Thursday, November 7, 2019

November 7-8: Springfield, IL to Quincy, IL

November 7-8: The overnight in Springfield, the log report the hotels were filled up with 700 Republicans.  Before leaving Springfield, John bought arctic overshoes to cope with the mud.   

In the little town of Ashland, they spot American Crayon 30 Blendwell and Chroma points.  John says it boosts their spirits to see something from Sandy. 

They overnight in Quincy where the natives seem to be enjoying themselves on a Saturday night. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November 6: Indianapolis, IN to Decatur, IL

The crew is up at 6:30 to leave Indianapolis but not before buying mud hooks, and then buying more mud hooks.  Lynn Curtis looks very blue according to Earl.  Without road maps they rely on locals for directions.  Without good dope they go off course.  The roads turn from gravel to mud and they resort to putting mud chains on tires.  When they drive into a ditch, they are pulled out by a local farmer in a Ford truck They drive late into the night to reach Decatur, IL.  The crew's big ambition is to be in Kansas City by Sunday. 

The rest of their entries are consistently succinct: Mud. Mud. Mud.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Ten Cent Trail Across the U.S. - The Journey Begins November 4

Exactly one-hundred years ago today, November 4, 1919, my grandfather John Whitworth convinced three of his hometown friends to attempt a cross-country drive under the cruelest of conditions.  The men were inexperienced, the car was subject to regular breakdowns, and the highways were a series of unmapped dirt roads. This was still an era when passenger trains were the only acceptable means to cross the continent.  Anyone who attempted such a journey by automobile was likely to be considered eccentric or foolish or both. To the drivers of today, however, the four young men would be considered pioneers.
During the month of November, I'll be posting excerpts from 
the logbook my grandfather kept of their journey from 
Sandusky, Ohio to Pasadena, California.
The car they drove was a 1915 Fiat Riviera. My grandfather recorded the mileage, location, time, and comments on the road about
 the people, places and things that he witnessed. He captured the 
experience through a series of black and white photographs.

John Whitworth and Henry Harbrecht

Earl Curtis (John's cousin) and Henry Beilstein

Log entries for November 4: Sandusky, OH to Springfield, OH

All that's left of the Fiat: the Radiator emblem