on the road and started out. Our backseat is so filled that, even with the cover, we look like Oakies going west. I swear, all we need are three kids and a chicken.
After the traffic of Grande Prairie, it was good to be back on a road mostly
inhabited by tourists and truckers. In this part of the country, there are multiple roads to choose from and
business traffic would take a more direct route than we did. Highway 40, between Grande Prairie and Grande Cache, has one hill after another,
often with grades of 7% or above. The views from the mountains were of tree-filled valleys and, in the distance,
snow-covered peaks. Some of the valleys held rivers but most were simply a staging ground for the
next hill. And other than campgrounds and provincial parks, there was very little
commercial and almost no residential.
After driving nearly 90 miles, we stopped at Sheep Creek Provincial Park in
search of "facilities" and a place to have lunch. A couple named Vince and
Cheryl came over to check out the car and during the conversation, they
mentioned being from Grande Cache. I asked them if they knew Vic Patterson, a Model T man we were planning to
visit. It turned out that Vince and our friend Vic had worked together for years. So here we were, in the woods by a pretty river, and we meet people who know
the one person we know in 500 miles!
Grande Cache is a lovely little town at the top of a mountain. After crossing a wood-decked bridge over the Smoky River, you climb up an 8%
grade for nearly 4 miles into town. When we leave tomorrow, we will go back
down the mountain on the other side. Next weekend, they will host their annual "Death Race" where 1,500 people will
come from all over the world to run a course through this and three other
nearby mountain peaks. The course is 125 kilometers and must be run in 24 hours or less. And people think WE are crazy!
We met Vic Patterson when we came though here in 2001. He had emailed us when he saw we were coming his way and arranged a lunch for us
with several local officials. We still have the mountain goat town mascot they gave us. Vic and his brother had built a Model T Ton Truck, almost entirely on their own,
through information they got off the web and the MTFCA Forum. They still have the only Model T in several hundred miles. We were so impressed at the time and were glad to get better acquainted with him
and his wife Dot again tonight. He is working on a 1920 Canadian Touring car now, again doing his research on
the internet. He has just retired so we're hoping to see him on a tour someday.
It's been a great day to be driving a Model T. Tomorrow, we start several days in Jasper and Banff National Parks, some of the
most beautiful places on earth. Are we lucky or what?