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Old 09-06-2007, 08:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagnerda
.. No luck again with my Verizon "Nationwide" Broadband card... Good thing I can still get local Internet hotspot... :-)

regards, Dave
If you have a cell signal the card should be working fine. Call tech support.--- Oh and dont forget trying to use it inside the AS will weaken the connection a good bit.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:02 AM   #16
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RE your broadband card - I have found that if I can't get a signal, I'll send it though the wizard process. Often, that fixes the problem.

Thanks for your trip report.

Pat
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:10 PM   #17
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Roswell, New Mexico

Aliens everywhere !!!

Made it in to Roswell, New Mexico... I couldn't decide if I should just bob-tail it down there or tow the Airstream, but in the end I decided to take the Airstream with me in case any aliens came along because I figured that the Mother ship would just think I was another Aluminum Survival Pod and not mess with me....

And a nice lady at my previous stop told me to make sure that I had a full gas tank before heading down New Mexico Hwy 20 because "there was NOTHING in-between".... She was right... The first picture below is about midway down Hwy 20... I pulled over to the side of the road just to take that picture because I wanted to show how isolated it was....

In reality, there was no need for me to pull over. I could have stopped dead-center in the travel lane, got out my lawn chair, set up my BBQ grille right on the yellow line, lit some charcoal, waited for it to grey over, tossed on a couple burgers, fried them up, and then eaten the whole deal, loaded everything back up, then taken my picture and it wouldn't have mattered..... I didn't see a single solitary thing for a whole hour on that road -- not even a cow in the field.....

Driving along there I was glad I had done a few things like replaced the serpentine belt etc etc on my truck before I left home.... Nothing like driving down an i s o l a t e d hwy to make you think about vehicle maintenance...

Anyway, Roswell is way bigger than I thought it would be.... My appologies to everyone who lives there, but the perception etc that I always had was a very small town with a bunch of weird people and everything "alien"....

But there is McDonald's, KFC, and just everything, just like civilization... But there is also a couple weird places that are "on the fringe"... :-)

regards, Dave
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:45 PM   #18
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Hi again,

I took Hwy 380 west from Roswell as it is indicated on my Rand McNally as a "scenic route"... It was, and gave my truck a workout, but it was a nice drive.

I took 380 about 100 miles over to I-25, then took that north to Los Lunas and got off on Hwy 6 going west. Wandered around for about an hour going 30 or so miles on what was maybe old #66 I think, and even had to wait for a while for some movie being shot out in the field - or grassland as it was not a field really.

Looked like they were shooting some Western movie.. Anyway, they had 3 Sherriffs cars out there with all the traffic stopped cause I guess it would wreck the scene to here some truck going by...

Anyway, ... Grants, New Mexico -- and my Verizon card has connected !!!

beybey
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:46 PM   #19
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Keep up the posts. Really fun to go along with you, if even virtually.

John
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:41 PM   #20
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NM Hwy 380 West of Roswell

Hi again,

I got my pictures loaded in, so here is one along NM Hwy 380 west of Roswell. The road had lots of up/downs, and I think was around 6000~7000 feet altitude because it was getting up there...

It is listed as a scenic route and it was really, really pretty in thru here... Especially up around "Capitan, NM".... and there were a couple of signs about "land for sale"... I wonder if I could talk the wife into...........anyway...

My nice little 4.0 litre V-6 pulled along just fine, and in reality you wouldn't have wanted to go any faster than I did.... Lots of curves at 20~30 mph then foot to the floor and pull up the hill at 30~40 mph which was about right.

My truck is an automatic (4 speed plus an overdrive) which actually gives you the best towing capacity for a Ford Ranger. By getting the extended cab, and the 4x4 options, you get 16 inch wheels vice 15, plus the automatic gives you the extra sized radiator and an auto trans oil cooler. The 4x4 also drops the gear ratio to 4:10 rear ends which is nice for these hills.

Anyway, hotter than Hades out here and it towed every hill with water temps right in mid-range so no prblms at all... The truck has 58,000 miles on it so before I left I had a transmission flush and a radiator flush to get everything ship-shape....

