We forgot to turn off the grass!

It’s always a relief to turn in your driveway after being gone for a while and see there isn’t a tree across the roof, broken windows or other damage to deal with. We sure appreciate our neighbors and family for taking care of our pets and home while we were away. My brother Ray had even mowed the yard and washed our modern cars for us. A lot of folks took care of our responsibilities here at home to make this little adventure possible and we are truly thankful for them all.
After two months of living in a tiny trailer it was a little strange this morning getting out of bed without first opening the door and stepping outside. We haven’t turned on a radio or TV yet, still enjoying the bliss of ignorance from all the bad things people do. We have been blessed to experience God’s wondrous creation in a very unique way, we are surrounded with so many good things in this country. There couldn’t have been a more perfect couple to share this with than Mike and Judy Akers and we thank them for all their hard work putting this trip together. We are also aware of the many people who followed along on this blog and prayed for our safe travels. There is no doubt that was the key to our successful journey.
This morning Tammy heads back to work and I start bushhogging the weeds surrounding our yard. We have had a wonderful time, thanks for coming along. If you enjoyed it, thank Eric Akers who made it possible for us to share with you. If you want more old car adventure, currently there is a couple heading home to Texas from Alaska in a 1926 Model T touring car. They bought the Model T from a guy in Anchorage who advertised “You can drive it home!” and that is what they are doing. Check them out at http://www.texastparts.com/driveithome.htm they have a great blog.

Home Again but Trip not Forgotten

We left Tammy and Danny in Bardstown today after our last lunch together.  It was tearful and sad that it was over but we left confidant that we will forever be the best of friends.  I know I have said this before, but they are great traveling companions.   We will always have these memories to share with each other.

The trip was 11,406 miles of pure delight.  It will be strange sleeping in our bed tonight without hearing the sounds of cars, trains, birds and other wildlife.  As I drove down the driveway to my house I couldn’t help thinking, I would miss a lot about this trip.  We would go through our day at night to pick out the things we thought you at home would love to hear. I will miss that. I thank all of you for the comments  and especially the prayers for our safe journey.  It will be good to see all our Model A friends again.

Everything at home was good.  Grass was cut and it looked just as I had left it.  Thanks to my family that had assured us before we left that everything would be taken care of.

Stops Along the Way Home

We picked a very good Model A road today with lots of opportunity to stop and cool.  A first stop brought us upon Nathan Boone Homestead in Ash Grove, Mo.  Nathan Boone was the son of Daniel Boone, he spent much of his time as surveyor, hunter and soldier like his father.  It was very interesting but not the Boone Homestead I had visited 20 years ago, that Homestead was in Defiance, Mo.  A couple was tending the garden and gave us much more info about Nathan Boone and the Homestead.  We came away with a lot of knowledge about the Boone family history.

We stopped for lunch at the local diner, Willy B’s Diner.  It had a fifties theme and our Model A’s felt right at home. The blackberry cobbler was great.

Leaving Ash Grove we spotted the Gilmore octagonal barn (also called the round barn) which was built between 1898 and 1907, and is registered with the Historic Society.

We stopped in Mansfield, Mo. for the night only to find that 200 feet down the road was the Laura Ingals Homestead.  The museum had lots of items that were from her era. My memories of the Little House of the Prairie Tv series were all brought to mind.  Her only wish in life was to live to be ninety years old.  She reached that goal.

We are hoping we will be back in the state of KY tomorrow.

“I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore”

We left Kansas this morning and entered Missouri near Joplin. We are still leaving a little before daylight to take advantage of the cooler temps but we are definitely back in high humidity. We drove a total of 296 miles on highways 400 and 160 yesterday and still arrived at our camping destination of Elk City Lake State Park near Independence, Kansas around 4:00pm. The day’s journey included a GPS  miscalculation that took us down a dirt road to Sharon, Kansas hometown of country singer Martina McBride. We also traveled through Winfield, Kansas the lovely hometown of our friend Coralyn Bugg, the former editor and a founding member of the Western Ky. Model A Restorers Club.

“Getting out of Dodge”

We spent the night at the Gunsmoke Campground in Dodge City, Kansas and washed off the Santa Fe Trail dust at Miss Kitty’s laundry! We’ve been following highway 50 since we left California through the deserts, mountains, and plains and we leave it behind as our route turns south. It’s been a great road for our old cars just as it was for the conestoga wagons 150 years ago. It has been interesting to observe the large scale farm operations of the Midwest. The huge fields of grain and their storage located next to gigantic cattle feed lots and processing plants have done for the food industry what Henry Ford did for the auto industry. The highway now is straight and flat and the greatest challenge for the driver is staying awake. We pass the time by trying to figure out what crop is growing on the side of the road and guessing what the equipment will be used for being hauled by the big trucks.  What do you think is on the extended trailer in one of the photos.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Our first stop today was Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Montrose, Co. We drove huffing and puffing 9,000 ft. straight up to the top rim of the Canyon.  We talked after the fact that we should have left our campers at the bottom of the hill.  The Canyon was called the “black” canyon because it is so deep, sheer, and narrow that very little sunlight can penetrate it and it is a beautiful sight to see.  It did not have the spectacular colors that the Grand Canyon has but it was truly awesome on its own.

