Sunday, July 7, 2019

Trip Planning (part 3)(leave Thursday)

Location: New Rockdale RV Park; Mansfield, Louisiana (elevation: 330 ft)

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.
These two additional stops takes me out to July 28th. I'm not sure of my direction after Green River, Utah. I can head north to Idaho by passing through Salt Lake City which I didn't really care for when I stayed there years ago. Or I can continue west into Nevada then turn north. This will allow me to see Angel Lake at Wells, Nevada. I was not able to see it when I passed through there before because it was closed due to winter weather. After leaving Wells I can continue north on the Great Basin Highway through Jackpot, Nevada with a possible campground stop at the casino in this small town out in the middle of nowhere. After Jackpot, I would be in southern Idaho. I'm leaning more and more to this route, but am still not 100% sure. 

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)" . 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, 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.


  1. Safe Travels young man. I will be reading your reports with joy.

    1. Thanks Barney,,,try to stay cool over there. I like your new campsite.

  2. Yes the humidity, or the lack thereof will definitely make a difference. Having lived a large part of my early life in Miami Florida I know the meaning of humidity, boy do I know. And when I moved to Colorado it was like a breath of fresh air... Literally. The home I bought when I first moved here was not air conditioned, and the home I sold before I went full-time was also un-air-conditioned, but it did have three different types of heating.

    Right now the temperatures where I'm at in Denver have been in the high 80s low 90s in the daytime and humidity is at 30% or less. I'm not plugged in which is normal for me, and I stay relatively comfortable in my Arctic Fox with some Windows open, the roof fans going and my little 12 volt Endless Breeze floor fan blowing on me. Denver is very low in altitude so Once you get into the mountains a little bit I doubt you would even need an air conditioner.

    So have fun, stay safe, and when you get to the top of the passes don't forget to gear down.


    1. Hello Tom, I've passed through parts of Colorado a couple of times and the weather was always nice, even the time I got snowed on in Rocky Mountain NP. As far as the passes go, I base all of them off of Wolf Creek Pass which I've been over twice with Liberty in tow. From what I've seen, most passes are less than or just slightly worse than Wolf Creek. I actually look forward to Monarch Pass on this trip. Keep enjoying your family and mini-vacations.

  3. You are really are getting your travel planned. We just spent 6 days at Cactus Pete's RV Park in Jackpot, NV & enjoyed it. Lots of shade and quiet. If you do take the Nevada route stop at Cathedral Gorge State Park. Amazing. My post on it will be coming soon. I thought out paths might cross on your western trip but it looks like by the time you would get to Idaho if you come that way we will be on our way to New Mexico. The weather in Nevada and Idaho has been great while we have been here but it can turn in a split second. Have a great trip. Anxious to see what you find on your travels.

  4. hello Barb, I'm not sure I'll be far enough south for Cathedral Gorge, but you may have tilted me all the way to going through Jackpot. I thought we might cross too. Ya'll be careful out there,,,, don't head south too quick, it is still very hot and humid everywhere down here.