A Blog Along The Lincoln Highway

All of this is about a public TV project about one of America’s great roads, and we’re hoping you might enjoy reading about some of our behind-the-scenes work. I’m Rick Sebak, and I write most of the tales. Bob Lubomski is our cameraman. And Glenn Syska has been traveling with us recently. He made the video blog entries in 2008. Back in 2007, Jarrett Buba did all that. A RIDE ALONG THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY first aired on PBS on October 29, 2008 at 8 PM. Check with your local PBS station to find out about repeat broadcasts. Or go for the DVD at www.shopwqed.org.

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There’s a lot of old Lincoln Highway in Wyoming

June 20th, 2008 ·

It’s 6:45 am, our earliest breakfast of the trip. We’re in Evanston, Wyoming, at the Dunmar Inn Best Western (at Exit 3), a well built motel with several single-story white brick buildings that have park-outside-your-door convenience. We love that.dsc00170.jpg

This is the official motel for the 2008 Lincoln Highway Annual Conference, and we have to be ready for an 8 am bus tour this morning. In the motel restaurant, we see some of our Lincoln Highway friends and subjects, and then everybody meets at the front portico of the motel and waits. The busses are late. Everyone seems a bit disappointed that rather than swanky touring busses, today there will be school busses. The swanky busses didn’t want to go on the old dirt and gravel roads that we’ll be traveling today. The dust may get in their air-conditioning systems and ruin them. So let’s use the work-horse busses that get kids to and from school everyday across America!

Bob and Glenn get in the first bus. I follow at the end of the Lincoln Highway caravan: 3 school busses, a van for folks in wheelchairs, two or three personal cars, mostly SUVs. dsc00015.jpgThe train of vehicles makes a quick tour of downtown Evanston then heads out into the outskirts where we go through an open gate onto an old alignment of the Lincoln Highway, not paved but grated and in good condition. We head out over the hills, past curious cows and sheep, and we stop to look at a 1920 tunnel, an underpass really, at the Union Pacific Railroad grade.

As the important details of the spot are being explained by one of the tour guides in the back of a pickup, dsc00200.jpgwe scoot on ahead to get some shots of the caravan as it winds along this stretch of the old Lincoln Highway. Where Bob sets up the tripod on a steep bank above the road, we’re across from a small valley full of low green bushes and a hundred or so sheep, maybe more. They are very vocal. Baaaaaa. BAAAA-AAAA. Some cries are high pitched, some are low, Bob says, “There’s one alto.” It sounds like moans, as if they all have gastric distress. Glenn tries to imitate them. dsc00197.jpgThat is not a sheep he is holding, that is our boom microphone covered with a special kind of fur that helps eliminate wind noise.

We get several shots, then pass all the vehicles on the left, still on this gravelly old path of the Lincoln Highway, so we can set up again to get the busses driving toward us.

After the group passes us a second time, these two guys on motorbikes come up and introduce themselves.dsc00218.jpg They are Buddy Rosenbaum and Bob Chase, two non-quite retired gentlemen who are crossing America on these new three-wheeled bikes (two wheels in front) made by Piaggio. They call their trip “NO AGE LIMIT The Piagio MP3 Lincoln Highway Ride,” and I had read about them the other day on Butko’s Lincoln Highway News, and they’re writing a cross-country blog too. They’re sponsored by Piaggio, and they seem to be having a good time and are still getting along. We take pictures of each other, and I say we’ll try to interview them at our next stop.

Tags: Road Diary

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