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Monday, October 17, 2011

Days Sixteen and Seventeen of Our Lincoln Highway Road Trip

Day sixteen took us through Nebraska and into Wyoming. It was a Sunday and the day dawned clear and cool. Traffic was light and we left Ogallala on Route 30 and headed west through the fields of corn and numerous grain silos. There was not too much in a historic nature to see except a renovated 1930’s service station on Ogallala and an old hotel in Big Springs.

As we were breezing along on this beautiful morning listening to our SiriusFXP_9422 satellite radio looking forward to listening to the NFL games including the Rams-Packers game we got a shock. The radio lost reception and a message flashed on the information panel that we needed to call Sirius. We pulled over in Chappell, NE and called the 800 number indicated. We were told that the free introductory period had run out and we would need to buy a subscription to continue to enjoy the radio programming.

The customer service representative was very helpful and after several minutes of negotiation we were able to purchase a one month subscription for $10.00. This we did and continued on our way along the Lincoln Highway with the NFL station booming away. Of course the Rams lost to the Packers but it was nice listening to the games while driving the interstate. It relieves the boredom.

The scenery did not change much as we entered Wyoming at Pine Bluffs but we began to lose some of the original Lincoln Highway and had to jump over to Interstate 80. There was not too much to see except trucks and there were plenty of them. We did pass the big Sinclair refinery at Sinclair, WY before joining Interstate 80.

We reached the Continental Divide around 3:30 and took some photos of the Henry Joy Plaques at the Divide. Henry Joy was the president of the Packard Motor Company and big advocate of the Lincoln Highway. From the Divide we battled the trucks to our motel in Green River. At green river we ate at an authentic 1950’s diner.

Today we were on the road by 7:30 am and heading for Utah on Interstate 80. Our first stop was for a good cup of coffee at Little America on I-80. This is a complex of a service station, trading post, truck stop and motel that was rebuilt after the original Little America, on the Lincoln Highway, burnt to the ground in 1970.

We breezed through the rest of Wyoming and crossed into Utah and I-80. FXP_9591One of the things I like with Utah is their rest stops. They are clean and always allow you a chance to walk about and enjoy Utah’s magnificent scenery. We bypassed Salt Lake City on I-80 and followed along the south shore of the Great Salt Lake passing the 1,125 foot high smoke stack of the Kennecott Copper Company’s copper smelting complex and the Bonneville Salt Flats on our way to Wendover, UT.

After we checked into our motel we made a visit to the U.S. Army Air Force Base at Wendover. It was at this base that thousands of young men were trained to fly and navigate B-17, B-24, and B-29 bombers during World War II. It was also the base where Coronel Paul Tibbits trained his crew to drop the atomic bombs on Japan.

The base is no longer operational and there is a small museum where youFXP_9623 can see some of the memorabilia and models of the base, the Enola Gay B-29 and the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. As I had relatives and friends who were trained at his base it was quite an experience to see where they learned to fly those flying fortresses.

After touring the base we ventured over the state line to West Wendover and the Montego Bay Hotel and Casino where we enjoyed a great buffet dinner and Kathy did some gambling while I watched the Jets-Dolphins game in the sports bar.

Tomorrow we will head south to Reno, Nevada and then on to Sacramento.

You can see all of my pictures by clicking here. Don’t forget to click the “Slideshow” button at the upper right to view the largest image.

Till Tuesday night.

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