On The Road

On The Road
Dutch Star and Subaru ready to go

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stopped for the night at Murry Lake State Park in Oklahoma, about 75 miles or so north of Dallas. We discovered this park about a month ago when we took off for California.  We were lucky to get a spot today as the place is mostly full this Labor Day weekend.

The weather is still very hot.. over 100 degrees so the only activity we've done is take the pups down to the lake and let them swim and play in the water for a while.  All the 50amp camping slots in the park are taken so we had to park in one that only has a 30amp service. This means only one of our air conditioners can be on but even with just one, its a lot cooler inside than outside.

We should be home tomorrow night if everything goes right.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The car started with no problem this morning and I made a note to start it and let it run for a few minutes when ever we stopped during the day. We turned south on Highway 81 soon after we left the RV park. Highway 81 turns into Highway 135 and then into 35 and goes all the way to Dallas.

We stopped at a Walmart that was along side the highway and stocked up on food and goodies but still haven't been able to find our favorite drinking water.

The weather has been nice the last few days but getting hotter and hotter as we get closer to Texas. We also had to pay $4.25 on a section of highway 35 just past Wichita that was called the Kansas Turnpike. Its also been pretty windy as well and it seems its always either a head wind or a cross wind.

We stopped for the night just a few miles into Oklahoma at a Visitors Welcome Center/Rest Area.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We were able to get through most of Nebraska today...besides a lot of road maintenance there were  fields and fields of corn on both sides of the highway.

I forgot to check the car and let it run for a little bit to keep the battery charged.. result = dead battery. But fortunately I brought along my battery charger so tonight I have it plugged in. The battery is getting a little old so we might have to buy a new one when we get home.

We found a nice RV park near Henderson, Nebraska that gives discounts for Escapees and decided to stay the night. It's located just before we head south off highway 80 towards Dallas.

The Dutch Star clocked 93,000 miles today... just getting broken in.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Woke up this morning to discover 10 RVs and 2 18wheelers stayed the night in the Walmart parking lot. Allowing people to park in their parking lots overnight was a nice thing old Sam Walton started.

We stayed on highway 80 going east and ran into a heavy but short duration rain storm near Laramie. It did a good job of cleaning the bugs off the windshield and front of the motorhome. Driving through Cheyenne we noticed that the city has really grown over the past few years. There's also a new big Walmart distribution center on the edge of town.

We continued into Nebraska a few miles and stopped at a nice rest area near the town of Sidney.

Fuel prices have been around $4.05 per gallon the last couple of days but was able to fuel up today for $3.95.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kind of a lazy slow day today plus we stopped at Little America a big truck stop/motel complex in the middle of Wyoming for .50 cent ice cream.  Another 200 miles brought us to a Rock Springs, Wyoming Walmart where we'll be spending the night.

Close to Walmart there's an I-Hop restaurant where we had a good non-pancake dinner.

Its interesting to sit in a Walmart parking lot and watch the RVs come in and drive around the lot deciding where would be a good place to park for the night.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We made it through Nevada and out of the smoky haze from the California wild fires.  The eastern part of Nevada is real windy but highway 80 is in good shape and Nevada has really nice rest areas, some with sewer dump facilities for RVs together with drinking water faucets to fill up your fresh water tank.

We crossed the Salt Flats in Utah and are staying at a Motel/RV park just west of Salt Lake City.

The Dutch Star is running great and the pups are being good watch dogs, barking at everybody that comes around the motorhome.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

After a nice visit to Sacramento we headed out for home. We decided to take a different route home than the one we took to California. This time we'll stay on Highway 80 as far as Nebraska and then south from there to Dallas and continue south to Livingston.

On the trip out to California we drove through smoke from one of the several wild fires in California, but it was only for a few miles coming down from Reno. This time on the way east on Highway 80 we ran into the smoke starting in Auburn just a few miles east of Sacramento and have been driving through smoke all day. We stopped for the night at a rest area about 20 east of Winnemucca, Nevada and are still in a smoky haze.  Hopefully we'll get out of it tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Got to Cal Expo RV park in Sacramento about noon today. Although we had a map and had been here before, we were glad we had our GPS to tell us when and where to turn.

The new construction on Highway 80 west from Reno was nice to see finished. The last several times we've driven it, it was a narrow lane with cement K-Rails on both sides.  There's a fire in the Truckee area and much of the drive from Reno to Sacramento was through a smoky haze.

We drove 2,150 miles from Livingston to Cal Expo park and spent $1,110 on diesel fuel which amounted to about .52 per mile. It's a big country but we always enjoy the trip and see new things each time.

We'll be here at Cal Expo park until Saturday, August 24th visiting with family and friends. We haven't decided on the route back home... but stay tuned.

Monday, August 12, 2013

We took a short drive today from Walker Lake to Fernley where we'll spend the rest of today and tonight at the Desert Rose RV park.  It gives us a little break from driving all day and besides, our holding tanks were getting kind of full and our fresh water tank was low.

We'll leave here in the morning and should be at the Cal Expo RV park tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

We're on Pacific Time but our bodies are still on Texas/Central Time especially the pups who normally wake us up at about 7:00am but now they want us up about 5:00am Pacific time. It does get us on the road early which I like because the wind doesn't pick up for a few hours.

Nevada has good desert roads and highway 95 is great to drive on. We decided to head for Walker Lake just north of Hawthorne, Nevada. There's a nice campground along side the lake that is operated by the Federal Parks Dept. We've been there several times before but unfortunately the lake level keeps going down and at this time there's a lot of "mossy" looking stuff floating on the water. We let the dogs play in the water at a spot where it was a little cleaner but decided that this will be the last time we come here.

