Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Here we go!

After spending the past few weeks in northern Arizona and southeaster Utah searching for new adjectives to describe what we saw it was time to begin our dash for Sioux Falls, SD.  We had a lovely, delightful time in Moab with our friends......let me just say once again that having a circle of friends you hook up with on the road is one of the things that is so attractive about the nomadic life.  Being able to meet up with David, Denise, John and Patty was the frosting on the nomadic cake.

Our first task of the day was to drop the trailer and drive the coach over to Chip's Grand Tire Pros to have the right rear inside tire replaced......why is it always the inside tire?  Why?  We arrived at Chip's a little after 8:30 and within 20 minutes they were at work removing first the outside wheel, then the inside wheel......there are 10 lug nuts that hold the outside tire to the hub, and then 10 more that hold the inside tire in place.  Out of 20 lug nuts there is always, and I mean ALWAYS, one stubborn nut that will not come off easily.  After a little gentle persuasion from a shop hammer the nut gave up and came off.  As it turns out the tire was in worse condition than I suspected.  Once it was off and you could see the inside part of the tread more clearly you could see a lot of "cupping" and unusual wear.....all signs of something going wrong internally in that tire.  Fortunately for our wallet the other three still look pristine.  These rear tires are just approaching the 5.5 year mark.  Typically you can get 5-6 years out of a set of RV tires so one failing at this point with over 43,000 miles on it does not surprise me.  I was hoping we could make it to October before we replaced all 4, and we may yet make it on the last 3.  As I said, the tread looks evidence of any unusual wear patterns.  We were out the door by 9:40 after paying our $428 bill (included labor, disposal, and 3, or 4 other odd taxes Utah charges).....the tire only cost $385 of that total....not a bad deal.

We were back to the park just before 10, and on our way by 10:12 (according to TLE) after hooking up the trailer and inserting the VW back in its travel space.  From there it was 30 miles north to I-70 and then another 138 east to Rifle, CO.  

We are so glad we got out of Moab relatively early as there were high winds forecast for the afternoon, and we wanted to be well on our way east where the winds were forecast to be less fierce.  Nonetheless, we did encounter a heavy side wind from the south as we left the Rest Area in Fruita, CO.  Added to that was road construction which limited us to one lane of travel for much of the remaining 59 miles into Rifle.

We exited the Interstate just 11 miles later to take on $100 worth of fuel at the local Safeway fuel station where we got 10 cents off the 25 gallons we took on.  Getting in and out of that station was a little tricky but it all worked out in the end.....we were in no hurry.  With that additional 25 gallons I think we can comfortably get over the Rockies before we fill completely up. I didn't want to start the climb with a full 180 gallons on board....I think we have about 75 right now.  

We arrived in Rifle around 2 pm, and found a spot to park on the east side of the parking lot for the night at the Walmart Supercenter on Airport Road.  A very nice Walmart, but a tight parking lot.  Fortunately there were only two other RV's there for the night when the sun set.

Once we were parked we decided to walk over to the local Starbucks for coffee and a bagel, and just unwind after our 168 mile trek.  The outside temps were quite balmy in the mid 70's and there was still a stiff wind coming from the south, but it's all good......the entire day was without event, and that is pretty much what we hope for each day when we are moving.

Around 5 pm we walked over to the Rib City Grill, just another block, or 2 past Starbucks for dinner.  TLE and I split a combo order of St. Louis Ribs and Baby Back Ribs as well as an appetizer of fried okra.....that is the only way I will eat okra....never eat it boiled....NEVER!  It was just the right amount for us.  Of course there was a Fat Tire Ale draft for me.....a small one!

We were in bed by 10 pm with plans to be up by 5:30 to get breakfast at Starbucks and be on the road before 7 so we can do our climb over the three Rocky Mountain passes between us and Denver while it is cool.  I am writing this blog entry from that Starbucks

Thanks for stopping by!

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