CROSSING THE MISSOURI River into Iowa, I've entered the only state that's bordered by two major rivers -- the Missouri and Mississippi. And while Iowa is known for its rolling hills and cornfields, my interest is in the communities that lie scattered along the way.
A hundred years ago the fastest way to cross the country was by train. Roads were only of local interest and not used to travel long distances. The Lincoln Highway changed all of that when it was completed in 1913, spanning 14 states while offering motorists a reliable route from New York to San Francisco. Because the highway was a collection of roads and not uniformly designed like our modern roads, travel could become unpredictable and full of adventure.
Take, for instance, the Iowa town of Woodbine. The original designated highway ran through the center of town and was 'bricked' during the summer of 1931. It still remains in use today. In fact, it's the longest stretch (about a mile) of original pavement in Iowa listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many Lincoln Highway tourists stop here to examine the pavement's durability and workmanship.
I suppose those early horseless carriages could travel at "breakneck" speeds along stretches of the road -- up to 30 miles per hour -- without shaking apart, blowing a tire, or breaking an axel on any potholes fixed by this clean pavement design.
And of course, considering my personal goal of walking ten miles every day to maintain my cross-country schedule, it's a constant reminder to "hit the bricks!" Who knows what new sights await beyond the next corner?
Week 22, 1755 Miles, Weather 71F💨