We Are Moving... ...Right Along
- NOT WHEN - We ARE Going? WE
Our plans were to start out early today, Saturday, March 27th. Early as in 6am. Frances and I could not sleep well last night. The house was empty and all the cupboards are bare...oops, sorry that's another fairy tale. I finally got to sleep around 3am and had to be up at 5am to start the last minute packing. We got some of the stuff packed and I went to start my truck - dead. That's okay though, we waited for Pete to show up, brought by their good friend Steve, and we jumped it. Then I went to start the Penske - where are the keys? "I know, they are/were right here in my pocket..." Another 10 minutes looking around the ground and we found them. The day was not starting out well! We finally got off and onto the road at about 7am.
The cats are sitting well in the back of the Subaru on the trailer behind the Penske. Every now and then Justice pops his head up and looks around the windows. He seems to like to look out while Ada has no interest whatsoever in leaving her safe, dark cage.
We are now about 240 miles into our 860 mile trip for the day. We have crossed into Indiana, made our first gas stop and our first driver switch. All is going well. Pete and I are in my truck and Frances, Eric and Karen are ahead of us about 1/4 mile in the Penske. Just before getting out of Ohio we heard on the CB of a bad accident between Exits 6 and 5a that had the West Bound road shut down (Fatal Roll-Over of a Semi). We got off (just in time) at 6, went down to Rt 20 and then over to 5a. The sign says Bristol/Goshen and on we go.
6:37pm (All times EST as I have no clue where the heck I am time zone wise). We are now about 660 miles into our daily journey. Actually we are right this very minute at Mile Marker 150 in the state of Iowa. I just had a nice QSO (Conversation for our non-ham friends) with w0qh. He had his Ham Call on his license plates and we gave a call for him that ended in a nice conversation. You meet the nicest people on Ham Radio.
Everybody has now had a chance to take a turn at the wheel and everyone has done great. Karen was very apprehensive about driving the big truck with a trailer. Funny thing is that she did the best of all of us in keeping in the center of the lane. We have found that the Penske is not getting too good of gas mileage, somewhere between 6 and 8 miles to the gallon. That is a negative surprise but is counteracted by the positive that my truck is getting 16-18 mpg. It makes for stops every 200-225 miles which we have found makes a good time to stop. After the first 3 legs we thought we were going to stop and take a rest before the last leg and a half. Once we stopped, however, we found that everyone wanted to keep on keeping on. We have all be snacking throughout the day and are going just fine.
As one would expect, we are well communicated here. In my truck we have Ham Radio, CB, and Cellular Phone. The Cellular phone has rang just once but we have used the other two quite a bit. Frances, Eric and Karen have a Ham Radio in their truck and we have been communicating back and forth quite regularly with them. It seems Karen really likes having the microphone in her hand as no matter who was driving she was doing the talking.
Rick and Karen we just wanted to let you guys know that you have been in our prayers continuously since we left. I really appreciate you dropping Eric and Karen off this morning.
The sun is over the horizon now though it is not dark yet. I think this is my favorite time of day. We just came into view of the Des Moines skyline to our south and the roads have gotten horrible - either that or Pete has left the road - I am not sure.... Okay, we are back on a little smoother road. I took the opportunity to snap another picture of the view from the. Here are two shots taken, the first in Indiana, the second just now in Iowa:
As you can see, not much has changed. Goodbye for now and keep truckin... It is now 11:29 (again EST) and we have arrived and are going to bed. Goodnight.
Day Two started out as we would have hoped. The night went well, everyone got lots of sleep and most important - the cats seemed a little bit more relaxed being in a room with furniture. We started onto the road about 6:15am (local time whatever time zone we are/were in).We had stopped for fuel about 60 miles before Lincoln (just outside Omaha) so we had a short first jont in front of us.
As usual, the Penske truck is controlling our gas stops. Upon pushing it about as far as possible Eric found an exit with gas - but unfortunately only one lonely Texaco station. It cost me $70.00 to fill up the two vehicles! OUCH. The next leg was very short and were things started to get eventful. Karen was driving and gave us a call on the radio and said "The Check Engine light is on, should I pull over now or wait for the next stop." She then proceeded (without prompting) to give me the status of all the gauges now and where they had been throughout the trip. (Someone must have trained her very very well!).
