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SoCal to Moab - Road Trip Report

Discussion in 'Blazer Bash' started by HarryH3, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I'm posting this update for the SoCal caravan that is going to BB02. If the rig you'll be driving to Moab, be it the trail rig or tow vehicle, has any tendency to overheat or vapor lock, I would strongly recommend that you get the problem solved before you depart for Moab.

    Monday I drove from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles, much of the route was the one that you'll be following to get to Moab. Here are some observations from the journey:

    I drove past the turnoff from I-70 to Moab at 7 p.m. The outside temperature at that time was 102 degrees. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif It's gonna be toasty out there in the desert! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif

    There are a LOT of long, steep climbs along most of the route. These will work your engine very hard, especially as the altitude increases. One that was quite noteworthy was the 30 mile stretch of I-15 that cuts across a small corner of Arizona. It's called Virgin River Canyon. It's a long stretch of 4-6% grade, which you'll be climbing as you head northwest. I entered the canyon at 11p.m. and the air temperature at that time of night was 102 degrees. The daytime temps in that canyon must be incredible. Combine that heat with the extra stress of climbing the grade and any weaknesses will show up quickly. (Of course, this assumes that you've successfully pulled the grades along I-15 as you cross the Mojave Desert). /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif I passed at least 75 vehicles disabled or abandoned on the side of the road during the trip. /forums/images/icons/frown.gif

    Also keep an eye on the fuel gauge and make sure that you have plenty of fuel. It's a long way between some of the fuel stops. The longest is along I-70 in Utah, a 106 mile stretch of NO places to get fuel, food, etc. Fuel prices also varied wildly, depending on what town the stations were in.

    The good news is that the scenery is truly incredible. Be sure you bring along a chin-strap, so you won't be driving slack-jawed in awe all the time. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    I'll be heading back to Colorado on Wednesday and plan to take some notes along the way to give you a somewhat detailed list of information that should be useful during your trek to BB02. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  2. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Hey thanks for the info on thoes temps!!
    This will be a hellov an experiance driving a 30yearold rig thru the desert /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif ! I do have anew 4core rad and both mechanical and electric fans so I hope I will be ok. Getting from Barstow to Vegas is gonna probly be the Hottest part for us cuz we are gonna rest the rigs and our brains/butts just outside of Vegas until 4am or so then it's time to head out putting us in Moab around 1pm-2pm.
    Any time tracking and average speed you can give us from Vegas to the I70 & hwy 191 interchange would be great! I think it will be about an 8hr trip from Vegas to Moab???
    Good luck on your way back!
     
  3. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I was cruising at 75-80 MPH for most of the trip, so I made pretty good time. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif But I'll keep track of times, mile markers, fuel stops, etc. and try to give you guys a personalized trip list to follow as you make your journey. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  4. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    That would be very cool!
    Anyinfo you can gather for us between Barstow, Cal I15 to I70/Hwy191 interchange would be GREAT!!!
    Do you have a cell phone? If so check for signals along the route too. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
    Thanks and have fun /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    OK gang! I've made the return trip and took a few notes along the way. Here's some stuff that I hope will be helpful for the caravan! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif All gasoline prices are for regular unleaded. Add 10 cents per gallon for the price of each grade above that. So $1.49 for regular means $1.59 for mid-grade and $1.69 for premium. Octane numbers vary due to the changes in altitude. If your engine doesn't ping on 87 at sea level, then it shouldn't ping up higher on 85 octane. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif

    Once you get away from the major towns, cell phone coverage gets very spotty. "No Service" was displayed on my phone for a lot of the trip. Coverage between LA and Las Vegas seemed to be pretty good, probably because this is a VERY busy stretch of highway!

    8:30 PM - Left LA

    10:00 PM - Victorville, CA - It's 84 degrees outside.

    Hesperia, CA - There's a Pilot station on the left that has gas for $1.42 The exits aren't numbered here, and I didn't get the name of the exit. /forums/images/icons/mad.gif

    Baker - 11:21PM 104 degrees - Gasoline here costs $1.74! /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif

    A 17 mile climb begins just outside of Baker. The climb ends at Halloran Summit Rd. It's fairly steep and had the tranny hunting up and down for the right gear. The good news is that the outside temp had dropped to 88 degrees by the time I reached the top of the climb. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif

    Midnight - Primm, Nevada - And it's 95 degrees out.

    12:30 AM - It's 101 degrees in Las Vegas.

    North side of Las Vegas - The Pilot station had gas for $1.45 I didn't see an exit number, but there's a large CAT Diesel Power sign on the left, right near the exit.

    Mesquite, NV - $1.64 for gas here. Hope you filled up in Las Vegas! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    Stopped in Mesquite at 3 AM for a few hours of sleep. It's 97 degrees outside!