One thing I do wish is that the Ranger had a bigger fuel tank on it. It has a 19.2 gallon, but out here I am getting 13.5 mpg towing on Interstate, but only 12 mpg towing thru the mountains so my fuel gauge is below 1/2 after just 100 miles...

Not a problem out East where we have gas stations everywhere, but are you all aware how far some gas stations are apart out here ??? I know you are, but in reality it is an issue for us from the East.... You need to remind Easterners to top off their tank before heading outta town because "it might be awhile.."

best regards, Dave
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:35 AM   #21
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Are you coming to Los Angeles?
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:10 AM   #22
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Dave and Shari,
Keep the posts coming, I feel like I am still on the road traveling along with you guys.
Your trip is very ambitious, don't forget to enjoy the scenery and keep your (personal) batteries charged.
Safe and enjoyable travels to you both.

Mac
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagnerda
Hi again,
One thing I do wish is that the Ranger had a bigger fuel tank on it. It has a 19.2 gallon, but out here I am getting 13.5 mpg towing on Interstate, but only 12 mpg towing thru the mountains so my fuel gauge is below 1/2 after just 100 miles...
best regards, Dave
I agree, bigger is better when it comes to fuel capacity. I have to say, I am stunned to hear your milage is anywhere as good as you are saying. Keep us posted.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:53 PM   #24
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Dave, you're awesome for allowing us to all travel along with you on your trip! Thank you so much for the commentary and the pictures! I would love to visit some of the spots you have been to, and the pictures and descriptions really whet my travel appetite.

Have a wonderful time and stay safe! We look forward to more of your travelogue!

Susan
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:35 PM   #25
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Hi again,

Passed on thru the Painted Cliffs of New Mexico and then thru the Petrified Forest National Park (which is in Arizona) and which also includes the Painted Desert. You get off of I-40 at the start of the park and then drive a 22 mile loop out thru the park with all the sights. That takes a good couple hours and then when you are done you are about 20 miles away from I-40 so another 1/2 hour to get back there.

Then, only about another hour down the road was Meteor Crater. You can drive about 3/4 the way up the rim of it and then you get out, pay your $15 and then go thru the museum deal etc and get out to the upper rim which is pretty nice. Big hole in the ground...

Anyway, on my way to an even bigger hole in the ground called "the Grand Canyon". I have never been there, but have seen it a couple times from 35,000 ft when the pilot would say "those of you seated on the left hand side of the plane can see the Grand Canyon below us..."

I made reservations at the South Rim at "Trailer Village" so will see how it goes.

Should be 4 pics:
1) Painted Desert
2) Painted Desert
3) Petrified Forest (look close between the trees and see a Bambi)
4) Meteor Crater

regards, Dave
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:09 PM   #26
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Hi again,

As of the last gas stop, total so far is 2,962 miles using 219.1 gallons of gas which works out to 13.51 mpg average. In reality I know I get up to 14 mpg if running on normal Interstates (in overdrive at 60~65 mph max), but I also know a couple tanks lately with overdrive off and pulling up the hills got only around 12 mpg. But avg of 13.5 which is decent (I get 18~19 with no trailer at home).

Also, the daily miles driven comes out to average of 269 miles per day, which is fine for me. I am one of those people who has everything organized before I turn lites-out at nite, so when I wake up around 5 or so I just make some coffee and then not later than 6 AM I (quietly) start the engine and idle my way out of the campground.

I know some people mess around in the morning forever before they get going but by then I am a hundred miles or more down the road. My normal mode is I like to get to where I am going to be camping by noon of that day. That gives me the whole afternoon to get set up and see the sights in the area.

I like leaving early even if it is still a little dark because the sun is coming up. I much prefer that to the opposite where people are driving after dark then looking for a place and pulling in and setting up in the dark. I have done that once or twice and never again if I can help it. If I need to make some miles then I will drive until 4PM, but that is it - 10 hours is the max and that would be a rare day. I also find that even on a day of 10 hours driving that I cover only 500 miles. So, I drive 60~65, and with rest stops, gas etc cover maybe 50 actual miles in an hour.

