7 National Parks
several other attractions
and one "new" trailer!
Left the Vancouver BC area on July 22 for Texas to buy the 21 foot Bigfoot
in Del Rio,Texas that had been advertized on the "for Sale" forum.
Passed through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, bought the trailer and returned via New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Visited National parks: Arches, Mesa Verde, Aztec Ruins (actually misnamed as they are Pueblo Ruins) Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Yellowstone.
Also stopped at:
Roswell UFO museum
Seaworld in San Antonio
Drove a lot of the old Route 66 and stopped at "the" corner in Winslow Arizona - possibly the most famous corner in the US! (the girl in the flatbed Ford never showed up,
Bonneville Saltflats (Speedweek was happening!
Averaged about 16-17 mpg running "bobtailed" and about 8-10 mpg while towing.
(I gotta get a new truck with a LOT more HP and torque!)
Was nearly involved in a fatal crash just outside of Roswell (a 'momentarily unidentifiable UFO" - which quickly resolved itself into a late-model Blazer doing cartwheels across the highway. The driver did not survive)
Fried the alternator on my truck while using it to block traffic at the crash scene, obtained a replacement alt in Roswell. At the same time, I bought a new upper rad hose as mine felt quite soft - more on that later)
On the return trip, the old trailer brake controller failed in Flagstaff, taking a bunch of my under-dash wiring with it! My son & I did a bunch of "patch and make do" wiring under the dash and installed a new Prodigy 3.
From then on, we had no cruise control and no anti-lock brakes
on the truck, as we could not find which bits had been fried on those circuits.
Leaving Yellowstone, the left rear trailer tire (a new Goodyear Marathon) blew out in spectacular fashion, taking out the grey & black drain valves with it. A new tire (not a marathon!) plus a stop in Pocatello at an RV dealer to get the plumbing fixed and we were on the road again. I checked trailer tire pressures every day. Max inflation listed on the Marathons is 50 PSI and I kept mine at 45 cold.
Next day, in checking the oil before setting out, I saw that the upper rad hose had split its outer layer and ripped up the fiber reinforcement. leaving only the very thin inner layer intact. Remember that new one I bought in Roswell? Time to install it in the campground!
Most outstanding memories:
Carlsbad was spectacular, Grand Canyon was nowhere as great as Bryce, Texas heat, (115* while we were there) and the Bonneville Speedweeks event, which I will return to, possibly many times. We saw several new records set, and made a lot of new friends. (and I will bring a generator
to run the A/C next time as it hit 118* one day and we were "boondocking", parked on the salt) I was aware of, but still a tiny bit surprised by the number of teams from around the world who were there. We saw 5 teams from France, 3 from Britain, and 2 from Australia among others.
Also seen boondocking
on the salt:
5th wheel, a Casita
16, several Casita
13's and one Surfside
14, as well as my Bigfoot
All the US Border Patrol checkpoints all along the highways in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Seeing the Navajo Police HQ (if you are a fan of the Tony Hillerman books, you will undertand why we had to stop there in Shiprock)
And now I have to get my truck wiring fixed and then look for a "new" tug - this time I will get a Duramax "disease-el".
My truck had dropped from well over 20 mpg to well under that. The new tires
I put on just before leaving had a lot to do with that as new tires
often get as much as 20-25% LESS mpg than "old baldies" - in my case they may have cost me as much as 4-5 mpg!
Finding that the K&N filter was also costing me some mpg as replacing it on the road with a new Wix improved things by about 1-2 mpg and added a bit of power as well.