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Old 06-06-2006, 10:19 AM   #1
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Shakedown Cruise: New Mexico

Back (actually for a coupla weeks) from our first big trip with Toasty. Here are some pics, including a few of our precious toy in interesting locations. Perhaps I should post a couple of the AS pics here also...

http://home.fuse.net/algoma/new_mexi...006_index.html

The trip was GREAT, 16 days and about 3500 miles from Cincinnati to north central New Mexico and back. Absolutely no problems towing, absolutely no problems with the trailer. Following is a compendium of little things we learned; perhaps a few will be handy for others:

* a 16' bambi was enough space for these two adults and one cat. we are always running into each other at home, but in the trailer it was mostly a well-choreographed ballet. we camped happily for two straight weeks.

* short drives between no-hookup sites are not enough to fully recharge the battery. we only occasionally had electric hookups, and drove only 50-100 miles every few days. house battery voltage steadily dropped between electric sites.

* this may seem obvious, but washboard dirt roads shake the H#LL out of the trailer! anything not FIRMLY tied down, including nominally attached stuff like stove burners and cabinet doors will be found on the floor under the dinette later.

* you need to be able to adapt any hose or fitting ever made in order to flush your tanks. we brought our own hose, a couple of barbs, and hose clamps, and still ran into dump stations at which we could not flush due to the weird ends on their hoses.

* the fridge can successfully cool without its fan in mid-eighties temperatures IF the louvered doors over the outside vents are removed. on windy days the flame will blow out however. don't forget to put 'em back on!

* a Honda Ridgeline has enough guts to pull a 16' Bambi to 9100 feet at 45 MPH in 3rd and 4th gear without overheating or apparent strain. we hadn't intended to make this test, but happily we passed it with ease.

* got between 10.5 and 14.5 MPG. premium fuel increased mileage by about 2 MPG and was well worth the 20-cent price diff.

* a man can survive for 16 days without input of a single photon generated by a cathode ray tube. i wasn't sure this was possible, but i actually found this reading thing to be an acceptable substitute.

jon
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:28 AM   #2
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excellent photos! what camera? I'm surprised you didn't get he obligatory shot of the chapel in Rancho de Taos, I mean, everyone else has.

I've been down to Santa Fe numerous times but never heard of Tent Rocks. Will visit there soon!

Yes, you should post more--photos and text.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:33 AM   #3
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Jon,
What a great photojournal of the splendors of New Mexico, including the rattler! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Mimi and I just love New Mexico for it's southwestern charm and lack of crowds. What a trip you had and how you must have enjoyed every moment.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasty's Dad

* got between 10.5 and 14.5 MPG. premium fuel increased mileage by about 2 MPG and was well worth the 20-cent price diff.

jon
I always wondered how much you gain from preimum gas
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:59 AM   #5
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hi roger,

the camera's a Canon Powershot (PS1???). our first digital camera, and it by golly makes me feel like I kind of know what I'm doing! been amazed at the quality of the photos we get. i've got nothing to compare it to, but for <300 bucks i'm thrilled.

yeah, the Tent Rocks are incredible. there seems to be a fair amount of utah-quality rock in New Mexico, but it's scattered all over the state and much less well known. which doesn't exactly make me unhappy .

j
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:06 AM   #6
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hi rodney,

it was a good test, too. on the way out we were using regular. we switched to premium late in the trip, when we realized we'd be towing at altitude (the owner's manual suggested it). when we next filled up, we said hey, what's this mileage increase?!? and drove back on premium.

we had over 1000 miles over the same terrain with and without premium, and therefore i think the observations are valid, especially since we'd had no expectation of MPG change.

of course as they say, YMMV.

jon
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:07 AM   #7
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wow. very nice trip. your report comes at a perfect time as i leave for a vintage trailer rally in chama, nm, next tuesday (6/13). love the pics.
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:53 AM   #8
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Hi Jon.

Enjoyed the photos and comments very much. Nice job with the new digi-cam.

There was one photo that looked like the imprint of a rather large animal, or if that is your foot print, I can recommend a decent foot Dr.

Glad the trip was uneventful mechanically speaking. You must be anxious to get out again.

Best wishes, and welcome back.

Jonathan
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:58 AM   #9
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kudos on the website

Nice website, I like the clean design of the main page alot! . What program was that done in if you dont mind?
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:12 PM   #10
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hi jonathan,

the footprint is from a mountain lion. we stupidly didn't put anything in the pic to scale it, but it was 3 - 3 1/2" across. not the biggest we've seen, but always a treat to find one.

i'd love to see the actual cat, but they're wary and elusive, so not likely.

----

hi rodney,

the page was coded in "jon". i'm one of those few sad Luddites who write html by hand. GUI tools tend to drive me nuts - give me that old-time command prompt.

jon
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:51 PM   #11
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Mucho Thanks!

Hey, T Dad, thanks so much for sharing the fantastic pictures of my home state! We can't wait to drag our Airstream up to Villanueva. We've never been there, and your photos have inspired even though of us thoroughly saturated with the beauty of this Land of Enchantment.

Glad you had a good trip. Please post your descriptions of other campgrounds visited at the "campgrounds" tab on this forum, if you haven't already done so.
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:02 PM   #12
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Thanks for the wonderful travel log, great pics!

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Old 06-06-2006, 06:35 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Great thread contribution! Lovely website.

So glad you had a wonderful trip without problems! I really enjoyed your photos, looks like talent to me! Best wishes for the rest of the camping season!
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Enjoyed the photos and comments very much. Nice job with the new digi-cam.

Glad the trip was uneventful mechanically speaking. You must be anxious to get out again.
Jonathan -- like in joining us for the Midwest Rally this weekend? Bet Jon is washing up like crazy!
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