We stopped at a Safeway in Hawthorne and stocked up on food stuffs. We've gone through a lot of the things we left home with.

You can still find diesel fuel below $4.00 and we filled up in Tonopah for $3.89 although we're seen it for $4.29 a gallon.

Highway 95 from Las Vegas to Reno is an interesting road. Although there are miles between civilizations, there are several old mining towns that now survive on the traffic running through them. You also drive through a few of what were once mining towns but now are more "ghost town" in nature.

As we've been making good time on the trip our plans for tomorrow is to stop at a RV camp ground in Fernley, Nevada, close to Reno.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Long drive today from the middle of Arizona we stayed on highway 40 to Kingman then looped south and crossed into California at Needles then north on highway 95 and back into Nevada and continued north to Indian Springs about 25 miles north of Las Vegas. Just over 400 miles today.

The roads in Arizona are some of the worse we've seen to date. Every once in a while you'd see a sign saying "Rough Road".. I guess a sign is cheaper than road repair. Stopped for fuel just before the California border. It was still under $4.00 per gallon. The two truck stops across the road from each other were real busy. I guess the truckers knew something about the prices in California.

We started the day up at about 6,000 feet with cool weather but now we're back in the Nevada desert and 100 degree weather. The air conditioner is being kept busy but for some reason our Magic Fan over the kitchen isn't working.

We wanted to find a camp ground to stay the night but really didn't come across any that looked all that great. Never one around when you want it. We saw a sign for one just out of Kingman, Arizona on old route 66 but when we got there it looked like a vintage park that was made for older small rigs. No way we could fit. Then we thought we'd find a park as we got closer to Las Vegas but there was none on the highway and we didn't want to get off the main freeway that we were taking through the city.  Several times in the past, we've stopped at a Casino in Indian Springs Nevada that had parking in the back for RVs so we headed there. The Casino also has a nice restaurant so after a long day we had a nice supper of steak and eggs.

Friday, August 9, 2013

We're at over 6,000 feet elevation so the temperature is cool enough to look for a sweater before taking the pups out for their morning walk. It does feel good however and we don't need to turn the air conditioner on while driving... at least in the morning.

We crossed the continental divide today so I guess that puts us about half way there on the trip.
Its an easy drive at this point.. just point the motorhome west and stay on highway 40. No by-passes or other roads to get us and/or the GPS confused.

We ran into a few minutes of rain today but hardly enough to smear the bugs on the windshield.

We filled  up with diesel after crossing into Arizona and are happy to see the price still below $4.00 per gallon and paid only $3.80.  Interesting experience as when I pulled into the diesel pumps another Class A motorhome was also pulling in. When I was walking to the office to get our fuel pump turned on the driver of the other motorhome asked what kind of hitch I had. When I told him a Road Master, he asked if I wanted to buy a Blue Ox one. I said no but wondered about things when I saw him pull away from the pumps without getting fuel.

Arizona has some nice rest areas and we decided to stay the night at one after a 350 mile day that put us between Winslow and Flagstaff.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We're further on down the road, still on highway 40. We found that many of the rest areas are closed in New Mexico. The pups don't like that as they like to go potty when they want to.. not only where there's a highway rest area.

We're still east of Albuquerque and stopped at a Native American tourist trap (with a Dairy Queen on one end of the building) We had a snack and asked if it was ok to park in the big parking lot for the night. We were told yes and although its a big area, its all asphalt with no grass, just a narrow strip of gravel on the edge of the lot. The pups will have to make out the best they can.

We decided to look for an RV park tomorrow when we should be around the New Mexico/Arizona border.

There was a little bit of drizzle today for about half a minute but at least the temperature is much cooler than we had a couple of days ago. Fueled up in New Mexico.. $3.89 a gallon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Made it to the Texas panhandle and will be staying the night at a big rest area about 35 miles from the Oklahoma border. We're averaging a little over 300 miles a day which is plenty.

We bought diesel fuel for the first time when we left Murray Lake, Oklahoma park this morning. $3.69 a gallon which is about 20 cents more expensive than in Livingston. Since crossing the border into the Texas panhandle however, we've seen signs for diesel fuel for $3.99 a gallon. Can't wait to see what it'll cost in California.

Not quite as hot today although still hot.  We had the air conditioning going most of last night although we'll probably just use a small fan tonight as we're not plugged into shore power. A few clouds in the sky but no sign of rain. 

The Dutch Star is running perfectly as is the Subaru tagging along behind.

The pups adjust quickly as they're long time travelers. They get excited each time we stop because they know they have a brand new area to sniff.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

After getting everything packed in the Dutch Star we left home in Livingston about 8:50am, an early start for us.

The weather reports for areas we'd be traveling through called for heavy rain and flooding through the remainder of the week so a last minute change was decided on. We'd head north on highway 45 from Huntsville to Dallas and then from Dallas north on highway 35 to Oklahoma City where we'd catch highway 40 that would take us west toward the California/Nevada border. From there we go north to highway 80 near Reno and then west on 80 to Sacramento.

The first day's trip was uneventful except for the hot weather. The dash air conditioner while blowing quite well did not blow cold air. Hopefully its something minor.

We planned on getting to an Oklahoma state park on Lake Murray, about 30 miles north of the Texas/Oklahoma border the first day and arrived here about 3:00pm. I always have a problem finding the rv camping areas in large state parks as the map they give you is never detailed enough but we finally set up the Dutch Star in a nice lake side site. The dogs were going crazy after seeing the water and before we were able to do anything else, they dragged us to the beach. We let them swim and play for a while and then headed back to the motorhome to get something to eat. The first day on the road is always the hardest and we'll probably head for bed early.