2014-07-12 04:41:32 UTC
Turns out, according to an old Chicago Tribune story, that the late Kuralt also did a follow-up "On the Road" report on Bushnell in August 1982, just a month or so after the long-retired Minnesota dairy farmer died.
Bushnell was truly an American original--as were so many of the subjects of "On the Road" stories--a man who always thought there should be a direct east-west route between Fargo and Duluth (the latter of which of course these days is notable as the birthplace and early hometown of that guy with the funny nose, the funnier hair and the funniest voice). But since the Minnesota state highway gods never deemed it necessary, Bushnell decided to start building it himself about 1958. It's unclear how (or even if) he obtained the easements for his lonely project, but he nonetheless toiled away in obscurity and solitude for fully two decades before Kuralt stumbled upon him.
Bushnell got less than 20 miles of it completed--and it's unclear what portion of The Gopher State his work was in, although presumably it is near Lake Superior. The best news is that Kuralt's update (and obituary) reported that a member of the Minnesota legislature proposed the by-then-overgrown stretch Bushnell managed to finish be designated The Gordon Bushnell Memorial Nature Trail.
I hope that happened, and regret that when I was in Hibbing and Duluth again just last year for Dylan Days 2013, I hadn't as yet found this information...so that I might locate the old pavement myself, even if the Minnesota legislature never did the right thing and followed through on the trail-designation proposal.