Thursday, May 08, 2014

Down in that west Texas town...

Looks like we're going to stay in El Paso for the day, and head out in the early morning tomorrow.

Originally, we were planning to fuel and feed on the outskirts of the Phoenix metro area, then run the whole 430 miles in 5-6 hours, at a non-stop 80+ mph

At high speed cruise (around 78-82mph), we get about 480 miles on a tank before the warning light comes on, at appx 50 miles DTE. (Or, about 70 additional miles doing it at 74-76 instead of 80+. ).

When it comes to long hauls, we really love having a big diesel... Really should get that extended 56 gallon underbed tank though. We wouldn't QUITE get 1000 miles out of it at 75mph... But we would at 65.

Anyway, the speed limit is 75mph for all but about 40 miles of those 430, and when the traffic is clear, you can usually run 82 or so almost the whole way (and average better than 75 no problem). I've done south/west phoenix metro to El Paso in under 6 hours a few times.

Unfortunately, high winds and blowing dust along much of the 10 (by much, we mean pretty much the entire distance between Casa Grande and Las Cruces) had us crawling along well below the limit most of the time.

It wasn't particularly dangerous or low visibility, it was just nasty crosswinds, that you don't want to be speeding in. We never got pushed across a lane even, just some bobbling, but even then, you really need to slow down and be careful.

So we spent most of the trip at -2 to -5, sometimes even -10 (when the 18 wheeler traffic was heavy).

Between that, heavy traffic in the first hour (again, from the wind and blowing dust), and stopping to actually relax and enjoy dinner in Tucson (something we never regret doing while on a long road trip), it ended up taking us 8 hours to run the 430 miles we had planned to make in 5-6.

Losing an hour back to daylight savings time land (Arizona doesn't participate in DST), we ended up not getting in until 0230L, and not settled until well after 3... at which point my body decided, as it sometimes does... that it was too tired to actually sleep right then.

Four hours later, and I'm finally running out out my second wind. Hopefully I'll manage to get some sleep soon.

That's ok though... it just means we get to enjoy the afternoon and evening with our friends... and we should still be in Tampa in time for our other friends birthday party.