    8:30 AM - Mesquite, NV - Sky is overcast, so the temp is still "only" 97 degrees. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif The sky was overcast for the remainder of my trip, so the temps never got near the highs they can reach on a sunny day.

    8:45 AM - Entrance to Virgin River Canyon - 95 degrees.

    St. George, UT - Exit 4 - Flying J has gas for $1.39 - There's also a Walmart at this exit, just in case you need any emergency supplies. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    Exit 59 - Gas is $1.59

    Cedar City, UT - At 11:12 AM it's a cool 83 Degrees.

    Exit 71 - Sunshine Fuel Stop has gas for $1.40

    Exit 112 - Beaver, UT - At 11:50 AM it's 86 degrees.

    Gas at the stations near the freeway is $1.65 /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif But a sign says that gas at "Ernies" Sinclair is just $1.49. Turn right at the exit, drive past the expensive places and just about ¼ mile around the bend is Ernies place. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif Note that Ernies only has 4 gas pumps, so it could take a while to fill lots of trucks. There are also several fast food places at this exit.

    On to the I-70 exit! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif

    Exit 37 - Richfield, UT Gas is $1.49 - 86 degrees at 12:55 PM.

    Exit 40 - Flying J has gas for $1.45

    Exit 54 - Salina, UT - Gas here is $1.59

    NOTE: THIS IS THE LAST PLACE TO BUY FUEL, FOOD, DRINKS, ETC. FOR THE NEXT 110 MILES!!! There is NOTHING that resembles civilization for quite a while! This is IT until you reach Green River, UT. The cell phone also didn't have a signal for most of this distance.

    Mile Marker 102 - If you have time, get off at the View Area here and take a look at what you're about to drive through. You'll be glad you did... It's a pretty awesome sight! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif

    Mile Marker 138 - Right around here, the speed limit drops from 75 to 60. They aren't kidding! For the next several miles the road is pretty twisty. Pay attention and you'll notice a tight, right-hand turn that has LOTS of skid marks where folks have been going too fast and discovered it too late. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif Check out the center divider wall in that turn. It's got plenty of "character" from all of the vehicles that have hit it. Try not to add anything to it! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    Mile Marker 144 - 6% grade begins here. At 2:21PM it's 102 degrees.

    Exit 158 - Green River, UT - At 2:30 PM it's 104 degrees.

    Exit 180 - Highway 191 to MOAB! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif At 2:45 PM it's 102 degrees.

    Have a great trip! Note that on much of the trip, the speed limit is 75. What this means on the long grades is that traffic in the left lane is going 80, while traffic in the right lane is going 25. Watch out for the morons going 25.0005 MPH that decide that they simply MUST get into the left lane to pass the "slow poke" ahead of them! There's potential for a very nasty display of the laws of physics should vehicles from the 2 different lanes meet at the extreme speed differential between them. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif

    Just to give you an idea of how much the weather varies in the west.... At 7 PM I was entering the Eisenhower Tunnel, at just over 11,000 feet above sea level, on I-70, in Colorado. There was a very light rain, with a temp of 51 degrees. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif I was just 260 miles from the turnoff to Moab and it was 51 degrees cooler!
     
  6. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Hey, you found all my gas / rest spots (at least til you turned onto 70). That trip is something, isn't it? I did that trip at 20 MPH! /forums/images/icons/frown.gif

    Great report Harry! Gonna be one HOT time in Moab. I think everybody ought to figure out how much water would be "too much", then triple that amount. People should also bring salt (in whatever form) and potassium tablets for electrolyte replacement.
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I'm pretty sure that I saw a few parts from the Skigirl-mobile scattered along the side of the highway. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  8. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!

    That would be me, yes. /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif
     
  9. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Cool Thanks!
    Glad you made it back safe!!
    Thanks again!
    Burt
     
  10. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    The truck stop in Lenwood probably has the cheapest gas for quite awhile, I think i you can make it to Vegas from lenwood if your gettin more that 10 MPG too, its about 30 miles from victorville. The truckstop at the 395 off ramp is a good place to get gas and whatever you need, and the gas station in the Lowes shopping center at the Bear Valley off ramp has pretty good prices for gas too. If you guys need anything I work at the best GM dealer in Victorville, Rancho Motor Company, if you need anything stop by and ask an employee to page Jason, everyone knows the owner's 16 year old son.

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Hesperia, CA - There's a Pilot station on the left that has gas for $1.42 The exits aren't numbered here, and I didn't get the name of the exit.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    This is the 395 exit its about 5 or so miles after the end of the Cajon pass

    Hope that helps in the Victorville area, we got almost everything you could need too, its the most populated place till Vegas.
     
  11. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks, although moast all of us will be going thru Bakersfield to Barstow, so Victorville is not on our route. Thanks for the info. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     

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