A cavalcade of trip photos, Pennsylvania-Nevada-Pennsylvania - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-30-2011, 07:24 PM   #1
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A cavalcade of trip photos, Pennsylvania-Nevada-Pennsylvania

I posted my video of racing Rucio my Burro around on the Bonneville Salt Flats, but finally have organized the rest of the trip photos enough to share some stuff.

This was my first major trip with the Burro. I had taken it and my husband and a friend on an overnight shakedown trip to Assateague, a 3 hour drive from home in Philadelphia (reported previously in this section), but this trip would be a little more than two weeks, to Nevada and back. The first week was just me and Rucio, as the man could only take one week away from teaching. I picked him up at the airport in Salt Lake City after spending the first week visiting friends in Illinois and spending couple of days photographing mustangs and stuff in Wyoming.

Here's Rucio (1) ready to head out from our city storage lot, in the rain, (2) departing our friends' farm in northern IL after a couple of days visiting, and (3) taking in the view at the Long Hollow overlook in NW Illinois's hilly Driftless area, along US highway 20.
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rucio leaving storage lot for the trip west small.jpg   20110501 rucio burro at meaghan's farm illinois small.jpg  

20110501 rucio burro at long hollow tower overlook small.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:37 PM   #2
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From IL I headed west on US 20 through Iowa and Nebraska on the way to Wyoming. I did my first truck-stop campout in Waterloo IA. That worked just fine. We drove through Sac City...do I understand correctly that Burros used to be made there? Rucio is a 1980, and I'm not sure where they were building these at that time. So I wasn't sure whether or not it was a special moment.

Photos:
(1) We did stop briefly at the Klowndoll Museum in Plainview, Nebraska. Sad blue faces to see that the museum was closed. Plainview has a thing for clown-dolls, spelled with the K. I took all the politically geared signage in town with a large grain of salt for that reason. Can Klowndoll fanatics be trusted?

(2) After the disappointment of the Klowndoll museum we headed through the sandhills. Beautiful country. This was my first time in Nebraska and I very much enjoyed the scenery.

(3 & 4) I camped at the Steer Creek campground in the McKelvie National Forest. A lovely site. I was the only person there, which was slightly creepy for the first 5 minutes, and then entirely enjoyable. I live in a rowhouse not far from Center City Philadelphia - always lots of people around and boy was this a refreshing experience.

This was my first camping night bathing in a rubbermaid tub. Fun. Temps dipped to 27 degrees F, which I hadn't entirely anticipated. Accuweather had been assuring me of low temperatures in the low 40s. But I had plenty of warm bedding so that was okay. No heat in the Burro just yet apart from that generated by cooking and warming up bath water.
Attached Thumbnails
rucio at the plainview nebraska klowndoll museum small.jpg   20110502 rucio in the nebraska sandhills nebraska small.jpg  

rucio at steer creek campground 1 mckelvie national forest small.jpg   rucio at steer creek campground 2 mckelvie national forest small.jpg  

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Old 05-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #3
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Next stop, Alcova Reservoir just a little bit southwest of Casper, Wyoming. Boy oh boy I really liked Wyoming - it was also my first time in that state. Too bad the university in Laramie doesn't have any openings for historians and political scientists just now. Although being used to the hustle bustle of Philly and taking the ability to walk across the street to a great bar for granted...I would probably get bored in a couple of days actually living there.

Alcova was nice. They have several nicely maintained primitive campgrounds circling the reservoir. The campgrounds all have clean pit type toilets, and I was able to get some water at a water station at the southern tip of the lake. I chose a site right next to the water, and it was lovely to hear the waves gently slapping the shore all night. Because of the wind I hedged my bets and parked right next to this tree so that a heavy gust would not send the camper into the drink. It was way colder than advertised here as well. I started considering hunting around for a portable catalytic heater, although I certainly wasn't suffering. Just a little heat on waking up in the morning would be nice, though, I thought...

A couple of photos of wyoming wildlifes:







Rucio photos: (1) Alcova campsite, and (2) pronghorn country! in Bairoil, WY where I got momentarily lost, and (3) the Rock Springs KOA where I spent a couple of nights as a base camp to the White Mountain/Pilot Butte area where I was lurking around taking pictures of the mustangs. It was at this campground where I had my first experience of understanding my Burro as a dwarf compared to the standard RVs. That was funny.
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20110503 rucio burro at alcova reservoir wyoming small.jpg   rucio in pronghorn country small.jpg  

rucio at rock springs koa sunrise small.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:01 PM   #4
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Then over to Wendover, Nevada - we were visiting friends who have a not-yet-open-to-the-public small wildlife park just west of West Wendover, off I-80. We had gotten a very cool chausie cat from them almost 4 years ago, and when they offered us another kitten by the same cat sire, we didn't even hesitate to say "yes, we'll be right over to pick her up!" -- hence the reason for the trip.

We camped there for 4 nights, with the kitten in the camper with us - a supreme organizational challenge. But we made it work, even though there was kitty litter everywhere as well as mud due to the rainy weather.