Everything else was okay so we decided to keep going until the next exit. When we pulled into the next truck stop she said the light when out when she slowed down. A quick parousal showed that we were low on oil, very low. After putting nearly 3/4 of a gallon in, which is 1/2 of the capacity, the level came up, the pressure rose a little bit and things have been fine ever since. Since there was still plenty of pressure I am sure nothing was hurt, but it could have been had she not been so attentive. The one thing that was hurt though was the fuel economy. For that last tank we got about 3 miles to the gallon, guess then engine was running a little warm. We are back up to the normal 4-5 now. This is going to be expensive on the fuel.
Just to keep in the spirit of things I thought I would insert another view from the road, this time Nebraska:
I think you get the idea. If you think this view is bad, imagine the view for those who took this route in a horse drawn wagon. Actually, things are just starting to get a little bit prettier. It is now 11:34am (Mountain Time Now) and we are at Mile Marker 52, leaving us as many miles left in Nebraska. This surely is a L O N G state. We have started to see more irrigated fields and a lot of cattle. Just in the last 10 miles we are seeing little plateu's and little draining ditch/culverts/canyons winding through the fields. Pete is particular impressed with the view from the top of the little plateu's of the long trains running along side the road. They are just far enough away that you can see all 100+ cars of the train at the same time. Try that in the mountains!
The CB seems to be a little calmer today than it was yesterday (Sat.) evening. We have had a couple of drivers comment on the motorcycles. Have also had a few conversations with different Ham Radio operators as they drove by. Conversations in my truck with Pete and I are eventful as expected. In fact Pete says he likes arguing with me because I don't just accept and back down. I told him I would if he was right... More later.
Well, it is just a little bit later. It is 1:34pm (Mountain Time I think and we are well into Wyoming at Mile Marker 338. Frances just called on the radio and pointed out that for the day we have gained 4,000 feet in elevation. This is surely S L O W, however. Many times now we have been forced below 45mph and had to turn on the flashers. Before this last little bit we were thinking that we were making good time, now I am starting to wonder if we will ever get there. One positive sign though is that we just saw our first Oregon related sign for Jubitz Truck Stop in Portland - 1216.06 miles it said. Considering we have gone well over 1350 we are way more than 1/2 way, YEAH!
What a beautiful sight we have before us. In the last 15 minutes we have started to see sharp ragged peaks and large patches of snow on the ground. Buford, Wyoming is where we are crawling past now. Another beautiful thing that has recently started to show itself is the color green. They may be scraggly pines but they are definately Evergreens. Share with us:
More Later... Okay, we are back. It is now 7pm (still Mountain I think - or at least I haven't changed any clocks). We are just now coming up on the 100 mile marker, showing miles left in Wyoming. That should give us about 179 or so to Ogden for the night.
Just after I left you earlier things got real interesting. We topped the highest point on US 80 at 8,640 feet. We stopped for fuel and then found that two of the straps holding the bikes down were broken in half. Poor engineering on my part actually. I was using an Eye bolt to change direction of the strap (like a pulley), and it wore through the strap. It took about 15 minutes to get that all worked out and replaced.
We started back on the road, crossed the Continental Divide two or three times and then ran into serious White-Out, snow/sleet conditions. We had to slow down quite a lot, but the Penske was only running 35-55 mph through the mountains anyway. I have made a few modifications to that to see if we could "fix" it. We'll see.
It is just now dark. The Sunset was beautiful and we are into beautiful country. We keep seeing signs for Jubits truck stop in Portland - something like 900 miles now. Hmm, maybe we should drive on through... Frances says no.
Hope you have enjoyed the pictures and the ramblings. I would love to put up more pictures but I am sure this page is already getting slow to load plus I only I have 6 megs of space to upload to. Thank you for all the emails, they have been great reading!
Well folks, it is now 941pm and we are just arriving in Ogden. Hope you have enjoyed the day with us.
Day Three started about 6:00 with breakfast at the Big Z Resturant, sharing the same name as the motel we stayed at. The proprietor warned us of BIG breakfasts, he said he and his wife share one and then take some home and he was right. The menu says 3 egg omlettes but somehow they manage to make that 3 egg omlette into something 12" across, 6" wide and 4-6" high. Honest, no exageration. Karen ordered something with Bacon and it came with a good 20 pieces of bacon. The truckers in that place were leaving 1/2 of their plates behind. The best part of it all was that for the 5 of us it came to about $20.00. Thanks to Pete who treated for all of us.
