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  1. #1
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Finito!

    Well, we're done. It's over. It was a bear! Here's the details

    Departed Wenatchee at 5:30 AM (10/13)
    Reached Ogden, UT at 9:00 PM (10/13)
    Departed Ogden, UT at 4:30 AM (10/14)
    Arrived Phoenix, AZ at 8:11 PM (10/14)
    Costs (rounded to nearest dollar, or approximate where noted with *)
    Lodging: $50 for 2 Adults at Ogden Motel 6
    Gas: *$550 (14' Ford Uhaul)
    Food: $125 (2 adults/2 days)
    Fluids: $100

    We left Wenatchee a little later than we hoped to, but it worked out just fine. We were in the badlands of Northern Utah on I-84 at sunset. Ogden was the next town with affordable lodging (tight budget).

    We left a bit earlier on the second day and put many miles out of our way. Spectacular drive on I-15 through Southern Utah. I was surprised to see just how large St. George, UT was!

    The virgin river canyon was no problem for us though.

    We got into Las Vegas at about 12:00 (we kept jumping forward and back an hour, but that is Noon MDST). I do have to say that Vegas from what we saw from I-15 and I-215 isn't anything spectacular during the day. Of course the Strip is a whole other topic, but we didn't have the time to see that.

    We made it down to Laughlin and over the passes, but ran into a snag just outside Golden Valley. Our 14' Uhaul overheated, leaving us sitting on the side of the highway for about an hour waiting for it to cool (I must add that we had been having some minor problems with the cooling system overflow jug boiling over towards the end of the first day, but we checked it in the morning and it seemed fine). Well, thanks to the propane dealer and Golden Valley newspaper office for letting us use water from their faucet to get the truck 2 miles up the road to the gas station. Once there, we spent $80 on coolant (6 jugs of premix, all that he had instock!). We got the truck to Kingman and let it sit at the Carls Jr.

    We did our final fill up, and the cheapest gas we found was in Kingman at $2.61/gallon for unleaded! IN KINGMAN!!! (surprised, I was... considering the Cheveron next to Carl's Jr. was at $2.99!!!

    Once we refilled the radiator with coolant, we had pretty much no problems, until the rest area just out side of Wickenburg, where we stopped because the overflow resevoir was boiling again.

    If I can give any advice from this trip, its this... make sure your rental truck is fully inspected (ask questions when renting) prior to signing the contract!

    Well, its nice to be home!
    -Brad M.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Sounds like things went well! And you handled that coolant problem well, too. I wouldn't have had a clue. I'd be calling AAA, that's for sure.

    I should think the rental company should reimburse you for the cost of the coolant though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Wenatchee

    Hey Brad!

    Glad you had a nice trip despite that coolant system problem. I'm curious about that Wenatchee. So far the only things I know about that town are the ones you told us on the forum and that it is located more or less in the center of the state of WA. But what else about it? Is it in the moutains? What about the population? Do you have pictures to share?

    Have a great evening!


  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    Yeah, the whole coolant thing wasn't anything new to us (such are the lessons from my father, and my friends father, both long time mechanics). I don't have any pictures of Wenatchee on this computer, but here are some links with some good photos: Wenachee Valley Chamber of Commerce I will have more once I get to work and go through my links there.

    It's a city of about 60,000 people (valley wide, which includes Wenatchee proper on the Chelan County side of the river, East Wenatchee on the Douglas County side, the 'towns' of Malaga, Sunnyslope (aka North Wenatchee), and Monitor.

    The geography of the area is simply a wide area of the Columbia River with steep mountains to the west and high cliffs to the east and south... almost a gorge. The Wenatchee River and Columbia River meet up in the north part of the city. The city goes right up to the base of the mountains (on all sides), so there is no room for sprawl. It's growing quite fast none the less, but it will never have super-highways and endless sprawl, save for up and down the valleys and more homes in the hills. I do suspect the city to start growing 'up' in the next decade.

    Oh, and Judy, U-haul did reimburse us for the coolant we used (we bought 6 gallons for a total of about $80, and they reimbursed us for the 3 that we actually used, so it worked out). We knew what to do with the truck, so there was really no reason to call AAA (they really wouldn't have been able to assist us anyway, because the only option would be to tow the truck and that has to be done by Uhaul). Even though I am the least mechanically inclined of 3 children, my father made it a point that all of his boys learn how to atleast do some minor things (he really doesn't care if we take the car in to do oil changes or do it ourselves, but that we should know how to take care of some things when push came to shove... especially on the side of the road in the middle of Golden Valley, AZ).

    Well... no plans as of yet of any long distance road trips... I think the next one I do will not be a speed run though... much too tireing. Besides, I'd like to spend some time playing tourist!

    -Brad M.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France


    from what I seen, Wenatchee looks like a really gorgeous place. As soon as I can get more than 2 weeks off, I am planning a trip to the west coast so maybe I should go inland in WA to visit that area, what do you think? How is it down there during the winter?


  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    It snows in the winter, sometimes heavily, sometimes not at all... but it does get cold and there is usually ice in places. Its a excellent area if you are used to winter driving conditions. Mission Ridge Ski Resort is only minutes from Downtown Wenatchee, and Leavenworth (about 30 miles west) offers a wonderful tourist experience. Then you have the Levenworth Ski Hill, The Stevens Pass Nordic Center, the Icicle Creek Nordic Area, and the Stevens Pass Ski Resort (if you are into skiing). If you aren't the ski type, there are snowmobile rides (there is a package where you rent the snowmobiles, take a guided tour to a cabin where you are served a fillet mingon dinner and have private rooms for the evening), dogsled rides, ice fishing, and plenty of horse-drawn sleighs out of Leavenworth. If you check with the Leavenworth Chamber you can find out exactly when the Town Lighting festivities begins. Leavenworth is a fun stop, it has a store totally devoted to Christmas (year round!)... the whole county is wonderful year round!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts


    I feel your pain with the rental truck situation, having had the great (dis)pleasure of driving or riding rental trucks that are usually needing at least one of the following: clutch, interior lights, window cranks, working speedomoters, and/or glow plugs.

    Glad to hear everything turned out okay. I need to get out West again...

  8. Default Venga a Arizona!

    Hate to rub it in too much, but now's the time Timbo, now's the time. Days at about 80, evenings cool enough to enjoy a campfire (even if just in the backyard...). Clear skies and beautiful scenery -- come to Arizona! Bob

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