tornado in Iowa was but one example of the severe weather to slam the state. As he notes, much worse has happened, including the deaths of four Boy Scouts at a camp near Nebraska. The state suffered severe storms on Wednesday and Thursday and more rain is forecast. Iowa Governor Chet Culver said that with nine rivers at near record levels, dozens of bridges have been destroyed; he has declared 55 out of Iowa’s 99 counties state disaster areas and says infrastructure repair costs will run into hundreds of millions of dollars. Flooding is widespread, especially in Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second largest city, and site of the 2006 Lincoln Highway Association national conference. Here’s a screen shot of the main headline at the GazetteOnline – click it to read the numerous stories.

More than 100 city blocks were inundated after the Cedar River broke its bank – see aerial footage HERE. About 8,000 people were evacuated, many being rescued by boat. The flooding extends to neighborhoods too. This morning, the water supply is critically low. Click HERE for urgent news updates (replacing the city’s normal home page) or HERE for ABC News coverage.

Lisa Fox, vice-president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, told Reuters news agency, “It hits everything. Colleges are shut down, stores, it’s devastating,” Crops are also being ruined. Brian Pierce, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Davenport, told the AP, “We are seeing a historic hydrological event taking place with unprecedented river levels occurring…. We’re in uncharted territory – this is an event beyond what anybody could even imagine.”

Crashed HD, tornadoes … must be a road trip

June 12, 2008

A road trip means adventure. On the first trip I took to photograph for my Greetings from the Lincoln Highway book, my trusty camera broke – and this was a PHOTO trip. All I could afford then was a cheap replacement, but I got my photos – along with some great adventures. So it goes for Rick Sebak and his PBS crew as they head out for a second round of filming for A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway, premiering nationally October 29 at 8 pm. Follow his well-written adventures HERE. Click below for a videoblog recap of their first two days.

FIrst day out they ran into fierce storms and tornado warnings at Van Wert, Ohio. Next morning, his laptop died – the thing he’ll depend on for 3 weeks to store his photos, communicate to the world, and write his blog. Like on my camera adventure, where do you get high-priced electronic equipment in rural America? (In this case, a bit tougher than normal since he’s on a Mac – as am I.)

Rick does get a new Mac and heads to Iowa where they hit tornadoes again. And the tornadoes hit them too, or at least hail does, breaking a window in the van filled with their video equipment.

Reminder to us all for the next road trip – bring flashlights. Maybe plastic sheets for emergencies too. And here’s wishing them sunny skies for the rest of their trip!

Lincoln Hwy Arts Festival in Mt Vernon, Iowa

June 11, 2008

The 3rd Annual Lincoln Highway Arts Festival in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, is set for September 27. Some 40 artists will diplay their work, while docents lead tours of the Lincoln Highway and three National Historic Districts. The Lincoln Highway Arts Festival is sponsored by the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council. Visit http://www.visitmvl.com for more information. And tell them what a great logo they have!

RAGBRAI dry run a fun reading adventure

June 10, 2008

In anticipation of the 36th annual RAGBRAI®, the “Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa,” Des Moines Register Editorial Cartoonist (and race host) Brian Duffy has been checking out the route the past week. The yearly week-long bicycle ride through Iowa is sponsored by The Des Moines Register; the 2008 route will follow much of the Lincoln Highway from July 20-26. RAGBRAI® is the longest, largest, and oldest touring bicycle ride in the world. Click HERE to see a list of Duffy’s daily posts. For a map you can zoom in on, plus photos and videos, visit Duffy’s blog (screen shot below):

Although Iowa seems flat to outsiders, this year’s day 2 alone has more than 5,000 feet of climb in its 80-mile length. The end of that day will bring riders their first views of Lincoln Highway and Burma Shave signs just west of Jefferson.

IA_Bike08.gif

RAGBRAI was started in 1973 as a 6-day ride (not a race) across Iowa by two Register columnists; it’s still planned and coordinated by the newspaper. This year will launch from Missouri Valley but not pick up the LH till Jefferson, hit it from Ogden through Boone, again some of it in Ames, Nevada, Colo, and State Center, cross it at points in Le Grand and Tama, then pick it up in Chelsea through Belle Plaine, meet it through Lisbon/Mt. Vernon, and finally cross it at Mechanicsville. The bike route will be nearby or parallel the LH for much of the time, though not always along it.

Sebak on the road again for summer LH video

June 9, 2008

I met Rick Sebak about 1990 as he was preparing to produce a show about roadside attractions in Pennsylvania. We traveled the Lincoln Highway together, and now almost two decades later (seems like two years!) he’s traveling the Lincoln Highway coast-to-coast for an hour-long show to debut later this summer. We’ve also worked together on programs about diners, Isaly’s, and one called Stuff That’s Gone, but we still talk most about the Lincoln Highway and the places we saw back then that are now gone, most notably the Ship Hotel.


Above: Jarrett, Rick, and Bob at the Western Terminus of the LH.

Last fall Rick and cameraman Bob Lubomski made it to the Pacific and back with Jarrett Buba. This time Rick and Bob are joined in the QED van by sound-and-video man Glenn Syska, who is also helping post their daily blog. They’re leaving early today with a plan of getting as far west ASAP. Of course, that was the plan last time! There’s never enough time or daylight to fit in all the cool places along the way….

The blog for his last long LH trip ended September 1 at San Francisco. Rick just updated it to include the days heading back east — scroll down and you’ll find another entry for that day called No Reservations. Start there and remember the days get more recent as you go up (so the top is the most recent, when they had reached Nebraska). Posts from the trip starting today should start arriving tonight or tomorrow — they have some great stops planned.

Also check out his Video Postcards link, which offer a great daily look at sites along the way.

BTW, note that the web address has changed — it can now be found at http://www.wqed.org/tv/sebak/lincoln_hwy/blog/. So has the name — no longer just Lincoln Highway Postcards, it now carries the name of the show, A Ride Along The Lincoln Highway. You can see when the blog updates by watching the RSS feed on the page in the column to the right.