Sunday, October 5, 2014

WestWard HO, a sequel

So, while I didn't document my first trip west four (or so) years ago, this is the sequel, and a bit delayed in being jotted down.  Unfortunately don't many have pictures.

I left Connecticut, for the second time, on a Sunday, and drove straight through, almost, to attend a Humans Being More course.  I didn't register for the course too far ahead of time as wasn't sure if could make it, as this one was on the Idaho/Wyoming border.  It is the first, but not the last, outdoor one!  This is one reason why did such a long and grueling drive to get there.

The Drive

For the most part, the drive was a nice, uneventful trip, though it was quite long and boring in some instances.  The roads were quite icky East of Chicago (where they generally charge tolls), though not every road was icky, there were some spots that were just a dream to drive on.

This trip also helped me fine tune where a "sweet spot" was when driving the RV.  As mentioned previously, was getting worse mileage due to following what I was told was the sweet spot.  Think this was sometime after Chicago that I figure this out.

The general route I took was leave Connecticut along I-84 Wast, and then believe I hooked onto I-80 West that went through New York, Pennsylvania, and westward.  I also had made arrangements to pick up something in Jefferson, Ohio, where I stayed couple weeks previously.  It is a wonderful community!

Enter, the Scooter

While in Jefferson previously, I rode MY scooter into town to get groceries, food, etc, and parked in a supermarket parking lot.  As I got done doing what needed to be done, an older gentleman came out and talked to me about my scooter, and he mentioned had an old Lambretta in his garage.  One thing led to another and I set the stage to purchase this scooter for a good friend from the Firkin cooter club in Tacoma.

This picture is when I delivered the scooter to recipient, he was very very very happy with everything!  In Ohio, It was a real PAIN to get it inside.  The person I got it from helped me load/push/manhandle it into the RV.  It was a chore and then some!  But worth it in the end.

 From what I was told, everything on this scooter is original, except for the seat.  It was parked in a barn for 40 years, and the title/registration proved that.  He rode it on some island in the general vicinity, but name escapes me.

It was very nice to see this town again, and am very happy I had the opportunity of picking up such a wonderful little scooter for a great friend!

Continuing on.....

After making sure scooter was safely (almost) stowed away, hopped in RV and continued my scintillating journey westward.  Prior to leaving the Jefferson, Ohio area, stopped by a local store to pick up more chicken burgers (from a smallish farm nearby) and some of the owners beef that she and her husband raised.  Quite tasty!

JUST after leaving this store and heading to the freeway (highway) I had mishap number one with my scooter...  Will detail that in my next (or next next) post...

The next stop was already programed into the GPS, and that was Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  There is one company there I did consulting work for that is top notch in my book for couple reasons.  One is that they're really knowledgeable and want to do things right, instead of rushing a solution.  Another is that they also really care about everyone they work with (in my experience).  This is what truly makes a difference and why I'm proud to do everything that I do for them.

Trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa was pretty uneventful, just highway miles, gritting teeth when went over bumps in the road, and just general boredom while driving.  Met with former people I consulted with, and we went to lunch at a little quirky seafood place in the area, it was about 15 minutes from truck stop I parked at.  I really enjoyed this restaurant, though I ate a burger, it was a really tasty and yummy burger, one of the better I've had!  It was full of juicyness, piled high with melted cheddar cheese, and all around an excellent burger!

We discussed some things they were planning to do and we caught up on life in general.  Found out that quite a few people share some aspiration(s) to do parts of the RV (or trailer) lifestyle.  More people than I've realized in the past.

On the way here it was actually quite windy and was heading into the wind.  It was difficult to keep going 65 or so without going over temp on the exhaust.  Was always around 1100-1200 degrees Fahrenheit, and max they say is 1300 (due to a Banks Power Pack).

After Iowa

Well, what can I say, don't remember much of this trip other than seemingly endless miles across plains and undulating hills.  After some time got into the mountains in Western Nebraska/Southern Wyoming.  The altimeter in RV, at highest point, was about 8500 feet.

Kept following I-80 until came across Rock Springs, where took state road 191 into Idaho.  There was a good amount of construction on I-80 once got up to the higher altitudes, they were generally putting new blacktop on.  The road was really smooth basically from couple hours outside of Chicago all the way West..  Makes me wonder......  Where all the money goes for road maintenance....

Once got off the highway it was quite nice driving to my destination.  There was one time, going through a touristy area of the route, where had to drive the RV up a 10% incline, and a similar decline on the other side....  I felt really bad for people behind me due to combination of thick clouds of diesel exhaust and slow speed up the hill.  Going up this hill I pegged the exhaust temperature gauge at 1500 degrees Fahrenheit quite a few times, and regularly kept it above 1400, which is higher than recommended.

The hill was several miles long, and when got to top was able to pull over to let people pass..  I waited for quite some time.  To all those who might've been behind me I apologize!

Arrival at Camp

Arrived at camp, which will detail in another post soon, and it was inside (I think) one of the parks surrounding the Grand Teton mountains.  From a vantage point in the camp, I was told we could see one of the Grand Teton's, either way this place was blessed in many ways!  A true paradise, at least during this time of year!  Saw some cows and plenty of other wildlife roaming around the wilderness, and it was nestled right next to a small river/large stream that was babbling away all the time!  Truly a wonderful natural setting.


I wish could've taken more time to enjoy this trip, see more sights, and possibly stop by Zingerman's again, I felt a very strong urge to get to the HBM course.  The trip was delayed due to various things, and was well worth it even though had many long days on the road.

All in all, a bit rushed to get there, but well worth it and time to get back on the road exploring our fine country!

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