Ford F-100 Across Canada, Part 3: Calgary to Moosomin
Sometimes, the slower the pace, the more exciting the experience, especially when you spot mysterious fires burning in the distance!
Following our Osoyoos to Calgary trip, I am experiencing one of the best and most relaxing drives I’ve ever had. It takes a while to settle into going what probably averages to 55 miles per hour while cruising, but it’s all good. So much landscape to witness. When you get going the same speed as a train going your way, the landscape seems to shift and whip by so fast that your eyes focus on a further away part of it, kind of like how vertigo works.
Between listening to country music and taking photos, we just stare at it all. I tuck in behind a passing 18 wheeler, getting behind the big wind pocket, feeling the wind calm down and the gas pedal becoming light as we slip along in the wake. You can feel the easing on the engine and transmission, too. The 1968 Ford F-100 that we’ve dubbed “Truck” has huge mirrors and roof racks. I think the roof racks were bolted on after the fact but I’m not sure. Either way, it’s good it has a ton of torque because it needs it just to go normal speeds.
The transmission is short, sweet, and really good at what it does. It pulls and hauls things. The 55 mph/88 kmh speed is a great place to be in this truck. Now, 60 works and 50 does, too, but you gotta listen to it. The engine will tell you where it is comfortable. These aren’t hot rods; it’s basically a farm implement when you are running it stock. But I don’t care, I like it.
The 300 CID straight 6 is a special engine, amazing in a certain rev range and eternally durable if taken care of. Push this Ford F-100 beyond its range and you are going to run into problems much quicker then if you leave it jogging along at its purpose-built pace. On the whole trip, we pass a total of four cars, and I’m fine with that.
The 55 mph speed is a great place to be in this truck. Now, 60 works and 50 does, too, but you gotta listen to it. The engine will tell you where it is comfortable.
You don’t have to look long at this truck to realize that 1968 was a different world. The race to the bottom wasn’t in full swing yet. Quality products, while not overly sophisticated by today’s standard, were still quality. It’s a farm truck, sure, but this thing takes minimalism to another level. There are minimal controls for the driver: lights, ignition, choke wipers — that’s it. The heat is in the middle, and there is no radio. Metal dash, metal floor and interior door panels. It’s bare and it’s beautiful. We vacuum it out three times, but leaves are still pouring out of the floor vents, and every now and then when a transport truck goes past, the cab fills with leaves. Don loves it.
We see some burning fields, so we drive along the concession road to take a look. Once engulfed in smoke, we try not to back off the narrow road into the ditch to get out of there. Turns out farmers do controlled burns to help with the new crop. We thought the world was ending.
Ford F-100 Across Canada, Part 3: Calgary to Moosomin continued…