Report of the 2001 Texas to Alaska Model T Adventure

Last Revised: November 15, 2003

Wednesday, August 8, 2001

Texas to Alaska

Model T Travel Report


Today's report

sponsored by:

Texas T Parts


Day 64 - August 8, 2001 - We packed up this morning and drove to the Lake Yellowstone Hotel for breakfast. When you come to Yellowstone, pay good money to stay at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel! This is a beautiful hotel, in the old fashioned style of the 1920's, built of wood with large windows overlooking the lake and a gorgeous sunroom with easy chairs to reading or having a cup of tea. We had a delicious breakfast, excellent service, and our cars looked perfect parked in front of the hotel.

On the way to the Hotel, we stopped at the Brink of the Upper Falls, a short hike to the very edge of the falls. It was a pretty spot but you couldn't help but consider how swiftly you would be swept away if you climbed out on the rocks between our viewpoint and the water. These are, literally, the Upper Falls. They are a much shorter drop than the Lower Falls, with two or three short drops before the larger one. Then the river rushes on around the bend and heads for the Lower Falls. We also stopped at the West Thumb Geyser Basin. This is similar to the ones we visited on the first day but, instead of it being horribly hot, we got a nice breeze off the lake. So, you are standing next to a beautiful blue pool of water that would boil the skin off and feeling nice and cool. That is why these things are so enticing; it is hard to resist touching to see how hot it really is.

We took the road leading to the South Entrance, admiring the river below us and stopping by Lewis Lake to wade in the water. When you leave Yellowstone, you go through the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Corridor into the Grand Tetons National Park. It is one continuous drive and, if there weren't signs, you wouldn't know you had left one and entered the other. Jennifer stalled out on the first major hill but we think it was simply that she was forced to go too slow and lost her momentum. The park road is quite high and, even though there are numerous passes (we have crossed the Continental Divide too many times to keep track), it wasn't difficult. Unfortunately, this is a pretty park with only one major road and Jennifer was run off the road by a huge silver motorhome, pulling a car trailer. The driver was passing on a hill, with a blind curve at the top, and a truck approaching and within sight. We've had a few close calls in the past and the occasional person who yells because he has been caught behind us but, if she hadn't swung off onto the grass, he would have hit her with the car he was dragging. Minutes later, we saw him stopped at a pull-out, photographing some deer. If Ross hadn't taken over driving her car after the mishap, I'm afraid she would have gone after him.

The rest of the drive was peaceful. We stopped at Jenny Lake (another place you should see) and a few other places and then drove on into Jackson, WY. Jackson is a major tourist town, because of its closeness to the Tetons and for its winter skiing. We had hoped to have a little time to enjoy the shopping and sightseeing but, by the time we fought our way through the traffic, we were all pretty frazzled. We ate in, worked on the website, made a trip to K-Mart, and crashed.

I have mentioned occasionally the remarks people make to us. Some are funny, some are ridiculous but there were several today that I have to tell you about. Ginger was asked if these were rental cars. Seriously, this is the second time she has been asked that question. And I was walking behind some women who had spotted our cars. "Look at those old cars," one woman said. "How the hell did they get them here? And look how filthy they are - that's a sacrilege!" As I passed behind her, I quietly said, "That is the dirt we collected when we went to the Arctic Ocean. We haven't been able to properly clean them yet." And I walked on. Minutes later, I saw her outside taking pictures and telling people, "They have been to the Arctic Ocean." And, if we had a dollar for everyone who asks us if we really think we'll make it to Alaska, we'd have enough to pay for this trip.

808a - The Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River. See those two, fairly easy drops? They are just setting you up for the larger drop ahead. And, of course, should you survive that fall, the 300 foot Lower Falls is not too far ahead. We discussed the chances of survival in a raft and Ross was impressed that I would even consider rafting.


808b - The Lake Yellowstone Hotel is the right vintage for our cars. It was at its best in the late 20's, when visitors from all over the world were coming to Yellowstone. The Old Faithful Lodge was built in the rustic "lodge" style that was popular at the time but the Lake Hotel was built for glamour and style. Over the years, it had fallen into disrepair and came close to being demolished but, in the 70's and 80's, the hotel was renovated into its 1920's era look and now it is elegant. Stay here!


808c - Here you can see a little more of the hotel, including the rounded sunroom. Consider that the hotel faces beautiful Lake Yellowstone with mountains in the background. Our T's were parked at the edge of the beach. Don't you wish you were here?


808d - The pool at the Lake Geyser area doesn't look very inviting or smell inviting either. It has been very active recently and has had several unusually large eruptions. They had signs up warning that you should leave the area if you witness "unusual activity". Now, how are we supposed to know what constitutes "unusual activity"?


808e - One more geyser picture and then we'll move on. This is a cone geyser, erupting right up out of the edge of the lake. Many of the pools in this area drain into the lake and the water is still steaming when it goes in. People boat in this water. They fish, but I don't know if they eat the fish. The water is beautifully blue and clear but I'd like to know what it would do to your skin if you went swimming..


808f - This great old bus was commissioned to ferry park visitors to and from the train station and around the park. Each seat has a separate door and there is a large luggage compartment in the back. The seats are leather. The hardware is chrome. In the 1950's, the old White Motor Company buses were set on a Ford chassis so they could keep up with the modern cars that were invading the park. We could tell it was a Ford; see the cardboard under the engine? How many of you T owners have the same?


808g - There was a great display of old photographs in the hotel, including this one of an early tent camper who knew how to take care of his Model T. Look at all the travel stickers on his window; he obviously liked to travel in his Model T, too.


808h - Lewis Lake is another beautiful lake that runs alongside the South Entrance drive. Just before the lake, however, there is a small but lovely waterfall. (We are all very big on waterfalls!) This angler has a good spot and had caught two fish already. We took our shoes off and cooled our feet as the floorboards are feeling the heat from the road now that the weather has warmed up.


808i - Welcome to the Grand Tetons! This is a stunning range of mountains that extend from Yellowstone almost to Jackson. One mountain after another, rising almost straight up from the flat land of the valley. The area in front, where the road and the campgrounds are, is called the Jackson Hole because it sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains.


808j - Our cars are parked at Jackson Lake in front of the Grand Tetons Mountains. The water is impossibly blue and the mountains were just a little hazy, turning them into a blue tint. It was gorgeous.


808k - Another beautiful lake, Jenny Lake. We took a detour off of the main park road and drove by this lake. I'll never be able to look at a Texas lake again without remembering the color of the lakes we've seen.


808l - Ross waits for us to finish admiring Jenny Lake. Ben and I were here in 1995 with Ginger and tried to walk around Jenny Lake. There is a ferry on the other side that would bring you back but we missed it by about 5 minutes. Did I mention that this is a very big lake? We didn't try to walk around it today.

For Further Information Contact:

Ben or Nancy Hardeman
Texas T Parts
1820 Gray Stone Drive
Bryan, Texas 77807
Tel: 979-361-0271
e-mail: or

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