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Old 01-19-2010, 12:47 AM   #1
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Default The Journey West

Ah, California bound at last. Loaded up yesterday, and headed out this morning pulling the Miata on a double-axle trailer behind the 16' Penske truck. Feels good to be headed back again.

This morning, I finally put to rest something that's been bugging me. Like most roads in Florida, Cranberry Blvd in North Port is perfectly straight and flat. Speed limit 40 MPH. There are two very broad turns in it between US41 and my old place. Visibility through them is excellent, there are no blind driveways, and yet for some reason, the locals feel it necessary to slow to 25-30 MPH through them. Here they are:



Now, this behavior has always annoyed me, but I've tolerated it, thinking "maybe those corners really are too much to take at 40 in a minivan / Cadillac / SUV" and thus given other drivers the benefit of the doubt.

Bullshit.

If I can drive through those at 50 in a fully loaded moving truck pulling a trailer, with no drama, then Sally Scatterbrain can do the same in her mommymobile.

[/rant]

Saw what I think was a Can-Am on I-75. Didn't care for it.




Go Gators!




The guy with the earth-mover had to wait forever to pass the guy with the boat. I kept expecting a third one to show up.




In the parking lot of the Best Western. Looks a tad small for NASCAR.





Made it as far as Moss Point, Mississippi tonight.

Miles traveled: 637.7
Fuel consumed: 70.114 gal.
Avg. Economy: 9.095 MPG.

Tomorrow's goal: Oklahoma City, OK (or thereabouts.)
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
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Go, Joe, Go!

You WILL have to drive up to ORP for a track day or two, you'd love it, not too far from cali. And if you're fine with doing Flordia-Cali, Cali-Eastern Oregon is nothing. Welcome almost home!
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:34 AM   #3
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Go, Joe, Go!

You WILL have to drive up to ORP for a track day or two, you'd love it, not too far from cali. And if you're fine with doing Flordia-Cali, Cali-Eastern Oregon is nothing. Welcome almost home!
lol ORP is about 12 hours from the Bay Area... isn't Joe going to Socal? Be more like 16ish from the LA area.

Having said that I really want to get up to ORP, all reports are that it's great!
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:45 AM   #4
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Saw what I think was a Can-Am on I-75. Didn't care for it.




.)

See one now and then on my commute. Uber Ghey. Bikes for people to scared to ride a real bike.

Enjoy the journey. Any major sights you planning on seeing? Fastest route or taking some scenic routes?
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:06 AM   #5
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Welcome back.

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Old 01-19-2010, 02:30 AM   #6
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Avg. Economy: 9.095 MPG.
Must be a gasoline engine in the 16' trucks? When we moved out here we used a 26' Penske with the turbo diesel, stuffed reasonably full with cargo, and averaged closer to 10 mpg than 9.

There were some parts in ID, UT, and WY where there were zero other vehicles ahead of me on the interstate for as far as the eye could see, where the 70 mph speed governor was a bit of a nuisance. Oh wellz. Hit the cruise control and enjoy seeing parts of the country you otherwise wouldn't. The tax deduction was also real nice. IIRC between the truck rental, diesel, lodging and all I knocked off almost $4K.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:35 AM   #7
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Where in CA are you moving to?
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:09 AM   #8
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CA is so last year... lol. I'm working my way back east again.

Good luck and drive safe. Remember to keep the tank topped off through west TX!
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:50 AM   #9
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The Gibbs trailer looks like a show car transport used typically for promotions.

Have a safe and wonderful trip, Joe... at least as wonderful as driving a box truck can be.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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Buen viaje amigo.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:46 AM   #11
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CA is so last year... lol. I'm working my way back east again.

Good luck and drive safe. Remember to keep the tank topped off through west TX!
We're trading you for Joe... didn't you get the memo?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:49 AM   #12
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We're trading you for Joe... didn't you get the memo?
So who got the short end of that stick?
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #13
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Good luck Joe, did you sell your house here? How!? lol
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:41 PM   #14
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That was one helluva unfair trade, then!
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:49 PM   #15
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Hah, nice location on your profile.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:24 PM   #16
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So who got the short end of that stick?
Cali...we got Matt Andrews last season.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:08 AM   #17
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Greetings from Norman, OK.

