Adventure Research Archives

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Jack & Doreen’s 1958 Wagon Trip from Australia to England

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Gil’s hoping to reconnect with he Shakespeare family, so I’m reposting this in the hopes some family member might see it.

Original Post January 18, 2017 — Bill shared the video below from Jack and Doreen Shakespeare. Together, the couple recount their 1958 journey in a late 40’s wagon from Australia to England. The trip took them 114 days. Fortunately for us, they filmed much of the trip. It’s a great story.

 
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Maynard Roberts’ Two-Year Jeep Trip Through South America

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles • TAGS: .
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Maynard Roberts pictures on the left in San Paulo, Brazil, from the January 23, 1950, issue of the Pomona Progress Bulletin.

In 1948, 34 year-old Maynard Roberts, from La Verne, California, traveled south into Mexico and spent the next 18 months exploring Central and South American. He wrote a series of articles for the Pomona Progress Bulletin detailing his trip. He’d hoped to write a book, but I have been unable to locate one. If he didn’t, it’s too bad, because I think he was a very good writer.

His skill is evident early on when he wrote a phrase that caught my attention, “About seven years ago I was keeping company with my last twenty-dollar bill …” His attention to details and telling a few small stories make his tale worth reading. It’s unfortunate that these articles only share snippets, for it seems he’s got a good story to tell and the skill to tell it.

His idea to travel germinated prior to WWII. He was born in Lima, Ohio, in 1914. As a child, his parents moved to California, Near the start of WWII he got the idea to travel to South America, so he began saving money. During WWII he was a draftsman, perhaps a skill learned during his college days at Chaffee college? Finally, by 1948, he saved up enough money to buy a jeep and afford to travel.

Part one of his adventure appeared in the January 09, 1950, issue of the Ponoma Progress Bulleting, split into two sections.

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Part II: This is the second installment of Maynard’s adventure. It appeared in the January 16, 1950, issue of the Pomona Progress Bulletin.

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Kjolseth and Kohlschutter’s 1957 Trip to South American

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

On September 11, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced the People-to-People Program, “to enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures.”

Two students out of Colorado University, Rolf Kjolseth, of Boulder, Colorado, and Andreas Kohlschutter, of Berne, Switzerland, decided to put Eisenhower’s idea into action by driving a jeep from the United States to Rio De Janeiro, where they planned to sell the jeep and return to the United State by ship. Along the way, they hoped to meet people from all walks of life. They called their jeep “Columbus II”.

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June 24, 1957, Albuquerque Journal

The trip was sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency and the Pan American Union. The two young men were supposed to write about their trip and send their stories to several newspapers, but I can’t find any articles with their by-lines. They even had their photo take with  then Vice President Richard Nixon on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, but I haven’t located a copy of that yet.

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June 13, 1957, Greeley Daily Tribune

According to multiple reports, the intrepid explorers drove their early CJ-5 south from Laredo, Texas, through Mexico, into Central America and, probably via boat, made it to South America. The photos below show the pair in Colombia.

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November 11, 1957, The Marion Star, Marion, Ohio,

I could not locate any information following their stop in Colombia.

At the very least, Rolf made it back to Colorado, becoming an associate professor at the University of Colorado from 1971-2011. I don’t know if Rolf is alive or not, but he does have an email address associated with UC. Whether he monitors it or not, I couldn’t say, but I sent him an email. Hopefully someone will respond.

 
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July 1955 Article on 5th Annual Tahoe Jeep Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

This July 14, 1955, article from the Auburn Journal (Auburn, California) highlights the upcoming two day trip from Auburn, to Wentworth Springs and on to Lake Tahoe. It also includes a lists of some of the folks participating in the event. You’ll note there is no mention of it being a Jeep or Jeepers Jamboree.

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William F. Baggerman’s Trips to Central & South America in a Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .
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William F. Baggerman in 1946 standing in front of his 1946 VEC CJ-2A. Behind the jeep is a trailer (a box on wheels). Standing to the side of the jeep is Charles Mum of the Laredo, Texas, AAA. William is just about to enter Mexico in 1946.

Wiliam F. Baggerman was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri, area around 1914. He attended Washington University and Edinburgh University. He started Modern Management Co., a real estate management firm, in 1936, and later was employed with Sycamore Investors, Inc., a shopping center development company.

He entered what would become the Air Force right after Pearl Harbor and spent 20 months in the Pacific theatre, stationed for at least part of the time in Guam. While in Guam, for some unknown reason, he decided to travel to Central America after the war.

