Not much to look at on this one as it was just a long road day driving from Granby to St. Louis in one shot. Things went pretty well on the way back, we managed to sneak out early enough to miss Denver morning rush hour, the wind in Kansas was tolerable, and I finally managed to find a way to sit in the truck for long stretches without it killing my back (I really need a new driver’s seat and some suspension work).
The trip was success in that we all had a good relaxing time away from things. It was very nice to unplug from work for a week and the truck handled the trip well. Prior to heading out, I had the ECU returned to turn the emissions stuff back on since I am now in an area that requires compliance. That change netted me better mileage than the prior years trip, though still pretty low. However, the truck seemed to run much smoother than it had in the past. Highway mileage (at 70-75 ish) was around the 11-12 mpg mark. Running around the mountains (50-60 mph) was upper teens which surprised me considering how hard I had to run the thing at elevation. Trail MPG seemed to still hang out around the 6-8 mpg mark, but that’s mostly due to our leisurely pace.
There is lots of little things I would like to do to the truck prior to its next big excursion (or wheeling trip), but no money to knock those projects out for now. It is nice to know that it can handle the long road trips as it sits right now though!
I don’t know that we would stay in the same area again unless I drag my Mountain Bike out there with me. While we slept in Granby every night, each day we were driving a good distance to the places we wanted to go. While it would have cost more, it would have made more sense to stay in the Winter Park/Fraser area, or head up to the Grand Lake area as that was where most of our time was spent.
Man it was HOT and DRY out there as well. We felt like sponges rehydrating as we traveled back to St. Louis. None of us were expecting the heatwave that was going on while we were there, and we were all actively seeking shade as the day wore on.
The beetle kill is kind of depressing to see, and there were lots of areas where the dead trees were being removed/cleared, presumably to cut down on fuel for forest fires? However, there are areas where trees are coming back, and it will be interesting to see the rebirth of the forest over the next 20 years.