Sunday, June 18, 2006

Day 2 Reno to Salt Lake City

Really tired, up at 5:00 a.m. again just like the day before. Breakfast meeting at 6:00 a.m., service was really slow did not get a chance to eat all of my food because we sat for at least 30 minutes before we got our food.

The trip to Salt Lake City was one of the most challenging of the original convoy. They were lost in the Great Salt Lake plains for two days with nobody knowing where they were. A good example of what the troops were going through during the 1919 convoy in the Great Salt Lake flats was noted in the Daily log of the convoy.

"Last 6 miles was natural desert trail of alkali dust and fine sand up to 2' deep with numerous chuck holes. No rain for 18 weeks and traction exceedingly difficult. In places chasses of trucks grounded on road surface leaving wheels free, making jacking up and digging out necessary. Sage brush was cut from desert to fill in wheel ruts, as this was the only material available. Five Class B's had trouble with petcocks, cylinder head gaskets, connecting rod bearings, valves and brakes." Aug. 20th

Our trip it was a lot easer for us. We crossed Interstate 15 from Reno to Salt Lake City. For half the trip I was riding in the 1951 Hudson. So far this has been the most exciting part of the convoy drive. The Hudson is painted gold with a brown plaid interior. It has the original motor and no AC! It gave me a different view of the convoy and made me understand that we are lucky to have the highway system. Dan was driving and at a rest stop we saw a sign that we were in a place that had no water for 40 miles. Think about that. All of the people that traveled to get to Salt Lake City during the 1919 convoy experienced this. It is amazing that Salt Lake is even a City.

We traveled on for a total of 9 hours making it to Salt Lake City just in time for a reception that took place in a great park were Brigham Young decided that this was the spot for his city to be placed. This park had a great view of the city it overlooked. During the dinner Senator Bob Bennett made remarks about the I-15 construction and the difference it made throughout his life. Senator Bennett was an amazing speaker.


Blogger 66 Productions said...

I live in Southern California, not far from the Mojave Desert. With Route 66 traversing the Mojave between Barstow and Needles, I frequently am out in that area. It has a lot of beautiful scenery, but it can be harsh, too. It's definitely a different feeling riding on an old 2-lane than it is speeding along on the superslab. But doing so in a 1951 Hudson with the windows down would, I think, be extremely exuberating!

10:25 AM  
Blogger byliner said...

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3:23 PM  
Blogger byliner said...

With a ticket for the welcoming ceremonies in Washington, DC, on Thursday, I look forward to meeting you and the others in the convoy.

Certainly, I meant great-grandfather in my previous comment, but I have met John Eisenhower, the president's son.

The Washingtonian magazine has a feature on the 1919 convoy and the Interstate system in its current issue, but ATA's Transport Topics also had a feature package, as I mentioned. Have you seen it?

8:21 PM  
Blogger byliner said...

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8:23 PM  
Blogger byliner said...

The trip sounds like some fun, especially after you got on your way. Highway Watch and the American Trucking Associations have trucks in the convoy, and I hope they post photos and captions and blog comments.

Transport Topics, the weekly newspaper of the American Trucking Associations, featured the 50th anniversary of the Interstate Highway System, your great-grandfather's 1919 convoy, his signing the legislation in 1956 and even a front-page photo of the ribbon-cutting in 1956 of the section of I-70 west of Topeka.

When I lived in southern Pennsylvania, my daughter and I visited the Gettysburg battlefield and the Eisenhower farm. I was at the battlefield for the 130th anniversary reenactment and met your great-grandparents' physician.

Best wishes, and enjoy the trip east with the convoy.

Stephen H. Goldstein
Deputy News Editor
Transport Topics
American Trucking Associations
Alexandria, VA

8:27 PM  

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