A year after the war ended, he purchased a jeep and, along with a trailer, headed south to Laredo, Texas, where he began his adventure.

After his trip, he wrote an 60 page book: Driving to Managua, Nicaragua (A Guide to the PanAmerican Highway Through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua).

The book is part guide book and part travelogue, as most of the text describes dryly how to travel through the various countries. Yet, the pics feel far more personal; there are at least 10 photos, almost all of which include the jeep. You can view the entire book online at Hathitrust.org.

The jeep he used appears to have been a VEC with indents and a column shift, but without the rear hubs. So, I’d guess a 15xxx to 30xxx serial number. The trailer is a box on wheels … anyone know what model?

Let’s look at some pics!

This is a map of the Pan American Highway. It’s not clear to me how much he veered off the highway:

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This pic shows him just entering Mexico:

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Those are some beautiful mountains. But who is looking at the mountains when you can peek inside the cab and see the column shifter:

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Apparently, even the jeep couldn’t take William everywhere:

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1949 Jeep Trip from South America to Alaska

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

An October 18, 1949, article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram announced Daniel M. Towns decision to drive a jeep from Magallanes, Chile, to Fairbanks, Alaska, then drive to Washington, D.C. He is hoping to be able to cross the Darien Gap rather than boat around it. He plans to use tracks on a jeep to get through the Gap. As of the date of the article, Willys-Overland (or a dealer) had already agreed to supply a jeep.

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A few weeks later, Towns received some advice from Frank Buck, as described in a November 07, 1949, article in the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. Frank Buck died a few months later.

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1955-1956 News Articles About Operation Pineapple

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images Jeeping, Old News Articles • TAGS: , .

Just this update for Tuesday.

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April 22, 1956, Los Angeles Times. Strangely, this photo was published months after arriving in Los Angeles (they were likely here in late December 1955 or early January of 1956). See map below.

Mapa

The trio began and ended their trip in San Paulo, Brazil. This map shows that they passed Los Angeles on their way home, then headed east towards New Orleans, the trio’s last stop in the United States.

Most folks are already familiar with this trip, but I wanted to add these news reports to the database of Operation Pineapple information. One of the articles noted that the three travelers did not try an American hamburger, because hamburger was fed to dogs in Brazil.

This first article was published shortly after Jan Stekly arrived in New Orleans, because he wasn’t allowed to travel through Mexico. It was published in the August 11, 1955, issue of the Shreveport Journal:

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August 11, 1955, issue of the Shreveport Journal. Jan Stekly is shown in the photo.

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Bill Barriere’s 1978 Pan American Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE IV: Here’s an another photo form 1978, this time it’s a good closeup of the hood.

View all the information on eBay

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UPDATE III: Charles Chips — What happened to Bill Barriere, continued (see more info in below updates). (two years after the photo in UPDATE IV) In 1981 Bill launched Charles Chips of Palm Springs, a franchised(?) business that has specialized in home delivery of cookies, pretzels and other snacks in the United States since 1942 

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The next week, this photo and caption was published by the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California. Bill’s adventurer-look was gone, replaced by a more casual-business-looking persona.

UPDATE II: This photo shows Bill on top of the jeep.

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Original Post January of 2019 …. UPDATE: Another photo of Bill Barriere and his jeep appeared on eBay (see below). That find sent me once again on the pursuit of the question, “What happened to Bill Barriere’s jeep trip?”. It turns out, he didn’t make it very far. During the early portion of his trip, he crashed into a bridge in the Yukon, which left him with a $7000 repair bill and $1700 tow bill (Yukon to Fairbanks). He decided to abandon the trip idea and, instead, become a mercenary fighter in Nicaragua (and drive his jeep there). Maybe some day I’ll figure out how his life as a mercenary fighter panned out. 

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Palm Canyon Jeep Tours Postcard on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Postcards • TAGS: .

The Palm Canyon jeep tour is still available through Red-Jeep Desert Adventures. Red-Jeep also offers other tours via jeeps.

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Here’s one of their postcards on eBay

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1958 Article From Sunset Magazine

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: , .

This article about exploring southern Utah in a jeep was published in the October 1958 issue of Sunset Magazine. You’ll see a nod to Kent Frost’s guide company and a photo of the front of one of his CJ-5s.

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1959 Harney Peak South Dakota Jeep Trip Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: , , .

