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Old 05-10-2005, 04:59 AM   #15
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Sounds like you're starting to get a taste of that area. We found that our Suncruiser (that's an Adventurer with extra mirrors ) handled the grades just fine. And those Workhorse brakes are great on the downgrades, even though we never had to use them very often. The W20/22 series is a great gas chassis for mountain driving. I can't even begin to imagine how much better the W24 would be.

I've heard that you can run the lower octane in the mountains because of the altitude but I too just couldn't bring myself to do it and bit the bullet and put in the more expensive mid-grade stuff. I ran regular in the toad but didn't quite feel comfortable running the "big guy" on 85 octane fuel.

On the way back be sure to see Custer State Park. If you stay there, be sure to enter from Newcastle on the west or Hermosa on the east. Game Lodge campground is a nice place in the middle of the action. They have nice large spaces but they have no hookups. If you stay in Keystone or Custer be sure to take the toad on the Iron Mountain Road from Mount Rushmore/Keystone into Custer State Park. Don't take the RV though, 'cuz it won't fit . Bring apples to feed the wild burros and bring your camera. There are 3 tunnels and if you look back through them you'll see Mount Rushmore perfectly framed in one or two of them. Then take the Needles Highway with the toad. The Black Hills are a nice area and an excellent preamble to what you'd see out Yellowstone way.

Enjoy, wish I were there.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:01 AM   #16
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Don't want to sound like a dummy, but what exactly is a nightwatch radio and WX channel?

By the way, I hate the radio that comes in the Winnebago Journey (Brave, etc). Can't ever figure out how it works. Can it be removed easily and a new simple radio installed in its place?
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:48 PM   #17
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25 WX NW ST Mobile CB
With Nightwatch(NW), Soundtracker(ST) and Weather Channels(WX)


The NightWatch™ series of CB radios continues Cobra's proud and unmatched tradition of enhancing safety and convenience for professional drivers. NightWatch™ technology fully illuminates the radio's function settings for easy viewing at night. The unique, solid-state, electro-luminescent backlighting is powered by a dedicated integrated circuit to maximize night vision while minimizing eye fatigue. A dimmer control adjusts to all lighting conditions. And all NightWatch™ CB radios incorporate Cobra's exclusive SoundTracker® system to reduce static by up to 90%.

That's it!
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:09 PM   #18
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Hey Mike & Col,
Wow sounds like your haveing a great time, we loved it when we went cross country in 1995!! Saw a lot of the places you mentioned, can't wait to get the chance to do it again ! Stay safe and enjoy this great Country & Lifestyle!! Not sure if you have been getting my e-mail I sent it two you twice, just wondering how going & letting you know we missed seeing you both !!
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:14 PM   #19
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This morning we were up at 05:30 and ready to get on the road at 7:00am. I had been following the weather conditions ahead of me and what I was seeing was kinda concerning, Winter Storm Warning.

We left the Hardin KOA and started out again on our final day of travel to Missoula. We rolled on across the plains to Billings and kept on motoring. Our first break found us in Boseman where we stopped for a badly needed rest break. Roxy was glad to get outside for a brief while to explore the country side.

We pushed on hard with the rain on the windshield all the way. It sometimes felt like we were on a roller coaster like when you crested a rise and you couldn't immediately see what was on the other side it was somewhat unsettling. We rode into a fog bank there for about a mile the visibility got down to about 50 yards or less. I had visions of a multi vehicle fog pileup so I was on edge and slowing down a lot.

We followed the rail line just about all the way up here and we got a chance to see some long trains. I would have liked to have seen those mid 20th century steam locomotives instead of the diesels, they must have been awesome.

We saw a few dozen buffalo today, never knew they were so lazy in rainstorms just laying around and sleeping. Many cattle dot the mountainsides here you would think they're like mountain goats. Every so once in a while one of the steers gets all the way up on a ridge line and it looks so curious outlined by the sky behind it. We saw a herd being moved around by real cowboys.

On the way out of Bozeman the terrain started to change as the prevailing 6% grade presented itself again but it was like an Energizer Bunny this time, it just kept on going and going. With one eye on the DeLorme's altitude display, we came out of 4000 feet and continued to climb. The engine just about stayed in 4th gear and occasionally it reached for 3rd but that was it. We kept climbing at about 55 to 60 MPH out of Whitehall and the tree line was beginning to thin out. Spectacularly faced rock formations framed our windows as we kept climbing past 6100 feet. Incredible geology kept defying simple language to describe as we negotiated left and right turns in the highway.

Cresting Homestake Pass, 6428 feet indicated, 37? at the surface, and snow flakes as big as quarters striking us at high speed we took a breath. We were appreciative of the fact that we had finished our climb and we knew that we would be leaving the snow squall behind soon but it couldn't happen fast enough. Manually down shifting to 3rd gear we started our decent. The Allison held us back and our engine turned over at times some 4000 revs but it held us close to a 60 mph all the way down the grade. When it started scrubbing off too much speed I up shifted to 4th and we continued down. On occasion I had to jab the brakes however the motorhome responded quite well and slowed down like there was a parachute on the back of the coach.

