Report of the 2001 Texas to Alaska Model T Adventure

Last Revised: November 15, 2003

Monday, July 16, 2001

Texas to Alaska

Model T Travel Report


Today's report

sponsored by:

Texas T Parts


Day 41 - July 16, 2001 - We crossed into the Arctic Circle today! A word of warning: there are lots of pictures of us at the site of the crossing. Not too many scenery pictures because we wanted our loved ones to know we actually made it to the Arctic Circle. If you don't feel compelled to look at all the pictures, just feel free to skip it today.

Today was the big day! The first leg of the trip to Prudhoe Bay! We had pared down our belongings to just what we would need in the way of clothes and food, taking all the tools and parts we thought we might need. We got an early start but stopped before long for our first look at the Alaska Pipeline. This pipeline goes from Valdez to Prudhoe and is probably visible from outer space. We're from Texas and we've seen pipelines but nothing the scale of this. It was built in the 1970's and still is an engineering marvel.

We had 260 miles to go to get to our night's lodging, a bed-and-breakfast in Wiseman, Alaska, just north of Coldfoot. Even though we were in a hurry, each stop seemed to take an inordinate amount of time. There isn't much in the way of services between Fairbanks and Coldfoot and what there is, is expensive. We passed a gas station at the Yukon River Bridge to go on to one advertised in the Milepost, only to find that they were out of gas and the place was a dump. We gathered up all the gas cans and Ben drove back to the bridge to fill them up. We are carrying 19 gallons of gas in cans because the drives are so long between stations.

When we reached the Arctic Circle, we stopped for pictures (which you will see below) and to celebrate getting there. However, it is a long way from the sign to Coldfoot. We pulled into Coldfoot around 10:00 pm, exhausted and hungry and still had 15 miles to get to the b&b. Even though it was 10:00 pm, it was still bright daylight and we created quite a stir. I went into the cafe and overheard one man saying to another, "Look at those old cars! What the hell are they doing here?" That was the question of the hour, apparently, as Ken and Joyce told us they had decided not to go on to Prudhoe Bay. They were too tired, too sick of the bumpy road, too worried about their car. Their daughter Cindy decided to go on with us but they were going to head back to Fairbanks. We were disappointed that they would make that decision when they were so close but we didn't know what the next day would bring for us either and didn't try to change their minds.

We arrived at our b&b's around midnight. We had rooms at two places because none were big enough to hold us but they were right next door to each other. We set the alarm for 5:30 am and went to bed.

Oh, one more thing: we finally saw a moose! Or, at least some of us did. Jennifer and Steve and Ben and Nancy were about two miles behind the other two cars. When we spotted this large bull moose in a small lake, Jennifer and Steve set out through the shrubs to get pictures. They will be added as soon as we can get them developed and scanned (services not available in the town of Coldfoot).

716a - We pulled up in front of the pipeline and, as you can see, it dwarfed our cars. It dominates the landscape all along the highway. Even in the portions where it goes underground, the path is still clear. We are, left to right: Jennifer and Ginger's '26 pick-up; Ross Lilleker's '26 roadster; Ken and Joyce's '22 touring; Nancy and Ben Hardeman's '27 fordor.


716b - We crossed the Yukon River, a significant milepost even though it comes before the Arctic Circle. We had been warned about the wooden surface and steep slope of this bridge (a 6% grade on a bridge!) but it wasn't a problem at all and the river was very pretty.


716c - Nothing is easy! Every little thing can become a major ordeal in a Model T. Here we are making some adjustments at a lunch stop. We look like the Okies heading west.


716d - The pipeline runs through the landscape from the very northern tip of Alaska at Prudhoe Bay to the southern tip at Valdez. Does anyone know if it can be seen by the astronauts? Email and let me know.


716e - Finally, we arrived at the Arctic Circle! They have a big sign and an actual marker on the line. We all plan to buy t-shirts that say "I crossed the Arctic Circle" on our way back to Fairbanks.


716f - Jennifer and Ginger Hardeman and Jennifer's dog Taylor. July 16, 2001.


716g - Ben and Nancy Hardeman and their dog, Lucky. July 16, 2001


716h - Ken and Joyce and their daughter, Cindy Hudgens. July 16, 2001


716i - Ross Lilleker at the Arctic Circle. July 16, 2001


716k - Steve Markowski at the Arctic Circle. July 16, 2001


716l - At last! Some wildlife in Alaska! This huge guy was standing in the lake, eating his vegetables, when Steve and Jennifer slipped down to take his picture. This photo was taken from the road and will be enlarged when Ben has a chance so you can see there actually is a moose in it. When we can scan the photos that Steve and Jennifer took, we'll throw them in, too.

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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