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Old 09-09-2007, 04:58 PM   #29
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Thanks for the beautiful picture of the Grand Canyon. I love to read your posts......no, I didn't chuckle about the jacket......I have nearly frozen to death traveling......one place was San Francisco in August (the winds whipped through the buildings) and the other was some place in the south in the springtime that was supposed to be in the 70's where we were there......(maybe it was Charleston, SC) but it wasn't 70 --it was unseasonably cool--and I was so cold. I couldn't even find a sweater to buy. So now I always travel with at least a windbreaker no matter where we are going.

But it is always a good reminder to take along a jacket!!! You never know when you may need one. pj
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:47 PM   #30
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Prescott, AZ and the Salton Sea

Hi again,

Left out of the Grand Canyon park and headed back down to Williams, AZ and then decided to drop down and take I-10 instead of I-40 to California. So I took Hwy 89 down to Prescott, Congress, then Hwy 71 and 60 and eventually came out on I-10 near Quartzite, AZ.

What a drive up around Prescott..... Major steep hills/sharp curves and another real workout for the V-6, but we kept the shiny-side up the whole way and crossed into CA at Blythe.

I had heard a little about the "Salton Sea" so decided to make a stop there so turned off I-10 at exit 168 and took a very "isolated" drive thru the Orocopia Mts to eventually come out at Mecca, CA. And then, right in the middle of all the desert was huge, green field of dates, and all sorts of crops and the "Salton Sea". Didn't do much of anything there at the Salton Sea except ate a sandwich out of my frig. Maybe I was missing something, but all I saw was the fields of nice green crops, and then the water. The town I was in was called North Shore, but in actuality looked about 1/2 boarded up and for sale.

Anyway, left out of there and went to Palm Springs where I had been years ago and had thoughts about going all the way to Oceanside or San Clemente, but traffic was a bear so I decided to accept the shore of the Salton Sea as being the west coast "coastline" for this trip. And headed up thru San Bernadino to Barstow and settled in to the KOA...

Next will be a run up thru Death Valley, so will leave early to hopefully avoid the "heat of the day"... :-)

Pics 1 & 2 are on the hwy up around Prescott and 3 is at the Salton Sea...

regards, Dave
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:34 PM   #31
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Dave, this is a great way to write about your trip. Thanks a lot. I dont always have the time to travel around and reading your notes takes the sting out of it. Unforutnately, I have an urge to quit my job and go on the road. Too bad I'm in the Army. They have this committment thing. :-0

Enjoy and take a few mintues each day to think about being safe.

John
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:43 PM   #32
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Death Valley

Hi again,

Headed out early from Barstow in order to get a jump on the heat-of-the-day (or so I thought).

Anyway, headed west for a ways on hwy 58 then north on 395 for about 100 miles to Olancha where I turned onto hwy 190 which is indicated as a "scenic" route and entrance to Death Valley (Pic 1). It was nice and pretty, but was more vertical than horizontal so ended up being a real workout for the V-6 and for the brakes.

I took it nice and easy, but the road went up to about 5,000 ft, then back down to 1,000 then back up to 5,000 then back down, etc etc... Enough so even though being easy as I think I could, I could still smell "hot brakes" so when I got to a good spot I pulled over and let them cool for about 15 mins before I went on. (pic 2)

No, I wasn't riding the brakes, I put the truck down in 3rd (but remember it is an automatic so it doesn't hold back as good as a manual) and let it run up to about 35 mph and then braked medium hard to bring it back down to about 25 and then let it run for 1/4 to 1/2 mile and it would gain back up to 35 or so and I would brake it back down. That's how my dad always did it and he was a trucker and that's how he always did braking in the mountains so...

Anyway, finally made it down to the valley and pulled into Stovepipe Wells to pay my entrance fee at the Ranger Station. (pic 3).

They had a thermometer on the outside of the station - look to the left of the door in pic 3, so I took "Motoman's" advise from his post and took a closeup of the thermometer so everyone can see that the temp is a mere 106 1/2 in the shade... (pic 4) I should have held a watch up next to it so you could see it was only 10 am and it actually got hotter later....

