Day 18: June 26, 2011
Trail's End
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I guess this place is something of a shrine to me. It's not in a class with the Cavern Club in Liverpool but it is where Dirk Hamilton played and plays and I wanted to see it. I long ago decided that, if I didn't return home directly from Tahoe, I'd try following the original alignment of the Lincoln Highway through Stockton. Stockton is where Dirk grew up and the Blackwater Cafe there gets mentioned a lot though I don't really know how big a role it played. I guess I'd always imagined it as a ramshackle tavern, and it does offer a goodly selection of wine & bottled beer, but it is basically a coffee house. That a lot of music comes through here is evidenced by the poster covered restroom walls and the high grade instruments on hand. That Dirk still plays here when he's in town is evidenced by his name on the calendar for last Friday. Missed him by that much. I had better luck on breakfast. They always have baked goods but "Tawnya's Sunday Breakfast" is served, like the name says, only on Sundays. The only option was ham or sausage. Tawnya didn't even ask me how I wanted my eggs but she did them exactly the way I'd have requested had the opportunity presented itself. If you look closely, you can see her at work behind the bar/counter in the third picture. As if to build the case for this being a music mecca, Jerry Garcia sat outside smoking cigarettes while I ate breakfast. I guess he was having a really major flashback. He was still there when I left.

The 1910 Stockton Hotel was already there when the Lincoln Highway came through. Brian Butko's Greetings from the Lincoln Highway contains a picture of the hotel undergoing restoration in 2004. The restoration is complete but I don't think the reoccupation is.

I don't know that the Banta General Store has much of a Lincoln Highway connection but I liked it. I took the picture after buying a bottle of tea inside.

It's always nice to find some proof that you're on the right road. This sign is on Byron Road west of Tracy.

The Summit Garage stands at the top of Altamont Pass.

I'm still in Dirk Hamilton's neighborhood and these are the Altamont Pass Windmill Hills he sings about. He remembers a time before the windmills arrived when "they look like giant ladies layin’ naked in a heap, asleep". Yeah, I can see that.

I stopped along the road for a little entertainment at Club Moto. Flying motorcycles are always fun to watch.

The brightly painted front of the Highway Garage in Livermore is photographed often enough but we rarely see the less colorful south end. F.H. Durate built the garage in 1915 and added on to it in 1923 to house a dealership for Durant, Flint, and Star automobiles.

The nicely restored Flying A station is just about half a mile down the road. A separate building houses the restroom.


These two bridges are on the west edge of Dublin. The east end of the first one has taken a beating but the west end is unscathed. The second bridge looks good all the way around.

Immediately after passing this barn on Palo Verde road west of Dublin, I pulled over to walk back for a picture. As I neared the group of motorcycles gathered on the corner, I realized that the riders were clustered around something rather interesting. The T-Rex is built in Canada using a 1400cc Kawasaki engine. It has a steering wheel but only three wheels on the ground so it is licensed as a motorcycle. And yes, I did get the barn picture, too.

My son had warned me that San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade was being held today and the entire weekend was something of a festival. Market Street, and maybe others, was blocked off. So, after crossing the Bay Bridge, I made no attempt to follow any Lincoln Highway alignment but headed directly to the highway terminus in Lincoln Park. It was a glorious day with The Thinker doing his job and both ends of the Golden Gate visible. It really wasn't on my agenda but I happened to drive by the westernmost original Lincoln Highway marker (the terminus marker is a reproduction) and took a picture.

After checking into my motel, I hooked up with my son for a very enjoyable evening and an introduction to Burmese food. Excellent.


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