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Old 09-07-2008, 05:35 PM   #43
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I polished the window rock guard with plastic polish—easy. Then I took out the Griot's Paint Sealant and decided to do some test panels. It was so easy to do, I did the whole front end, the center panel below the window that the dealer had to replace after backing it into another trailer and then the entire streetside. It's much easier to apply and polish than the Turtle paste wax that I usually use. It seems to shine about the same. Now I'll see how long it lasts. I hope to do the rest tomorrow. It looks like one 16 oz. bottle is just about right for a 25' trailer.

But, I'm really angry at the dealer. They replaced a window (warranty item) and had to take off the rain gutter, apparently to straighten the C channel. This is one of the streetside large windows towards the rear. When I got to the rain gutter I saw 13 rivets were missing out of 18. Some of the sealant is starting to separate after 240 miles. I don't think this is a place where water could easily get into the trailer, but I don't really know. Whether it's intentional ("they'll never notice") or negligence, it's incompetance. I'll see what Airstream says to do. I'm not going back to that dealer right now—I'm going the opposite direction. I'm beginning to understand why people drive a 1,000 miles to buy from a reputable dealer—there don't seem to be a lot of them.

Gene
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:54 PM   #44
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Yeah...


Try NO dealer in NYS.

Sorry to here about the missing rivits.

Competent dealer, been there done that

Spent more time get'n ready myself today.

Sounds like we're on the same page. Swung out the front stone guards to
to do some cleaning, bout a qt. of water came out. The darn things are so tight to the belly pan water has no place to go, ofcourse all this rain don't help. Put a couple plastic channel weather strips to give 'em some clearance. Been try'n to get the sealer on also, got the front end done back to the door. It's a lot easier with the orbital, but it still takes a day to do without the rain.

We leave for R.I. and Mass. on Thursday.

Have a great trip Gene.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:55 PM   #45
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Have fun on your trip Gene. I've only driven through hwy 50 one time. Try to keep the jack rabbits from running in front of you truck. My wife hated that part. It sounds like a great overall trip and a lot to see in just 3 weeks.

Charlie
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:20 AM   #46
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Finally underway

Our biggest adventure started Tuesday. Being relatively unprepared, we didn't get ready to leave until 1:30. Stress builds when it doesn't feel like you'll be ready until midnight, but no major arguments and off we went—to the Post Office, and then a sandwich shop because we were already too tired to make lunch. In Grand Junction we stopped for gas and to get fruit. Later we learned the grapes has some mold on them and were overripe—when are we going to learn to be more careful of the stuff Sam's sells? Then onto Utah for a total of 180 miles by 5:30. Drove through a monster thunderstorm on I-70 with 1/2 inch of standing water on the highway. Slowed to 50 and the rig handled the wind and rain flawlessly. Wiped out after getting up before 6 and rushing to get ready, I managed to stay awake until 9:45. Now well rested and ready to drive a long pull into Nevada and hoping to make 500 miles on the way to the coast.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:29 PM   #47
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Thumbs down Bin dare done dat...


I know of what you speak. We plan to leave "early" Friday mourning, Start a pool?, I say 2pm. If I'm lucky. But if I keep my trap shut, I'll make through.

The last thing my DW does is shop for provisions. Her logic there is good, take it right from the store to the A/S. (after at least an hour and a half). Last time I camped in the Dog House for the first day, not worth the snide remark.
Bite your tongue RC.

I'll keep ya posted.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:03 PM   #48
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Our biggest adventure started Tuesday. Being relatively unprepared, we didn't get ready to leave until 1:30. Stress builds when it doesn't feel like you'll be ready until midnight, but no major arguments and off we went . . .

Gene
It can be a little hard to transition from "nothing" one day, to, "I'm risking my life, property and good name" the next day, traveling down the road. (Vacation, this feels like work!!) AND it takes about 100 miles to get back in the saddle comfortably. I always found myself dawdling on the morning of departure . . tried moving some jobs to the day before (somewhat successfully), and finally settled on having a shower and fresh clothes after everything ready to go as what worked for me. I dislike using lists (make plenty, but mainly for mental organization) but find that departing campgrounds is made easier this way.

Just found this thread tonight, and have enjoyed your vacation trips. Wish I was there. Or, somewhere besides this now oppressive heat.

Take care!!
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:40 PM   #49
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Friday evening in Olema, Cal.

Traveling US 50 across western Utah and Nevada is a beautiful drive, though it gets long, long, long, and of course, it is "the loneliest road". In Utah there are the Desolation Mtns., Skull Rock Pass, the mostly dry Sevier Lake, and then to Nevada. The mountain ranges through central Nevada all run north-south, so there are broad valleys and then cross a range and repeat. This breaks up the boredom of the valleys.