UPDATE: I’ve been looking for one of these since I first saw one on eBay in 2013. I scored one earlier this month on eBay. Along with it came the post card below.

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Ben’s Yellowstone Trip in His Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Thanks to Joe for sharing this story about Ben and his family’s 3,270 mile trip in a 1957 wagon from Kansas to Yellowstone and back over the past few weeks.

You can view the trip here: http://www.oldwillysforum.com/forum/showthread.php?13689-YNP-by-Wagon-from-Kansas (there are 11 pages, but no page links at the bottom of the page, so advance to the next page using the links at the top.)

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You can also view Ben’s 1957 wagon build here: http://www.oldwillysforum.com/forum/showthread.php?10450-My-1957-L6-226-Wagon-Build

 
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1951 DeAnza Trail Jeep Cavalcade

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features, Magazine, Old Images • TAGS: , .

1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-pg1-1The May 1951 issue of Motor Trend captured the 3rd Annual DeAnza Trail Jeep Cavalcade. The author, Ernest Reshovsky, titled the article “Jeep Gymkhana”, possibly attempting to reference timed automobile or equestrian contents designed to test driving skill, though to my knowledge the Cavalcade was not a timed event.

1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-title1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-text-lores 1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-pg1-2 1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-pg1-3

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1952 Story About Boy Scout Trip in a Willys Truck

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Scott shared a link to this 1952 story about eleven Boy Scouts who drove for 73 days across the country and back in a single Willys truck. It’s worth a read:

http://www.oldwillysforum.com/forum/showthread.php?13083-5000-miles-73-days-11-Boy-Scouts-1-Jeep-Truck

Here’s how the story begins: “In the summer of 1952 I was one of 11 Boy Scouts from Glen Ridge who joined Troop 3 Scoutmaster George Gimbel on a 73-day cross-country adventure. The trip took in 22states and two Canadian provinces. Nineteen fifty-two was years before the construction of the Interstate Highway System, so all of our travel was via state and local roads. We saw the country up-close. We camped out every night in national parks, state forests, and Boy Scout camps.”

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A World Odyssey-The Epic Voyage of the Sand Ship Discovery

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: This just appeared in our local newspaper. A couple local folks are helping him out. Here’s an accompanying video: 


ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM MAY 10, 2017:

An article from Spokane’s Spokesman Review alerted me to the story of A World Odyssey-The Epic Voyage of the Sand Ship Discovery. This is actually a local story (for me) as Loren Upton, the man at the root of the adventure, has lived in Yakima and the Tri-Cities and worked at the nearby Hanford  nuclear reservation.

Between 1984 and 1989, Loren piloted a CJ-5 around the world, surpassing 55,000 miles. The jeep holds a Guiness book of World Record for being the first vehicle to cross the Darien Gap. Some of you might remember the 2014 post about the 1959-1960 venture across the Darien Gap in a Willys Truck and a Land RoverHowever, some of that trip was done by floating part of the river.

Loren nephew Laurence would like to restore the CJ-5 back to it’s former glory and then take his Uncle on one more world trip. They’ve set up a go-fund-me page and a website with lots of information and photos. Good luck to them!

http://www.outbackofbeyond.com/index.html

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A 2013 10,000+ Mile Trek in a 1950 Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Dan & Jean’s 1950 Willys-Overland Jeep Station Wagon

I was doing some research on a Willys Overland site in downtown Denver when I stumbled upon a blog from 2013 about Jean and Dan. They rebuilt a 1950 Wagon they called Jenny, then traveled 10,300 miles through 15 states to visit 12 western National Parks over 63 days.

This link summarizes the trip, with the latest posts at the top: http://www.ati-engineers.com/blog.
there are lots of pics and videos.

This link summarizes the build: http://www.ati-engineers.com/willys-trek-2013/history-of-our-jeep.html

This example video highlights a drive across Hoover Dam, with music playing and the engine chugging happily:

 
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Fourteen Jeep Adventures 1940s-1960s

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

I’ve been compiling a list of jeep adventures. These are just some that I’ve documented. There’s  few more to add to the list, but this is good for starters. If you know of others, let me know.

