And the road goes on forever...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reviewing Utah

Since we didn’t have internet connection on our trip to our Utah training I thought I would backtrack a bit and post some photos of our trip. Although we didn’t sightsee or leave the main route of travel, we did cover some new and beautiful country, especially as I-15 converged on the Virgin River Gorge shortly after leaving Nevada across the very northern tip of Arizona just west of St. George, UT. As always with windshield shots, excuse the bugs on the windows.

That night’s boondocking was marvelous off one of the marked “Ranch Road no services” exits where we found one of our favorite spots to stay, a DOT gravel pit. This one being particularly large and private offered a quiet night’s stay with picturesque views.

Farther north along I-15 the next morning we saw three pilot cars warning of “wide load” and as we crested the grade and started down, we saw the reason. It was likely one of the largest loads we have ever seen transported along a highway, using a pull/push two semi’s to get the job done and more pilot cars and even a police car with flashing lights. Just look at all those tires to support the tremendous weight of whatever this thing was!

I-15 through this section of central Utah is much like I-5 through Oregon in that it undulates through a series of grades of about 6%, slowing us down going up and down, so we wouldn’t get rolling too fast with our heavy load. Several times I smelled the brakes on the Freightliner. At times however, it would flatten out into scenic valleys and experimental sections where Utah is trying out a new speed limit. Yes, you read that right: 80. Keep in mind that there is no truck speed limit here either. Wow, that’s a scary thought. It does leave one to wonder in this age of dwindling oil resources what the legislature is thinking allowing those kinds of speeds. Most vehicles experience a loss of at least 1/4 the fuel economy over a slower speed if they go 80, to say nothing of the devastation left in the wake of wrecks at that speed.

Finally; our home in Salt Lake City; right in a convenient location downtown, the KOA. This is a busy park full of families on their summertime travels with kids in tow; lots of construction workers and rows of old single wide trailers of permanent residents. Occasionally, the massive upper end diesel pushers arrive, but they are in the minority here amidst the popups, travel trailers, rental Class C’s and the ubiquitous fifth wheels belonging to the construction workers. Our spot has been nice but is only available on a monthly basis with no refunds, so by staying a little over two weeks we come out on the losing end of this deal. In this section, WIFI is included, but at a meager 1400 mb a day which precluded at home computer study and testing, forcing us into the local library. We really have to do something about our internet situation! Marc even had some time this weekend to do a little repair to our steps.