The Amazing Winton- My Dad

The first horseless carriage driven cross-country? The Winton.

A Dr. Horatio Nelson bet fifty bucks in San Francisco in 1903 that he could drive to the East Coast.

The challenge? No roads.

The auto he chose? It was invented by Alexander Winton, the Scottish-American automobile engine designer who used racing to inspire Americans to imagine the need for long distance hiways.

Reminds me of dad, Hal Winton. Born of Swedish and Scotch-Irish parents he had uphill plans. Even before retiring as an engineer he collected feats. He climbed Mt. Whitney, ran the John Muir trail, traversed the Grand Canyon back and forth any number of times and at age 60 completed multiple 100-mile mountain races in one year, what ultrarunners call The Grand Slam.

A long hard trek through wild country was to drink the nectar of life.  Each summer he ran twenty-four hour loop behind our family cabin in Trinity County, navigating ridges with no trails and in the dark. My sister and I partly joked that he might end his days next to a rock somewhere. He had a trac phone, but few had his number. We had to prepare ourselves for whatever might happen….(read more)

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