The entire west has been taken over by cheat grass it appears. This invasive grass grows fast in the spring and then dies in June. Then there's a carpet of dead grass with the quality of kerosene waiting for a lightning strike or a match. There's no fire as fast covering ground than a cheat grass fire. And it's ugly, just a sea of brown. The seeds get in your shoes and stick to your socks and hurt. You have to wear boots once it dies. It's even taken over between the trees, though there aren't many of those in Nevada except on the mountain passes.

We stayed in Eureka at the only RV campground, just east of town. The owner was nice and the place was adequate and $20/night. Barb drove halfway which is great. My old left wrist is getting arthritic and my left shoulder hurts when I drive a lot, so I'm glad my child bride is a good driver. She has now graduated to driving in an out of gas stations, down long grades, and through some towns. 406 miles on day 2.

We left Eureka and continued west. Gas mileage was poor–9.5 mpg. Between the extra load of stuff for a 3 week trip, 10 extra gallons of gas, and many, many mountain ranges, all at 65 mph, plus ethanol in gas everywhere, I guess that was to be expected. When we got to the tiny town of Austin, the credit card reader in two of the gas islands didn't work and it took about 15 minutes to get filled up while the attendant finally found a way to make the pump work.

Time for dinner, more later.

Gene
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:33 AM   #50
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Waiting for the Big One

Yummy dinner. Salad, garlic bread, spinach pasta with mushroom Alfredo sauce. Better than eating in restaurants! Cheaper too. Speaking of cheaper, our expenses in 4 days are 55% for gas. As low as $3.65 and as high as $4.19 in Austin. Campgrounds range from $20 to $50. And winter is coming—it was 33˚ in the morning in Eureka, but 93˚ when we hit Vacaville and Sacramento.

Barb drove almost all the way to I-80 at Fernley, Nevada, then I took over for the rest of the way to Vacaville (I think that roughly translates to "Cowtown"). It's a big sprawling suburb of many along that stretch of I-80. The roads in Cal. are awful. The stretch of I-80 over Donner Summit is pathetic and much is under construction. Where it hasn't been resurfaced, the concrete is so worn, besides the ruts, it is down to gravel and cement and cracked as well. A rough ride! The lanes are narrow in the construction zones—concrete barriers on one side and miles of cones on the other with just enough space to squeeze through. Ten foot lanes or a little less. Cal. has a 55 limit for trailers and trucks, but no one pays much attention.

But Cal. does have lots of Trader Joe's and after finding a campground, we went off to Fairfield and stocked up. We recommend their soup—comes in a big can, is cheap and tasty and when you're tired after 408 miles, hits the spot. Really good baguettes too to go with it. It's hard to get good food in western Colorado, so we appreciate Cal. in that regard. Filled up and mileage went up to 13. It helps that from Donner Summit to Sacramento is mostly downhill.

Today, Friday, off to Olema. Our target was Point Reyes National Seashore and we took I-80 to Cal. 37 around the north end of the bay and then down 101 to 1, the Pacific Coast Hwy. We got onto the PCH at Marin City, and about 100 yards onto it a sign reads "Vehicles over 35' not Advised". Of course, there's no place to turn around and where would we go anyway? An adventure was ahead of us. A lot of I-80 seemed to have 10' lanes where they redrew the lanes to cram another one in, but at least it was straight. The first 10 miles were tough. Sometimes it seemed the lanes were 9', winding around rocks, next to overgrown trees, blind curves all the way and no shoulders. Bumpy too. The best is when the road is banked around a curve with a wall of rocks right up edge of the pavement and if I don't get onto the center line, the top of the trailer will lean into the rocks. Sometimes someone comes around the corner on the yellow line and I'm on it because it's the only way I can fit. I'd hate to travel that stretch in a giant MoHo. I offered to let Barb drive, but she's too smart. We made it to Olema without hitting anything, but sometimes with inches to spare.

Olema has one campground, Olema RV Resort, though it's listed in AAA as Olema Ranch. Pretty nice place and we parked right in front where they have full hookups. This was my first time backing into a spot at a campground and I got it done. Do it slowly. I had lots of space, so I don't know how it would go in a smaller area. Parked right under a tree, so plenty of shade, but when I went to put up the TV antenna, I could get it up, but not turn it toward the local stations because it got tangled up in the branches. Hadn't thought of that.

As we were settling in for lunch, a strange looking trailer pulled in. It was aluminum and had green stripes on the side and was a big oval. I went over and talked to the guy. It was a Traveleeze from 1954. He had restored it. It has a door on each side and they are really narrow. It was manufactured in Sun Valley, Cal. (I thought the only Sun Valley was in Idaho). All the hookups were on the streetside. He said it was all wood on the inside, but I didn't get to see that. From the looks of the outside, he did a very good job.

