In Love with Fairbanks-Morse and Company

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3737 Highway 43 S., St. Joseph, Tennessee 38481.

One of my most exciting engine hunts and finds came about in the usual way. Inquiring with friends, hunting at shows, then advertising in the GEM for that particular model, I have a 1 HP Jack Junior, a 2 HP H, and a 6 HP H, but I couldn't find that elusive 4 HP to make a full set of Model H Jack of All Trades.

So, lo and behold I get an answer from a GEM subscriber in Washington state, who says he has a 4 HP H he would sell, but I would have to take a 2 HP in a package deal. This I had to study about for a while, because I already have a 2 HP and that trip, (what a trip!) for a Tennessee country boy! Now for a deal like this I had to get the 'better-half' involved. (Vacation, yeah!)

All this took place about mid-winter 1990-91. We talked about trying to work this engine trip into a vacation, providing the gent in Washington would hold the engines until September, 1992. He agreed to hold them as long as necessary, and we agreed on the price.

The catch to this whole thing is, where I work, you can't pick all your vacation at one time for the whole year. (Two weeks, six thousand miles, trying to sightsee.)

What I have gotten myself into? Is a rusty old engine worth it? Well, we got the maps out, studied them for weeks trying to find a few places of interest we might have time to sight see. As time got closer, we agreed on about five places of interest.

About a day or two before we were to leave I called the seller back, told him we should be in Washington Wednesday or Thursday leaving here Saturday morning. He said to be there Wednesday, if possible, because he was going to be tied up Thursday and Friday.

So, Saturday morning we left, and reached Kansas City the first day, and the Jessie James home place the next morning. The tour cost about half a day. We planned that whatever time we spent sightseeing, we would have to make up night driving. Our second stop was Custer's Battlefield at the Little Big Horn. Then to the Graycliff Prairie Dog Town at Graycliff, Montana. From there across Idaho into Washington state. We got to Issaquah, Washington about noon on Wednesday. Got loaded ready to head south the next morning. Leaving Issaquah, we headed to the Washington, Oregon coast. Went down the coastal road a couple hundred miles, then cut inland headed for Fresno, California, because our fourth stop was the Sequoia National Park in the Sierra, Nevada Mountains. We left there, on to the Painted Desert in Arizona, across New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas back into town.

Now after 13 days, 5964 miles, six rolls of 35MM, 1 California lime, 2 giant Sequoia pinecones, 1 Mojave Desert tumbleweed, 1 Indian-made petrified wood ash tray, we were back home with our prized scrap iron.

Gas engine nut, you be the judge? All kidding aside, only in the United States could you do something like this! We had a wonderful time!