Saturday, August 14, 2010


Okay, here are the statistics, from the Santa Clara Model T Ford Club, we had 21 members in 11 cars.  Beamans, Boydens, Bratts, two Edwards cars, Fontaines, 2 Jorgensen cars, Meneelys, Roeders, and Silvieras.  All the Santa Clara Model T’s finished in good shape, no repairs at all that I know of.  Modern iron didn’t fare as well, some serious bucks left behind in Whitefish for transmission repairs.  Trailer tires were the other nagging problem. 

As for us, we drove the Bronco 2573 miles, filled it up 12 times, got a gas mileage of 11.8 mpg, not as great as I had hoped, but the Bronco was unhappy and missing a little under load on the hills, gotta troubleshoot that one.  We replaced one bulging trailer tire in Whitefish and discovered another bulge ready for replacement after we got home.  We drove the T about 650 miles, fueled it 7 times, and got about 17.5 mpg.  I never added any water but I added a half quart of oil one day when it was not level, then later discovered it was plenty full, parking level is everything. 

On the way home, stopped at our cousins in Ephrata, WA.  Mickey has a hot rod garage complete with soda fountain in his backyard (backyards are big in rural WA), check out the pictures.  This is so cool.  I want one of these.  (Click on any picture for a larger version.)

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Oh, and one other stop at the quilt show in Eureka, MT.   A few pictures for you quilt lovers.  Pat was in heaven.  How about the quilt cop on the ATV?


Saturday, August 07, 2010


Finished off the tour today with only 90 miles.  Today was a nice mostly flat, mostly backroads tour in the Flathead Valley.  Stopped at two car collections, the guys loved that, had lunch in Big Fork (with lots of shops), the gals loved that.

Got a few raindrops, just enough to make the tops go up and down.  Meneelys put theirs down, and it started to sprinkle so everyone else put theirs up.  It stopped after about 60 seconds so tops went back down. 

Spiders, cockroaches, and voodoo charms and the bloody foot were exchanged with the Jorgensens, it is rumored that Ivan drove all the way back to Whitefish with a cockroach in his glove.  All in all, it was a real nice day to finish off the week, and relatively easy on the cars.  We think our Santa Clara members have the most fun and are the best to travel with.

By our calculation, we have driven just over 650 miles on the daily T tours plus some miscellaneous comings and goings.  Robin Pharis commented that this was the equivalent of 4 Endurance Runs back to back.  The folks are weary, but all our T’s are still running just fine, so kudos to the Santa Clara gang for their Model T’s.  No one in our group had any T problems to amount to anything, it is just the modern iron that has let folks down.  Oh, by the way, Boydens got their truck back today, don’t ask how much it cost.  Ray and Linda are stuck here until Tuesday at the earliest.  The rest of us are scattering to the winds, some north, some west, some east, some south, some visiting friends and relatives on the way home, some hightailing it for jobs waiting on Monday or Tuesday, and some lucky folks going to Speedweek at Bonneville.  Pat and I are off to Eureka for a quilt show displaying 450 quilts around the town, she says this is payback time.

Safe travels to all and thanks to all our blog followers.  This is the last post, see you at home. Here are a  few pics for today out of the 5 million taken.  Click on any one for a larger version.



Balancing act to keep the trailer from tripping while driving the car in and out. Mighty pretty farmland, wonder what it is like in January.

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Lots of hay. Rain played heck with this wheat.



A small section of dirt road today, I dusted everybody. Don’t you gals want to see some more cars?



Couldn’t find the winch remote, had to drive the T into the trailer,  tight fit. Our fashionista, Alberta made the dress!!







Final gathering.  

Thursday, August 05, 2010


The mountain has scored again, Ray’s Suburban is in the shop with a dead transmission.  It happened going down, not up, so is it a coincidence, or a delayed result on that first days climb.  Coincidence, I think not, the mountain is laughing at us, probably angry that we are not driving the T’s up and down. So,,,,, we left Ray by the side of the road in true Model T touring fashion and forged on.

Click on any picture to get a larger version.

TDSC03277 Today a loop around Flathead Lake, 158 miles, all our T’s still hanging in there.   And as one native here remarked, summer arrived today.  Chilly morning, giving way to warm-hot late afternoon.  Our morning route down the east side of the Flathead Valley took us through mile after mile of cherry orchards.  The cherries are just now ripe and being picked and there are many many cherry stands and u-pick orchards along the  roads.  $2 for a basket of bings or rainiers. Huckleberries for $10 a pound. We sampled the various kinds of cherries, and probably ate too many, hope nobody gets a belly ache. 


We went round the Lake to Polson and the Miracle of America Museum.  You Model A types may remember stopping there on our way back from Calgary.  It is still growing, the amount of stuff to look at is overwhelming and just as disorganized as it was in 2002. 



