We were up by 7 am on departure day......we planned to drive as far as Lone Pine to stay at Tuttle Creek Campground......an ambitious 226 mile drive considering I have only driven about 40 miles in the Newell in the past 6 months, but we picked a beautiful driving day......crystal clear blue windless skies and a dry road thanks to the wind we had all night after the rain ceased early Monday morning.
We decided to top off the 180 gallon diesel tank....I figured it would take about 100 gallons to do so, and it actually only took 102. We paid $2.44/gallon at Silver City.....we could have driven back 6 miles north on US 395 and gotten it for $2.35/gallon, but that would have taken close to 2 gallons of fuel round trip which would have wiped out the $5 savings, right? At any rate we 'paid the rent' ($252 and change) for the first time in 9 months.....the last time we topped off the diesel tank was in Yuma, AZ in very late January!
We were on US 395 southbound about 10 am with an ETA in Lone Pine around 3:00 pm......we had four summits to cross over......Simee Dimeh, Devil's Gate, Conway, and Dead Man.......other than the climbs we spent most of our time in cruise control. I did discover as we were descending from Conway Summit that our 'Jacobs Brake' has ceased working.....must be a short in the wiring, which I'll have to track down. The descent from Conway is only a few miles at 6%, but coming up was Sherwin Grade which is 8 miles long at 6%.......I always have to scrub off some speed a few times when the Jake is working, so now I was worried. I decided to descend in 1st gear, which I never do......I came to a complete stop in the 'Brake Check' turnout just as the downhill began and shifted into 1st and then let it run.....it never got above 15 mph, and I never had to use the brakes. It did take about twice as long because I am usually 'Jaking' along in 2nd gear at about 30 to 35 mph, but we got to the bottom safely.