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‘Tin Can Tourists’ Setting Out on National Trek

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June 20, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

Forrest and Jeri Bone can’t wait to hit the road again.

Seven years ago, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the National Road, they drove their RV from Cumberland, Md., to Vandalia, Ill.

Sunday (June 23), they will set out again, this time taking the Lincoln Highway from Hayesville, Ohio, to the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney, Neb. They will arrive June 29, the Lexington Clipper-Herald, Lexington, Neb. reported.

Leaders of an organization known as the Tin Can Tourists, they will be joined by drivers of 25 campers and recreational vehicles, many from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

Tin Can Tourists was founded in Tampa in 1919 and resuscitated by the Bones 15 years ago. The rekindled group started with 50 “members,” or vehicles, in 1998. It now has a membership of 1,500 vehicles.

“Our membership has just exploded over the last five years. We’ve got 5,000 people on our Facebook group alone,” Bone said.

His title is royal exalted tin can opener; Jeri is the royal exalted first lady. The group aims to have wholesome fun as it explores the nation’s highways and the cultures those roads created.

The Bones of Midland, Mich., spent two years planning the Lincoln Highway trip. It will start in Hayesville, not New York City, because it was too challenging to try to get 25 RVs across busy Highway 30 near Philadelphia, then through Lancaster and over the mountains.

“After my wife and I did a scouting trip in Pennsylvania two years ago, we decided to find a place to start in Ohio,” Bone said. That’s where the group will converge Friday.

Saturday night, the village of Hayesville will give them a rousing send-off with bluegrass music. “My wife got them all behind us,” Bone said. “They’re going to have a dinner and an open house for us.”

As the vehicles start west Sunday, they will travel about 150 miles a day. Stops will include Van Wert, Ohio; Elkhart, Ind.; St. Charles, Ill.; and Franklin Grove, Ill, home of the national headquarters of the Lincoln Highway Association.

“We’ll see a few murals and have a good photo opportunity there,” Bone said.

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