Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday April 13, 2009

Stella set her alarm for 5 o'clock this morning. We intend to be on the road between 7:30 and 8, so we want to get an early start. I went outside and did everything I could do, leaving only the water and electricity and ate a breakfast croissant. When I finished eating, I went back outside and finished my work. We left the park right at 8 o'clock, a record for us!

We made very good time down I-20 until we got to the junction with Hwy. 287. Almost as soon as we got on the highway, I noticed an 18 wheeler truck that was blowing a lot of smoke, and when we got nearer to him I found that he was also blowing soot and oil out of the exhaust. The nasty oily stuff completely covered the front of the trailer and the windshield of the truck. It was so bad, I couldn't see out, so I turned on the windshield wipers, which immediately made it worse. The oil smeared and made a film over the windshield that was almost impossible to see through. I was able to get a small area on the lower part of the windshield cleared enough for me to see. Thank goodness the truck soon turned off, and we were able to drive pretty slowly in the right hand lane until I could find a service station to pull into in Haslet Texas. I needed fuel anyway, and I used the squeegee and plenty of paper towels to clean off the windshield. I took 18 gallons of diesel at $2.159 per gallon to go 156.7 miles for a 8.7 mpg average.

As soon as I pulled back onto the highway, I found that there were still streaks of oil on the windshield that I couldn't see in the station lot. It was also freezing cold, so I finished up as soon as I could. I soon pulled into a Flying J truck stop. I knew that truck stops have the long handled squeegees that will clean the windshield much better. The windshield wipers were also soaked with oil and I didn't even try to clean the truck or trailer but the windshield was much much better.

We continued on toward Amarillo and still made very good time. We made our second fuel stop in Vernon Tx. and took 16.8 gallons at $2.199 per gallon to go 147.7 miles for a 8.8 mpg average. Again, not very good, but we are bucking a head wind and going uphill toward Amarillo.

We took a stretch break at one of the nice new "safety rest areas" as the state is now calling the roadside rest areas. They are so much nicer than they used to be, and are all, or mostly all, wi-fi hotspots. This makes it very convenient for travelers to stay connected on the Internet while on the road.

We made it into Amarillo and made our final fuel stop at a Flying J. We took 20.4 gallons at $2.159 per gallon to go 164.9 miles for an 8.1 mpg average. This is worse, but at least we're pretty consistent. Today;s overall average is 8.5mpg.

I was sick of looking at this filthy truck and trailer so I found a Blue Beacon Truck wash. It cost me $58.50 to have both the truck and trailer washed and they both look much better. After driving down the highway to the park, I found many small areas that needed scrubbing or wiping, but from a distance they still look much better. I will clean both of them up when we get to Albuquerque.

We were very pleasantly surprised by the Oasis RV Resort. This is a brand new park that is set up beautifully. It has blacktop roads, long pull through sites and full hookups including wi-fi and cable TV. The best parts are the introductory offers of $17 per night for fifth wheels and class C motorhomes and $20 for full size motorhomes and best of all-free laundry service. It's true, the washers and dryers have coin slots that are temporarily disabled while the park builds clientele. This park is a member of the Jewels network of parks, and includes Buckhorn Lake in Kerrville, Tom Sawyer park in W. Memphis Arkansas, RV Ranch in Ft. Worth and Sunset Point in Marble Falls. These are some premier parks, so I believe this park will be outstanding in a short time.

We ate our sandwiches for supper and Stella went down to take advantage of the free laundry. I stayed in the trailer after carrying the clothes down to the laundry for her and watched television and checked emails.

All-in-all it was a very good travel day except for the oil. We made good time all day and took enough breaks that we were not exhausted when we got here. We plan to stop here again on the way back to Dickinson.

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