Day 24: July 12, 2013
It's Terminus for Us
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In Galt, California, a concrete slab with a 1924 stamp has been preserved and displayed in a stone monument. That date means the pavement was completed when the Lincoln Highway was active. Stockton has the Lincoln Shopping Center and the 1910 Stockton Hotel. Like some museum signs, the big 'L' in the shopping center sign has bulbs in one side and neon tubes in the other. We paused briefly to let the big fellow through then moved on through Altamont Pass with a stop at the Summit Garage. Yes, that is a familiar picture but it's a new truck.

The Livermore Garage was open for us and folks were waiting. We managed to get all five cars into the parking lot then checked out the inside.

I planned to pick up my son, Crispian, as we passed a corner near where he works. In anticipation of that, I was running at the back of the pack and the others knew I might become separated as we passed through downtown San Francisco. I managed to do it much sooner with a big goof. Remembering that we were to be to the right at some point, I moved there at the tool booths rather than at the west end of the bridge. The result was that I was disconnected from the group and ahead of it rather than behind. It wasn't a huge disaster since I (or at least the lady in the Garmin) knew where to go but I called Paul to let him know where I was and to apologize. I made the connection with Crispian and continued on the Lincoln Highway. We paused briefly for an over-the-shoulder shot of the westernmost original 1928 marker.

I drove past the terminus marker then circled back for this picture. I was ecstatic when the Valiant made it to Kearney and through the parade. I've often said that anything beyond that was a bonus and I meant it. But this had been the original plan, to drive a fifty year old car along the full length of a highway twice its age. I was really happy in Kearney. I was really REALLY REALLY happy in Lincoln Park.

Jeff & Demetria had arrived about ten minutes before Cris & I. About ten minutes later, the others arrived: Paul, Rollie & Beth, Jim, and Milton & Carolee. As you can imagine, disbanding was bittersweet. Some of the group were close to home; Some of us still had a long way to go. All of us who had traveled across all or most of the country together were happy to be next to that post.

Even though the Cliff House of today bears little resemblance to the Cliff House where early Lincoln Highway travelers celebrated completing a coast-to-coast drive, there is still something of a connection. Jim, Crispian, and I marked the end of this drive with dinner there and we even got a glimpse of the sunset through the window. I believe one of the basic rules of auto travel applies: When the water's higher than your carburetor, turn back.

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