A few years ago the Texas Historical Commission started doing some research and documentary work on the old highways in Texas. Several of them still exist, it turns out, at least in bits and pieces and little sprinklings of history across the state. The Bankhead Highway, one of the first transcontinental all-weather year-round highways, is one of the bigger pieces. It ran from Washington, DC to San Diego, including 850 miles through Texas, from Texarkana through DFW and out to El Paso. Much of it remains in use, albeit resurfaced a bit, and most of it can still be found if you go looking.
I ran across this bit in a mailing from THC, and started looking at the Bankhead and the other highways as a potential The Other Texas series, just because hey, historical road trips. Back roads, history, travel… cool.
So anyway, back mid-September I was getting set up for another quick run to Fort Worth to do Mom Stuff. Well, in looking up other things, I learned that a convoy of vintage military vehicles, jeeps and trucks and whatnot, was setting out to retrace the first coast-to-coast military convoy along the Bankhead Highway. Their schedule had them going into Fort Worth and taking a rest day there about two days before I had planned to go up. So… that meant that if I drove up a few days earlier, I could get in the day before they did, and be out there to photograph the convoy as it moved down the old highway, and then I can use some of this history as a hook for a Bankhead Highway piece. This could all come together.
And then, come departure morning, I’m following the convoy online (they’ve got a tracking map set up on the internet where I can see where they are and where they’re going, and they’re posting their routing a day or two in advance so people can come watch and wave…) it all comes screeching to a halt. What the… this can’t be right. They’re not coming in on the Bankhead route, they’re routing the convoy along I-30. What? Oh, hell.
But yeah. Apparently, for whatever reason, the relevant authorities opted to bring the convoy in along the old DFW turnpike and avoid the Bankhead route entirely.
So much for the Bankhead story….
But still there are lots of historical vehicles passing by, so I went out with Canons and shot at them.
See the sign? “Convoy Follows”
Yup. There’s a gallery back there. Nice machines.