Thanks for the further tips... yeah, MD is the new home for 'er -- been in SF for a long time, and between "time for a change" and "SF may not have gone to hell, but it is being lowered rapidly in the handbasket", when an opportunity arose, we took it. Maryland, here we are. As a life-long Californian, I'm making some adjustments (no decent burritos! lots of bugs! nice, polite people!), but on the whole, good.
I'll be climbing into a 1997 7.3 manual... figured that checked all the right boxes for the duty, and now just hoping it's in decent shape when I get there. And that "rare as hen's teeth" has me thinking the depreciation hit if/when I should decide to sell 'er shouldn't be too bad... of course, if she survives the drag out east, I may have a hard time parting with 'er.... hmmm... Key West is a lot closer now... ; )
Glad to hear I was right in thinking that the 5000# isn't going to be too much to ask. I could probably have gone with a lighter duty truck, but with the mountains in the way, I figured the turbo was a good idea, and I'm nervous/careful enough about taking a trip that "overkill" seemed like "just enough." After many trips to Tahoe in underpowered jalopies, I remember how nice it was to blast up Blue Canyon in the turbo'd Audi... if I have any more power than "pleasemakeitpleasemakeitpleasemakeitpleasemakeit" , I'll be smiling... and it sounds like I might... *knock*wood*!
I'll be tryin' out your tips (yes, already learned how to pick and enjoy crab!), and looking forward to learning the Severn, Magothy, etc -- that's exactly our new backyard. I hear the wind is light, though, and I may soon be wishing that instead of giant sails in a light boat, I had twin v8s... of course, at $3+/gal, maybe I won't mind not going very fast. I don't even want to think about the cost of running twin 500+hp motors these days!
Thanks again, Foy and all, appreciate all the insight!