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Thursday, October 12, 2017

A new mindset.......

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8:25 am - Thursday - October 12th - 29º F, humidity 78%, wind 11 mph out of the south by southwest......looks, feels, and appears to be CALM right now.  Forecast highs along our travel route will be in the mid to high 40's......

Our view in Dillon Thursday morning

We took our time getting ready to leave Livingston Wednesday.....we only had about 176 miles to drive to Dillon, MT.  It only got down to 40 something Tuesday night, which was part of the two day 'heatwave' in the area.  Before we could merge on to I-90 westbound we had two tasks to accomplish.....first top off our 60 gallon propane tank, and secondly 'pay the rent', or in other words, put 115 gallons of diesel into our 180 gallon tank.  The last time we filled our propane tank was June 14th on our way into Yellowstone, and the last time we 'paid the rent' was June 10th in Dayton, NV.  We took on 35 gallons of propane at $3.25/gallon, and the aforementioned 115 gallons of diesel at $2.83/gallon.....all told we parted with about $440 before we covered one mile of the 176 miles to Dillon.  We shouldn't have to fill the propane tank again until we leave the Grand Canyon.....we may top it off just prior to our arrival there....we'll see.  We will have to fill our diesel tank again somewhere along our route south as it is 1,200+ from Livngston to the Grand Canyon.

We were finally on I-90 traveling westbound by 11:15 am.......the route was mostly flat for long stretches with a few big climbs and the attendant big descents, but generally we just cruised at 60 mph via our cruise control.  My task was to hang on to the steering wheel, and remain focused on the road ahead.  Usually we stop every 60+ miles at a rest stop for a break, but this day we didn't stop for a break until we had covered 135 miles......my friend Tom, would be proud of me!

Since it was going to be down in the 20's Wednesday night we opted to stay at a local RV park (Countryside RV Park) in Dillon where we would have 50 amp service, and be able to run as many heaters we might wish. This park is just off I-90 about .5 miles, and has mostly long pull through sites......perfect for us....easy off, easy on.

It took me about an hour to get into my traveling groove, but once I arrived there my mind began to transition from 'sitting in one place for months' mode, to 'rolling the wheels' mode.  It is a totally different mindset, and thought process.  A good example of where my mind was first thing in the morning:  In preparation for taking on propane I turn off the gas to the coach, which is a safety issue.  The problem was I forgot to turn it back on after the attendant disconnected his propane hose......I cannot remember ever forgetting that.  While we are under way the Dometic refrigerator runs off propane......I didn't realize the gas was still 'OFF' until we parked in Dillon....I went to light the water heather and the pilot light would not light.....DOH!  It was then I finally remembered I had forgotten to turn on the gas.  Amazingly, the Dometic was only a little over 40º F.....no harm, no foul.  Another thing I forgot to do was to turn 'OFF' the leveling system enabling the coach to return to 'RIDE HEIGHT'......I didn't realize this mistake until we rolled over some railroad tracks and I heard this loud thump meaning the suspension had bottomed out......double 'DOH!'.

Once we were on the Interstate, and the cruise control was set I began to focus on the various gauges on my dash......the temperature of the coolant is very important....it settled quickly at 182º F.....just where it should be.  In fact, all of the Newell systems worked as they should......good air pressure, good oil pressure, good running temperatures on the coolant, oil and tranny, cruise control keeping us at a steady 60 mph......can't ask for much more.....well, I guess I could ask for more, but that would just be bad form, no?

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5 comments:

  1. Warmer weather awaits! The only thing I don't miss about Gardiner/Yellowstone is the cold.

    Stay in your comfort zone of daily miles :) It took copious amounts of caffeine and nicotine for me to push through my last driving day of nearly 800 miles. Like a horse smelling water at the end of a long and dusty trail, so it was as I approached my destination.

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  2. Nice to get back into that mindset again and back on the road. we din't have that issue as we seldom park more than a week or 2 years round. Travels safe and enjoy the journey.

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  3. on the road again...maybe it would help you to have a written check list (if you don't already have one)with itemized list of what you need to do when you leave after a long stay somewhere. A pilot friend has one typed out that he follows carefully each time I've flown with him. Of course an "oops" in a plane is a bit more of a problem. Happy trails to you and TLE.

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    1. Lists only work if you follow them. I do have a list....my bad for not following it.

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  4. Our friend Clarke does have a list. I have seen it. It used to live on the steering wheel area, before takeoff. Inspired us to do the same. I think he may have been recovering from all the wedding festivities :)

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