For many years I have traveled over Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with all the other racers to get to points east or west without much thought about the country I was traveling through. Sometimes I would take “the old road” which it turns out was several old roads now rolled into one.
First it was the Donner Pass where a party of emigrants suffered in 1846. Later it was the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Wagon Road (1863). As the age of the automobile arrived, the County of Nevada decided to improve the road for tourism (1909). In 1913 it became part of the just-dedicated Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway in the country.
Little did I know how much history there was to be found by just turning off the I and onto the 40. I have become enamored of this old highway and the fact that in the area of the summit, a good twenty miles are a drivable museum. That’s what most of this blog will be about.
There are many fine sites and oodles of books about the Lincoln Highway. It is not my intent to eat out of their rice bowls. This is therefore a personal account of my relationship with the Lincoln Highway in the west, as I travel with camera and pencil at hand.
“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” ~ Charles Kuralt ~