And all things in their Time come to an end...
Rolled into my garage last evening at 8:30pm. What a last day!
- Rose early, to a bit of overcast and cold temperatures in Henderson, NV.
- On the road at 8:15, filled the fuel tank, hmm: a bit of headwind and gusty conditions.
- Down I-15 into California, headwinds increasing...
- Necessary Art Stop at the Bagdhad Cafe on old Route 66 for a photo ... OMG! Raging wind/sand storm blowing!
I mean a storm! for many miles, the prevailing wind was 30-40 mph with gusts up to about 60 mph. Off the interstate, dust and sand was so thick at times I had to slow to a walking pace because I couldn't see more than 10-20 feet in front of the car. My Curb Alert Pro alarm was getting triggered ... It thought there was an opaque wall in front of me. But I got my photo...
- Up to Bakersfield via I-40, I-15, and Hwy 58. Left the wind and sand storm behind me finally. Beautiful sunny afternoon at a fabulous cafe, sitting at an outside table with an Americano and a bagel.
- Shunt over for the last leg home ... fueled up at I-5, west at 152 and over—omg!—Pacheco Pass at night. Heavy, heavy traffic over the pass. Then up Hwy 101 at insane speeds, just to keep up with traffic mind you, and home.
- Final top off the tank in Santa Clara on arrival.
The Stealth Spaceship
performed brilliantly throughout the entire 4,050 mile/9 day trip. I'll have more specifics on fuel mileage, etc, as soon as I enter all the numbers recorded, but I know the range was between 27 and 32 MPG, average tank was about 11-12 US gallons of fuel at fill up and over 320 miles per tank, filling the tank usually with about 3/8 remaining on the gauge. As expected, the rear tires (Conti ExtremeContact DW) are worn right down past the wear bars, front tires will last through another set of rears; they never needed any air. Used no oil, used no coolant, brakes are fine, I think I ran through an entire gallon of windshield wash fluid. The comm/nav/entertainment system worked flawlessly throughout. It needs a serious wash (both top and bottom), vacuuming, polish and wax to undo what all that calicchi mud and the wind/sand storm did. The headlights are likely set a bit on the high side, but no one is flashing me that I'm getting in their eyes so I'm leaving them as is for the present.
I did okay too, for a 'getting older' guy. The 800-900 mile days of my youth are behind me: I get too tired after about 8-10 hours driving now to be safe, even with a lot of rest stops. My night vision is degraded too—busy two-lane after dark renders me blinded by oncoming cars too easily. So I'll arrange my road trips to be mostly daylight driving with a daily target down in the 450-500 mile range at best. I can live with that ... literally.
But one thing remains constant and has been reinforced yet again. I LOVE
being out on the open road! Interstate, fast two-lanes, wiggly bits in the hills, places to stop and see, new people to talk to and discover their stories, kids seeing things for the first time, old folks revisiting the world they remember ... Just Love It ALL!
"A true journey, no matter how long the travel takes, has no end."
- William Least Heat Moon