On Aug. 10 a convoy of vintage military vehicles started a journey from York, Pennsylvania to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1919 U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy.
The original 1919 convoy was designed to demonstrate that a military expedition could cross the country. It primarily followed the path of the Lincoln HIghway with 300 men and 81 vehicles. It left Washington, D.C. on July 7 and arrived in San Francisco on Sept. 6.
Among the 300 men that made the original trip was 28-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel Dwight Eisenhower, who camped out at the Orr Ranch in Skull Valley.
The 2019 historic reenactment convoy is expected to reach its final destination of San Francisco on Sept.14.
On Friday morning, the convoy started its journey in Tooele and headed to Dugway Proving Grounds to see wooden bridge from the Historic Lincoln Highway. The group was greeting by Dugway Commander Col. Scott Gould.
Karl Hosterman from State College, Pennsylvania is one of the participants in the convoy. He knows this trip isn’t about the destination but about the ride.
Hosterman is driving solo in a 1986 Chevrolet truck towing a military cargo trailer.
“It teaches you patience and how to listen to instruction,” said Hosterman.
With a large number of vintage military vehicles and support vehicles, the convoy can be one and a half to two miles long traveling down the highway. The convoy has aggravated commuters with its slow speed, according to Hosterman.
“Americans are rush, rush, rush,” he said.
A 1918 Dodge Brothers Model 30 touring car sets the pace for the convoy. The convoy doesn’t push themselves to get from point A to point B. The highway speed for the group is around 35 miles per hour with recovery days built into the schedule, Hosterman said.
The convoy arrived in Tooele Sept. 4.
The group spent the next day recovering. Hosterman says
“It was also a day to catch up things,” Hosterman said. “It gives us time to do maintenance on the equipment and ourselves.”
It’s also a day to enjoy the sites. On Thursday, many members of the group went to the Utah Fire Museum and Memorial at the Deseret Peak Complex.
Hosterman commented on the extensive collection of fire apparatus at the museum, but his favorite spot in Tooele County was the campsite at Settlement Canyon where a group of convoy participants spent two nights.
They enjoyed the beauty of the canyon with its convenient location near to the city. The group prepared “the best dinner of the trip,” at the canyon campsite from food purchased from local stores, according to Hosterman.
Speaking of bests, Hosterman said he liked passing through the rural areas the most.
“We get the best reception in smaller places,” said Hosterman. “The convoy has been greeted by people waving flags on the side of the road. And some places we go, the students will wave flags as we pass by.”
Hosterman has enjoyed traveling across the country and learning more about America. It
It was his first time in Wyoming and Utah. He has time to reflect as well as learn about the vast country, Hosterman said.
Hosterman said he feels like he better understands the West now that he’s experienced it first hand from behind the wheel of his ’86 Chevy truck.
After visiting Dugway Proving Ground, the convoy moved down the road crawling up Johnson’s Pass on state Route 199 making its way to Delta and eventually, San Francisco.