07 April 2011

Driving 200 miles in a day

In 1913 such a feat would have earned one admission to an exclusive motoring club, as indicated by the notice posted at Centuries of Advice and Entertainment.

About fifteen years later, a trip of 240 miles in a day was a major adventure for a pair of farm girls.  My mother was raised in Goodhue County, Minnesota.  Each summer one of her aunts offered to drive mom and her sister "up to the lake" in northern Minnesota.  The trip, to Kabekona Bay on the west side of Leech Lake in Cass County, could be completed in one day:
It required the assistance of a farm hand to help drive the Model T over gravel roads, but they could leave the farm at 0400 and be at the lake by midday.  Then they could pick wild strawberries to mix with local cream, swim and sleep in a wooden shack and enjoy a respite from the endless chores of the home farm.

Nowadays, of course, you could drive up, fish all day, and be back home before dark.


  1. Puts me in mind of Sinclair Lewis' Free Air - (of which I own a first edition!).


    ..."cheerful little road novel, published in 1919, is about Claire Boltwood, who, in the early days of the 20th century, travels by automobile from New York City to the Pacific Northwest..."

  2. My grandparents had a cottage on Upper Cormorant Lake, in Becker County. It was my favorite place on earth. We drove there every summer from Cleveland. With my dad driving, we always stopped overnight in Rockford, Minneapolis, or at the Arrowhead lodge in Black River Falls, WI. When my sister and I went one year by ourselves, we made it in one day (14 hours), in her new little sports car. I don't think we even drove very fast. Thanks for the great blog.

  3. This is pretty wonderful. I'm a member of the long distance motorcycling community and we view 1000 mile days as a pretty common occurrence.

  4. Ultravox, I assume you speak of the Iron Butt Assn.? I did an Iron Butt, but never submitted my paperwork. Dusty butt, now we are talking.

  5. Wow, that's an average of twenty miles per hour! Blazing speed ;)

    Nothing makes you appreciate just how far 25, 50, 100 miles is like trying to ride it on a horse or run it on foot. Motorized vehicles are an everyday miracle.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...