We’re getting a later start today than we hoped for due to a flat tire. More on that later.
Today will be one of the most challenging days for the cars. Up and over Tioga Pass, el. 9945 feet. Our destination is Lee Vining, CA.
Because it’s the beginning of peak tourist season, lodging is impossible to come by. And because we can’t just “zip back and forth” between lodging and the sight-seeing destinations, we can really only drive through Yosemite today to give those of us who’ve never seen it before a reason to come back one day. We’ll start out with our car tops up, but as we enter the valley you can bet we’ll be putting them down so we can look up as well as out.
As far as getting up to Tioga Pass, we’ll be using every bit of the 22 horsepower our engines are rated for, although at that altitude they’ll be producing less power than that.
But once at the top, there’s yet another challenge…getting down.
Both our cars have original-style (correct for the period) aftermarket rear wheel brakes to augment Ford’s transmission brake design, but steep descents in a Model T are always approached with caution. Which is exactly how we plan to descend from the pass down to Lee Vining and the 760,000 year-old Mono Lake…cautiously.
Ultimately we may find that on the way up we’ll have to have the kids get out and push from behind, and on the way down we’ll have to have the kids get out and push from in front!