Report of the 2001 Texas to Alaska Model T Adventure

Last Revised: November 15, 2003

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Texas to Alaska

Model T Travel Report


Today's report

sponsored by:

Texas T Parts


Day 56 - July 31, 2001 - Today is the end of our eighth week on the road. We are all getting tired of getting up and moving each day but we are enjoying the change in scenery as we move further south through Alberta. Today, we left Grande Prairie and took Highway 40 to Hinton. Highway 40 is a fairly new road. It has been existence for twenty years or more but was only paved within the past two years. We had been warned that this was a bad road, both the surface and the hills involved. But we found it to be a pretty and pleasant drive. There were hills, some of them fairly steep, but the traffic was light and the day was sunny. The hardest part of the trip was the drive up into Grande Cache. The last two miles was a steady climb, an 8% grade in many spots. The coupe only has high and low gears and the climb was longest for Jennifer. When she finally arrived at the top, Ben asked her how her left leg was. (You have to hold your foot on the pedal the whole time to stay in low gear.) Jennifer responded that, "if my leg doesn't hurt, I'm not pushing hard enough".

Vic Patterson is a well-known Model T enthusiast because of his frequent postings on the Model T Ford website and we were looking forward to meeting him. We were surprised to learn that Vic and his brother Charles are the only Model T owners in Grande Cache and that they are self-taught in their efforts. Vic had arranged for us to be welcomed by some local residents and by the assistant mayor. We had a lovely lunch and then headed on to Hinton.

Hinton is an entry town for Jasper National Park and the second part of the drive brought us closer and closer to the mountains. Jasper and Banff National Parks lie along the Canadian Rockies, "the rugged backbone of the west" and are some of the most beautiful places in the world. We are eager to start through the parks tomorrow.

731a - Lucky, the Model T dog, waiting to get going for the day. He will never hear the T start up again without jumping in.


731b - A small crowd was waiting for us in the town of Grande Cache. We were the first Model T's to ever come to Grande Cache, except the old wreck of a T that Vic found and restored. Even people who were not T enthusiasts were interested in our old cars.


731c - The assistant mayor has a laugh with Ben as he welcomes us to Grande Cache. The police officer is holding gifts from the city for our group - a stuff mountain goat named Rocky, the town mascot, and some other momentos. We were pleased at such a nice event in our honor.


731d - Our new friend, Vic Patterson, in front of the TT truck he and his brother Charles rebuilt. It was pretty and shiny and I'm surprised he would park it next to our dirty T's.


731e - The T's at Grande Cache. From left to right: Vic Patterson and his TT truck; Ben, Nancy and Lucky and their '27 Fordor; Ross and Bruce Lilleker and their '26 roadster; Ginger and the '26 pick-up she has been driving recently; and Jennifer and Taylor with the new '26 Coupe.


731f - The lake at Grande Cache, on the east side of town.


731g - Ginger has taken over the driving of the pick-up truck since the purchase of the coupe. The afternoon was sunny and warm and she put the top down.


731h - Jennifer teaches Taylor to drive.


731i - Out in the middle of nowhere, a hundred miles from your computer? No problem. Ben had downloaded email this morning and Ross takes a minute to read it on the way to Grande Cache The sun was too bright to see the screen so I thought he wouldn't be able to read it. When I turned back around, he had covered his head with a quilt to allow him to see the screen. Hello to his grandmothers Madge Lilleker and Vivian Willcox and his grandmother's friend Joan Cruckshank. All of these ladies are in their 80's and have sent a nice note telling me how much they enjoy keeping up on Ross's activities.


731j - Approaching the mountains in Jasper National Park. There were hills on our path today but we aren't into the mountains yet. The steepest hill we had today was the drive up into Grande Cache.

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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