JHA 2018 Conference Locator map

 

Prelude - January 16, 2018
I didn't make it to last year's Jefferson Highway Association conference which could be one of the reasons it's the first major road fan event I'm committing to for 2018. I also didn't see my oldest son in 2017 (or 2016 or 2015) which is definitely one of the reasons I'm planning on doing more than just attending the conference. He lives in New Orleans at the southern end of the Jefferson Highway so thoughts of driving that portion of the highway occurred rather naturally when I thought of attending the conference. From there, it didn't take much for me to think about driving the whole thing.

Even the timing for driving the entire Jefferson Highway seems pretty good as more knowledge of the route becomes generally available. Prior to the 2015 JHA conference in Muskogee, Jane Ballard produced a guide to the highway in Oklahoma. In 2016 Lyell Henry published a book on the Jefferson Highway in Iowa. Last year the Lincoln Highway Association followed their annual conference with a tour to the highway's northern terminus. In support of that tour, LHA map guru, Paul Gilger, charted a route from Colo, Iowa, to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Also last year, Mike and Sharon Curtis visited the southern terminus and documented their drive through Louisiana and Texas. The only modern full length Jefferson Highway drive that I'm aware of is the one Lynda and Jerry Alger made in 2014. They had a great time and saw lots of roadside attractions but had to do a fair amount of guessing when it came to the route. I may have to do a little guessing, too, but nowhere near what the Algers did, and one of the reasons is that Lynda is sharing her notes with me. I really appreciate folks like Lynda, Mike, Paul, Lyell, and Jane who make it possible for folks like me to drive down old roads as if we know what we're doing.

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