We drove up to Point Reyes. It was settled by dairy farmers in the mid-19th century and those farms are still there. It's shows what the coast was like before it got settled with cities. Fortunately the lighthouse was closed by the time we got there. Fortunate because there are around 300 steps down to it and I would have felt compelled to go down and see it. My knees would not be happy either going up or down those steps. This old age thing is a bummer. I guess it was a good day because there was only a little fog and hardly any wind. We drove down to the beach at one place and got up close to the Pacific. This is a two ocean year—we were at the Atlantic in May (2006 was our best ocean year—we got the Arctic in too for 3 oceans). So the national seashore is pretty much undeveloped, many cliffs to look out over the Pacific with places you can drive down to the water. The interior—almost an island—is pastoral. I'm sure the weather along the shore can be horrendous, but we hit a pretty good day.

We are camped on the San Andreas Fault. They tell me it's a mile wide here. During the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, the area that is the Point Reyes NS moved as much as 20 feet north. It's part of the Pacific Plate while the area just east is the North American Plate. This is not reassuring. Neither of us have ever experienced an earthquake, but we really would rather experience a small one than "The Big One", but we're in the right place for either. If we survive the night here, traveling up the coast we will be following the fault. I have visions of the PCH falling into the sea, or coming around one of those blind curves and the road has disappeared. I prefer a good old Colorado blizzard.

Tomorrow we go to Gualala, about 80 miles north. In 2003, we had the best pizza there since I lived in NY state, but my memory deceived me and I thought it was Ultimate Pizza. I checked on the Internet and it's Upper Crust Pizza. We'll stay there at a campground amongst the redwoods and along the Gualala R. and eat lots of pizza. I don't know what else there is to do in Gualala, but it seems like a good idea to slow down. We drove north from Jenner several years ago and I know the PCH is winding and slow there, but I don't recall it being as bad as those first 10 miles today. After the narrow lanes on I-80 and the PCH, I think I have figured out the width of the trailer, so watch me hit something tomorrow. No, I didn't mean that. Strike that your honor.

Gene
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:01 AM   #51
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Ethanol

Gene, was good old regular gas available on highway 50 across Nevada? I don't think our Denali likes Ethanol and we are planning on going that way from Washington to Texas in about 3 weeks. Thanks
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:57 AM   #52
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Brian,

Most of the gas pumps now say "may contain ethanol". You can't know what's in it and have no choice. My guess is ethanol lowers gas mileage around 2 or 3% since they can't put more than 10% ethanol in the mix. The altitude and many passes lower mileage a lot too and if you're coming from Sacramento and going east, it's about 40 miles mostly uphill to Donner Summit and that will suck a lot of gas (and the crappy road makes it even better). Fill up in Fernley or Fallon and drive and enjoy the sights.

Enjoy your trip, fill up when you get a chance and hope for the best. We stopped at Wrangell on the state ferry in 2006 and the setting is beautiful. We didn't get a chance to come into town though.

Gene
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:17 PM   #53
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adding moonshine to gasoline...

donner pass?

did you stop for a light meal of fresh liver, fava beans and a nice chianti?
_____________
while running e85 blends results in lower mpgs...

"small" amounts of ethanol are used to INCREASE mpg slightly by some magical process.

ethanol has almost completely replaced mtbe for octane enhancement...

methyl tertiary butyl ether (mtbe) worked great but leached into groundwater easily and has other issues.

so small amt's of ethanol are now used to boost octane (it's magic) and improve performance or economy.

i don't recall seeing much (any e85) along hiway 50.

gene you've not mentioned the wind yet a big dig into mpg.

usually it blows directly into my travel route, both ways....

cheers
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:05 PM   #54
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We got onto the PCH at Marin City, and about 100 yards onto it a sign reads "Vehicles over 35' not Advised". Of course, there's no place to turn around and where would we go anyway? An adventure was ahead of us.
Gene
We've all made that mistake in California, once or twice. One learns to take
those signs very seriously!
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #55
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2air, didn't stop for dinner on Donner Summit. I-80 doesn't go over Donner Pass so the cuisine is not so varied as it once was. We don't live all that far from Alferd Packer's famous winter meals in 1890's Hinsdale Co., Colorado, but we've not acquired a taste for roasted human as yet. Too stringy I hear.

No E-85 on US 50, but maybe 10% ethanol. There was nothing on the pump about Magic Gas, though maybe that is why it was $4.19 in the middle of Nevada. No wind to speak of but an Airstream will glide through wind and possibly become slightly airborne. I am adding helium to the tires instead of nitrogen to reduce weight and increase lift.