About ten miles back, I passed a curious building. The Oklahoma Horseshoeing School. I acknowledge that there's likely a certain art to shoeing a horse, but I'd have never expected a whole school devoted to the subject. (Pretty sizable building, too.) Oklahoma Horseshoeing School

I suppose some commentary about the truck is in order.

As the sixth and possibly final entry into the Hitchhiker's trilogy has just been released, I decided that in preperation for reading it, I wanted on this trip to refresh my memory by listening to the entire original Hitchhiker's anthology (books 1-5) in audiobook format, as read by the author. To this end, before leaving, I purchased a little SanDisk MP3 player and a little FM transmitter. Moving vans usually have just the basic AM/FM radio, so I figured this was my only safe bet.

Well, come to find out that this baby has the deluxe sound system. Not only is there a CD player which also plays MP3-encoded discs, but a line-in jack as well. I'm flabbergasted! (And also a little miffed that I wasted $60 on unnecessary hardware.)

Still, happy to have it. I'm about halfway through Life, the Universe and Everything, and the audio quality is superb. (I've also got Dirk Gently and Long, Dark Teatime ready, in case I finish HHGTG with road still left to go.)



With the switch from GMC to Ford, they've also made a rather revolutionary breakthrough in driver comfort. In all the Penske trucks I've had in the past, the back wall of the cab (which is, in reality, the front wall of the cargo box) is so far forward that when positioned with the bottom at a reasonable location, the seat back cannot recline beyond vertical.

Imagine sitting in a dining room chair for 16 hours a day for a whole week.

Thankfully, the new ones have added a few inches of depth behind the seats, vis--vis a cutout in the front wall of the box. This creates a slight protrusion into the cargo area (resulting in about a five inch deep shelf at the very front of the cargo space, roughly four feet off the floor) however it also means that the seat back can be placed in a position which is actually tolerable by endoskeletal vertebrate mammals!

See the ridge where the rubber edge-molding is just aft of the seat belts? That's where the cab used to end.



Miles traveled: 799.6
Fuel consumed: 84.415 gal.
Avg. Economy: 9.47 MPG.

Next stop: Denver


Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
You WILL have to drive up to ORP for a track day or two,
From San Diego? Have you ever driven 20 hours in a Miata? Six is enough to nearly paralyze you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottFW View Post
Must be a gasoline engine in the 16' trucks? When we moved out here we used a 26' Penske with the turbo diesel, stuffed reasonably full with cargo, and averaged closer to 10 mpg than 9.
Yep, I was miffed when they made the change but only put the diesels into the 22' and 26' trucks. The 12' and 16' versions are built on an E-350 chassis with the 5.4L gasoline V8. This truck needs boost in the worst way.

I contemplated getting the 22' version on this fact alone, however I'm not entirely unhappy that I didn't. At 9 - 9.5 MPG, I'm getting far better economy than I expected. Granted, the terrain has been mostly flat thus far, but I expect that overall, the cost delta between diesel and gasoline would likely have erased any savings from the larger truck, not to mention the extra cost of the truck itself. (And not to mention also that I'd just as soon not have an additional 8 feet of vehicle length to manage in hotel parking lots.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottFW View Post
There were some parts in ID, UT, and WY where there were zero other vehicles ahead of me on the interstate for as far as the eye could see, where the 70 mph speed governor was a bit of a nuisance. Hit the cruise control and enjoy seeing parts of the country you otherwise wouldn't.
Yours had cruise control? This is my fourth Penske truck, and I've never had cruise before. It gets tiring after a couple days...

