Sunday, May 14, 2017

Scouting the Wyman Waypoint Trail

The George A. Wyman Memorial Project is conducting the annual survey of the waypoint locations along Wyman's historic 1903 trek across America.  The purpose is to validate the waypoints, inspect the Wyman waypoint signs, memorial plaques and to enhance the information about each location.

SpotWalla Map

As with previous waypoint surveys, a major goal of this year's survey is to coordinate with local hosting authorities to get more Wyman waypoint sign and memorial plaques mounted in their communities.

Waypoint Pictures

Scouting Reports, by Tim Masterson, Project Manager

Saturday, 5/20:  Getting the Wyman Memorial plaque placed in Perrysburg is a complicated process.  We have won approval to ground mount a plaque into the sidewalk in front of the historic building that was the circa 1903 Post Office, where Wyman stored his motorcycle the night of Thursday, June 25,1903.

After a couple stops along the way, I will end this year's Wyman trail survey at Albany.  I want to work out the placement of the plaque and sign at the circa 1903 "Indian Motorcycle" shop Wyman used to work on his crippled motorcycle. I've decided to skip the three NYC waypoints this trip.  Nothing has changed and I have no one to see when I get there.  Weather looks good all the way to Albany once I get into New York.

Friday, 5/19:  Today, I am visiting the Dixon Lincoln Highway exhibit to speak to the director about getting a Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign posted at the Interpretative Center.  Then it's off to Goshen, Ligonier and stopping for the night in Perrysburg, OH.  Each of these waypoints have Wyman Memorial plaque sponsors, so I'm keen to coordinate the details a their placement.  More bad weather is forecast for today's riding.

Dixon Gelena Bridge
Success!  The City of Dixon has joined the Project as the hosting authority for the Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign for the 618.3 Dixon location.  The plaque and sign will be mounted in the common space park at the southwest corner of the Gelena bridge.

Goshen test fit
In the land of Goshen, the guys at the Janus Motorcycle Company pose with the Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign to be mounted at the
"Motorcycle Only" parking area.

Ligonier test fit
The Ligonier Visitor's Center pose with the Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign to be mounted facing the road Wyman rode along when he entered Ligonier on Wednesday, June 24, 1903.

Thursday, 5/18:  The focus this day will be to secure hosting authority as several of the locations between Omaha and Chicago.  Many of them have accepted Waypoint signs but haven't posted them yet.  It's a common issue amoug community agencies.  It's like dealing with "City Hall", it just takes time and effort.  But with each visit we make progress here and some there.  It's like chiseling away at a large stone to make it a monument.  OK, enough of the metaphors.

Boone RR Museum
I stopped by several waypoints along the way from Lexington NE to Boone IA.  But the goal was to be at the Boone Railroad Museum to get permission to mount a Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint poster inside the Museum.  The Boone RR Museum is already the hosting authority for a Wyman Waypoint sign.  And, as you can see by this dry fit photo they are more than happy to have the items.  The location is inside the Museum, on the right side of the door into the gift shop.

I stopped for the night in Dixon, IL.  I want to be at the Dixon Welcome Center to see the director of the Lincoln Highway Interpretative Center.  The history of Wyman's journey through Iowa is one of him following the circa 1903 roads that became the Lincoln Highway.

Wednesday, 5/17:  The goal today is to secure location hosting at the 602.5 Lovejoy Garage waypoint located in downtown Laramie and to talk with the person who controls the Visitor's Center at the top of Sherman Summit Rest Area.  But first, I will stop by Fort Steele and Medicine Bow to survey the Waypoint signs and displays at those locations.  As I am typing this report, sipping on a cup of hotel room coffee, the Weather Channel blares out "Winter storm warning for all of Wyoming.  Current temperature in your area is 32f degrees with thunderstorms turning to snow in the afternoon."  Hopefully, I will be well into Nebraska before any of the severe weather hits Wyoming.  The weather radar looks clear all the way to Cheyenne and onto western Nebraska.

The weather gods smiled on my riding today.  Seems I was in a good weather trough between two severe weather systems; one behind me in Wyoming and one in eastern Nebraska.  At any rate I really enjoyed the great riding today.  One of my most successful of this years scouting survey.

Major Success!  The Laramie Area Visitor Center has accepted our offer to be the
Sherman Summit Visitor's Center
hosting authority and will work to mount a Wyman Memorial plaque and Wyman Waypoint sign at the 604.1 Shermin Summit location.  The Visitor's Center at the Rest Area of Exit 323, I-80 is the host to the large bust of Lincoln to honor the founder of the Lincoln Highway, Henry B. Joy.  The Wyman Memorial plaque will be mounted inside the visitor center and the Waypoint sign in front of the building.   The Rest Area and visitor's center at this location is visited by over 500,000 travelers each year.

Wyman rode these tracks
On the way to Julesburg, CO to inspec the Wyman Waypoint sign at the historic depot there, I could not resist the opportunity to snap a photo of the RR tracks he followed.

Success!  The City of Ogallala has joined the Project as the hosting authority for 607.4 Ogallala RON.  The City Manager committed to mounting a Wyman Memorial plaque, with Ogallala specific narrative and Wyman poster inside the visitor's center with a Wyman Waypoint sign in front of the building.

I ended this day's waypoint scouting and decided to RON (remin over night) in Lexington, NE...just as Wyman did on Tuesday, June 9, 1903.  My choices of food and lodging must be far better than what George had, back in the day!

Tusday, 5/16:  There are three significant Wyman waypoints in Ogden UT.  I'm working to get the Wyman memorial plaque and waypoint sign mounted at the location in downtown Ogden where he worked on his motorcycle at the L.H. Becraft bicycle shop.  Today, the location is a vacant parking lot for a nice restaurant.  Even with the delay to get a new tire in SLC I expect to get well into Wyoming before finishing for the day.