Anyway, on to Furnace Creek and somewhere along there was the -200 feet Sea Level sign (pic 5) and one thing to notice in pic 5 is (first refer back to pic 4 and 106.5 degrees) and note in pic 5 that the drivers side window is down. That is because in order to be nice to my little V-6 engine I spent the day with the a/c turned off to save the ponies for pulling the load and not for mere creature comforts. Anyway, it was nice and warm and toasty inside...

Then Death Valley Junction and about a 9 mile long 6~8% uphill grade on hwy 190. That was a bugger....I am probably right around 95% of the 5,600 lb rated towing capacity for my truck (and I know the consensus of wisdom says 80% of capacity is what you really should use as a max - and I don't disagree with that, but, I have what I have and it is within my "comfort zone" so up the hill we went)...

Pic 6 shows the Ranger dashboard and where everything settled out - locked in 2nd gear, 22 mph, 2,400 rpm and a little more than 1/2 throttle is where it seemed to be not pulling too hard - note the temp gauge is still fine. I did stop at a pull-over (pic 7) after about 3 miles and the hardest part of the hill and let it just idle for about 15 mins for everything to cool down a little (again, my Dad said to never shut off a hot engine, just let them idle to cool down) and then finished off the last of the grade with no problem.

Then up to Nevada hwy 95 and down to Las Vegas where I figured to stop for a nite at the KOA which is right downtown in the parking lot of the Circus Circus Casino (pic 8). Each site is literally just painted off in the blacktopped parking lot but they have a 30/50 amp electric and full hookup posts for each spot so... Anyway, The temp inside the Airstream was 104 when I got here - frig was 46 (and note for TBRich - nope, I never got the frig fan figured out, it still is not running, but all things considered the frig is still doing pretty good for as hot as it was today.)

Next is I-15 north into Utah then I-70 East into Colorado.

best regards, Dave
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:49 PM   #33
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Hey, Dave...I'm really enjoying your trip and your great posts about where you're going and what you're doing. And don't worry about that dang frig fan...the fridge will still work great, and nit'll still be there when it's time to fix it! I'm amazed at how much territory you're covering, and so pleased you're having a blast doing it... Go, Dave!

Continued happy trails...
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:16 AM   #34
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Whatta great travel log, keep it coming. 46 degrees in the fridge with the outside temps that high? I'm envious . Ours struggles to stay at 40 degrees below ambient.
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:36 PM   #35
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Another route into Death Valley

It is too late for you, but for others who may want to visit Death Valley and avoid your white knuckle descents into Death Valley, I believe there is another way in and out that is out of Baker and Shoshone. Our RV driving school teacher suggested that we go that way when we get the time to visit DV.

Keep up the posts. It is great to hear about your adventures and see your pictures......you are sure making a quick trip.....pj
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:08 PM   #36
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I-70 Thru Utah... :-)

Hi again...

Pulled in a few minutes ago to Grand Junction, CO. 511 miles today so a little more than usual but lots to see...

Really pretty thru Utah on I-70... Lots of uphill grades, but almost all were on the Interstate so they were only 6% or so and the truck pulls them pretty easily at 45-50 mph.

No a/c needed here tonite - think I will grill a couple hotdogs outside for dinner...

Anyway:

pic 1: Kolob Canyon entrance to Zion Park
pic 2: Top of one of the passes today on I-70
pics 3,4,5: I-70 coming thru Utah
pic 6: scenic viewpoint in Utah
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:25 PM   #37
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You are where we're heading! Thanks for the great pix.

We're in W. IL tonight, likely overnight in NE tomorrow, then WY someplace before settling in Dinosaur for a few days. Then Moab, Canyonlands, don't know, don't know,...,Albq.

Frost warnings tonight. Big change from hot, humind and miserable at home three days ago.

I love our form of climate control.

Pat
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:28 PM   #38
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Ponies working really hard 2 miles up !!!

Hi again,

Gave all 207 ponies a real nice workout today 2 miles up.... I-70 east from Grand Junction CO up thru 11,150 feet altitude into Denver.