On the plus side, the governor on the gas trucks always seems to be set somewhere in the high 70s. On this one, I found it to cut out at an indicated 77-78 MPH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
Where in CA are you moving to?
San Diego. Again.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:41 AM   #18
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And not to mention also that I'd just as soon not have an additional 8 feet of vehicle length to manage in hotel parking lots.
I was worried about that too, but fortunately the hotels that are right off the interstates tend to have bigger lots. The worst part was at the very beginning of the journey, when I had to park it in front of my apartment building in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle. The streets are fairly narrow with cars parked on both sides. I wound up parking mostly on the sidewalk so as not to obstruct traffic. The truck was also taller than I had figured, and consequently I pruned up the trees a little.

That's a baller sound system for a moving truck. Mine had a tape deck that was inoperative. Totally dead, no radio, no nothin'. When I dropped off the truck here I mentioned to the rental agent that I had listened to nothing but my wife for the previous few days. The guy credited me back $250 for the inconvenience. Now that's customer service!
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #19
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Stopping in Denver on your way from Florida to San Diego? I don't think Great Circle Distances work on the ground!

It is funny though, we made the exact opposite trip 3 years ago (almost to the day). San Diego to Jacksonville. In a Penske. With a Miata on a trailer behind. It was actually a very stressful/long trip because of various delays with closing on our old condo, new home, and a scaredy cat (literally) puking between the seats. To this day, we mockingly spit whenever we see a Penske truck in remembrance of that trip!
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:50 AM   #20
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Greetings from 8,000' elevation in Georgetown, CO.


Everything has been going quite swimmingly, travel-wise, for the past few days. Today, on the other hand, was a bit grueling. Specifically, I-70 west of Denver is quite the beast indeed. Apart from the fact that in places it seems to climb straight up (relegating me to about 25-30 MPH) it is an amazingly twisty piece of road for a major interstate highway. It would likely be quite a blast to go cruising down in an Aston Martin V12 Vantage. It is less pleasurable in a truck and trailer.

I can't even imagine trying to drive on this in the snow which, coincidentally, is precisely what's forecast for tomorrow. There are many ominous signs warning me that I may be fined up to $1,000 for not carrying tire chains (which I am not), an equal number of signs indicating that I must stop and install the tire chains which I do not have whenever the lights are flashing, and a suspiciously great number of pulloffs alongside the highway which are designated areas for truckers to stop and install said chains.

This is something which I hadn't quite planned for exactly.

At about 9:30, I decided to call it quits and find a hotel for the night. (The word "quaint" describes this particular motel rather fittingly.) I shall resume tomorrow when the sun is up and I can at least see the cliff which I am about to fall off of.



I realized something earlier, before all this mess, which is that since leaving Florida on Monday morning, I've completely forgotten to stop and get anything to eat. I am being quite forthright when I say that my entire dietary intake for the past three days has consisted of a large jar of honey-roasted peanuts, a much larger jar of hard pretzels, and the several bags of beef jerkey which I brought along with me. I can't imagine that this is a particularly good state of affairs, and while I don't yet appear to be suffering from serious delirium (meaning that I refuse to engage the purple kangaroo who joins me in the truck from time to time in conversation) I suspect that this situation must be rectified soon. Tomorrow, I pledge that I shall eat something which can at least passably be described as "food."


... And what's this? A fracking toll booth in the middle of the interstate? Thank you, Kansas.



Speaking of Kansas, I thought this was amusing. Who'd have thought that the one pump in all of creation from which flows pure, unadulterated gasoline would be located in exactly the geographic center of a state which is known principally for growing corn?




Ah, well. Kansas' energy policy appears to be quite a lark all around. Here, for example, is a group of wind turbines which are rotating at exactly zero RPM, just like those on the wind farms which both preceded and succeeded this one.



One has to wonder what the total carbon emissions involved in the manufacture and installation of those things was, and how long it will take for them to reach break-even on that (by providing an alternative to coal-derived energy) at their current net output rate of zero MWh / day.


Fuel economy is down a tad as I've started to hit some elevation.

Miles traveled: 719.0
Fuel consumed: 82.954 gal.
Avg. Economy: 8.667 MPG.


Having apexed what may be the widest corner in the known world, I shall begin my turn southward tomorrow.
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