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  1. #71
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    DAY 41 - THE COMBO DAY

    This was a day of a combination of routes. Started off on ID-33 out of Driggs, heading towards Rexburg, ID where we picked up US-20 west. That pretty well dumped us onto I-15 towards Pocatello. Picked up a decent breakfast at Idaho Falls, then drove to I-86 followed by I-84.

    That was followed by US-93 south, from Twin Falls to Wells, NV, then I-80 west to Elko, NV.

    The routes were alternating farmlands with something a little more scenic.

    Leaving Driggs, view of backside of Tetons:
    photo (10)

    Somewhere around Idaho Falls, along the 15:
    photo (5)

    Along either 86 or 84:
    photo (9)


    Just south of Jackpot, NV, at a rest area:
    photo (6)




    Donna

  2. #72
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    DAY 42 - I-DAY and TRAFFIC

    We left that morning just before 7, after getting a load of fuel. The truck has been consistently good and getting close to 19mpg, which is pretty decent for a slightly older power-stroke diesel. Fuel prices have ranged from $3.49 at Hutchins, TX (early in June) to $4.15 at West Yellowstone, but fortunately I budgeted either at $4.25 or $4.50, so we are consistently under budget for fuel. We don't mind going a little out of our way to find cheaper fuel -- in Elko (where we'd stayed that previous night, at a casino/motel), was a good example. The Sinclair station right on the freeway was $4.15/gallon. We went 1 mile down what I'd call a frontage road and found another Sinclair for $3.85/gallon. 30c difference, wow! In Sparks we saved .03/gal by going a little off the road -- not nearly as impressive. But it was .22/gal cheaper than going into Truckee, CA for fuel. GasBuddy to the rescue here -- our good app "friend".

    Stopped for a delicious breakfast at Winnemucca, NV, at a place called The Griddle. TripAdvisor had given them a #1 rating for the town, and we found that was well deserved. Both of us had crepes -- raspberry for one of us, peach for the other. Of course these were way more calories than I should have consumed, but this was Soooo good and we rarely get crepes. At $4 for a side of bacon (4 pieces) we thought that was a bit outrageous.

    We have regularly used TripAdvisor to find places to eat, especially if the motel clerks are busy. It's been pretty reliable, and the food has been good. Before we left, I used TripAdvisor to find motels, too. It's a nice app to have on ones' phone, along with GasBuddy.

    We crossed back into our home state just after noon. The traffic started back in Reno and never, ever let up all the way in to our final stop for the day.
    photo(90)

    If the traffic weren't awful enough, probably because it was a weekend, then we saw a sign that would make some folks sit up and take notice. Hubby used to travel I-80 when he drove commercially, so he'd driven a truck through this weekly for awhile.
    photo(91)

    We pulled into the southeast bay area (Pleasanton area) just before 4 pm, to the home of my cousin and her man. We enjoyed a delightful visit, dinner, walking their dogs (Bostons), before retiring for the evening.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 07-21-2014 at 09:37 AM.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,110

    Default Love those signs.

    When I see those, signs I sit up and think of the fuel it will save me. Happily let it roll in second gear while I sit back and enjoy the ride.

    Lifey

  4. #74
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    DAY 43 - RESTFUL DAY!

    Resting up for the next day's journey, that's what this day meant. Visiting with my cousin and her man over the day, taking a nap in between his departure for work and her arrival home from work, we didn't do a whole lot. Her dogs have taken to us, which is unusual since my husband is not really a "dog person".

    One dog playing hide-and-seek:
    photo(92)

    Tug of war:
    photo(93)

    Lifey -- nice to enjoy that ride, if it weren't for so much traffic ahead of it. That picture really didn't show how much traffic there really was on that road!

    Not much else on this nice relaxing day.


    Donna

  5. #75
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    DAY 44 - FINAL DAY

    This was the day we headed home, after more than 6 weeks on the road. Driving the 500+ miles from the Pleasanton area to our home near San Diego, we did some reflecting on our trip, deciding what was good and what was not so good, that we could prevent, what could we change, what wasn't worth trying.

    On this day, we did not do the usual "get over to I-5 and take it straight south to San Diego". Nope! We took the 5 as far south as Buttonwillow, where we got off on CA-58 and took it East as far as Kramer Junction, where we caught US-395 south and then dropped us onto I-15. CA-58 had taken us over the Tehachapi Pass, which we didn't even think about the Loop there until it was too late. Well, we will be taking that route again. US-395 was no picnic, but CA-58 was a great way to avoid the Tejon Pass/Grapevine area, and all of I-5 through LA. When I was a teen, we took this route, and hubby seems to recall that we took it as a family one other time.