TDSC03302 After lunch, the T’s bombed up Hwy 93 back to Whitefish, pulled off to check out an antique store, which turned out to be closed, so we turned around in a ddriveway and the owner came out and offered us a beer.  We probably should have taken him up on it becuse he had a nice deck facing the lake.


TDSC03306 This evening we took the chairlift to the top of the mountain for a catered meal.  This was definitely a highlight of the trip.  The views at the top of Big Mountain are marvelous, from Glacier Park in the east thru south to Flathead Lake in the south to probably Canada in the north.  We hung around on the top until the sun set as a red ball in the west.   Bunch of tired puppies here.  TDSC03319

Did I mention that the SKULL made a return appearance?







Here’s a couple fun videos. Click on the titles below and then click on the icon in the lower right corner to get a full screen version.

Top of the mountain

Down down on the lift

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Today was a low key day, shorter optional tour, R and R after yesterdays dawn to dusk run, and maintenance day for guys tinkering on their cars  hoping for better performance in the mountains.  So we made a leisurely departure down the mountain at 9 AM.

Down at the T storage lot,  Henrietta the snake has returned (turned up in our tote TDSC03244 box in the T) and is so happy. She doesn’t want to travel for a while. Apparently, she picked up a buddy, Charlotte the spider, who scared the bejeebers out of me (Patti). I unsnapped the side curtain on the passenger side, stuck my head inside and screamed so loud that the people across  the parking lot started over because they thought I was hurt. Charlotte the spider was sitting on my seat talking to Henrietta. Charlotte is a 3 inch plastic arachnid who scares me each time she visits.

We went off to the tire store to purchase a new spare tire for our trailer. Bill also had a tire that needed repaired. Ray stayed with his T to work out some of the kinks. Beamans, Meneelys and Edwards headed off to Kalispell to shop, eat and sightsee.  TDSC03256

Had lunch at Moose’s Saloon, a local watering hole, some folks would say a dive,   others would say a heritage landmark. When we entered it was so dark that we had to stand by the swinging doors for a minute or so until our eyes adjusted. When was the last time you ate in a saloon with the floor covered in sawdust? The food was good but apparently we were not very good company for our president because he took a nap at the table in front of all of us, so we did the only thing we could and slipped out without him.TDSC03255






Tried to find a scenic road back to Whitefish to avoid driving back up 93 which is a main crowded 4 lane artery, amazing amount of traffic in both directions. Took one wrong turn and a friendly guy stopped to ask if we needed help. We replied no, just missed the turn. He said oh you really don’t want to travel on a gravel road all the way to town, do you? Of course not, so we turned around and found a real nice Model T paved road that paralleled the main highway. The countryside was  gorgeous with fields of queen Annes lace wildflowers. Bob sniffed out a pretty little airport with a mowed grass landing strip.

Finally, downtown Whitefish with shopping at a thrift store andTDSC03264 general store. Found a unique basket woven with natural sheep’s wool and decorated with antlers. I really needed this!  Final activity was a stop at the local Ford dealer who was hosting a car show for all the T’s, We T types got the opportunity to walk around and inspect all the competition.  Here is  one for the books, a turbocharged T engine in a TT truck.







Oh no rain today and instead of  being cold we all got sunburned with the temp in the 80’s. Headed back up the mountain and tomorrow is another day. 


Yes, it did rain on us again today, just in case you are wondering. Oh, and the Mountain Spirits have sent me a message. Henrietta the snake has been trying to contact me to say that she is well but not having much fun.

We left the mountain at 6:45 to go to the field where our Model T’s are parked.  Everything was dripping with dew.  Instead of that bright blue Montana sky, it looked like the Great Smokey Mountains, very hazy, fog strata everywhere. Someone commented that the moon was still up, but it was the sun looking like a pale pink orb in the haze.  Everyone packed up and had on several layers of clothing because it was very chilly. The Bratts and the Roeders decided to do the tour in their modern and give their T’s a well deserved rest today, but the rest of our hardy band fired up the T’s and away we went.

Click any picture for a larger version


That really is the sun in the haze. Ivan doing a few morning repairs.

Today’s tour was  all around Glacier Park for a total of  200 miles. It was like our endurance run only the weather was cold, foggy and rainy but the mountains and scenery were still spectacular. We all put our tops down for touring, you just have to tour a place like Glacier with the top down to get the full effect because the terrain is so vertical.  It is a long Model T climb up the Going to the Sun Road from the west side, we managed most of it in high gear, chug a chug a chug.  Lots of traffic and construction, so the speed was just right for all the T’s.  When we stopped at Logan’s Pass, we were in the clouds and it was pretty wintery.  Mark put on his furry hat and Bob E. produced a jacket and put it on. Now you know it was cold when this happens. Most of us were wrapped in blankets and ski jackets and hats all plural.


