Palace of the Legion of Honor
Lincoln Park, San Francisco
Before setting off on this cross-country trek I decided it would be best to make a couple of trial runs. As much as I'd like to believe that "failure is not an option," it is certainly a potential outcome. But a little bit of practice can minimize the chance of failure and help in anticipating the challenges of the road. Practice may not be as important as vehicle preparation, but it will help in anticipating problems.
|Ready to go|
"Wait, Just 1 more picture"
After leaving Lincoln Park in San Francisco, our first stop was at the Blackhawk Automobile museum in Danville in the East Bay from there we travelled to Livermore, then over Altamont Pass to Tracey. Then it was North to Stockton and Sacramento.
Western Terminus, Lincoln Highway Lincoln Park, San Francisco
Blackhawk Auto Museum, Danville, Ca
|Summit Garage, Altamont, Ca|
After spending the night in Sacramento, we climbed into the Sierras through Placerville and over Echo Summit, then on to Reno. The San Diego Packard Club is really a great group to tour with. They were very welcoming and didn't mind at all having an old Ford with its sometimes grumpy owner joing them. Having been to a lot of car shows where there are a lot of "trailer queens" it was nice to see people actually using their cars for an extended road trip. If I had any questions about the cars or the tour I knew that I could simply "ask the man who owns one."
|Kyburz, Ca. Pioneer Route, Lincoln Highway|
Carson City Mint, Sept. 24, 2016 We missed a ceremony held
earlier in the day observing the 150th anniversary of the setting
of the cornerstone. (Traffic cones are a later addition)
|Nevada's grand old Statehouse|
Ultimately my dislike of the heavy traffic of California urban areas caused me to leave the tour before I reached Sacramento on the return trip. I have to say there were a couple of things unique to California driving that contributed to my aggravation. One occurred after the Banquet at the Auto Museum in Reno. I had decided to drive to the cabin at Donner Lake to spend the night. No need to run up and expensive motel bill when I had a comfortable bed and more pleasant surroundings just 35 miles west of Reno. Unfortunately, I failed to take into account that Highway 80 would be closed that night. It was not closed for snow or weather, rather it was closed for a gang shooting that was taking place at the agricultural inspection station just east of Truckee. Shootings in the Sierras and in Reno are not necessarily uncommon occurrences in September. They often coincide with a Reno motorcycle event called "Thunder in the Streets" or something like that. What amazed me the most was that nobody seem to be making a big deal out of the fact that a major interstate east-west highway was closed for an active shooting. Apparently, it was just a recreational shooting. No need for alarm. The folks in Reno were just happy that the bikers had chosen to leave the city before drawing their guns. The year before the guns were drawn and the shots were fired inside of a casino in downtown Sparks.
Lincoln Highway along Donner Lake
|Neil Rodrigues, Vice President, Ca. Chapter, LHA|
I stayed with the tour down the western slopes of the Sierras and then as the afternoon temperatures climbed and the traffic increased I decided to peel off and return to Donner. All in all I enjoyed the tour and I'm glad that I did it. One of the chief things I learned was that my road atlases were not going to be sufficient. They required me to take my eyes off the road too often and to recall the details of the comprehensive driving instructions more often than I wanted to do. I had begun to consider a GPS even before I did this tour. I was told to save my money and to simply use my smart phone. I found out very quickly that the smart phone is inadequate for this type of touring. If you don't have a GPS that can sit on the dashboard so that you don't have to take your eyes very far off the road then you need a navigator who will be happy to hear you recount the details of the tour and what the driver saw at 60 miles an hour.
|A Ford Amongst the Packards|