Happy 100, Transcontinental Motor Convoy
Some 100 years ago this week, Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower of the U.S. Tank Corps rumbled into San Francisco from Washington, D.C. via the rudimentary ” Lincoln Highway,” completing a 62-day epic road trip for his experimental “Truck Train.” Surprisingly, even at two months in travel, he was only a week late from the originally anticipated arrival date.
His group consisted of 24 Tank Corps and Motor T officers, 15 War Department observers, and 258 enlisted men. A large part of the reason why the trip took over two months, besides bad/non-existent roads and hundreds of mechanical breakdowns, was that the train had to stop and fix no less than 80 wooden bridges that they broke during the trip.
Of note, according to Google, a drive from D.C. to San Francisco only takes 41 hours today, largely courtesy of the Eisenhower Interstate System.