    Trip was 8,866 miles, though I have not completely finished the tally of how much was spent. I will post that separately, after I complete the job. In the meantime, though, I have to figure out how to get the wireless back to work in the house, as it had quit while we were gone. So I'm hard-wired into the router with the laptop.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 07-23-2014 at 02:36 PM.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,260

    Default An interesting detour

    Bit of a detour to go back to Tehachapi! Once you reached the I-15 at the US-395 you could have taken I-15 all the way to San Diego.

    Mark

  7. #77
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    Oooh, bad writing, bad grammar!!!! We took CA-58 over the Tehachapi Pass to Kramer Junction, then took US-395 down to I-15.

    Another problem found at home: One of our cars was dead-as-a-doornail. Needed a new battery, pronto. The other car was fine, just filthy dirty. The latter is not a problem, as in the glove compartment is a "rain check" for a car wash that the car was supposed to get a couple of months ago. Hopefully they will continue to honor it.



    Donna

  8. #78
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    Stats and reflections:

    Mileage: 8,866 miles driveway to driveway
    Overnight: $1965 (avg $85)
    Fuel (diesel): $1921 (18 mpg, $3.49-4.15/gal)
    Meals: $1731.
    Admissions (museums, parks): $177
    Parking (JSC, Mt Rushmore): $17
    Tolls: $50.55
    Ice: $15
    Laundry: $8 (plus I did a lot at family member's homes)
    Snacks: $31 (mostly ice cream)
    Misc: $105.
    Souvenirs: $226

    Reflections:

    * We think this will be the last trip using a AAA TripTik. It is redundant for the other reference tools we take with us, such as "The Next Exit", smart phone apps, and GPS. This year, AAA ignored my routing in several places and gave us the routing that they liked instead.

    * We are going to need to up the food budget. Dinners were constantly costing us more even at family places, than I had budgeted. We still came in right at budget, but only because we realized it and took other measures.

    * I need to add "electrical strip" to our packing list. So many motels were short on electrical plugs. Considering how many things have to be charged, we found ourselves buying one about halfway through the trip.

    * When reserving motel rooms, we need to figure out a way to look into room sizes. We had quite a few rooms that were barely big enough to turn around in, much less put 2 suitcases out and a few electronics.

    * We are going to avoid cabins from now on. We had two places that were cabin-ish, and we had NO space nor was the bathroom big enough to turn around in either.


    Anyway, this concludes our Summer 2014 trip -- now to start planning the next one!


    Donna

  9. #79
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    A few final photos:

    Tehachapi Summit.
    photo(94)

    One of the 13(?) train tunnels in the Tehachapi area.
    photo(95)

    Train in distance, tracks closer to highway.
    photo(96)



    Donna

  10. #80
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,011

    Default

    A TRIP "CODA" --

    Each year, as we get through with our summer trip, I make a solo trip from our home in San Diego area, to my parents' home near Phoenix AZ. I just got back from this 5 day solo trip.

    The drive over, 375 miles, took 6-3/4 hours. I stopped for pit stops (2), fuel for the sedan, and a brief fast-food lunch. The visit was 3 full days after that, spent visiting with my parents, getting my mom out of the house a bit (even with the awful heat they have there!), and helping around the house with chores that elderly folks need. The trip home, same mileage, also 6-3/4 hours. The A/C ran most of the way in both directions, as the temperatures were well above 95. UGH, sorry, I am not built to live in an oven.

    One reason I'm even posting is that I noticed a change in a truck stop that I often utilize for picking up a soft drink, bottle of water, or snack, and for a pit stop. It is Holt's Shell, at the Butterfield Trail exit off I-8 in Gila Bend. They added some decor, free wifi (!), and a very useful place as well:

    This one is labeled "Dog Rest Area", but there are also big "critters" that kids love to climb on. In the Dog area, is a dispenser with free plastic bags and a place to dispose of your pet's mess. Hopefully, with children playing on those critters, people will take the time to clean up their dog mess.
    photo(111)

    photo(112)

    People were taking pictures of family members by this one, so I waited my turn to photograph it without people around.
    photo(113)

    So for me, this ends the summer travels, as my school year begins very soon! (Phoenix area was all pretty well back to school already....)



    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 08-10-2014 at 08:00 PM.

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