Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Eastward Ho!

7:13 am - Wednesday - April 18th - Kingman, AZ - 48º F, 16% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the north by northeast.....clear blue, sunny skies with a forecast high for today of 73º F, which we will not see as we will be rolling our wheels ever eastward within two hours.

The new Garmin Trucker GPS ready to guide us on our 3,200 mile adventure to Maine

At last the day has arrived when we begin our long anticipated road trip to Maine.  We have given ourselves almost one month to reach Maine by May 15th so we won't have to pound out 300 miles a day, which is not our style.  No, we like to travel 150-200 miles, as a rule, per day at the most.  So, you might wonder what our modest goal was for Wednesday......280 miles to Kingman, AZ.....about 80 miles too far for one day, but we really, really wanted to spend our first night on the road in a different state.

We began finalizing our departure around 8:30 am, and by 9:50 am we were rolling our wheels north on Cedar Ave to CA-210, the first freeway of the day.  I looked over at TLE and said, as I oft do, 'nice to be moving again' to which she replied, as she often does, 'Yeah...good to be moving'.

We drove east on CA-210 for about 5 miles where we transitioned to I-215 north for about 10 miles, then merged on to I-15, which would take us to Barstow, CA where we would eventually pick up I-40 eastbound.  Barstow is the western terminus of I-40, which roughly parallels the old mother road......Route 66.

As we crested Cajon pass at roughly 4,100' elevation the air was clear, and the skies were sunny.  A perfect cruising day.......

.......regrettably, California has seen fit to close about 50% of their Rest Areas, so the opportunities to exit and enter the Interstate quickly are few and far in between.  We didn't take our first rest stop until we had covered some 105 miles.....usually we stop every 70 miles to take a break, stretch our legs and use the bathroom.  There was supposed to be another Rest Area about 65 miles further, but as we approached that one we saw the big yellow sign saying it was CLOSED.

We grumbled something derogatory about California, and continued on another 35 miles to Needles, CA (just before the Arizona border) where we exited to take a quick break.  There is a Carl's Jr. just across from the exit where we have taken breaks on prior trips, and it is almost as handy as a Rest Area.  I went to the bathroom, and then outside to check the temperature of all 10 tires to be sure there were no unseen problems developing, but all was well in tire land.

So, at this point we had covered just over 200 miles, and I was ready to stop for the day, but we really, really wanted to be shut of California on our first day on the road so we continued on to our original goal of Kingman, AZ where we planned to dry camp in the parking lot of the local Cracker Barrel restaurant, where we have done so previously

From the Colorado River it is a steady 70 mile uphill slog to Kingman.  The elevation at the Colorado was about 1,200', and Kingman sits at 3,333', so 2,100' elevation gain over 70 miles is not bad, but it essentially meant we were in 4th gear most of the time grinding along at about 55 miles an hour......

.....just past Needles, CA we crossed the Colorado River and entered the great State of Arizona where there is no Daylight Savings Time, so there was no time change.....we won't have to adjust our clocks until we hit New Mexico!

We reached the Cracker Barrel in Kingman just about 3:30 pm, found a spot to park behind the restaurant at which time I shut down the big Detroit Diesel 6V92, leveled the coach, and then sagged into my recliner to take a much deserved nap!  When ever we stay at a Cracker Barrel overnight we always eat one meal in the restaurant.  Usually it is breakfast, but we decided to have breakfast for dinner on this day.  Around 5 pm we walked into the restaurant, which was still not too busy, and were quickly seated at a window table.  We love to eat a Cracker Barrels because they are RV friendly, and the food is very consistent.

After a lovely dinner we took a walk over to the local Walmart to pick up some recent bicycle crash has depleted our supply of large bandaids which we have been utilizing to cover my injured elbow while it heals.  In all I think we walked about 1/2 mile before the early evening chill chased us back inside the Newell for the night.

Time to get ready to rolls our wheels......thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Nice to get back on the road again travel safe, we have found many great areas closed in our journey, mostly they are doing upgrades.
    Enjoy the journey.

  2. Glad you are healing up quickly from your fall and your on the road again. Safe travels and looking forward to your trek across the U.s. over the next month.

  3. I'm sure it feels great to be moving along the highways again. We enjoy Cracker Barrels too. Parked at one for the first time this winter and also partook of a great meal.
    Travel safely.