Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Happy 100th, Lincoln Highway

The mythical road crosses the country (and yep, part of the Golden State).

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Patrick Media
    The Lincoln Highway turns 100 in 2013. A big drive from both coasts will meet up in Nebraska in late June, but you're welcome to toddle along it any time you like.

    ROADTRIPPING QUESTION: We're going to look for your answer quickly on this one: What's the most famous highway in America? If you said "Route 66" or "the Mother Road" -- they're one in the same, of course -- you probably aren't alone. The Chicago-to-LA thoroughfare has been mythologized in countless books and films, and coffee table books galore celebrate its neon heritage. But, of course, there's a highway that's not only a bit older but it's also quite a bit longer (and in covering the span of the country longer). It's also well-beloved in roadtripping circles, and we believe no true highway adventurer would ever dare put one before the other in importance, charm, and interest. We're talking about the Lincoln Highway, of course. It wends across the country in its general midsection and California, too, meaning that one can start in San Francisco and meander through the state capital and head into Gold Country, all before leaving the state. It also sticks close to some old Pony Express routes -- the mention of Sacramento was probably a giveaway on that one -- meaning it is literally dotted with history.

    AND THAT HISTORY... will get a bit richer in late June of 2013. Two caravans of cars, one from San Francisco and one from New York, will drive the Lincoln Highway with plans to meet up for a celebration in Kearney, Nebraska on Sunday, June 30.

    WHY THE PARTY? It's the Lincoln Highway's centennial, which is pretty dang major in several annals, including car culture, American history, and general transportation.

    DRIVING THE LINCOLN: The mega mid-country meet-up is now full, but, of course, you can drive the Lincoln any time you like. Lots of people do, for work or to head to school, but we tip our cap (we bought it at a truck stop, of course) to those who drive it because it is there. When people bemoan the passing of vintage towns and Americana-laden sights, they need to stow the bemoaning and take a drive. Nope, it isn't all Norman Rockwell out there, but we don't need it to be. It's the open road, celebrated by poets aplenty, and that is a nice thing to still have around.

    Happy 100th, Lincoln Highway. And, worry not, Route 66 -- your 100th will be here soon. We can juuuuust see it coming 'round the bend now.

    * Oh, and one nifty tidbit. If you happen to drive the Lincoln Highway during its anniversary month, there's a commemorative mug giveaway going down at several locations along the road. Check 'em out here.