Thursday, July 8, 2010

How we get from here to there

Our non-RVing readers might be interested in how we get from one location to the next.  For that, all credit goes to Sandy.  She is navigator-in-chief and does an outstanding job.

Once we know the general area of where we want to go, she uses a variety of tools to determine the route of travel.  Generally, she uses Map-Quest first to determine the distance that will be traveled.  Then when she has a specific location that can be put into the Garmin, who is referred to as Vera, Sandy has a possible route to follow.  Next she compares the Garmin route with the Motor Carriers Road Atlas to verify where the Garmin is taking us is a "truck route" which means if a semi can travel the road, so can our 40 foot Moose.  From there, Sandy compares the internet directions to the RV park or COE park to those in the Garmin.  This is really important, as some of the COE parks can be difficult to find.  And deviations from the Garmin are noted on a notepad to reference when we get close to our destination.  And even doing all of the above, we often need 2 pair of eyes to not miss a critical turn.

We learned long ago not to trust in Vera blindly.  Here is why.  Let's say we are headed to a cross roads.  Vera knows there is a county gravel road that will take a diagonal and save 3 or 4 or more miles.  But the narrow road is not worth the gamble.  So we tend to tell her to "shut up" when she says: in .2 miles go left on something like "Milk Wagon Lane."

Whenever possible we tend to avoid the Interstate Highways for two reasons:  we can more safely travel at 62 MPH and 1350 RPMs which is out sweet spot for optimum fuel economy -- and we get to see more of the countryside.   When we do travel on the Interstate highways, we use a spiral bound book called EXIT NOW.  This book is an exit directory and tells us what we can find at every exit on all of the Interstate Highways in North America.  This is especially handy because it lists fuel stops that are big rig friendly.  We do not like to squeeze into gas stations.

Today was air conditioner maintenance day.  This involved climbing up to the roof, taking the covers off the two AC units and then vacuuming fins and coils to remove accumulated dust. I got lucky, no mud dauber nests were present -- a common occurrence in motorhomes.  It was hot up there.  I'm glad I was only topside for an hour.

Tomorrow we travel 180 miles from Ogallala, Nebraska 180 northwest to Crawford, NE.  We are only staying for two nights.

I'll close with a late shot of tonight's sunset.

Stay tuned. 


  1. New follower here! I've been browsing through reading here and there and you've done a great job with info and pics!

    Love the history at Hays Kansas! Being that my maiden name is Hayes (yes a little different), I've always looked at this place with curiosity and interest.

    Looking forward to future post!

    Cheers! Merri

  2. Just a stunning sunset!! :)
    Do you all ever have trouble finding a place to stop for fuel when you travel on roads other than interstates? We prefer the "other" roads but I guess we are still newbie enough to be a little nervous about fuel.

    Safe travels!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)