Paving the Way: The National Park-to-Park Highway
See America First (1 of 2) (#101)
At a time when train travel to the National Parks was only for the wealthy, this program follows the convergence of U.S. Land being set aside for all people, the development of the "autos for the everyman" and the need to escape the drone of WWI and the 1918 flu pandemic. With this need for release, 12 intrepid motorists embark upon the 1920 inaugural tour of the National Park-to-Park Highway. Traveling 5, 000 miles over 76 days to promote the need for good roads, these individuals also explore the idea of what it means to 'See America First' while touring in the western United States, instead of visiting their ancestry in war torn Europe. [56 minutes]
This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.
Series Description: PAVING THE WAY details the story of twelve motorists who took a 5, 000-mile epic road trip before there were gas stations and fully paved roads. In 1920, the inaugural tour of the Park-to-Park Highway connected all twelve National Parks in the American West. They promoted tourism to the Parks and better roads for motorists. During the early days of the automobile, when cars got stuck in the mud, they were still being towed out by horses, and gravity-fed fuel lines caused problems up steep grades. Only the rich could afford travel by train or by horse to the National Parks, but the 1920 inaugural tour opened the door for the "everyman," with his newly affordable automobile, to visit them as well.
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