Before breakfast I took the little truck and trailer over to the truck stop across the street to check teh air in the tires. Something about Ohio air not working on the west coast. The one tire that had been leaking 20lbs a day before the trip has only leaked 5 lbs in the last 2 days of driving. We finally got into the vehicles on the road by exactly 7am (Mountain). The first leg was short, only about 100 miles or so as we were in the middle of a tank to start the day with. The "fix" that we did to the Penske is working extremely well. The power is up and the gas mileage has increased about 2 mpg. That may not seem much, but when you consider it is a 50% increase and has cut my fuel bills by 1/3 I am happier.
The day has been very uneventful, and I pray that it stays that way. We are now at exit 283 in Oregon. That leaves us about 283 miles to go to Portland as US84 ends there. I cannot express the excitement that is flowing through all of our tired bodies at being this close. Even though we are still in the high desert area, the snow-capped mountains are all around us and the fields are much greener than we have seen on the whole trip. As perfect as the weather has been for nearly all of the trip it looks like we might be ending on a wet note. I talked wtih dad when we crossed the border into Oregon and he said they were having a heck of a rain storm on that side of the mountains. Oh well, this is the northwet and I better again get used to it.
We are just passing through LaGrande and yes, the rain has started. I spoke just a little bit early. No more rain - SNOW. The truckers say that there is not much more of this though and that we come out of it just before the top of the range. We are now in Second gear and at 25 mph. Many of you may get a kick out of the sign we just passed: "DO NOT PASS SNOW PLOWS ON RIGHT". The scarry thing is that the sign is there for a reason. We have just crossed the Summit of the Blue Mountains at 4,193 feet and there is plenty of snow on either side of the road, but the road itself is wet and the sky ahead looks much much lighter. 238 miles to Portland. If we can go only 40 more miles before fuel that means only 1 more fuel stop and then we are home. The excitement continues to build.
We are just now dropping down into Pendleton. The steepest, longest grade of the entire trip. Over a 9% grade and 6+ miles. Karen is driving the Penske and with a lot of talking through it from in their cab and over the radio from here she just flawlessly drove what possibly is the hardest part of our entire adventure - YEA Karen. 215 miles to Portland.
By the way, someone (or everyone) ask Pete why he feels the need to crack the windows every so often?!?!?! 258 miles to Portland and we travel on. Hopefully I should get a final update on and this loaded tonight after we get there. Oh ya, after the Pork Loin dinner that dad says he has waiting for us. More later...
Well, there was one last little glitch. About 3 miles from home Frances ran out of gas in the Penske. As I said to Pete, if it wasn't for this there would not have been anything memorable - ya right. At least we were carrying fuel and it only took a few minutes to get back on the road and then 10 more minutes to make it up the hill and home.
We pulled in at 8pm (Pacific and Final Time). All went well and we are now going to bed.
Old Stuff Written Before The Trip Started
WELL - I am sitting here writting at 3am Saturday morning because I cannot sleep. The truck is packed, the cars are loaded and we are just waiting for 6am to leave. We still have a few things to move to the vehicles in the morning and we were not able to get the whole house cleaned. Thank God for Nancy and Paul who are going to come over this afternoon and wrap that up.
I have stored phone numbers for all the places we will be stopping so look for updates throughout the weekend.
We will be putting her car on the trailer and then driving my truck with a trailer behind it hauling the bikes (see below).
We will be leaving at 6:00 am Saturday morning the 27th and driving Saturday to Lincoln, Nebraska for our first night. Sunday we will be travelling from Lincoln, Nebraska to Ogden, Utah. Monday the 28th we will be travelling from Ogden, Utah to Portland, Oregon (REJOICE!). The weather is looking GREAT so barring any major problems everything should go well.
Each day is approximately 800 miles so they will be long days!
Any help that any one could provide on unloading anytime Tuesday the 30th would be greatly appreciated. Email me (Scott@AttorneyAdams.com) for more info.
Who Is Going?
We have 5 drivers for 2 trucks. Eric and Karen Glass (Great Friends of ours from Church), Cousin Pete Tucker, and Frances and I.
How Are We Getting There?
This truck and trailer will be hauling our 2 motorcycles and the little trailer we pull behind the motorcycles ("Baby"). We had the trailer custom made and then even added our own modifications just for this trip (which actually cost about the same as renting one!):
The Original Trailer
The Trailer Modified and Loaded
The Trailer from Behind
The second truck will be the 25' Penske truck with a flat bed trailer behind it with Frances' car on it.