I have about 3 days to complete the preparations before I begin my next exploration. I'll pull out of Mansfield, early next Thursday, July 11, 2019. I have added two more campgrounds, with reservations, to my route. They are in Montrose, Colorado and Green River, Utah.
|Same route as above, just different map.|
Now that I'm within one week of leaving, I've started keeping track of the weather along the route. When I'm traveling, this is a daily event. I keep up with storms, Highs/Lows, winds and fronts along my route. The National Weather Service has a very nice website at the "Weather Prediction Center (WPC)"https://origin.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/basicwx/basicwx_ndfd.php . It includes forecast national maps for 2 1/2 days. These show the fronts and high/low locations. I have found these to be very accurate. For a more distant outlook, there is a link on that same WPC page on the left for days 3 to 7 in the future. These are a little less accurate but still pretty good. When I'm traveling, I move campgrounds about every 2 to 3 days so during that 7 day forecast period, I may move 500 to 700 miles down the road. If I want to zero in on the area I'm currently in, I start with the National Weather Service Home page, https://www.weather.gov/. You can zoom into any location in the country and get all of the information you need.
Currently, I'm tracking a possible mini Heat Wave along my route. It depends on if a High Pressure moves out of Colorado in to northern Texas. If it does, I'll be looking at 100 degree days after Fort Worth, Texas until I get to Raton, New Mexico. That will only be 3 to 4 days, but surprisingly, there is a big difference between low 90's and 100. If the heat wave hits, I'll just keep telling myself, "it's a dry heat". That will make it better, won't it? Luckily, there is no rain predicted along my route, all the way to Colorado. The panhandle of Texas is notorious for some strong storms moving east. There is usually a "dry line" running from about Amarillo south to the Mexican border. It will sometimes be stationary but when storms attach themselves to it, it will move eastward with a fury. This dry line is the separation between the moist Gulf of Mexico air and the dry air from the desert southwest (Arizona/northern Mexico). Weather features are a toss-up, mostly High's mean clear but hotter weather while Low's mostly mean storms, winds and unpredictability. We will see how it all works out, but right now I am satisfied with the forecast through about 10 days from now.
I have an appointment on Monday to get Freedom's oil changed, tires rotated and a general check-up. She is in pretty good shape for a gasoline engine with a little over 100,000 miles. Liberty is ready to roll as well. I may change her in-house water filter before we leave or may wait for cooler weather down the road. Her tires are fine and I just checked their air pressure with the Temperature/Pressure Monitoring system. I like it a lot, it allows me to check all four tires from inside the air conditioning. I'll put new batteries in my laser temperature gun that I use to check the hub/brake housing temperatures on Liberty whenever I stop for gas or at a rest area. I got one of my propane bottles filled yesterday at a cost of $14.00 for 6 gallons. That bottle lasted me about one year. Liberty carries two propane bottles and both are filled now. I still have several things to stow away inside Liberty but I keep putting it off. Little by little it's getting done, and I'll finish before I leave, hopefully.
In the next couple of days, I'll start writing down my route directions to my first campground. I still do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper. I'll list any gasoline or rest stops with the mileage between each. All turns onto different roads is listed with the mileage showed from the last turn or stop. I have a couple GPS programs, but I haven't been using them in the past except for a couple of time. With my new cell phone, I may try its GPS/Google Maps program to see how it works.
Ok, I've rambled too much in this post but wanted to get down some of the things I do in preparation to travel. As the leaving day gets closer, I'll get more excited and productive at finishing preparations.
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.