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The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins
1941 Ford Ferguson Serial Number 9N60445

I'd been watching the adds on Ebay (www. ebay.com) for quite some time for a tractor that I could modify to have a front-end loader. Something to till the garden with and countless other functions such as possibly fitting a PTO driven Brush hog mower, hydraulic log splitter, forklift forks attached to the loader bucket, not to mention the possibility of using a tractor to 'plough a field'. So I see this antique in an Ebay auction. I just couldn't bring myself to make a bid. The auction ended without any takers. I figure the owners asking price and location were the factors. A week later I emailed the guy and made an offer. The adventure begins!

7pm Feb. 22, 2002, Pick up rental trailer, plan route, pack gear and food for a trek across Transcanada 3 in southern British Columbia from the Sumas WA. Border to Moyie B. C. (Moy-Yeh) (about an hour north of the Montana/Idaho border). Just about Hope B. C. it was snowing hard on mixed compact snow and ice. Time to lock the hubs for what turned out to be several hundred miles of four wheel drive. Some hundred or so miles into steep hills and valleys on glazed snow and ice I got my first eye opening moment. I'm going down a hill on a turn, a semi with trailer is coming down the other side about as sideways he could have gotten the trailer within the space available. Let me tell ya somethin! Surge brakes on an empty trailer in limited traction situations SUCK! So yeah, you guessed it, now I'm sideways. Somehow the trailer that had hell bent intentions on pitching my rig and I over the edge to the depths below had mostly straightened out. Only one thing for me to do, get off the brakes and stand on the throttle to straighten things out. We missed each other. I don't know by how much. And I don't care to know! After I changed my shorts. . . I continued my journey. If you've never been across this stretch of C3 I imagine that it is akin to something like Hi-way 20 across the Northern Cascades of Washington. Probably has breathtaking views at all vistas. Might I suggest a summer time trip with a sports car with the top down? It was a little disconcerting to be driving through several sections where there were signs that said, 'No Stopping, Avalanche Zone'. Makes one feel really good at midnight in blowing snow! As I came off the top of one hill the valley below was free of snow and apparently 'trees'. I'm in Okanogan now. I made it to Osoyous B. C. about 2;am. Husky truck stop for a four hour sleep, and breakfast.

And let me tell ya somethin else! The next person that I hear complaining about road conditions in Washington needs to take a ride with me through southern B. C. Although for the most part the roads were clear in the central part of the province, I'd bet that there's not one company that can honor lifetime warrantees for suspension components in Canada! And let me tell ya somethin else! There's no substitute for maximum torque and horse power! Love my big block 460 Ford! Them hills is steep up north! And long, Really long. 6%, 7% & 8% grades for miles. One thing the Canuks got us on is signage. When ever I wanted to know how many kilometers it was to the next town, or which way to turn- There's my sign!

I get to my turn some 50 miles south of Nelson in attempt to take the Kootenay pass to Cranbrook B. C. about 11;am. That would have made it about 90 minutes to my destination of Moyie. The 6000 foot pass had been closed from the mornings snow storm about 20 minutes before I got there. I nixed the thought of backtracking north to take the Kootenay ferry around. I dropped back into Washington following the Pend Orielle river south then north east up to Bonners Ferry, Idaho. North to Moyie. And let me tell ya somethin else! Roads in Northern Idaho are worse than those in southern B. C. ! And it's cold there, Damn cold. And icy. And the wind blows really hard too. At one point I thank my lucky stars that the trailer was attached to the truck- 'helping gravity keep the truck on the ground'. There was more than one gust that forced me to steer with the blow as opposed to against it to keep the wheels on pavement.

7pm Feb. 23, 2002 Tractor's on the trailer and we're headin south through U. S. Customs. Not a problem there. On to Spokane, I-90 to Hi-way 2. In all my travels in Washington, there must have been a reason I've never ran the length of 2. I know now that were several reasons. It's really long, narrow, the route is not signed very well, and just west of Coulee city there's this 6% grade, on a twisty slick snow covered descent for 6 miles. And late at night no one travels it. I made it to Leavenworth at 4;am.

Washington pass reports aren't what they should be! The report said, 'U. S. 2, Stevens pass, bare and wet, ice in places'. O. K. the bare and wet was correct up to about a mile after the chain up pullout. Then it was compact snow and ice to about 3 miles west of the summit. I'd call that about 15 miles of glazed, slicker-n-snot road way! The trailer did the hoochy coo twice before I got the hint to dig out the tire chains.

So here she is. After just over 1100 miles of adventure. Runs pretty good with lots of torque. As this is intended to be a working tractor, I've already used it with the scraper blade to smooth out some landscaping after a recent construction project. Some day I'll test out my body work skills on the sheet metal. I may even restore it completely.

Steve Treloar, from WA, entered 2002-03-11

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