Wow, what a spectacular place. Chugging away up the going to the Sun Road.



There goes one of the Glacier busses disappearing into the fog. Mark adding oil to his Muncie after the climb up the mountain.

We took many pictures but you can’t even begin to see the beauty of this park in a picture. There were many water falls and several small glaciers visible below the fog. Couldn’t see many mountains tops because of the surrounding fog. At St. Marys, we ran into a light rain, so all the tops went back up.  Had lunch at the beautiful hotel at East Glacier.


Then headed back west on route 2 to the Huckleberry Patch for home made huckleberry pie alamode. This was absolutely delicious. Of course some people opted to have chocolate milkshake at the huckleberry patch, can you imagine?Next stop an antique barn with junk flowing into the yard plus many out buildings filled with old stuff. Thank goodness the guys didn’t find anything that they didn’t already have.  Did I mention that Pat had to give Bob Edwards a push?


Faster, Pat, faster. A model T tour always finds an excuse to have ice cream.

TDSC03243 Now we continued on hwy 40 to 93 the home stretch. Just as we made the turn onto 93, Ray’s touring sputters and stops, out of gasoline. Would you believe that three cars behind him came the trouble trailer who just happened to have a container of gas.  That guy lives in a tree.  Dropped off the T at the field and got back up the mountain at about 8:00.  See, it really was an endurance run, but it was fun, didn’t realize it was that late until someone mentioned it.  Holy cow, what a day.  Day off tomorrow for R and R and tweaking the cars.

If you are still with us and not bored yet, here are a couple videos. When the video comes up on Flickr, click on the symbol in the lower right to get a full screen.

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Monday, August 02, 2010


Drove down, down, down the mountain this  morning to retrieve our cars and try to get an early start for Canada.  All nine cars finally arrived at the storage field and we headed off  to enjoy the Montana scenery. Lots of mountains, pine trees, lakes and Model T’s traveling north Hwy 93.  Headed directly to the border and there were about 75 T’s in line. It took us 45 minutes to get across into Canada. We stopped at a cute gift shop and then on to the gas station. They had a sign taped to the gas pump, NO Gasoline until Wednesday! Can you believe that? We thought we were going to visit a town in Canada, but it turned out the gas station was the town.

Next stop, lunch by the Tobacco Plains Indians at their hall. It was a fund raiser to benefit their young people.  We promised ourselves chocolate milkshakes when we got back across the border into Eureka.  Back across the border only took 20 minutes this time, but the line on the other side coming into Canada had increased to a mile in length and must have taken at least 2 1/2 hours. As we were waiting to cross, we could see the sky darkening ahead and lightening striking. As soon as we cleared customs the clouds opened up.  We hurriedly put on our side curtains and then helped Ray put up his top. Some folks had no tops (Bob and Mark Edwards) or tops but no side curtains. We had a real show lightning, thunder, hail stones and blowing rain.  Ray and us spied a drive thru lumber yard shed and waited out the storm there.  Across the street from us were a bunch of T’s all stopped and turned with their backs to the wind, kind of like a herd of horses. 

This little bitty rain storm didn’t keep us from stopping in Eureka for choc milkshakes and visiting for an hour or so.  Bob E. was so wet that his money that he had stowed away in a plastic container was soaked and stuck together.  The waitress was not impressed. Under his chair was a puddle as he sat and dripped on the floor. Mark explained that the rain came down so fast that the floor boards could not drain fast enough but started to collect a huge puddle. He almost had to bail out his speedster.

The Jorgensens finally arrived at the milkshake stop.  Maria stopped at the table and said, “Oh my,  is all that water from Bob E.? Geeze that is really a big puddle.” The owner of the restaurant said that he had never seen a rain storm such as this. The streets were flooded and sirens were screaming as fire trucks went up into the mountains as lightning had struck a house and caused a fire.

Eventually all made it back to Whitefish on top of our mountain and made plans to leave for tomorrow’s adventure at 6:45 to Glacier Park.

We are thinking of auctioning off the “skull” that was tied to our car to the highest bidder since it weighs about 20 pounds and the owner will not confess it is his.

Here are a few pics, click on any one for a larger version.

Ladies waiting for the cars at the storage lot this morning. Have enough clothes on Pat? (It was a little chilly this AM.)

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Line going into Canada. Getting close.

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The Model T shirts all blended together. This is where we had lunch in Canada.


Pat pushing the T to the border. Saves the engine idling for an hour. Couple of smart guys ducked into the drive thru lumber yard.

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Bob Edwards (no top on his roadster) has his money and passport in this can, trying to keep them dry. Rain much??????

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