2012 - 2017 Travel Map (Map NOT Current) - Now in South Prairie Washington

Longest Drive, Fuel Stations, and Hitching


Friday, September 07, 2012

Believe it or not, another new distance record for us today at 451 miles.  We traveled from Elm Creek, Nebraska to Rawlins, Wyoming at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  This should be the last of the extremely long daily road trips.  We are now 1894 miles from where we started in Keyport, NJ on August 15th.  We still have 1000 miles to go by next Sunday so we can slow down now.  We are going to stay here in Rawlings for 2 nights leaving on Sunday mid-morning.

The trip today was an extreme adventure as well as very tiring.   We went from very hot, humid, dry, and flat to cool, dry, and mountains.  However most of the trip was just very flat and straight through arid grass lands.  We have never seen such dry barren ground.  At some points along the way we had clouds of dust blowing across the highway.  We also went through several areas where the dry grass had burnt large areas of the road side.  We also saw lots of deer and just into Wyoming we saw one antelope standing near the road side.  It was getting cooler as we went with the coldest being 54.  Our next stop was reporting that the temperature over night was going to be 40!

This is most of Nebraska now!  All brown!
More brown grass lands in NE

As we get closer to Wyoming and the Rocky Mountains, the scenery changes.



Wyoming and the Laramie Mountains

Wyoming plains between the  Laramie  and Rocky Mountains.  More Brown!

Rocky Mountains up ahead!
 

Hundreds of windmill farms in Nebraska and Wyoming. This is Wyoming.

Near Rawlins, Wyoming

Also near Rawlins, Wyoming

This trip required that we get fuel 3 times during the day (first was just down the road from the campground).  I would rather just fuel just once when the truck is not connected to the rig.  But to do these long trips that is not possible, must fuel with the rig attached.  If using the big travel truck stops, getting fuel with the rig is not too much of a problem.  Although you just never know when you pull off the highway what you are going to get into.  Today our first stop for fuel was easy as it was just a half mile from the campground and on the way to the highway.  It was a big flying J truck stop so there were no problems.  I did take the opportunity to check the rig tire pressures and I added about 10lbs to each of the 4 tires.  We were on the road by 10:00, much later than we wanted to be but we were going into Mountain time so we will gain an hour.   The trip should take us about 7 hours.

The next two times getting fuel were not real fun but got our adrenaline powered up.  Patty has this app for cheap fuel called gas buddy.   I like to start looking for fuel at the half full point so that I have room to maneuver if we run in to trouble like no or few gas stations or traffic.  We managed to get the fuel down to where I had just 90 miles to go so we had to take whatever was the next gas station.  Now the fun starts!  
The app noted a station with diesel fuel, so we pull off on a non-truck stop type area where the station is in a small town.  It was a very tight spot I had to get the rig into and out of.  There is a lot to think about like, if I get in can I get out and is there a possibility that I might get stuck in the spot.  Also, where is the diesel pump?  They are not always very visible.  All of these calculations you need to do some what quickly.  So far I am suprising myself and we got the fuel without an issue.  Whew!

Ah, the next and last fuel stop!  I thought this would be a no-brainer as we were going to get fuel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a major city.  There was almost nothing before Cheyenne so we pushed it to where we had less than a ¼ of a tank, about 60 miles of fuel.  So we pull into the first place that gas buddy tells us about and the stations are closed!  Also we are now headed into downtown.  I turn around on some side streets and get back to the highway now biting my lip.  We give up on gas buddy and just pick the next exit that says there is diesel fuel.  This exit proves to have 3-4 stations with diesel but is not RV friendly.  There is no way for me to get the rig next to a pump and the pumps are not easily seen from the road so I can make any good decisions.  I turned around on side streets again and was headed back to the highway and the fuel warning went off in the truck, I had 25 miles left.  I then made the decision that we would find a place to drop off the rig and go get fuel without it.  Luckily we found a somewhat level gravel area to leave the 40 foot trailer and with enough room to unhitch and then to get back out again.  No small task! 

We unhitched easily and then went and got fuel.  For some reason I had a real hard time hitching the trailer back to the truck.  I spent about 20 minutes trying before it finally hitched.  This is the first time I couldn’t get it hitched in 1-3 tries.   I had the feeling that I was going spend the night on this gravel driveway in back of a junk yard.  I’m thinking the problem is with the lubricating donut on the RV hitch I installed.  It keeps falling off when unhitching and when I had to try to hitch so many times this time I damaged it.  Part of the donut was now sort of hanging into the latch area.  I fixed that at the site and it hitched the first time after that.  We will see if this is reason over the next few days.

We arrived at the RV World Campground in Rawlins about 5:30 (an hour later than we had planned), but still OK.  We are going to stay here 2 nights and rest up for the Rocky Mountains driving and also see some sites.  We are planning to hike and maybe get a hot mineral spring’s bath.

RV World Campground Office

Our sire with the BAT (Big Ass Blue Truck)




Stay tuned!

1 comments:

Phil and Rudee said...

Mark,

you are on the right track regarding your hitching difficulty. I had the same problem once as well, the pad was deformed just enough to keep the jaws of the hitch from latching.