A 2019 convoy in Iowa. (Military Vehicle Preservation Association/Facebook)

Historic military vehicle convoy to travel through Point, Plover, Amherst

By Brandi Makuski

A vehicle convoy of historic military vehicles will make its way through Portage Co. on Aug. 1.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) is sponsoring the journey across a portion of the historic Yellowstone Trail Highway—a route that, in its entirety, runs from Boston, Mass. to Portland, Ore., then to Yellowstone National Park, for which it was named.

About 90 MVPA members and support drivers will participate with more than 40 historic trucks—all privately-owned military vehicles that range in eras from WWII up to the Iraq War.

Vehicles include WWII Jeeps and Dodges, Korean War era deuce-and-a-halfs, Dodges, and Jeeps, Vietnam era Jeeps, Dodges and deuces, and an assortment of combat heavies—five- and 10-ton Oshkosh and four-wheel-drive cargo haulers from the 1950s to today.

The route of the convoy through Central Wisconsin begins at Abbotsford, where members will spend the night. The convoy then travels south to Marshfield and east to Auburndale for a morning break just after 8 a.m.

The convoy will then proceed through Blenker, Milladore, and Junction City before entering Clark St. from County Hwy. C and crossing the river into Stevens Point.

The route continues south on Division St., then Church St., where the convoy will stop for another morning break in the parking lot of Dollar General, 3260 Church St., by 9:30 a.m.

The convoy will continue through Plover, then on to Amherst. Convoy members will have a lunch stop in Waupaca at the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, 810 W. Fulton St., before heading down to the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. It will enter Waupaca from State Hwy. 54 after turning off U.S. Hwy. 10 on Cty Q.

The vehicles will then proceed to Weyauwega, down Main and Pine streets before continuing to Fremont on State Hwy. 110, where it turns south to Winneconne, Omro, Waukau, Pickett, and Rogersville before encamping at the County Fairgrounds in Fond du Lac for the night.

The Aug. 1 trip marks the seventh cross-country convoy sponsored by the MVPA. Other past cross-country convoys have included two Lincoln Highway crossings from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, the Bankhead transcontinental Highway convoy from Virginia to San Diego, the famous Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, and two adventures up the Alaskan Highway.

The Yellowstone Trail National Highway was the first transcontinental automobile highway through the upper tier of states in the United States, established in May 1912. It remained in use until the end of World War II.

The 2021 convoy is retracing the trail from Aberdeen, SD to Conneaut, Ohio, including a three-day stop at the MVPA National Convention in South Bend, Ind. The convoy will take 25 days to complete.