Report of the 2001 Texas to Alaska Model T Adventure

Last Revised: November 15, 2003


Friday, August 10, 2001

Texas to Alaska

Model T Travel Report


Today's report

sponsored by:

Texas T Parts



Day 66 - August 10, 2001 - We had a long drive scheduled for today, going from Rock Springs, WY, to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Our original plan called for us to go south into Utah, along the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area, and then pick up Highway 40 across upper Colorado. It was a longer, more difficult route than taking the interstate but we have carefully avoided the major highways. After several days of discussion, we decided that Interstate 80 would give other cars a passing lane and might make it easier than a busy two-lane road. I HATE driving the T's on the interstate but, since I don't drive, those who drive needed to make the decision. The traffic was a little heavy in the Rock Springs area but thinned out as we drove further east. We had our first flat (picture below) on the highway, kind of ironic that it would happen on good road rather than on one of the really bad ones we've been on.

Once we got off the interstate, we were on a long, virtually empty road for almost 80 miles. There were no services at the exit we took so we got off the highway hungry and 50 miles from the next station in the direction we were going. We could have stayed on the highway for another 20 miles to the next city but that would have meant backtracking and this group doesn't backtrack. We made the 51 miles in 1-1/2 hours, a pretty fast trip for us, and Jennifer's tank still had 1/2 gallon of gas.

The worst part of the drive was the 45 miles into Steamboat Springs. This was on a busy two-lane and we were constantly pulling over on the shoulder or a pullout to let other vehicles pass. It was pretty stressful, especially when a large 5th-wheeler got behind Ginger and refused to pass. She pulled over, slowed down, waved her arm to encourage him to go around. Nothing worked. Not only was it worse for her because he was on her bumper, it made passing an even greater obstacle for those behind him. Finally, we pulled off the street completely to let him and the 20-25 cars behind him go by. About 10 minutes later, we were stopped at a pull-out when a police officer drove in. He had received complaints about someone holding up traffic and wanted to be sure we knew to pull over when cars lined up behind us. Ginger told him that we pulled over but "there is this big motor home that won't pull over and won't pass so other people can get around". We drove on down the road and, much to our delight, the cop had pulled the guy over and was issuing a citation! I hate for you to think we are so mean that we would laugh but we did. We were all chuckling so hard that we forgot to take a picture.

We arrived in Steamboat Springs just as the rain stopped and the sun came out. It is a cute, tourist-y sort of town and we are planning to go check it out. We are here, checked into the motel before 6:30, and we don't have cars to rebuild! That must be some kind of record.


810a - Driving out of Rock Springs, WY, on Interstate 80, we drove by numerous of these rock formations, big curving "scoops" in the ridge lining the highway. Once again, we are back in country where there is no other alternative to the Interstate that wouldn't have taken us 60 miles out of our way.


810b - Our first puncture. We've driven over 8000 miles and this is our first flat. Everyone has been so concerned about us having flats on the Alcan Highway or on the Haul Road to Prudhoe Bay. But we get the puncture on the interstate! Ross and Bruce feel motivated to do a quick change to the spare.


810c - Those of you in snow country will probably recognize this - there were miles and miles of snow fence along the highway, sometimes two or three layers deep. Interstate 80 is notorious for being buried in snow in the winter and we hear about their closings all the way to Texas.


810d - After 84 miles on the interstate, we turned off onto a road that crosses over into Colorado. It is 51 miles from the highway to the next town and, other than a few oil tanks and pumps, there wasn't anything else. We saw a few head of cattle, some pronghorn antelope, and a few prairie dogs. Otherwise, it was pretty stark country.


810e - This ravine ran beside the road for miles, twisting and curving, following the path of a long-dried up river. You can tell by the shrubbery that there hasn't been any water here in a long time but it is cut so deep, there clearly has been a lot of water through here in the past.


810f - There was a small town at the border with a gas station, a small motel with restaurant (lunch!), and a few houses. Then it was 41 more miles to Craig, Colorado, and the road to Steamboat Springs. This beautiful farm was just beyond the state line in Colorado. The terrain changed dramatically from sage-covered prairie to cultivated fields.


810g - We've been pretty lucky with our weather on this trip. We've had some rain but never too much and we were hoping that this storm would move on past us to the west. No such luck. We had lightning, we had thunder, we had hail, we had wind. And even though we could see blue sky to the east, we drove through the rain for about four hours.


810h - Bruce is wringing out his coat sleeves when we stopped to see if we needed to bail out his car. Ross had wisely decided that Jennifer needed help driving the coupe so Bruce took the brunt of the storm. We asked if he didn't want to put up his side curtains but he felt that it was a little too late.


810i - They say that there are more NAPA stores than McDonald's. I'm not sure if that is the case but we have seen NAPA stores in a lot of places where there is little else and we have stopped at most of them. We use their spark plugs (probably a gross by now), their oil (the equivalent of a 55-gallon drum if you count all the cars), and other miscellaneous parts. We could do a commercial for NAPA.


810j - Jennifer, Taylor, and Ross show off the newest attachment for the Model T - The BOSS Snow Plow! (Maybe we should do a commercial for BOSS.) Let's see - would a 4-cylinder engine push this thing?

For Further Information Contact:

Ben or Nancy Hardeman
Texas T Parts
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Bryan, Texas 77807
Tel: 979-361-0271
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