  1. Bantam BRC in 1940: The earliest documented trip occurred September 29th, 1940. That was the day the very first jeep—the original Bantam BRC constructed in only 49 days—was driven 270 miles from Butler, Pennsylvania, to the testing ground in Holabird, Maryland. It was an amazing accomplishment given the newly designed vehicle had been barely assembled, let alone tested.
  2. Wolf Blint in 1945: Near the end of World War II, Wolff Blint escaped fighting on the eastern front by driving across Europe to Paris. He documented his story in his memoir, By Jeep To Freedom. The book is out of print and difficult to find.
  3. Soldier and Bride Return from Europe circa 1945: An unconfirmed event, the story unfolds with a U.S. soldier marrying a woman in Europe following WWII. Somehow, he is able to secure a jeep. Together, the pair drive to a port in France or Germany, have the jeep shipped to America, and then drive the remainder of the route to the man’s hometown in Illinois.
  4. Ben Carlin in 1948-1958: In 1948, Australian Ben Carlin began a trek around the world by heading east over the Atlantic Ocean in a modified 1943 Ford GPA (a jeep made to float over water) named ‘Half-Safe’. Over the succeeding ten years, Ben and Half-Safe traveled 50,000 miles over a period of ten years. His exploits filled three books, each book covering his voyage in different ways. Half-Safe can be seen in action in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-Gqi-RlbO0
  5. Helen & Frank Schreider in 1954-1955. Helen & Frank Schreider first jeep ended in a failed attempt to cross Panama in a Willys wagon when their jeep was beat to death as they drove across a long train trestle. For their 1954-55 attempt, they purchased and customized a Ford GPA, naming it La Tortuga. Starting in Alaska, the pair traveled all the way to South America. Subsequently, they wrote a book called 20,000 Miles South: A Pan American Adventure in a Seagoing Jeep From the Arctic (A nearly identical version is published under the name La Tortuga). They also filmed some of their trip and toured the United States giving lectures about their experiences.
  6. Three Boy Scouts Travel 44,000 Miles in 1955: Dubbed Operation Pineapple, three Sao Paulo Boy Scouts—Hugo Vidal, Charles Downey, and Jan Stekly—drove from South America to Alaska and back as part of their effort to attend the 8th World Scout Jamboree in Canada. The CJ-3B Page has an excellent overview of their trip.
  7. Dorothy Rogers & Louise Ostberg in 1955-1956: Dorothy and Louise were two college professors from New York who met while traveling in Europe. They successfully circumvented Africa in a jeep wagon. Dorothy later wrote a book about their adventure called Jeopardy and a Jeep.
  8. Joe Ceurvorst in 1956: Joe wrote a book called Africa in a Jeep about driving around the northern part of the African continent.
  9. Roy Follows and Noel Dudgeon in 1958: Joe and Roy were two Colonial Police officers fighting Chinese Communists near the end of the Malayan Emergency. Ready to head home, the pair bought a Willys MB in February of 1958, then begin a long journey home full of obstacles, broken parts, encounters with unfriendlies and more. Their tale from Singapore to the United Kingdom unfolds in their book about the trip: The First Overland: Four Wheels and Frontier.
  10. Jack & Doreen Shakespeare in 1958: Jack and Doreen drove their early wagon from Australia to England. Lucky for us, they filmed their trip. You can relive their adventures on youtube.
  11. Helen and Frank Schreider in 1960: Ready to his the road again, Helen and Frank rebuild a second Ford GPA that they use to float the Ganges River in India. Their five month 1960 India adventure from the mouth of the Ganges to its source filled forty-two pages of the October, 1960, issue of National Geographic.
  12. Helen and Frank Schreider in 1960-1961: On the heels of their India trip, the Schrieders, again with National Geographic support, tackled the breadth of Indonesia, a 17,000 island archipelago, going to places and completing a trip that few, if anyone, has replicated. Their 4,000 mile trip lasted a year. Their ability to shuttle between islands and over land took them to places no vehicles had gone. Helen and Frank wrote two subsequent articles for National Geographic (May 1961 & August 1962) and a second book, the Drums of Tonkin: An Adventure In Indonesia. They went on to work regularly for National Geographic, though their jeeping days ended.
  13. Harold Stephens in the mid-1960s: Harold drove around the world in a CJ-5 and Toyota Landcruiser. He wrote about his experience in Who Needs a Road? Harold went on to become a travel author.
  14. Dorothy Rogers & Louise Ostberg in the mid-1960s: In the late 1950s, Willys Motors introduced two Forward Control jeep trucks called the FC-150 & FC-170s. Dorthy and Louise thought the latter would make a great vehicle to tour the world. So, they bought one and set off on their second major jeep trip. Dorothy later wrote about their experiences in Highways Across the Horizon.
 
