Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13, 2011, Trip to Salt Lake City to have our Born Free converted to 4X4

Al is driving our, new to us, 2005 Born Free motorhome to Salt Lake City to have it converted to 4 wheel drive.
July 13-18, 2011, Wednesday-Monday
Day 1, Home to near Carlsbad, NM
Heading west on I-10 a quick stop at the picnic area on I-10 a little west of Kerrville. Nature was calling after the morning coffee. It is nice having your own bathroom with you. I can stop anywhere anytime.
It is so dry west of Ozona the cedar trees are turning brown.
But the mesquite trees are still green and looking good.
IMG_4434 c
It was good to be in the wide open spaces of west Texas.
IMG_4446 c
Driving through Pecos, I started saying bad things about Ford’s design of the temperature display (our BF chassis is a Ford). The radio station weather report was saying the high in Pecos was going to be 108*. However the temperature display on the rearview mirror was only reporting 99*. I figured they programed the sensor or computer to only go as high as 99*. I had to eat my words about 20 minutes later when it was displaying 102*. Ford is forgiven!
I spent my 1st night at New Mexico’s Brantley Lake State Park (SP) about 12 miles N of Carlsbad NM. The SP is nice with good view of where the lake is supposed to be, but the lake is almost dry.
There is supposed to be a lot of water out there, not just this little puddle!
IMG_4451 c

Day 2 was Artesia, NM to Grants, NM.
I was on the road by 5:15 am, it was just starting to get light.
Today was driving up hwy 285 through the wide open spaces of eastern New Mexico then W on I-40 through Albuquerque to Grants.
IMG_4456 c
Tonight was at very quiet & scenic BLM (Bureau of Land Management) CG near Grants, NM. The price was right too. Free! However, no water, electric or sewer. Directions: I-40 Exit 89, S 10.8 miles on the left.
IMG_4459 e
IMG_4460 c

Day 3, Grants, NM to boondocking near Canyonlands NP
First was a drive up US hwy 491, which used to be US-666, but was re-labeled to 491. The reason: “666” is the sign of the devil and the highway signs were continually being stolen.
A view along hwy 491 (666).
IMG_4473 c e
I had thoughts of spending the night at about 9,000’ in the Abajo Mountains near Monticello, UT. However a combination of not finding a camping site that I liked and a concern of altitude sickness, sent me down to only 6800’. Only 2 1/2 days ago I was at 700’.
The Abajo Mountains. The peaks are about 11,000’. The bench on the very right hand part of the photo is where I would have stayed.
IMG_4481 c e
Instead I drove down from the 9,000’ level to about 6,600’ to spend the night on this little knoll with a wonderful view of the La Sal mountains in the distance and the country side all around.
IMG_4483 c2
If the dirt on the trail to my campsite gets wet, it turns almost as slick as ice.
A short steep little climb to get up on the knoll. Any wonder why I want 4 wheel drive and higher ground clearance!!
Another view of the La Sal Mountains and my campsite
IMG_4493 c
It was warm here, about 93* but a strong breeze kept me cool. Also looking at the weather in Moab, about 50 miles away, the humidity was 4%. Talk about a dry heat four percent, wow that is dry, dry, dry.
It was a very peaceful night. Only one other vehicle drove up the road all night. About 8pm another MH drove by and spent the night somewhere up the road.

Day 4 was from Grants, NM to near Price, UT
The last night on the road I stayed in a very pretty little campground, in Price Canyon BLM Recreation Area, about 12 miles N of Price, UT.
My campsite
A couple of pictures of the road climbing 1,000’ up the side of the canyon to get to the campground.
IMG_4503 IMG_4500
Looking in the convex mirror to the rear
IMG_4500 c rear view
I did have a bit of an “oops” as I turned off of the highway on to the road to the campground:
BF is 26’ almost 27’ long. I figured they always are very, very conservative on vehicle lengths they recommend in the campgrounds and on the roads leading to them. Besides once I turned onto the road to the campground, there was no place to turn around even a 24’ vehicle. I would have had to back out onto the busy highway which was in the bottom of the canyon. I would not have been able to see if traffic was coming as I backed out & the traffic coming on the side of the road I was backing into is coming around a bend so they wouldn’t see me until the last minute. Yesterday when I looked at the government website for this campground, there was no mention of a length restriction. It would have been nice I they listed the restriction on the website. Not that it would have mattered. I would have gone up the road anyways.
Day 5 Price, UT to Advanced 4X4 Systems in Salt Lake City (SLC)
It was about a 100 mile drive to Salt Lake City to Advanced 4X4 Systems. I left camp about 9:30am and spend most of the day parked just off of a paved mountain road, part way to SLC. I had a good Verizon cell phone signal so I had a good internet connection. I did have quite a surprise when I logged on to the internet. I had an email from Frontier Airlines stating my flight back to San Antonio tomorrow, had been canceled and I would need to reschedule. There was a major hail storm at the Denver airport which is a major hub for Frontier and the hail damaged a lot of their planes so they had to cancel a large number of flights.
I looked online at their website for some way to reschedule, but there wasn’t any. Trying to book another flight showed the next available flight was not going to be until Wednesday afternoon. The website warned that there would be a very long hold time if you called to reschedule. Well I didn’t have much choice, so I called. Yep, the recording said a 54 minute hold time. I quickly checked my Verizon cell phone minutes to make sure I would not go over our minutes. No problem we had only used about 280 minutes of our 700 anytime minutes and there was only a week to the end of the billing cycle. The vast majority of our calls are to other Verizon cell phones and those minutes don’t count against our anytime minutes. Anyways my hold time was only about 40 minutes and they got me on flight on United Airlines arriving in San Antonio about the same time I was originally scheduled for.
I arrived at Advance 4X4 Systems about 5:30pm and parked where they told me to, in the loading dock area. It was about 93* out, so I started the generator and cranked up the air conditioner. Got all the curtains closed so people passing by would not realize some was staying in the MH.
That night the I experienced the first problem we have had with the MH. Sometimes when the a/c compressor turns on it causes the generator to stop putting out electricity for about 30 seconds. Then the power comes back on and the a/c runs normally until the problem occurs 20-30 minutes later. That sure made it hard to get a peaceful sleep that night.
Other than the generator problem it was a quiet night.
Day 6, SLC to Home.
Monday morning, I spent an hour or so talking with the owner about his shop and what they were going to do to . I got to the airport about 10:30am and boarded my flight at 3:40pm and was home about midnight.
That’s all for now. Next will be my trip bringing BF back from SLC July 28-Aug 3, Thursday-Wednesday.

No comments: