Sunday, June 21, 2015

Easter - 2015

OY! What a day! I left this morning intent on getting to Moab by mid-afternoon. No such luck.
There's a section of Interstate-70 that goes over two passes and has no services for 100+ miles. Being loaded with gear and towing the Honda CRV, I usually don't want to fill either the 60 gal water tank (480 lbs) or 75 gallon gas tank (400+ lbs). Getting over passes is hard enough without the added weight.

Well, by the time I mounted the first steep pass I had consumed half of my half filled gas tank. The next pass looked higher on the map. I pulled over at a side road that took a shorter path (37 mile vs. 80+) to a town with gas and it would let me travel through Capital Reef National Park.

Silly me. The map did not show that it went over an 8500' pass with multiple 8% grades. My engine kept overheating and at each of the three events I'd lose 2 gallons of coolant. But I do sometimes come prepared. I had 5 gallons in storage. I was nearly out of coolant for the final leg over the pass (8% grade for 3 miles with multiple switchbacks.)

Did I mention the 40 mph headwind?

I didn't want to risk losing it all with no place to pull off the 2 lane road. So, I unhitched the car, scouted the final leg and drove to the first gas station to fill-up on water.

You still with me?

Got gas and water. Returned to the RV being guarded by the mad dogs. Filled the radiator and made a fearless mad dash for the summit. Piece O' Cake! Made it without incident. Walked back two miles to get the car. Drove to the summit, co-joined the vehicles and cruised down the mountain backside to the gas station.
Whew. Exciting!

Finally drove through Capital Reef National Park. WOW, was that drive impressive! It was hard to drive while gawking at theroadside scenery. I must return and explore more later.

While exiting the park I picked up a hitchhiker and drove him to the hostel in Moab.

So, a not so blessed 15 hr day, but definitely challenging and visually exhilarating.

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