Saturday, May 11, 2013

April trip 2013, Day 1 - We have our first surprise

Here's Part 1 of where we went and who we saw on our April trip. More photos can be found on Facebook on the Travels with Juan page.

Saturday, March 30. We had been planning to leave on Monday April 1 but decided we needed a couple of extra days. So early this Saturday morning we began to get ready. We were able to leave just before lunch. 

Getting ready for a month-long road trip is something we've done before, and we already had a list: turn the water heater down to 'vacation', turn off the thermostat, run the last load of laundry, tidy up in the kitchen....

We also had to let the duck sitter know we were leaving early. 

The hardest part for me is always figuring out what to take for clothing. We'd be in southern Arizona as well as the mountainous parts of Oregon. Layers would be a good solution.

But I had just lost 26 pounds and only a few things were fitting. And I planned on losing more. I decided not to shop before going.

Food planning was different than for any recent trip. We were going to be in the travel trailer with its awesome kitchen, and that meant we'd have a fridge, but we'd also be at someone's house for most meals, or trying to make time on the road. In the end we grabbed a bunch of ingredients just in case cooking was not only needed but possible. 

We also took some ingredients in the freezer, such as homemade chicken broth and previously made refried beans. But we never used these. 

Food also meant a snack box for the car, which Juan put together: dried fruits, almonds, some dark chocolate, and some Shaklee 180 meal and snack bars.

Shaklee 180 Smoothees
(orange tops) in our
little trailer pantry
I also grabbed several cans of Shaklee 180 Smoothee mix, in retrospect far more than we'd ever be able to consume. I don't know what I had in mind. A can lasts a person at least a week, two if they're using bars as I was. And I had possibly 8 or 10 with us. 

I could always let people taste them along the way! (I did give some to a grown grandson, who was delighted to have a supplement for muscle building.)

And I took all the meal bars we had, which was several boxes worth.

So we had food done, we had carried our clothes out and put them away, and filled toiletry bags with that sort of thing. We had carried several loads each, and the new trailer looked virtually empty.

Then Juan made up the bed with our new cheap Target sheets, and added old camping blankets and comforters from the old trailer and our good pillows from the house. Also our good towels from the house.

And then of course we had to take his laptop, my iPad, my iPhone 5, his old phone, my Kindle, my other Kindle, and our new mobile hotspot. And his computer bag because he'd be flying out for a few days while we were on the roadtrip.

We left the driveway at 11:53am . As usual, we had a trip prayer. We hoped to get at least to southern Oregon if not to Boise. We didn't need to worry about lunch because we had the meal bars.

Our first shock, the biggest shock of the entire trip, came when we were down the road only a short distance: the gas was disappearing at an alarming rate: We took nearly a full tank after only 188 mi! We usually get nearly 20mpg (wthout the trailer) and it wasn't nearly as bad with the old trailer.

Here are our stops for Day 1, including mileage and purpose. 

89158    11:53am     leave home in Anacortes (with a full tank of gas)     Prayer: J
89346                       Ellensburg WA gas 21.222G @3.579 = $75.95 supper: restaurant 
89508     8:14pm      arrive Umatilla / Stanfield OR rest area to spend the night
Rest area, Stanfield OR (next morning), with Juan
Total = 350 mi, 8 1/4 hours, about 42mph overall

Obviously we fell far short of our hope to get to southern OR. We were almost out of gas when we stopped, so in only 350 miles we needed two tanks of gas. Just getting gas more often slowed us down.

But also we decided to drive more slowly and not use the cruise control as much - to see if we could conserve.

It was a good thing we left early - we would need the extra days just for driving.

Juan drove (as is usually the case only when the trailer is hitched up). I was able to work using my iPad and our new mobile hotspot for internet service. Several gaps in the service meant I could not work as much as time would have allowed, but I did get some email and Facebook done.

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