135 miles to Pincher Creek by Bronco, 20 miles to Welcome Social by T. What a day!!! The drive from Cranbrook to Pincher Creek is through some of the most majestic snow covered mountains that you can imagine. Impossible to capture with a camera.
This part of the Rockies is big coal mining country. We stopped at the town of Sparwood which is a giant coal mining center. And this is for Bob Jr. In the park they had a display of what is now antique mining equipment, and believe it or not, this was the identical equipment that was used when I worked one summer in an underground coal mine in WV. The vehicle below is a coal buggy, that is used to haul coal from the face, where it is being dug, to a loading point for either a conveyor belt or a rail car. It is so low because the coal seam is typically about 4-6” high and you have to be real careful about cracking your head.
The other thing they had in the park was this one of a kind giant truck which was used in removing overburden in a surface coal mine. It has a 16 cylinder, 3300 hp, 10320 cubic inch diesel driving a generator which drove electric motors in each wheel. The thing actually looks to be in great shape, ready to roll. Those people down there are full size people.
Anyway, we have arrived in Pincher Creek, lots of Model T’s going every which way. We unloaded the cars and headed out for the welcome party at the Heritage Center, about 10 miles north. Just before we left home, I had changed the carburetor on the runabout, (you know fixing or improving something that isn’t really broke.) and did a little test drive, seemed to be fine. Well on our drive to the Heritage Center, we did a lot of spitting, bucking and twiddling the mixture knob, and when we got there, the damn thing quit and would go no more. After dismantling and mantling the carb for about 45 minutes, I gave up and inquired about a lift back to the hotel where I had my original carb in the trailer. One of the local club folks said, “take my van over there, the keys are in it.” Can you believe it? As we drove off, Patti yelled out the window, “Thank you, our name is Meneely..” Got the carb, put it on and life was restored.
We could hear some commotion down at the other end of the complex, where they were having some T races, short races of about 200 feet. Got the T and jumped into line. So the deal is, the passenger goes to the finish line and at the start, sprints to the car, where the driver is standing by the front fender. As soon as the passenger touches the front fender, both jump in, hit the starter and head for the finish line. A little electric crank and drag, you might say. Patti wasn’t too enthused about this, so Bill said he would assist. Well, in our first race, Bill sprinted, we jumped in, the T fired right off and we won. Except, Bill pulled a muscle in his leg, so it wasn’t looking too good for any more races.
Here we are, got the jump at the starting line, heading for the finish. That T is haulin’, for a T that is.
The next race was a hand crank and drag, which I really wanted to enter, so Patti finally said she would do it, be the passenger and the sprinter. This was working out fine until Pat stepped in a gopher hole about half way to the car and went head over teacups. Bill and I ran out to pick her up, and she says, keep going, so both of us sprinted back to the car, I spun the crank and the damn thing started right off, we jumped in and came in second. Now we all know just how tough this lady is, although I fear she will be a little beat up in the morning. Notice, she has lost her glasses to boot.
I think I now owe her really big time. Pat Bratt said she looked very graceful when she fell, but I think she is just being a good friend. What a day, we are beat.