Success!  The Depot Grill has joined the Project as the hosting authority for the
Ogden test fit
Wyman memorial plaque and waypoint sign for the 528.2 LH Becraft Bicycle Shop waypoint at the corner of Grant and 24th St.  Pictured here is the General Manager dry fitting the mounting location with my travel samples.

The weather worsened as I headed east through Weber Canyon.  Showers, gusty winds and temperatures in low 40s.  Between Devil's Slide and well beyond Evanston I encounter bouts of sleet and pea sized hail.  My riding gear was performing well battling the elements.

There are many Wyman waypoints along this stretch of I-80.  I did not stop at most of
Point of Rocks Store
them as there is no there...there.  Still, it is remarkably desolate this area is abscent the Interstate.  Looking to the south along I-80 one can see the Transcontintenal Railroad that was Wyman's guide as he rode through this same terrain 114 years prior.  I stopped at the Point of Rock waypoint to snap a picture of the Overland Stage ruins.  When Wyman stopped here on  May 31, 1903, it was an active travel center.  Today, I stopped at the Point of Rocks Conoco station to grab a cup of hot coffee in the well stocked convienence store.  Yup, the Wyman Waypoint poster I gave them last year is still displayed.  Thank you, Point of Rocks.

Monday, 5/15:  Today's goal is to meet with the Navada director of the Lincoln Highway Assocation to discuss enhancing the Wyman waypoints along the Lincoln Highway locations.  Then more site visits along the Wyman trail.  Most of the current and potential hosting authorities will b open for business today.  I would like to get all the way to Ogden UT by day's end.  I want to start fresh on Tuesday morning to secure the hosting location for 528,2 L.H. Becraft Bicycle Shop waypoint memorial sign and memorial plaque sponsored by the Motor-Assisted Bicycle organization.

Lovelock NV Depot
Good riding today with cool temperatures and some sprinkles.   I bypassed the Massi and Upsal waypoints as there is nothing there that might have changed since Wyman rode passed them.  In Lovelock I spoke to the City Clerk about getting a Waypoint sign mounted on the outside of the historic depot in the old town center.  Proceding east along I-80, I was making good time compared to Wyman's travel time.  I will cover in a day what tookWyman a week, from leaving Reno on the 21st, arriving in Ogden UT on the 28th.

I am making a side trip to Salt Lake City to get a new rear tire on Tuesday morning before heading to Ogden.

Success!  The City of Carlin has joined the Project as the hosting authority for 524.6 Carlin RON and will post a Wyman Waypoint sign at a historically significant location along the RR tracks in Carlin.  Location to be determined by the Carlin historian.

Sunday, 5/14:  I am meeting Marti Wyman Schein, Project Research Director and her husband Jimmie at Schein & Schein, their historic map and document shop in San Francisco.   We are meeting KNTV NBC News reporter Joe Rosato, who will be interviewing those gathered about the Wyman saga for a piece to be air locally.  Schein & Schein was recently featured in a news piece done by Joe.  He learned of Marti's great-grandfather George and was intrigued by the Wyman story.

After the interviews and video shooting I departed San Francisco for Reno, stopping as several of the Wyman waypoints along the way.  I was able to meet with the owners of the Rocklin building which displays a waypoint sign.  They were pleased to post the sign on the outside of their historic building.  I left them with a Wyman Waypoint poster for display inside their business.

Since it was Mother's Day most of the hosting locations were closed.  While stopping
Donner Pass snow shower
at Emigrant Gap for gas I left a Wyman Waypoint poster for display over the memorial plaque inside of the convenience store that is acting as the hosting authority for the 519.1 Emigrant Gap waypoint.  While there I geared up for the cold ride over Donner Pass.  It was snowing by the time I crossed over and I glad to have on my heated gear.  After a stop at the 520.4 Verdi waypoint I ended the day's ride in Reno to remain over night, just like George did on May 20, 1903.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - October 1903

The Motorcycle Magazine, October 1903 issue is available for your viewing pleasure.

"Across America on a Motor Bicycle"
By George A. Wyman

In addition to Wyman's report, of the 5th and last leg of his epic ride across America, are several interesting articles about motorcycling in October, 1903.
  • "The Road to Knowledge," by Alvin Rich:  The lessons of ride craft and keeping the motorcycle running at it best happen along the road.  
  • "Developing the Double Machine,"  by C.W. Brown:  Pillions and the art of taking her along for the ride.
  • "The Tour of Jack LaFiance," by Charles Hersey Fenner:  A ride report of a familiar nature.
  • "Motor Bicycles for Military Use," by Herbert N. Arthur:  Wyman's example inspires General Nelson A. Miles to adapt the motorcycle for military use.
  • "Suggestions for Beginners," by Frank B. Widmayer:  So, you just got a motorcycle delivered in a crate?  The 1903 version of the modern "Out of the Box"  YouTube video.   
Watch for the November 1903 edition of The Motorcycle Magazine next month.

Waypoint Volunteer - Sign up for one or more Wyman Waypoints to coordinate with potential hosting communities and organizations.  We seek authorized and secure mounting of Wyman Waypoint signs and where appropriate,Wyman Memorial plaques. This involves working with members of the community government, local historical societies and organizations through the stages of the hosting process

Donate today!  Help the George A. Wyman Memorial Project bring these historic publications to a wider group of motorcycle enthusiasts and to the general public.  Become a member of the Project by volunteering to help or through a tax deductible Sponsorship.  Check out our "Friends of George" page and become part of the efforts, "Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future," today!