Friday, March 24, 2017
(CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE)
6:53 am - PDST - Friday - 47º F, humidity 51%, wind 3 mph out of the southeast.....clear blue skies from horizon to horizon......moving day once again.....we will be leaving for Riverside in 90 minutes!
I was up well before TLE Thursday morning typing my latest missive, and then moving a couple of things in the trailer in preparation for VW insertion. Our Jello plan was to be on the road making the 20 mile climb out of Death Valley aka: Valley of the Wind by 9 am. Our elevation at Furnace Creek was about -180' below sea level.....the elevation at the summit 20 miles distant was +3,100' elevation......3,280' of elevation gain in a shade less than 20 miles. Best to do that kind of climbing while there is still coolness in the air.
By 8 am we had the VW in the trailer and were ready to roll, and so we did.....just about 200 feet over to the dump station to dump both tanks (always like to arrive at a destination whenever possible with empty tanks) and take on fresh water (again, always like to top of the fresh water tank whenever possible).....ironically, in one the lowest places in the Western Hemisphere the water quality at Furnace Creek is quite good.
By 8:40 am we were finished and merging on to SR-190.....the climb begins immediately outside Sunset Campground and I settled quickly into 3rd gear at about 2000 rpm's for our 20 mile climb to 3,100' elevation. Red line on the Detroit Diesel Series 92 engine is 2,100 rpm's.....by keeping her at 2,000 rpm's the enormous belt driven fan forces a greater volume of air across the cooling fins of the larger than life rear facing radiator thereby keeping our operating temperature around 195º F for the entire climb. You do not want to 'lug' up a long climb at low rpm's with a series 71, or 92, because they will quickly overheat, and if the temp gets over 250º F you will suffer, most likely, catastrophic engine failure.
We reached the summit without incident, and I quickly upshifted into 5th gear, and set the cruise control at 60 mph.....we stopped in Shoshone around 9:50 am to take a brief potty break, and were back on our way shortly after 10 am for the final 57 miles into Baker, CA, our destination for the day.
Why Baker, CA you might wonder....well, two of our nomadic friends, Steve and Candy, would be there for two days preparing for the annual 'The Challenge Cup, Baker to Vegas Relay' as volunteers, along with Ron and Karen (Ron is the Fontana/Rialto Elks Lodge exalted leader). We were invited to stay with them at the Baker High School grounds.....below is a picture of all the RV's already there when we arrived.....Steve and Candy's RV is just on the other side of our Newell.
By noon time we were parked, and I was receiving one phone call after another....mostly about this summer at TVC from prospective employees, and from Victor, our assistant manager. By 1:30 pm I was finished with phone calls and went outside to greet our hosts and talk for a while. Around 4 pm I excused myself to go inside and watch some more 'March Madness'....first up was Michigan vs. Oregon, but about 4:45 pm I had to pry myself away from the TV for the evening's potluck dinner sponsored by the race events organziers. We had a lovely time talking and eating until after 6 pm when we headed back to our respective domiciles for the evening.
I caught the very end of the Oregon game in which Oregon barely prevailed 69-68. Next up was West Virginia vs. Gonzaga and once again Gonzaga barely survied 61-58....the game could have gone either way. Kansas creamed Purdue by 32 points.....boring....and in the fourth game favored Arizona was upset by Xavier 73-71.....so 3 of the 4 games were 'squeakers'.......very interesting games right down to the last second....looking forward to Friday's matchups!
We were in bed by 10 pm and already thinking about a week with our kids and grand kiddies....thanks for stopping by!
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