Coming out of the pass is Butte. We ran on the brief stretch where 90 and 15 run together and we got off the highway for a breather and a well earned tank of gas at the Flying Hook. The rest of the ride from Butte to Missoula was routine except for the Rocky Mountains that flanked the left and right sides of the road. The terrain is now descending all the way into Missoula in fact I had to run a large part of the decent in 4th gear. The mpgs were finally starting to give back. It took us 2 Hrs and 20 minutes to reach exit 101 in Missoula

Horray! Finally made it. 2010 miles complete, so far ......
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:28 AM   #20
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Mike & Colleen,
Thanks for the narrative. Makes me feel like I was there with you. We look forward to making that trip someday ourselves.
We missed you both at the NE rally but we will look forward to seeing you at the national rally. Bring your pictures!
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:10 AM   #21
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Mike, must you describe everything in such detail? You're killing me. That's one of my favorite drives and I can imagine every turn in the road as you describe it, especially the grades at Butte and Bozeman Hill. Man, I find myself reaching for the motorhome keys so I can hit the road.

My motorhome is sitting in my driveway, all tanked up, ready to go and the rain is running off it. Or maybe it's just crying - I know I am.
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Old 05-11-2005, 07:13 AM   #22
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I do have Olympus voice recorder. I really should dictate notes to myself when travelling, I really could spin a pretty good travel tale. There is just so much stuff to see and as soon as you get used to the terrain topology it changes all of a sudden into something totally unexpected. I'm on sensory overload most of the time and the next thing to look at right around the bend needs my full attention to absorb it.

In my opinion the "purple mountains magesty" have it all over the "amber waves of grain AND fruited plains"

Colleen and I are both up right now and in better shape having been on the road for the past 6 days. Memory is coming back now. It's Mountain Daylight Time here so it's 11:00 o'clock back East.

Right before our rest stop in Boseman it appeared that the sun was trying to make an appearance. We were still running in a light rain however what do we behold in front of us but a huge low lying rainbow and we were driving straight toward it. We even got a picture of it because it was that brilliant. Talk about "Wonderland" Vast plains on one side and near mountains on the other and us travelling straight through a magnificient colored tunnel.

The only spoiler in all of this was the construction. Imagine this, the speed limit is 65 mph on the temporary stretch of 2 lane highway having 2 way traffic. There was an 18 wheeler that passed us and he must have been doing 80 because we were hit by an explosive wind blast that I soon won't forget. The wipers actually floated off the face of the windshield for a half a second. I had never felt that sensation before but the ol' Workhorse kept on tracking straight ahead. I figure that the closing speed on both our vehicles must have been close to 140 miles per hour within 6 feet or less from one another.

Recovering our composure we kept on motorin' Westward.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:27 AM   #23
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Mike, keep in mind that the state you are in is where they tracked the motorcyclist doing 180+ with a helicopter!

Ain't it pretty out West?

If you got the time come on South to the Color Country of Utah. With Zion and Bryce Canyon it is georgous this time of year.

Glad to hear/read that you are having a great time.
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:00 PM   #24
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Hey Driver.... I'm really enjoying reading your comments about the sights you see. Having lived in the west my entire life, I often take for granted the beauty of the constantly changing terraine, the magnificent mountain ranges, and gorgeous sunsets.

Everytime I drive through the vast expanses between mountain ranges, I marvel at how the brave pioneers made it across and between them with thier covered wagons.

Only when I travel east and find myself without being able to see the horizon or distant mountains, do I begin to appreciate our wide open spaces.

Of course, I love to travel to any part of the country that is GREEN and cool. We will be leaving on our summer quest for trees and beaches in just 17 days. I can already smell the fresh pines and ocean breezes of the Monterey Penninsula.
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:34 PM   #25
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CyberVet65:
If you got the time come on South to the Color Country of Utah. With Zion and Bryce Canyon it is gorgeous this time of year. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Chet, We are scheduled to go to the Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande Arizona during the first week of August. I bet there'll be plenty of color out there for us to enjoy and we can't wait. Here's hoping they have a nice cool swimming pool.

I know it's August but we'll see how it all works out.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:42 PM   #26
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Enjoying the narative as you move along. Seems like it hardly took you any time at all to get to where you are at! Lets hear from Colleen too! She prob gets to see more than you, since she isn't driving! Safe trip..see you at the National.
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Old 05-12-2005, 12:04 PM   #27
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Driver,

Sorry to report that the only color you will see in Casa Grande in August is Brown.

The golf course will be green, but you risk sunstroke if you try to play.

The RV resorts in Central and Southern AZ tend to be pretty deserted in the summer months. Most have a few residents in park models who stay all year... but most are owned by snowbirds for winter use.

Don't know what route you are taking but I suggest taking the scenic route... coming via Flagstaff, then south to Phoenix and Casa Grande. Be sure to take a side trip to beautiful Sedona.. just south of Flagstaff... it is spectacular all year, and a not-to-be-missed highlight of any trip to AZ.

You will have to come back to AZ during the early spring.... the desert is a carpet of colorful flowers.
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:09 PM   #28
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sunflyer Judy:
Sorry to report that the only color you will see in Casa Grande in August is Brown. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I bet that there will be many different shades of brown. The subtleties make all the difference in the world I bet.
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