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US-23 Introduction

Where Are We Going?

As I mentioned on the home page, we're going to drive the US-numbered routes of 1962. That means we won't be on freeways very much, as there weren't many freeways in 1962. But sometimes even where there was a freeway, I'll go back on the old road just to see what was there. To keep this trip focused, everything we do and every road we use will be within just 5 miles of the US-numbered routes of 1962.


For the first of our ROADTRIP-'62 ™ routes, we'll be traveling US-23. In 1962 it ran from Mackinaw City, MI to Jacksonville, FL. And, it still runs between these cities, 1444 miles today. It was planned to extend to Tampa, Florida, but that was scrapped about 1945. We'll travel from north to south, just because I live in Michigan and it's an easy place to start. Sometimes things are just that simple here at ROADTRIP-'62 ™ .

US-23 route signs, 1961 style
US-23 Route Shields, 1961 style

We start through parts of Michigan and Ohio, looking at the Great Lakes and the easternmost part of the Midwestern plains. Then we cross the Ohio River and wind through the hills and mountains of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. We cross into North Carolina near the Great Smoky Mountains, the highest mountains east of the Mississippi. Down out of the mountains into Georgia and the largest metropolis on the trip, Atlanta. Finally, we end up crossing the Okeefenokee Swamp and end in Florida, just 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

US-23 route map
Route US-23 map

The fact that both ends of our journey are at seas, the great American inland sea of the Great Lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean, gives a name to this trip, "From Sea To Inland Sea." US-23 passes through a great variety of scenery and culture along the way. We travel through farmlands, national forests, flat lands, and mountains. We cross one of the great rivers of the United States, the Ohio River. We'll see many small towns and one major metropolis, Atlanta, Georgia. US-23 will take ROADTRIP-'62 ™ through decaying manufacturing towns, near wildernesses, the cradle of country music, and past sandy beaches. And we'll see lots of history along the way, from 1962 and reaching back all the way to the American Revolution. And of course, we'll learn about history through people, places, events, technology and culture. A lot has happened along US-23. As for weather, don't worry. It's always an endless summer on the road, between Memorial Day weekend, and Labor Day weekend...or sometimes a little longer.

Lake Huron
Lake Huron

But, we're not quite ready to hit the road yet. I've still got a few preliminary tasks to do, like testing some pages, checking some links, packing a picnic, packing the maps, some comics to read, etc. You might want to make sure you have your suitcase packed too; 1444 miles will take a couple of weeks without freeways! Oh, I'll need to take some traveler's checks too. You can't just waltz into every place and expect to use a credit card in 1962. So check out all the other stuff on this site, for more 1962 fun. Then bookmark the site, stop back a week from now, and we'll buckle up and hit the road for some time travel!


All photos by the author and Copyright © 2012, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne, except as noted.

All other content Copyright © 2011-2012, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne.

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More Fun Stuff:

What's the weather in 1962?

Weather on June 1, 1962 for Mackinaw City, MI, from the National Climatic Data Center:

  • Low = 40°F
  • High = 54°F
  • Precipitation = no data
  • Mean Wind Speed = 8mph

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Discover  Heritage Route 23 in northern Michigan