Tuesday, June 13, 2017

(22) WestWendover Nevada - Coalville Utah

West Wendover Nevada

Wendover Will pointing the way out of town
The Victory Highway
Victory Highway Memorial, West Wendover, Nevada
The Victory Highway

Arriving at West Wendover we toured a park dedicated to the Victory Highway. The Victory was another named highway that was intended as a memorial to the Americans who fought and died in the WWI. It became popular in some of the Western states that were bypassed by the Lincoln. There was a fierce competition between the Victory Highway and the State of Utah on one side and the town of Ely, Nevada and the Lincoln Highway promoters on the other side. The Victory Highway won and the Lincoln Highway was forced to accept the result and ultimately share the road from Utah to Wendover with the Victory. The route through Ibapah fell into disuse.

Victory Highway postcard pack

Soldiers Memorial, Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Plaque on Soldiers Memorial identifying
Monument as related to Victory Hwy.
On our way to San Francisco we stopped at a soldiers memorial in Pleasant Hill, California. While it is generally accepted that the monument in Pleasant Hill is not part of the Victory Highway as it was not dedicated until after the Victory Highway had passed from the scene. I am not so sure, as a monument was certainly planned before 1926 and stands on a prominent corner of the Victory Highway where Monument Boulevard comes south from Concord and then heads West on Contra Costa Boulevard towards Walnut Creek. The plaques on the monument identify it as relating to the Victory Highway. 

My Great Uncle Howard served in World War I, his name is on the memorial. Howard died in a train wreck in France after the cessation of hostilities. We stopped at the memorial to pay tribute to him before the start of this trip.

Howard Lacey, died 1919

Wendover to Ogden

From Wendover we headed east on to Highway 80.
Postcard of Great Salt Lake Scenes
This is the home of the Bonneville Salt Flats where so many land speed records have been set. East of Bonneville we exited the freeway at Grantsville. West of Grantsville there is a curious place called Bonneville Seabase. Here I received my initial certification as a scuba diver. The water is heated by natural hot springs and is brackish from the salt desert. There are actually tropical saltwater fish, including a nurse shark sharing the water with the divers.

Mountains near Grantsville, showing water levels
for Lake Bonneville

We had hoped to tour the Donner party Museum in Grantsville, but unfortunately it is closed for an undetermined amount of time. The salt desert in this area vexed both the Donner party and the 1919 Army tour of which to Dwight Eisenhower was a member. It seems that the salt crust is fairly thin in many places and lying beneath the thin crust is a quagmire which wreaked havoc with both the Donner party and the Army transcontinental tour.

1919 Army Tour

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake to Ogden

We headed north from Salt Lake towards Ogden. Looking at the Wasatch front we saw evidence of the prehistoric lake Bonneville.

Ogden to Echo Canyon

Devil's Slide, above and left

The great Salt Lake it seems is but a remnant of Lake Bonneville. The level of Lake Bonneville would rise and fall with the changing prehistoric climate. At one point the northern shore of the lake breached its boundaries at Red Rock Pass, north of Preston, Idaho. The resulting flood shaped much of the South Idaho landscape. The snake River Canyon at Twin Falls was formed by this flood.

Some irreverent souls in the late 1970s or early 1980s printed bumper stickers calling for the restoration of Lake Bonneville. Looking at the water line on the Wasatch front it is easy to imagine what that would mean for Salt Lake City.

Ogden Utah Vintage Postcard

At Ogden we headed east towards Echo Canyon where we would turn north to Wyoming. East of Ogden we entered Weber Canyon and came upon a rock formation known as the devil slide.
A little further east we turn north into Echo Canyon and towards Wyoming.

We spent the night in Coalville, Utah at the Holiday Hills RV Park just off the highway.
Campground at Coalville Utah.
The campground hosts were friendly and helpful. The campground was beautiful and well-kept. I have electricity,  and the showers are not too far away.
Downtown Coalville, Utah

We went into Coalville for dinner and had dinner at a Mexican market and restaurant. Some of the best Mexican food I've had in a long time. Downtown Coalville is really quite nice.
I received a call from Jim Fry concerning the Ranchero. Apparently the problem is not that hard to fix. In fact, Jim has fixed it. It only needed to have the new coil installed. One which I had provided to Johnny last Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday morning we will get on the road and head for Medicine Bow, Wyoming.


  1. Looks like a great campsite there in Coalville.

  2. Keep the updates coming. I am really enjoying following your journey

  3. You found the Dairy King for Mexican? Good job!

  4. Wow! One of my favorite stretches of the Lincoln Highway, and I didn't even know about the WWI connection to the Victory Highway/Memorial!