17 October 2012

2012 WILD WEST 20 - It's a Wrap

OK, reviewed probably 500 (no exaggeration) past e-mails, returned phone calls, attended Kalamazoo Ladies' Library Assn (www.kalamazooladieslibrary.org) meetings, caught up on family business and three birthday commitments (one more to go), attended jury duty call (I didn't get picked), a theatre date (Legally Blonde at the Civic), and enjoyed just plain down time since our return. So we're finally ready to back-track and finish up all the daily travel blogs and add photos.

Here's how the trip went. I'll put an asterisk by the days I've completed in case you want to look at any days you missed or the days we were at your house. If you see any errors on my part or want to add something cool we left out, you can e-mail us or leave a comment.

* 9/25 - Home to Eau Claire WI

* 9/26 - to Jamestown ND
* 9/27 - to Billings MT
* 9/28 - to Ritzville WA
* 9/29 - to Crater Lake and Ashland OR
* 9/30 - to Shady Cove OR
* 10/1 - to Chico CA
* 10/2 - to Lincoln CA
* 10/3 - to San Francisco CA
* 10/4 - to Half Moon Bay CA
* 10/5 - to Mojave CA
* 10/6 - to Yuma AZ
* 10/7 - still in Yuma AZ
* 10/8 - to Prescott Valley AZ and Winslow AZ
* 10/9 - to Amarillo TX
* 10/10 - to Fayetteville AR
* 10/11 - to Hurricane Dec MO and Granite City IL
* 10/12 - to Home
* 10/13 - Mike's BD

This trip entailed 6,354.7 total travel miles. Whoa, cowgirl! Mike says average MPG was 49.6! High MPG on one tank was 58.6 and 528 miles.

This tank was filled just before Crater Lake and refilled in Lincoln CA. Our tank holds under 11 gallons. So big gas savings, BUT today we took the car in for the 5,000 mile check (which we just did on 9/23) and found besides the regular maintenance, we needed to replace a leaking water pump. So $686 later probably not an overall savings. Still this is the first "default" maintenance we have had on Sparky, our 2008 Prius. And thankful it did not default somewhere like the Mojave Desert.

We enjoyed almost every minute of this trip. A few times there was bad traffic or too much driving "assistance" on my part for Mike's liking, but we loved visits with friends and family and the in between extended just-the-two-of-us-alone time with no pressure to do something or be somewhere or be interrupted by this or that, or TV.

And finally, a BIG THANKS to everyone that graciously opened their home to be our home for a day or two, or home-cooked or treated us to a meal at a restaurant, or plied us with alcohol and such, or gave us gifts (wine, recipes, artichoke antipasto spread, ice for the cooler, travel food, etc). But most especially, thanks for a great review of old memories and bundle of new ones. We love ya

For next trip, need to get some apps: 1) trivial pursuit, 2) best gas locations, and 3) automatic altimeter with highs and lows for the day. Also Sirius radio.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.