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Lincoln Highway West: The Route   Locator map

So many alignments. So little time. Not only was the Lincoln Highway a very long road, it followed many different paths over its short life. Some changes, such as a curve smoothing, were small and localized. Others, such as the Goodyear Cutoff versus the Wendover route, were quite major. I certainly won't have time to cover them all on this trip and must select a single course for my single west bound drive. My first thought was to go with the oldest and seek out the "Proclamation Route". I went so far as to make my initial rough plot along these lines. Two problems quickly became apparent. The first was time. This was the "long way 'round" and it was the roughest. Rough roads meant slower speeds and the combination of long and slow meant I probably wouldn't have enough time. I also wouldn't have enough clearance. That was the second problem. I'm talking undercarriage -- not security -- clearance. Some sections I was looking at had phrases like "high clearance" or "4 wheel drive" associated with them. I wasn't likely to have much success on these with a Corvette. I moved to the other end of the time line.

The latest alignment of the highway was the one marked by those 2437 posts in 1928. Or was it? That last hurrah of the original Lincoln Highway Association was not without controversy. Not every spot where Gael Hoag, the LHA's Field Secretary, had a marker placed was on the Lincoln Highway of 1926. The most glaring example of this is in California where the posts followed a route across the Carquinez Bridge which had not even been there in 1926. On the one hand, there is little doubt that, had the bridge existed in 1926 or the Lincoln Highway in 1927, the highway would have been rerouted across the bridge. But others argue that since the LHA board of directors voted on all route changes and since they didn't vote on (or even exist for) the 1928 change, the route that Hoag marked was not an official Lincoln Highway Route. I have no intention of weighing in on that argument. I'm just looking for a route to the coast and the one with the concrete posts seems like it will suit me best and might even be easiest to find.

Not too many of those posts are left, however, and I'm not counting on them guiding me through the country. I've plotted my intended path with Delorme's Street Atlas 2008 and I'll load the information into a Garmin Quest GPS unit for on the road guidance. The primary source for the route is the 2008 edition of the Lincoln Highway Driving Maps CD with some input from other sources including books by both Butko and Franzwa. Zipped versions of the resulting GPX files are available below along with those from my March drive on the LH in Indiana.

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