Vintage but-always-dependable Dodges will help celebrate the 16th Annual Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days. Michael P. Jones, the Curator for the organization, said that historic cars blended well with the Festival because of the historic Mount Hood Loop Highway that had replaced the Oregon Trail to accommodate tourists who were starting to come to the Mountain in increasing numbers during the 1920's. Several members of the "Dodge Brothers Club" are planning to drop in at the Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days with their cars and put them on public display. Over the three days festival rides in these historic vehicles will be available for a small fee as a benefit to the Cascade Geographic Society.

This year a few members of the "National Dodge Brothers Car Club" will even be taking some excursions on various segments of the National Register-eligible Old Mount Hood Loop Highway, where they will probably have to back-up the steep grades because their vacuum tanks will lose too much pressure and prevent the fuel from going into the carburetors. According to these car owners, "going backwards is the only way that some of us will be going forward on The Mountain."

At the 1999 festival visitors got to experience a 1918 Dodge Touring car, a 1923 Dodge Coupe, a 1925 Dodge Sedan, and others. Terry McAlister, a member of the Friends of the Cascade Geographic Society, brought his 1922 Dodge Touring car to the Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days. 

John and Horace Dodge began building cars in 1914. By 1916 the Dodge Brothers cars had achieved a reputation for dependability. The company soon began to capitalize on this reputation and included it in their advertising. An interesting story from that time period gives extra credence to that reputation. During the Mexican border campaign against Pancho Villa, a total of 250 Dodge cars saw rugged duty with General John J. Pershing. The General used a Dodge touring car as his personal vehicle during his pursuit of the rebel and outlaw. It was reported that his car ran a full 18 hours each day, with any mechanical repairs being made in the remaining 6 hours of each day. The General was so impressed by the performance and dependability of the Dodge cars under his command that he ordered only Dodges to be used by his staff.

These same Dodges carved themselves another "nitch" in the history books in this same campaign against the outlaw. Under the leadership of the then-unknown officer, Lt. George S. Patton, the first mechanized charge was lead against Pancho Villa and his army. This was not only an important battle, but it was the first time that mechanized vehicles had ever been used in a military battle charge by the U.S. Army.

Today, these historic old Dodges are still known for their dependability and those who are lucky enough to own one can testify to this. In July of 1999, the "Dodge Brothers Automobile Club" held their 13th Annual International Meet in Bend, Oregon. The Club, which is dedicated to preserving Dodge Brothers cars built between 1914 and 1938, has 2000 members world wide. Over 50 of these cars were present at the meet. 

The Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days will be bringing back these unique vehicles not only to the Festival, but to the historic and scenic Old Mount Hood Loop Highway. And, if you see them out on the road touring, you'll notice that they'll be cruising at an average speed of 30 miles per hour. You see, moving fast is not the objective when you're driving one of these great old cars, because when you get there matters far less than how you got there. Drop by the Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days and see for yourself. 

For further information, please contact the Cascade Geographic Society at (503) 622-4798.

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