by Brian Cassler
Consider this the optional tour after the Lincoln Highway Association Conference, or part two of your summer vacation, or just a great way to spend a week on some of America’s most famous historic highways. Any way you look at it, it will be an unforgettable week with lots to see and do, and some awesome people—like you—with whom to share the experience! We encourage you to drive your classic, vintage, or even modern day vehicle. Of course, RVs and motorcycles are welcome as well. Nearly anything goes! And, if you can’t spare the whole week, you can sign-up for as few as two days of touring to fit your schedule.
The tour is being organized by a crew of Lincoln Highway tour veterans. Paul Gilger is expertly mapping the route, Kay Shelton has done research and fact-finding drives on the Illinois and Indiana routes, and the Rosemary Rubin/Bob Lichty team has provided needed advice and venue planning. John Long will be handling Trading Post duties, Jim Cassler will be the tour director, and I’m heading-up the support team/sweep truck, just in case someone needs some help along the way. Newcomers Gary and Sue Davison have undertaken the job of coordinating the nightly lodging, and Brian Suen and Mike Hocker are handling advertising and promotions. In addition, numerous volunteers from the National Road and Route 66 organizations have collaborated with us to insure the success of the tour. Thanks to all who have helped!
The route for the National Road-Route 66-Lincoln Highway Tour is roughly 875 miles, or about 125 leisurely miles per day. On this tour we really want you to be able to stop to take in the attractions along the road that you wish to visit. We are hoping that this will leave time in your day for stops at the antique shops, diners, museums, and other interesting spots along the road that aren’t part of the scheduled stops. There are many of these great places along the route.
On this tour, you will enjoy nearly every era of American roads, starting with America’s first road, the National Road. We will follow this from its original starting point in Cumberland, Maryland to its original terminus in Vandalia, Illinois. You will see lots of beautiful vistas as we drive through the Allegheny Mountains of Maryland and the Laurel Mountains of Pennsylvania. You’ll experience history of West Virginia’s northern panhandle during our stay in Wheeling.
In Ohio, you will encounter the infamous “S” and “Y” bridges along the route of the National Road. Along with these landmarks, you will have time to visit the Wright Brothers historic sites, their original airport, and the National Museum of the Air Force while in Dayton. Then in Indiana, you will visit the Model T Ford Museum and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, along with places of importance to the founding of the Lincoln Highway. As you travel, you will encounter many of Indiana’s quaint farm towns which hold some great “mom and pop” shops.
In Illinois, you’ll experience the original state capital of Vandalia on the historic National Road, then join Route 66 to visit many of the Abraham Lincoln landmarks in the present state capital of Springfield. Along Route 66 you will be able to view some of the famous roadside giants scattered along the way. You will also visit the Route 66 Hall of Fame, Henry’s Ra66it Ranch, and much, much more!
At the conclusion of the tour, you will be at the intersection of the Lincoln Highway and Route 66, which will allow you to travel either east or west on the Lincoln to make more special memories on your way back to wherever you call home. On this tour, you will be able to enjoy all or part of three of America’s most famous roads. There is a lot for you to see, and we hope to see you on the tour!
To register, download the registration form, fill it out, and mail it in. Tour rates and additional information is in the tour web site. Lodging is at additional cost, and will be handled by the tour staff once your registration is received. We are able to accommodate 60 vehicles on a first come-first served basis.