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Ted Bumiller’s “Around The World By Jeep”Tour

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

In 1955, Ted Bumiller went around the world in a Willys Wagon. At some point Ted created a 30 minute movie titled “Around The World By Jeep” and traveled around exhibiting it. The ad below, published in the January 3rd, 1970, edition of the Toledo Blade shows he was still touring and showing his film fifteen years after he’d made his trip.

Anyone ever seen the movie?

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Brazilian Couple Touring the Globe in a Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Linho & Vanessa on the Alaskan Highway.

Brazilian married couple Linho Bergamin and Vanessa Zandona Sartori are touring the world in their modified wagon. They plan to travel across five continents over several years. They began their journey in Brazil and have already gone a long ways.

After traveling to Prudoe Bay last month, they made their way south on the Alaskan highway, drove through Canada, and are currently in Toledo, Ohio. From there, they will head to Niagara Falls. According to Vanessa’s Facebook page, they will be in the United States until December, then they will ship the jeep to Africa and continue their trip.

Here is the official Facebook page for the trip. It includes still photos and videos: https://www.facebook.com/avoltaaomundo/?pnref=story

I’ve assembled the following maps based on photos they’ve posted on Facebook and a small map they have there as well.

Map 1 of the trip, from Brazil to Colombia:

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Map 2 of the trip, from Panama to Prudoe Bay, Alaska:

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1946 Jeep Trip to South America

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

This article appeared in the October 8, 1946, issue of the Southeastern Missourian. Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Kenyans, Mrs. Katherine McGregor Wallis and her daughter Miss Trinket, planned to travel all the way to Tierra Del Fuego in a CJ-2A. I could only find one article and one photo, partly shown below. You can see the full version of the image at Getty.

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Caption: Katherine MacGregor with Friends Before South American Trip To South America In A Jeep. Chicago, Illinois: Putting the finishing touches on their jeep before they leave for a year’s trip in South America are (left to right): Mrs. Katherine MacGregor Wallis, Mrs. Anne Knehans, Irwin Knehans, and Miss Iranket Wallis of Quito, Ecuador. Trip To South America In A Jeep. Chicago, Illinois: Putting the finishing touches on their jeep before they leave for a year’s trip in South America are (left to right): Mrs. Katherine MacGregor Wallis, Mrs. Anne Knehans, Irwin Knehans, and Miss Iranket Wallis of Quito, Ecuador.

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Twenty Year Old Girl Jeeps Through South America

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

A story from the September 20, 1962, issue of the Toledo Blade (and a similar story on the 10th as well) shares the tale of Lou-Bette Herrick’s three month trip through South America. The Richmond Virginia native entered into the adventure after responding to an advertisement placed by Hilary Dunstervile for a companion to drive back to her native country of Venezuela. I did a little research on both women, but didn’t find any updated information on them. It doesn’t say what kind of jeep they used, but there is a reference in the article to camping out in the jeep, so it might have been a wagon.

1962-09-10-toledo-blade-herrick-south-america-adventure1 1962-09-10-toledo-blade-herrick-south-america-adventure2 Continue reading

 
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In 1957-58 4 Italians Drove to Toledo the Long Way

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

This September 13, 1958, article from the Toledo Blade told the story of four italians who drove what appears to be a WWII jeep a distance of 80,000 miles from Italy to Toledo. The men, all newspapermen, planned to drive another 15,000 miles back to Italy. What a trip! I wonder if their counterparts in 2013 knew of their countrymen’s adventure?

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Jeep to Harney Peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Postcards • TAGS: , , .

From the 1950s until 1968 visitors to the Black Hills of South Dakota could purchase tickets for a ride in a jeep to Harney Peak.  The ride would take visitors up to the CCC built lookout at the top of the peak, the tallest point in the United States east of the Rockies (visitors could also hike or ascend via horseback).  You can view various pictures of and from the lookout here. Erosion due to the jeep trail ended the trips by jeep.  The area around the peak was also turned into a wilderness area (and one could argue given the road how that might happen, but that’s another a debate for another time), so no vehicles are allowed anymore.

Black Hills National Forest: Harney Peak and the Historic Fire … – Page 51

This picture was taken at Sylvan Lake. They employed both flatties and CJ-5s. Custer State Park – Page 104

Gerald sent these digital versions of this postcard to me a couple years ago.  You can also buy it here.