(Oh! I forgot to mention that I did end up picking up a little heater at a Wal-Mart in Rock Springs after temps dipped to 25 one night - found something called a Black Cat which did the job very nicely.)

Photos: (1) with Wendover Will in town, (2) kitten in a camper, and (3) the little ghost town on our friends' property. Apparently Kit Carson stayed in one of the little huts during some expedition or another. It was pretty cool to camp right alongside these structures. Well, except for the part where the peafowl would sit on top of the Burro during the night and shriek, maybe protesting that THEY owned this ghost town, not us.
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rucio and wendover will small.jpg   rucio remmidemmi & christian 4 small.jpg  

rucio & pilot peak ghost town 1 small.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:07 PM   #5
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At the wildlife park we spent time walking the wolfdogs (holy cow, impressive animals), photographing the lion and tiger and jungle cats, as well as several other species including coatis, gordon's cats, bobcats, lynx, etc.







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Old 05-30-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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And then finally off for home - we allotted four days to get the approximately 2200 miles from Wendover to Philadelphia. That would mean long driving days at Burro-towing speeds along with the challenge of trying to sleep with a kitten bouncing around on our heads and occasionally deciding that the bedding was a perfectly nice place to take a whiz (thanking all available deities that she is eminently trainable, just confused by the setting).

The only photo I managed to take of camping on the way back was this moment at the KOA near Elkhart Indiana. We aimed for KOAs on they way back for the sake of knowing there would be clean showers and just-in-case laundry facilities. Trying to get ourselves home with a kitten in tow meant as efficient a line back as possible, no messing around exploring boondocking in this forest or that.

Anyway, a great kitten who traveled exceptionally well in her dog crate in the car. Being so contained during the day, she was full of beans each night. We had a rainy night near Omaha at the end of a long day, and she simply would not stop jumping on our heads. By 3:30 in the morning we finally gave up on sleeping and hit the road. We landed in Elkhart Indiana by 5pm shaking and exhausted and were able to enjoy a nice temperate evening, letting the kitten romp around on her leash. She charmed the other Kampers something bad. But we were able to get her playing so hard that she fell asleep with her face in her supper, letting us get some solid sleep before the final day's drive from Indiana to southwest PA. The photo is of the kitten in her safety zone just inside the Burro's door where she would return when chasing a toy in the grass started to feel a little too exciting.

Overall, a super successful trip. I didn't have any problems or emergencies, but I did find that the vibration of the road ended up shaking some of my cabinet hardware apart. Bummer, that, but learning experience I guess. I developed some ideas about future modifications, too. MORE STORAGE! mainly. Some overhead racks above the bed would be very nice, for starters. And I'm going to kick out the old AC refrigerator and just make a space for a cooler. And the other success is that the Mr. had a great time, having been slightly skeptical of this enterprise at first.

Next big trip is to Newfoundland in September; no kittens will be along for this one.
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remmidemmi at elkhart koa small.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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Jen, 2 questions. (1) Are you wheels balanced? This can cause a lot of roughness inside and (2) type of mpg with your tv? thanx
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:39 PM   #8
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Jen, 2 questions. (1) Are you wheels balanced? This can cause a lot of roughness inside and (2) type of mpg with your tv? thanx
Jim, the trailer wheels are brand new (save the trip from Pittsburgh to Philly and the Assateague trip), installed by a pretty good RV guy, so....I am guessing they are balanced? To be honest I did not ask about this at the time, just didn't occur to me. US 20 was pretty rough in places, especially in Iowa, and I-80 through Illinois and Indiana was pretty much crap for a driving surface, so maybe that contributed?

MPG ranged a good bit depending on wind conditions. 16 was the worst and 23 the best. Wind seemed to have a much bigger impact than hills. My best MPG on that Forester without a trailer has been 29 highway. It's usually closer to 23-25 in the city, so whenever I was getting 22 mpg hauling Rucio I was pretty happy.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
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Next time you can, look at your wheels for little weights attached to the rim alongside the tire bead. If none, that may contribute to your roughness. Any garage can balance them for less than $10.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
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Little weights...hmm, doesn't really ring a bell. I will check this out - thanks for the tip!
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:35 PM   #11
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Awesome trip, thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:32 AM   #12
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This is what a wheel weight looks like, is put on the rim (back or front side) to balance tire.

Bill K




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Little weights...hmm, doesn't really ring a bell. I will check this out - thanks for the tip!
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
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Bill, thanks! I'm thinking I don't have these on the trailer - definitely will look into adding.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:24 PM   #14
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Hi Jen! Georgous photos! I too will be traveling on US 20 starting in IA (coming from US 65 N) all the way to WY. Did you notice many campgrounds along the way or should we just plan on "Walmartin" and "Truck stoppin" once we get that far North and West? You said parts were pretty rough, what areas and rough enough to find another route? I can take US 65 N on up to US 18 if that's a better road.

Thanks!
Melissa
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