This morning Ed Emerson and I went for a drive to explore routes for the tour next fall. With the temperature freezing and snowflakes blowing in a stiff north wind, we found some good country roads for Model T driving. When we began this project I wondered if there was enough to fill two and a half days. Now I'm thinking there may be enough for another tour next year.
I hope the weather is better in October! Watch it-comments like your last one will have guys committed for 2015, too.
I've been looking at online map sites to study routes. It seems they all like to show roads as pastel lines on pastel backgrounds. Definitely not the way I'd design things.
That doesn't look like the inside of a Model T.
I've been using a site called Map My Fitness to plan touring routes. It's basically designed for sporting folks, and it will want to you name an activity if you want to save a route. I choose Bike Ride - antique car excursion isn't a choice. The site has a number of cool features. You can get a satellite view, and zero in on individual houses - it's remarkably detailed. You can get a pretty good idea as to whether an intersection is a stop, a light, or whatever. You can measure distances to 1/100 of a mile. You can elect to show degrees of gradient - not critical for Model Ts in Kansas, but mighty useful for planning a 1&2-cylinder tour in hilly country.
As with any mapping system, when you've got your route planned, you MUST get rubber on the road before you publish the route. There are always surprises, and they aren't always nice.
You've got that right. Sometimes online maps don't show roads that are there, and sometimes they show roads that aren't there.
I should have mentioned the particulars to save people having to email me and me having to answer.
This tour is a continuation of the one that's been held in McPherson last year and the year before. It's Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 3, 4, 5, out of Arkansas City/Parkerfield. The tentative plan is to wrap it up with lunch at the 1874 Oxford mill on Sunday. There is no tour fee. We'll reserve some motel rooms to get everybody a slight price break. You're on your own for meals. If we have a back yard barbecue I'll put out the kitty for contributions. Routes will be in three Kansas counties and two in Oklahoma. Places likely to be included will be the Nature conservancy's Tall Grass Prairie Preserve with bison herd, Governor Marland's mansion in Ponca City, stone arch bridges of Cowley County, a museum or two, and Henry's candy factory. Several other stops are being considered. Some paved roads may be included, but don't expect them everywhere. US highways and other high speed roads will be avoided. There may be a low pedal hill or two, but if so they'll be short. I'll have a better idea of that when I get to drive the routes in a T. Average temperatures for early October are 75º and 51º but the records are 97º and 33º. This being the Great Plains, any kind of weather can happen. We're in the initial planning stage, so I'll have more details later.
Sounds like fun! It's been a while since I've toured in that area.
Steve is that going to be 2014 or 2015 ???
We're planning it for this year, but there may be enough places left over for next year.
Would the dinner meals include any of the free range beef your rounding up?
Gee! I just had to ask
How many hotels are there in Parkerfield?
Since you're going to the Tallgrass Prairie, you'll be in Osage County, my old stomping grounds. And even some good ol' Oklahoma dirt roads! My folks' '57 Ford saw a lot of miles on those back in the early 60's. Sounds like fun.
No motels here, but four in AC (four miles away).
We drove a lot of dirt roads yesterday in Chautauqua and Osage counties but hit only a few feet of washboard. If I remember correctly, it was on a side road we won't be using.
I would strongly recommend Delorme Gazetteers and atlases. They are available for every state. They show every single road (big and small) and it is usually easy to determine which ones are more 'friendly' than others. Here's a link:
We use them when planning tour routes and they've never led us astray. In fact, we rarely go out touring without them.
On another chilly day spitting moisture, I decided to spend some time in a nice warm car and went for another drive to check out possible tour routes. Today's sites included stone arch bridges from the Model T era and before.
Floral Bridge, Timber Creek, 1905
Pudden Bridge, Grouse Creek, 1913
Some of these will be good spots for Model T photos.
This morning we took another drive to finalize the route for one day of the tour.
Folks who go on this one will enjoy the luxury of light traffic. Those who live in urban areas and worry about driving in traffic may find this interesting. The first leg of today's drive was about sixty miles and at Model T speeds took about two and a quarter hours. In that time we met four other vehicles, and two of them were the same truck twice. Life in the slow lane.
Any campgrounds nearby?
Louann's Campgrounds, 9423 292nd Road, Arkansas City, KS 67005 (620) 442-4458
Cherokee Strip Campground, 6916 306th Lane, Arkansas City, KS 67005 (620) 442-3250
Have you planned a buffalo chip tossing contest, It's always fun, but you need fresh chips not day old ones. Just trying to help you
hold down you're expenses Mr.Thrifty.
No harm No foul.
Today we drove the main Kansas part of the tour for timing and distances. If you live where you're subject to high speed, heavy traffic, this tour is your antidote. In the first hundred miles we passed five other vehicles, and two of them were trucks parked for road maintenance and cemetery mowing. This is typical of roads on this tour.
In my book this is a perfect Model T Road. Small gravel and no washboard, just right for cruising at Model T speeds of 25mph to 35mph. Not all the roads are this good, but most are. Almost nine of those first hundred miles are paved.
One of the local residents we saw today.
We'll skip this road.
You are skipping the best road
I'd be in there if it didn't have a locked gate.
Leave it to Steve to find the true T roads. Looks like it's going to be fun.
It really DOES look like great T touring.
Chris, Delorme is not a cure all.
I got lost with a Delorme map in Delaware and it was no help at all, as all the roads in the area had numbers on the Delorme map pages and only names on the local road signs.
Today I took a little drive around part of the route to peg down exact distances. I expect to be ready later this month to publish details, start beating the publicity drums, and sending out registration forms. As you see here, there will be a lot of country driving.
Stopping to take a picture attracted a crowd.
thats my kind of touring, wish i could go. still working class, but maybe, i'll ask for time off. when i take my favorite routes here i usually see more folks on horseback than cars
Dirt roads? OMG!!! I might get some dust on my Model T!
Count on it.
Guess it was easier to tie a yellow ribbon on the old drift wood! That route looks like a lot of fun.