Well, I did not travel with a dog, like Steinbeck in his GMC pickup in 1960, nor in one car with a mechanic, like Horatio Nelson Jackson in his Vermont in 1903. But I did drive coast-to-coast and border-to-border with a mechanic/friend, Paul Clifford, in his own car. Our original plan was to leave the U.S./Mexico Border in California, drive up the West Coast following Hwy. 101 to Morro Bay, then drive inland to Sacramento. From Sacramento, we would follow Hwy. 50-"the Loneliest Road in America"- eastward for 3,073 miles to the Atlantic Coast at Ocean City Maryland, stopping at my birthplace on Hwy. 50 in Hayden, Indiana, and Paul's birthplace in Massachusetts. From there, we would cross the U.S./Canada Border at Niagara Falls, New York. A highlight would be to attend the Indianapolis 500 Race on May 30. Heading back West, we would see the sights in Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, and return to California via Route 66, "the Mother Road," which would mean we will have driven through 25 states in all-about 10,500 miles...we thought! Our Hwy. 50 route would be easy to follow. Once we were in Sacramento, California, all we had to look for were road signs that said, "50 East" for over 3,000 miles. But side streets and such weren't as easy as the straight shot on 50.
Fortunately, we had no essential parts fall off our cars! Car trouble was expected, but did not come true except that Paul's '57 V-8 did not like the 3 H's-heat, humidity, and height. Removing the filter from the fuel line remedied that problem in Washington, D.C. My '56 six-cylinder only lost a hubcap, a chrome tailpipe end, and she suffered a cracked driver's window in the Arizona heat while returning home. We also did not expect to meet so many great folks along the way. I even added a section to my Web site for their pictures, which I called "Folks Along Fifty."
Our planned 10,500-mile trip turned into a 12,000-mile journey in my six-cylinder '56 Two-ten Delray and Paul's V-8 '57 Bel Air convertible. We traveled eastbound on transcontinental U.S. Highway 50 for 3,073 miles from California to Ocean City, Maryland, in 10 days. We visited friends, family, schools, and restaurants in Hayden, Indiana, and towns around Pepperell, Massachusetts.
Upon closer inspection of my photographs, our adventure might more correctly be called "The U.S.A. Through my Chevrolet's Bug-covered Windshield!" I've canned the other possible title, "Drive-by shootings in 25 states!"