Day 7 – June 12 – After the much needed rest from driving, we were again back on the road again and headed for Springdale, UT. Hardemans again had some serious mechanical trouble. While driving up steep mountain roads in northern Arizona, the two speed Ruckstell rear axle in Ben’s car suddenly locked in high gear and refused to budge. It would not require that the car stop for repairs immediately, but for the next three days the car had only high Ruckstell gear. Late in the day, Ben continued to struggle with the rear axle and while Ginger Hardeman was returning to his location to check on his mechanical problems, she made a u-turn and the steering went over center and the car went over the edge of the mountain road only to be stopped by a large tree stump. Several shaken parties of the tour tugged, pushed, pulled and with the assistance of a passing motorist with a 4-wheel drive truck, pulled the car and trailer back up onto the highway it was intended to run on. Due to the delays in travelling on June 12th we had to cancel the reservations we had in Springdale, UT and wound up staying in Kanab, UT.
Jun 12, 2001
612a – Several of us made use of the manifold cooker (available through Texas T Parts) to enable us to have hot lunches on the road. Here, Jennifer, Joyce and Ken prepare the lunch that we will all share. We’ve had chicken, sausage and beans, pork chops, and a delicious soup that Jennifer prepared. We’ve had picnics in some beautiful places.
612b – Fresh vegetables and hot meals sure beat McDonalds and the scenery is always better.
612c – The countryside in Arizona is stark but beautiful. Flat, flat, flat for a hundred miles then amazing peaks and high plateaus. This is Ben and Nancy pulling the 1916 trailer.
612d – Ross Lilleker and Jennifer & Ginger Hardeman are enjoying the scenery along the highway in northern Arizona. Temperatures were cool in the mornings and warmed up to the high 80’s in the afternoons.
612f – Ginger decides to go 6-wheeling (four car wheels and two on the trailer). Thankfully, Ginger and Jennifer escaped any injury to themselves or serious damage to the pick-up when a problem with the steering wheel caused Ginger to lose control on this hillside. After all the sheer drops we had driven past on this and previous mountains, this particular spot had a more gradual slope and a thick layer of pine needles that slowed her progress. It looks like she hit the tree in this photo but she was actually stopped by a log just short of the tree.
612g – It took some manueuvering but we were finally able to get the car into a position where a passing motorist could hook on and tow the truck (with Ross at the wheel) off of the hillside. It was a frightening experience, not so much for what actually happened as for the realization of how lucky we were that it happened at the place that it did. We celebrated that night in Kanab, UT, that we had all made it down from that mountain.
612e – Ben was in the midst of a long climb in northern Arizona / southern Utah when the Ruckstell axle locked up in high gear. The exact cause was not apparent immediately, but we later discovered that the internal gears of the two-speed rear axle had disintegrated and had to be replaced. As you can see, there was plenty of help readily available. The rear axle was removed and repaired in Carson City, Nevada with the assistance of members of the Carson City chapter of the Model T Ford Club of America.