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Descriptions : The automobile was still sharing roads with horses when the gears started turning to create a coast to coast highway along the nation s southern tier The plan was to connect the towns that had sprung from Spanish forts and missions dating back to the s The core of the route would link the towns of St Augustine New Orleans San Antonio El Paso Tucson and San Diego br br A conference was held in Mobile Alabama on December to lay the groundwork for a road to run from New Orleans to the Atlantic coast of Florida and subsequent conferences followed with San Antonio being designated the headquarters of the venture Such a paved road would not only promote tourism and commerce from the new auto travelers but also aid the United States War Department in deploying troops and materiel for the nation s defense br br The first zero mile stone for the Old Spanish Trail was placed in San Diego on November with a message from President Calvin Coolidge read at the dedication The following year a five ton boulder of Texas granite said to be one million years old was placed in Military Plaza in the center of San Antonio as the marker from which all distances would be measured on the Trail In April of a zero mile stone was unveiled in St Augustine just in time to greet the first motorcade from San Diego to St Augustine The caravan motored back in October after assembling the biggest motorcade ever staged Torrential rains and severe flooding had reduced the travel party to just cars by the time it rolled into New Mexico br br The Old Spanish Trail crossed through eight states and counties in its mile journey It had eliminated ferry crossings in creating the shortest American link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans although bridge crossings of the Mississippi River and Berwick Bay in Morgan City Louisiana were still several years away Most of the Old Spanish Trail followed US and US across America s southern border br br In the s the Old Spanish Trail Association saw the peril lurking in the planned interstate highway system and tagged itself America s Highway of Romance to lure travelers back to the road But romance could not compete with speed and convenience and shortly after the completion of I the Old Spanish Trail had gone the way of the conquistadores Parts of the roadway still exist in places and planning is already underway for the Centennial Motorcade in br br You don t have to wait until then to visit the towns of the Old Spanish Trail which now include three of America s eight most populated communities br br Town Tours Included br br St Augustine br Jacksonville br Tallahassee br Mobile br New Orleans br Houston br San Antonio br El Paso br Tucson br Phoenix br Yuma br San Diego