Made it thru just fine as the hwy has 3 lanes going up the hill for the slow, slower, and slowest... I was in lane 3 at 30~35 for a good 10 miles today.... But made it thru just fine so giving the ponies under the hood a nice rest for awhile at my sisters house in Denver. Will be back on in a day or 2.

Pic 1 is the start of the really high road
Pic 2 is approaching the tunnel
Pic 3 look real close and it says 11,150 feet
Pic 4 is in Denver
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:05 PM   #39
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Denver - Nebraska - Minnesota

Hi again,

Finally back and connected so am a few days behind in posting...

At any rate, my Verizon 'Nationwide" broadband card continues to give difficulties and will not connect out in the hinterlands. In the large cities where it is a highspeed 2.4 Gbps it works just fine, but out in the boonies where the "network" is lower speed I get real good signal strength, it tries to connect at 153.4 Kbps but when it goes to authenticate it goes belly-up and goes to the "Error 913 - Call tech support" screen....

So I call the number, which gives me another number to call, and then I am treated to a nice voice telling me that "My call is important to Verizon so please stay on the line and I will be answered in turn".... But, after 30 minutes of hearing the recording over and over again about how important I am to Verizon I get disgusted and hang up. So for the last week and a half I have been in limbo.

Anyway, we left Denver (have my younger sister along) and headed towards Minnesota. Stopped for a nite at Grand Island, Nebraska - again no Verizon so I called and once again got tired of listening to how important I was to Verizon so once again I hung up after a 1/2 hour or so...

Then to Jay Cooke State park in Minnesota (about 20 miles south of Duluth). I think Verizon does not know there is a park there because in addition to no broadband coverage there wasn't even cell phone coverage (zero bars) so I couldn't even try to do anything. The park ranger said if you drive about 5 miles back towards the highway that Verizon would work out there, but in the park nothing.

Anyway, had a nice 3 days at the park and a big family get-together bbq etc etc. Will see if I can get some pics posted up in a little while.

regards, Dave
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:00 PM   #40
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I wondered what had happened to you! I was about to send out the "aluminum hounds" to find ya!

Glad you are back with us and the journey continues!

I've enjoyed your notes and comment abot what you've seen and done...what a trip!

TB
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:20 PM   #41
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Minn - Wis - Ill - OH

Hi Again,

Finished up in Minnesota - 5 nites of running the propane furnace to keep warm - lots different than a couple weeks ago in New Mexico... According to the little red/green gizmo on the tanks it has finally emptied the first tank (30lb) and is pulling from the second. I almost can't believe how long one tank lasts even when running the frig and occasionally the furnace. I filled both tanks this Spring and it is finally on tank 2.

So, we had the big family BBQ for Dad's birthday down at Jay Cooke State Park in Minn. My dad used to work there years ago after he first retired. Minn had a seniors-type program where they hired people over 65 to work parttime at parks where 2 people would split the job so he worked like 3 1/2 days per week doing the site clean-up, bathrooms etc etc. He got to drive the green park ranger truck around, clean out the fire pits at each site, rake leaves and he always said it was one of the best jobs he ever had. So naturally, since it was nice, the "bureaucracy" had to come along and mess it up. The Minn DNR was short on money or whatever, so they had so many cutbacks that he was only allowed like 3 minutes per camp site per day for cleanup etc and that wasn't enough to do it properly (my dad likes things done right) so after about 5 years there he left, but we still like to go back there camping etc.

They have a real nice old stone picnic pavillion there called Oldenburg that you can reserve for the day for $30 so we did that, and even had beautiful fall weather for the day. About 50 friends, in-laws and outlaws showed up for the festivities (those that were out on parole or who at least made bail for the day) and we had 3 grilles going to feed the herd. Worked out real nice.

Then we spent a couple days back at my folks place then then headed down thru Wisconsin to Illinois and then to Ohio.

Some photos for perusal:

#1 - At Jay Cooke Park - lots of Minnesota pine trees (no Verizon)
#2 - Oldenburg Pavillion
# 3, 4 - Plenty of food
# 5 - We had just crossed into Illinois and saw the Weiner Mobile on the road.....
# 6 In Dayton Ohio, one of the nicest KOA's we have been to...
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:00 PM   #42
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