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A Transcontinental Tour: The Lincoln Highway
By Frank Trego, Motor Age
The transcontinental tour is now comparatively easy and decidedly worthwhile to anyone who can possibly arrange to take it. We say "now," because such has not been the case in the past. Until very recently, a trip across the continent has been more or less of an adventure, a somewhat hazardous as well as an expensive and lengthy undertaking, requiring some measure of endurance.
Frank Trego's article, originally written for Motor Age, gives some very interesting data on touring. A part of that article is printed below.
One can drive for nearly 2,000 miles across the country without once being more than half a mile from the familiar red, white and blue Lincoln Highway markers.
The only thing which might make a coast-to-coast automobile trip a hardship, would be a lack of proper equipment and perhaps the wrong time of year.
The greatest asset on a trip of this kind is "common sense." The next greatest asset is "efficient equipment."
The time required for the trip, with easy driving, will be nineteen days, driving approximately ten hours per day. This will make an average of approximately eighteen miles per hour, during the driving time.
Dress: White collars and cuffs are impossible in camp and soiled linen looks a thousand times worse than a flannel shirt. The khaki and flannel are much more welcome in a hotel.
Make ready before starting--not after. Fit yourself as well as your car.
The tent: If a one person affair where two sleep together--a balloon silk tent, 7×7×7 feet, A-shaped with waterproof canvas floor sewed in, and loops along the ridge to tie rope when attached between trees or in using poles.
The one person tent, called the Trego tent can be A-shaped, 7 feet long, 4 feet high by 4 feet wide, with a ridge rope sewed on and extending about 10 feet beyond each end. Floor, water proof canvas sewed into the sidewalls which hang over slightly.
At the head end is a little window covered with mosquito netting sewed in, and outside of this is a curtain which may be raised and lowered at will from the inside of the tent. At the foot are two flaps, overlapping each other when closed, and equipped with snaps and rings for fastening either open or closed. Sleep with the flaps and window of your tent open unless it is storming. A rope loop is attached to each corner for stakes, but, as a rule, the stakes will not be necessary as the bedding holds down the floor.
This tent may be slung between two trees. If not used in this manner, the ropes at each end should be led over 4-foot stakes of some kind and the corners of the tent must then be staked down, so that the walls will act as cross pieces to keep the end poles upright.
This size tent will take blankets folded once over, and all of the extra clothing, etc. can go under the blankets at head and serve as a pillow.
The blankets are to be pinned across the foot of the head end, with horse blanket safety pins, procurable at any harness store, spacing them about 8 inches apart. There should be 2 pair of heavy blankets and one cheap cotton quilt. Fold this last mentioned over once and place under blankets to serve as a mattress.
Always keep a small whisk broom handy.
Sleep with clothes on, unless weather is warm, simply remove your shoes, leggings (use only canvas leggings, not leather), hat and handkerchief.
Camp location: Pitch where natural drainage will carry water off in case of rain. In the forest, cut a lot of small pine branches, no thicker than your finger, and rip-rap these with the stems to the foot, making a pad the full width of your tent, and about a foot thick before you lie upon it. If there are no trees to furnish this, dig a trench about 3 inches deep by 8 inches wide, just where your hip will come when you lie upon your side. This will add wonderfully to your comfort.
It makes no difference how the tent is placed, except do not get the foot or open end toward the wind.
Protection from the wind: Try to get the camp out of the wind, on account of cooking. Along side of the woods is much better than in the middle, on account of the mosquitoes, flies, bug, etc. Get near running water, if possible, although by carrying a 5 gallon milk can on running board you are independent.
Drinking water: Should be selected and carried in a 5 gallon milk can which can have a wood circle placed on running board to hold in place and straps made on the order of a harness over same. Don't be dependent upon other water--keep a supply on hand.
When stuck in mud: If the rear wheels are stuck in the mud, dig holes in front of the front wheels for them to fall into to give the initial start, and if the car does not continue, then block the rear wheels instantly and repeat the process. Place brush in front of the rear wheels and turn the [???] as slowly as possible to keep from churning. If one rear wheel is on good road, try putting on the handbrake fairly tightly to destroy the action of the differential, or fasten the mired wheel so that it cannot turn, and the other wheel will do the work and slide the mired wheel along the ground.
The instant you realize you are getting stuck in sand or mud, stay right there and look over the situation, instead of fighting the car and burying it deeper and deeper.
Start early and stop before dark to select the campsite.
Use the windshield up to keep the hot, dry air from burning your face, and have the top up all of the time for like protection.
Get all of your guide books before you start.
In asking directions, always apply to a garage or livery stable, but do not depend upon farmers, as their knowledge of the road does not extend very far.
If a party of four, let one do the cooking, another gather firewood, another put up the tent, and the fourth go over the car with oil can and tune up all grease cups, adjust brakes, etc.
The Car Kitchen
This outfit is designed for four people and weighs about 10 pounds. All items marked A-V may be purchased at Von Lengerke & Antoin, Chicago, or Abercrombie & Fitch Co., New York, and the ummarked items may be obtained at almost any store dealing in such goods.
The following Armorsteel pieces of cooking outfit may all be purchased at A-V. Prices of totals given.
1 Inspirator, for camp fire--(2 feet small rubber hose, one end of which is slipped over one end of a 3-inch piece of copper tubing is flattened to make a slit about 1/32-inch opening). This is a wonderfully handy thing for getting a balky fire going.
This equipment is suitable for a trancontinental trip or a shorter one:
2 Extra tires mounted on demountable rims.
When on a camping motor trip, the first thing of importance is common sense. The second is proper equipment.
Now for the list. This is the minimum for a long trip, and of course, may be added to according to the tastes and ideas of the individual....
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