We drove 257 miles closer to home today.  We are in Canon City,
Co. for the night.  We also climbed Monarch Mountain today, which was 11,321 ft.  That was a challenge but we made it to the top with
just two stops for water.

Cooling it in Colorado . . .

Okay, so it’s still extremely warm during our travels and we’re still refilling the fan/mist bottles but every once in awhile a light rain or a wind will unexpectedly travel through the pass that we are following and you talk about counting your blessings. The landscape through the scenic backroads of Utah and Colorado is absolutely incredible. The colors reflected by the canyon walls are endless and vary in every shape imaginable. -Tammy

Today was oil change day for the A Models. We pull into a secluded area of a Walmart parking lot, drain the oil into a pan, pour the new oil in, pour the old oil into the empty containers, wipe everything down, trade the old oil for new and we have both cars ready to go by the time Tammy and Judy get back with the ice for the coolers. Jiffy Lube couldn’t do much better.
On a sad note, after nearly eighty years of service the drivers door latch spring broke on the coupe. We had stopped to ask a police officer for directions to a campground and the conversation drifted into how reliable these old cars are. Unfortunately they also never fail to keep you humble, as we left the door wouldn’t latch. Red faced, I managed to keep it closed with my elbow out the window until we got out of sight. We brought a lot of parts on the trip but no door latch springs. After bungee cords and duct tape were determined to be unacceptable solutions we discovered that a plastic clip used to close a potato chip bag contained a metal spring that made the latch work like new. Thank you Powell Martin  for that Farm Bureau Insurance clip, I could use another if you still have any.
We have been truly blessed on this tour with few repairs being needed and the luxury of making them in the campground. Not a single day has been lost due to car breakdowns.  Today we were dreading a nearly 10,000 ft climb over the Rocky Mountains. We started our day at 4:30 am to avoid the heat but it was going to be afternoon before we reached the pass. As we approached the mountain the clouds gathered and we felt the temperatures drop. Just before we started the climb a gentle rain fell and the old cars chugged to the peak without a single problem. Many would say we were just lucky but I prefer to believe the good Lord is keeping an eye on us.
The stark beauty of this area is beyond what I can describe and I am thankful for the opportunity to experience it at the slower pace these old cars require. However,  I have to admit looking forward to some flat land with miles and miles of corn. I don’t care how dry it is 100 degrees is just too hot for me.
Notice a new link on our site to a great article from the Modesto Bee regarding our trip and the arrival of Mike and Judy’s first granddaughter. You will enjoy reading it.

Out of the Desert

We have been driving for three days now through desert terrain, 3 digit temperatures and slow climbing mountains.  Today’s heat was unbearable but we did get through it thanks to a storm that brought us cooling winds and rain.  We drove 250 miles today before pulling over at a campground in Spanish Fork, Utah.  Even in the desert you can see things that you will not forget, like the Sevier lake that was dry, but you could see exactly were it had been by the salt deposit left on the ground.  A cool sight.  An early morning rainbow just before daybreak  in the distant sky, was a sight we had never seen before and will probable never see again.

Tomorrow we head for the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, with the desert behind us.  I can say this has been such a wild and crazy ride, we  just look forward everyday to see what adventure we are in for next, but at the end of the day we always say it was a good one.

As of tonight we have driven 9,499.

“Loneliest Road in America”

Today was our day to travel Highway 50 — the so-called “Loneliest Road in America.” Highway 50 frequently parallels the former Pony Express Trail which was traveled by several Model A’s on a tour earlier this year. We started our journey in Fallon, Nevada this morning and followed Highway 50 east all the way to Ely. The NSBP (National Scenic Byways Programs) describes this stretch of highway that travels the width of Nevada as a fascinating scenic and historic corridor through a land seemingly untouched by man. Mountains with elevations of  more than 11,000 feet and remaining winter snow are also part of this route.
Even though this highway is described as “lonely”, it has numerous attractions that will appeal to all interests.  Small historic towns are frequent enough to provide the necessary rest, food, and gas stops. We did “top off” the tanks at each opportunity just to make sure that we would reach the next station. The long stretches of uninhabited land are so different from our lush green Kentucky hills and valleys but there is a quiet beauty radiating from this land that consists of salt flats, sage, and sand mountains. Very few vehicles use this road due to the lack of services for long stretches but this was the perfect choice for two Model A’s that desired a safe scenic way across Nevada in the direction of home.