Day 7 The Lincoln Highway

Feb 20, 1908 Wawaka, IN

Without roads outside of the cities, the Flyer often resorted to straddling the railroads. Riding on the rails would disqualify them, so travel was rough and slow on the ties.   The constant pounding took its toll on both the Thomas and the crew.  On one stretch, with temperatures in the teens, the Flyer covered only 8 miles in 22 hours. Monty as driver had lost 20 pounds, while keeping the Flyer in the lead.

June 25, 2018 Freemont, NE

It was an early start as we had some distance to cover.  We are taking US 30 the fabled Lincoln Highway, the first trans-continental paved highway in the US completed in 1913.  The Lincoln primarily follows the same route the Flyer took in 1908, and at that time the upper Midwest didn’t have any paved roads outside of major cities.  Many historians believe the Lincoln Highway had a direct connection to the NY to Paris Race, which proved the durability of the automobile.  Two months after the US victory by the Thomas Flyer, Henry Ford launched the Model T which then made the automobile affordable to millions.  Just five years later, the Lincoln was the first of many major paved roads which made the automobile practical for long distance travel.  As they say, the rest is history!

Near Ames, Roger and Kathy joined us with their 1941 Packard Model 160. You’ll find all the details about this fine automobile in their earlier BLOG post.

As we crossed Iowa and Nebraska, there were hundreds of mammoth grain bins for corn and soybeans (often more bins than houses)! Much of that grain is destined for the ethanol plants, to be blended with the gasoline you use every day.  At one plant the wind was just right and we caught a whiff of the process, smelling a bit like a huge tavern…