Day 29 – July 4, 2001 – We woke this morning to find a cold, rainy day. It was literally going to rain on our parade. We went anyway, of course, and found that a rainy parade doesn’t seem to bother people in Juneau; there was a large crowd participating and an even larger crowd there to watch. We all had flags for our cars but, since we were travelling, we hadn’t done anything fancy to decorate them. Therefore, we were surprised when we won first place in the judging for the antique and classic car category. When the parade started, we drove through the most enthusiastic crowd we have ever seen at a parade. They loved our cars first and, as they read that we were from Texas and had driven to Alaska, they became even more enthusiastic. We received lots of applause, cheers, and thumbs up signs. Lots of people came over to the cars and asked if we had really DRIVEN to Alaska. If the parade slowed or if the crowd was particularly large, Jennifer and Ross would turn off their engines, then jump out of their cars and crank them up. It was a hit every time. When Jennifer had a problem getting her truck started again, Ross cranked it for her to wild cheers and applause. About 2/3 of the way into the parade, Ben’s car sputtered and coughed to a standstill. Out of gas!! Ben jumped it over to the edge of the street, allowing Jennifer to pull her truck up beside him. She poured in the gas while the crowd laughed and cheered and took a bow when she was finished. Before getting back in her car, she cranked his T and then her own. Once again, people cheered. It was the most fun we have ever had at a parade. The rest of the day we shopped, ate, rested, and basically took it easy. We are leaving Juneau in the morning for Skagway. It was at this point that Bill and Sue Capps and David Johnson decided that they were too tired to continue on to the interior of Alaska. The troubles with their car had them concerned about the future demands of the trip and they began to make plans to return to the mainland U.S. We were sorry that they had decided not to continue with us but understood their concerns and wished them well.
Jul 4, 2001
704a – Ross Lilliker proudly flew his Union Jack in the 4th of July parade. This is his first Independence Day parade, of course, but this young man really loves a parade. He and Jennifer put on a show for the crowd by pretending they had stalled, jumping out and cranking off the engine.
704b – Ken and Joyce prepare for the parade. It was cold and wet and the side curtains were definitely worth the money. Their daughter Cindy is in the backseat.
704c – The rain let up just before the parade. Ken and Joyce, tired of being asked if they are from Texas, decided to label their car. They drove over 650 miles from their home in Tennessee to join us in Texas before the trip started so they have actually driven a lot farther than the rest of us. Cindy flew in on July 1st to join them for the Alaska portion of the trip.
704d – Jennifer’s pick-up prior to the parade. In the background, left to right: Ken and Joyce’s 1922 Touring, the Capps/Johnson 1925 Touring, and Ross Lilliker’s 1926 Roadster.
704e – The happy award winners: Ken and Joyce, Cindy Hudgins, Ben and Nancy Hardeman, Steve Markowski holding a Texas flag, Ross Lilliker, Jennifer Hardeman, Sue and Bill Capps. David Johnson wasn’t feeling well enough to participate in the parade but did come to watch. Ginger Hardeman took the picture.
704f – Running out of gas in the middle of the parade! Embarrassing but funny. This pit crew probably wouldn’t make it in Indianapolis but got us going fast enough to keep the parade from getting too far behind. We got underway to cheer from the crowd close enough to realize what was happening.