Getting READY for the next adventure took some work. It was not as simple as packing some clothes and throwing a few groceries in the fridge. Because this trip will be our longest with the travel trailer since last summer, we went through every drawer, every storage box, every compartment, making sure everything was in its place. Stuff gets shuffled around when we are parked at home for any length of time. If something was missing, we wanted to find it and put it back in its place.
We also tested all the systems, sanitized the fresh water tank, flushed the water heater, lubed the slide and conditioned its seals. We inspected the roof, the brakes and the tires. We topped off our propane. We ran the generator and changed the oil. We replaced our tonneau cover with an ARE truck cap to better carry our bikes. Then we washed and detailed the truck—making sure the tires shined.
Finally, we were SET. The evening before our departure, our kids came for dinner. We cooked pizzas on the Blackstone griddle—a family favorite. We set up a pizza making station with a big selection of toppings, a variety of cheese, and four kinds of crusts to choose from. Each person chose either a traditional wheat, pita, naan or cauliflower crust and made their own personal pizza. Then they brought it to the griddle to be cooked. Everyone was happy to have a pizza made just the way they like it.
When dinner was over, we received our hugs, kisses and well-wishes. Being away from family is the difficult part of travel. We didn’t say good-bye, only that we will see them when we get back.
In the morning, I went to see my mother. She lives next door, so I didn’t have far to go. At eighty-five years old, she hates when we leave and gets very anxious. To her credit, she kept a stiff upper lip and held back the tears as we kissed her cheek.
At 10:00 a.m. it was time to GO. I reset the trip mileage tracker to zero, entered our destination into Google Maps and pulled away from the house. Our daughter and son-in-law stood in the yard and waved as we drove away. My mother will be in good hands with those two nearby.
One of our biggest concerns for this trip is the cost of diesel fuel. It cost $5.53 per gallon at the last fill up. On this first leg we had 250 miles to cover, of which, 234 miles was highway driving on I-75. I wanted to do a test, so I set the cruise control at 59 mph. I already know I get 11.0 mpg at 64 mph when towing. I was curious to see what the savings would be at the slower speed.
Over the length of the 234 highway miles, we averaged 12.5 mpg at 59 mph. That is a savings of 2.55 gallons or $14.10. I did not like driving at that slower speed though. I was constantly passed by everyone and I felt like I might get run over by a semi-truck. Also, it added 25 minutes to the length of the drive. So the question is: Was it worth it? I am not convinced it is. What do you think? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Our plan is to be on the road for several weeks. Reservations are made and the destination is set for the first month. After that…who knows? We have some ideas, but nothing is set in stone. We trust that we will figure it out. That is how we fly sometimes—by the seat of our pants. Follow along as we navigate through the high fuel cost and uncertainties as we embark on another adventure.
Until next time…Happy Days and Safe Travels