Final Post 8/1/10
It’s the last two days of “The Man’s Trip—Cruising the Hudson,” and Tom and I just woke up in the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The smell of pines and river running ramped behind us really set the tone for the days travel through this majestic mountainous playground. It’s my first experience seeing the sheer mountain scrape with reds, browns and a full cornucopia of color hues. Everywhere I look is a photo op, but being at the helm and pulling 8,000 pounds of boat make it difficult to get good shots in.
Throughout the day we stopped to stretch our legs to admire the surroundings and even getting an opportunity to visit some of the “view” turnouts. It’s amazing that a glacier once carved its path through these mountains, and for a split moment in time, we’re able to experience something so magnificent. I told Tom that next year on the way back I’m going to find a good trail and have a fun day mountain biking through the terrain. Maybe I’ll even get a chance to take a gondola up a ski lift and downhill it…
After the long steady decline out of the Rockies we entered into the low lands where the river winds through the canyon with the train tracks running alongside. Every so often we’d get a small glimpse of white-water-rafters enjoying Colorado’s finest rapids, which is also added to my future adventures. It was amazing that after all the years of snowboarding and never visiting Colorado, I’ve finally made it. Hopefully I can come during the winter months and have a go of the slopes from a different perspective.
We now entered Utah on the 70 and talk about landscape, this is definitely a photographers dream. The juxtaposition from the deep blue skies and scattered clouds against the red carved mountains really is a site to see. There is one suggestion that I’d like to make is, MAKE SURE TO HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS. Yes, it’s about a 100 mile drive without any gas stations in this section of Utah. We had half a tank and the only way we were able to make the crossing was to siphon gas out of the boat. We had taken about 40 gallons or so out from the last couple of days just to lighten up the trailer load, which really makes a difference on the gas mileage—8.5 gal. with a full tank on the boat verses 10 with half a tank. It may not seem like much, but when it’s costing about $1,000 just to get home, every bit helps. Getting back to siphoning gas; we had less than an eighth of a tank left and there were no signs letting us know where the next station would be, so we had to siphon 5 more gallons with the anticipation of making it to the nearest station.
As we started our gas quest I told Tom we really need it to be flat or downhill from here on out to make sure we have enough gas, but no sooner than I made the statement we were on a uphill assent for 10 miles. This really consumed our fuel and within no time we were back at an eighth of a tank.
Finally we made it to the top of the grade and from here on down it was using the gears to take advantage of the downward momentum. I had to engage the transmission into neutral as much as possible so that the “Tow Haul” wouldn’t engage. This slows down the vehicle without using the brakes, but it also wouldn’t allow us to coast downward without consuming fuel. No sooner than we thought, the “Low Fuel” light came on about 8 miles before the nearest station and at that point I had no choice but to coast her in all the way. Yes! The off ramp was in sight and we knew that we could make it to a station providing it was right off the off ramp.
One thing to remember when traveling these long distances without periodic fuel station is to pay close attention to the pricing. Even at a MAJOR provider they advertise one price and the pump says another. This is base on “CASH” verses Credit Cards. In this particular instance it was 16 cents difference. There’s nothing more that really crawls under my skin is gas price gouging! I made a mental note not to ever stop here again and I will absolutely fill up prior to entering this stretch again.
I decided that I could make a good run of it all the way to Primm, which is the border of Nevada and California, if I was well rested. I knew if we pulled this off it would be close to an eighteen hour drive, and my thought was to cross over Nevada’s hot spot first thing in the morning before the barometer pushed into the 3 digit level. If we did this Thursday’s drive would be roughly 250 miles on the last stretch and we could possibly be home by 1:00 or there about.
After arriving to our destination in Primm about 12:00 AM, we pulled into “Terrible’s Resort and Casino” where we were able to get a good night’s rest even in the 90 degree heat. I guess we were so tired that the heat had no significance on us and we slept all through the night.
It was roughly 7:00 AM Thursday and I wanted to make sure we were on the road by 8:00 to beat the extreme heat. It was a pleasant morning with light traffic and all I could think about was my 2 year dream was in its final hours of coming to an end. I couldn’t help but reminisce of all the people I encountered and the logistical nightmare that I overcame to pull the trip of my lifetime off. The whole experience was something that gave me a perspective that there really is life outside of CA. And all the generous people that helped us on our journey bring a deep sadness to me knowing for a brief moment in my life I was fortunate to have met them.
We did arrive at 1:15 PM Thursday afternoon and I remember the last 55 miles of the trip when I was telling Tom, I only have 1-hour left before it was all over. It came and passed in a split second so it seemed and all that I could think about was how many days until I get to visit, Kingston with Larry Hallstead from Rondout Marina, Catskills, Captain Kirk on Chances Aargh, Jimmy Gogats from TZ Marine Service– Sturgeon Point, and maybe even run into Dave & Carol on their 36 Passport, Adele Jones and her husband, but most of all my newest lifelong friend Dave (Bogie) Bouquart and his good friend Eddie Murray.
Thanks to all of you that helped us along our journey and to those of you that fallowed us during those trying days, we appreciate all your encouraging comments on our blog. But most off all, both Brandon and I hope we’ve given all of you a chance to travel alongside the 800 mile passage up and down the Hudson and though the Erie Canal with us as we experienced it.
Until our next journey…
Singing off @ 23:27 hours, Sunday, August 1, 2010
Skipper “Bad Striper.
Brandon R. Lopez