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Old 09-16-2008, 12:45 AM   #56
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Olema to Mendocino

As we hitched up in Olema, I saw scores of bicyclists going north on Hwy 1. I tried to ignore it, but knew what was coming. We started out and must have passed hundreds and hundreds of them in the next 20 miles. On a winding road with lots of hills, we got stuck behind out-of-shape people going uphill at 3 mph. I know they were doing this for a good cause (MS in this case), but when you're behind someone with the number "1620" on their back and you don't know how long this is going on but maybe there are another 1619 of them ahead, you start to have dark thoughts, especially about those who refuse to ride single file. But you're always wrong when you run over someone, so all survived.

It wasn't far to Gualala and we stopped at a campground in the redwoods on the Gualala River. The back-in site was really a pull-in site for MoHo's, so the water and electric were on the wrong side. Not having noticed that, we got the trailer just right and discovered the power cable was 4 feet short, so hitched up again, pulled up 5' and plugged in. We went into town and had a great pizza at Upper Crust Pizza and listened to the owner, Al Garcia, complain about just about everything. Cell service is pretty spotty on this part of the coast, but we found a place near the ocean where there was one bar so Barb could call her parents. No service anywhere else. The tower must be somewhere far away, maybe Bodega Bay, but a signal makes it across the ocean. We needed to catch up on sleep. Sunday we relaxed in the redwoods—dark, damp and pretty quiet as just about everyone left by midday. After looking over the town on foot—doesn't take long—and going to the 2 supermarkets for supplies, had another great pizza, but Al wasn't there, so it was quiet. Upper Crust Pizza is in a small building next to and south of the Gualala Hotel (a modest building and apparently the local's place to drink) that says in small letters over the door "Pizzeria". Excellent pizza and Al, when he's there, is entertaining.

I've had to fix a few things. From time to time the breaker on the heat pump flips off. I don't know why, so the 2 times it's happened, I just reset it. A screw was loose on the stove top and the connections on the kitchen sink drain were not tight. I hand tightened them, but one is still leaking a little, so I'll have to get the channel locks out tomorrow. The lower hinge on the cabinet above the slide out pantry came loose. It seems the screws aren't seating properly and I got them to fasten again, but they're not right. There's a black plastic cover over them, and it came off broken. Another cover on the large wardrobe lower hinge came off too.

The road has been much better after that first 10 miles, but it's still slow, winding and sometimes pretty narrow. The views are wonderful, but driving often needs so much attention, I don't always get to see it. In the towns we've stopped in, when I look at the prices in the realtor windows, I find it hard to believe. Our house would go for twice as much and the amount of land we have would be worth millions—I haven't figured out how to move 37 acres of high desert to the coast. Real estate prices are about location.

Today we're in Mendocino. It was once a small town that became an artist's colony decades ago. The town is located on a headland with incredible views of the ocean and coastline. It had so much going for it, it became ultraexpensive and the artists largely had to leave. Still beautiful, but now a lot of 2nd homes and recreational shopping. There are only about 300 year 'round residents. Stores are either very expensive or ones with more reasonable items owned by people who moved here decades ago. It's a nice place to walk around and not so busy in September on a Monday. We don't know what flowers and plants we're seeing. We're not used to the variety of flowers and seeing flowers in September is really strange.

We're in another canyon near but not on the ocean in a campground with RV's jammed into small spaces. It does have TV and internet so we're catching up on the news. It seems a lot of the campgounds along this part of the coast are in canyons back from the ocean. This is one of the crummy ones. I hope we can find a nicer place tomorrow somewhere up the coast and hope to get to Oregon on Wednesday. I think Hwy 1 gets pretty difficult when it leaves the coast and goes over the Coast Range before it junctions with 101, but it can't be as bad as a couple of days ago. Perhaps I'm in denial.

It's hard for me to describe the coastline. Most of the time there have been bluffs 20 feet to hundreds of feet above the beaches. Sometimes there are just rocks, not beaches. There rocks of all sizes, sometimes little islands of black rock jutting upward. Sometimes we can look miles up the coast at headlands, rocks, mist and birds soaring on thermals. There are colonies of birds we don't recognize on some rocks, but not others. Lots of kelp in the water everywhere. It's been largely cloudy, not much fog or wind and no rain. The temps have been in the upper 50's or sometimes the low 60's. Better weather than we saw last time we were here since it always rains when we in the Northwest, Canadian or Alaska coasts. Some of the chief attractions are the rocks in the ocean and the villages along the coast. It's such a different part of the world compared to home, we just like to pass through, sampling parts of it and leaving some to touch next time. Even though a lot of tourists come through here, the towns are still small for the most part and it feels very isolated.

Gene
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