After the Grand Canyon I am heading to see Death Valley in California. Then I need to start working my way to Denver as I need to be there on the 14th.
regards, Dave
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Old 09-08-2007, 10:16 PM   #27
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Dave, great trip and periodic summary. We will be traveling to the Baloon Festival in Alburquerque, on to Ohio, North Carolina and then home again. I doubt if I have time to chronicle our trip like you have.

You should have a great time in Death Valley. Even with the summer heat you won't be alone. There will be a few other Americans willing to experience the heat, we droved through in August, and lots of Europeans. the temperatures may test your vehicle but you early starts and stops for the day means you won't be driving when it is the hottest. Make sure you take the tour through Scotty's Castle in early morning, temps maybe in upper 80's to low 90's but with with a light wind and the dry air it won't be bad at all. The hottest spot will be near Badwater, the lowest point in the valley. We saw 117 degrees there and 119 on the road when we went through the 4th weekend of August. It was almost that Hot in Riverside last weekend, 113 degrees. When your there get a picture of the high temperatures on a thermometer, I forgot so people have to trust that I won't mis-represent the highs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wagnerda
Hi again,

As of the last gas stop, total so far is 2,962 miles using 219.1 gallons of gas which works out to 13.51 mpg average. In reality I know I get up to 14 mpg if running on normal Interstates (in overdrive at 60~65 mph max), but I also know a couple tanks lately with overdrive off and pulling up the hills got only around 12 mpg. But avg of 13.5 which is decent (I get 18~19 with no trailer at home).

Also, the daily miles driven comes out to average of 269 miles per day, which is fine for me. I am one of those people who has everything organized before I turn lites-out at nite, so when I wake up around 5 or so I just make some coffee and then not later than 6 AM I (quietly) start the engine and idle my way out of the campground.

I know some people mess around in the morning forever before they get going but by then I am a hundred miles or more down the road. My normal mode is I like to get to where I am going to be camping by noon of that day. That gives me the whole afternoon to get set up and see the sights in the area.

I like leaving early even if it is still a little dark because the sun is coming up. I much prefer that to the opposite where people are driving after dark then looking for a place and pulling in and setting up in the dark. I have done that once or twice and never again if I can help it. If I need to make some miles then I will drive until 4PM, but that is it - 10 hours is the max and that would be a rare day. I also find that even on a day of 10 hours driving that I cover only 500 miles. So, I drive 60~65, and with rest stops, gas etc cover maybe 50 actual miles in an hour.

After the Grand Canyon I am heading to see Death Valley in California. Then I need to start working my way to Denver as I need to be there on the 14th.
regards, Dave
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:41 PM   #28
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Grand Canyon at last !!

Hi again,

Well, the Grand Canyon certainly is big..... wow... :-)

The "Trailer Village" is nice, certainly adequate, and right inside the park within walking distance of the actual "rim" itself which is nice. There are two campgrounds here within the park, one called "Mathers Campground" which is run by the park service, and right next to it is "Trailer Village" which is contracted out somehow or other to Xanterra (sp) Company. Anyway, I made my reservation to stay at the Trailer Village.

And, why did I choose Trailer Village ??? (besides being within walking distance (several hundred yards) to the rim etc...)

I chose them because they had the 30-amp electric and I wanted to make sure I had some nice a/c after roasting in New Mexico...... But.....

The temp outside this morning was 43 degrees.... That's only 11 degrees above scraping frost off the windshield... I only brought 1 long-sleeved shirt with me... I am sure you Westerners all know this, but do you realize the higher you go in the mountains the colder it gets at nite ???? The South Rim here is 7,000 feet....

I even went on-line to look it up (my Verizon card is smokin fast here at the park - 2.4 mbps) anyway, air looses heat capacity at the rate of 3.5 degrees per 1,000 feet above sea level so my 7,000 feet altitude equates to a loss of 24.5 degrees... So, if that was added onto the 43 that it was it would come out to a normal temp of 67.5 which would be nice for the morning...

I know I knew that (about getting much colder at night) but I guess I didn't pay a lot of attention to it and camping at 7,000 feet isn't something we do out East... -- so all of you high-altitude people can have a chuckle at my expense... :-) Next time I come out West I will bring a jacket...

Other than that it is really nice here...

regards, Dave
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