In 1924 Phil Gooding was a twenty-year-old bus driver in Baltimore, Maryland. After three years on the job his supervisor told him to take a vacation, and he did. Phil rode his 1923, 7-horsepower Indian Scout from Baltimore to Los Angeles - and back again.
Crossing the country in 1924 meant miles of muddy tracks called "highways", camping out in a friendly farmer's barn when he could, and sitting for a day and a night in Death Valley with a broken fork hoping that an automobile would come along with some wire so he could limp into the next town. And it also meant trips through Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon when those parks were still wild, and the Golden Gate before there was a bridge.
Phil kept his journal, along with letters, postcards, and pictures from that trip. One of his last entries in his journal, as he neared the end of his trek was "I've seen it all, and I don't mean maybe!" These are some of the pictures and postcards from Phil's trip.
In the following pages you can read the article "Motored to the Pacific" from the December 1924 issue of Baltimore Trolley Topics - the Baltimore bus company's employee newsletter. In Postcards and Photos you'll see a few of the postcards Phil collected during his trip, as well as some of his own photos, taken with a Kodak "Brownie" box camera.
I'm in the process of putting Phil's whole journal up on line. I'm trying to get a week's section up just about the time that Phil rode it - but I am often a couple of days late. In any case, you can check Phil's Journal section for more of less weekly updates.
We've put together Phil's complete journal, along with letters he wrote along the road, and more than 90 full-color postcards and black and white photos in a handsome paperback book, which you can get for yourself on the Buy The Book page.
I hope you enjoy reading about Phil's journey as much as I enjoyed discovering it.