Sunday, August 22, 2021

Trip End Summary

What did we learn from 5 weeks in our new Winnebago Travato 2022 KL camper van? I learned that I could probably live in a tiny home (or at least a much smaller home) without much problem. Two adults and a dog lived comfortably in 135 square feet for 34 nights. I'm now wondering why I need all the rest of that stuff sitting at home. There is a balance, of course. Some things are needed to maintain a house, that aren't needed on the road. There are also some things, such as musical instruments, that bring joy at home, but we chose not to bring on the trip. But overall, I could live happily in much less space. Elena is not as certain as I am.

It was nice to get home, but I certainly could have gone longer. Elena said five weeks was about the right maximum. Bebop seemed ready to go again. As I was unloading items from the van this morning, she jumped into her seat and looked disappointed when we didn't drive away. She was a delight on the trip - perfectly well-adjusted to travel. Prioritizing experiences over stuff is very enjoyable and relaxing. Here was our route:

Road trip route (#'s are POI, not days)

Let's get to the data. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised by my data and analysis of our 5-week road trip.

Miles Driven: 5,336.6 miles (only about 200 on the interstates; about 100 on gravel and dirt roads)
Average miles/day: 152
Average miles/day minus four days and 1,200 round trip miles in and out of Texas: 133
States outside of Texas: (6) NM, CO, UT, WY, MT, ID 
Time Driving: 130 hours
Avg Speed: 41 mph
MPG: 16.2 (many mountains and hills)
Gas Used: 327.8 gallons
Gas Cost: $1,114.52 ($32/day)
Highest temperature: 99ºF in Vernal, UT
Lowest temperature: 36ºF in old Snowmass, CO, and Creede, CO

Best MPG was on the downhill coming home

Highest elevation driven: 11,530 feet (Slumgulllion Pass, CO). Times across the continental divide: 12

Continental Divide Crossings
  • Cuba, NM 6,900 (W)
  • Yellowstone NP 8,200 (E)
  • Glacier NP 7,400 (W)
  • Butte, MT 6,400 (E)
  • Henry Lake - Reynolds Pass 6,800 (W)
  • Henry Lake - Targhee Pass 7,100 (E)
  • Yellowstone 8,300 (W)
  • Yellowstone 8.300 (E)
  • Yellowstone 8.200 (W)
  • Sslumgullion Pass 11,530 (E)
  • Wolf Creek Pass 10,900 (W)
  • North of Abiquiu 7,700 (E)
Sleeping locations - cost avg ~$21/night
  • State Parks (10)
  • National Parks (7)
  • Private Campgrounds (6)
  • Boondocked in the forest - not in any parking lots (4)
  • Moochdocked in driveways of relatives and friends (6)
  • Hotel (had points for one free night) (1)

Food - Cooked most meals in the van. Stopped for groceries about 7 times. Ate out a few times with friends. Avg cost per day = to what we would have spent at home. We ate very well, but increased activity (hiking) helped me shed a few pounds on the trip.

  • Flat Tire: (1) fortunately, just the mountain bike on the bike rack, not the van. The 31-year-old weathered bike tire blew out while on the bike rack during our drive through Glacier NP.
  • Sewer hose popped out of the hole during one black water dump. Yuck.
  • Grey tank valve was still open once when we removed the cap. Oops.
  • Awning deployed in grocery parking lot when the switch was bumped putting away groceries. It hit a light fixture pole, but both survived.
  • An accident happened on a rural road just before we topped a hill. We were greeted with big guardrail pieces strewn across the narrow road (no shoulders). Hit one piece and missed two. No apparent damage.
The smoke and haze obscured some mountain views for much of the trip, but we had a few nice days, and we focused on wildlife, waterfalls, and up close things.
  • The petroglyphs and bighorn sheep in Nine Mile Canyon (blog link)
  • Mom and young moose and bear with two cubs in the same day at the Tetons NP (blog link)
  • Bison and scenery in Yellowstone, and the Beartooth Highway drive (blog link
  • The hike to No Name Lake in Glacier NP (blog link)
  • Sheep Creek Geological Loop (blog link)
  • The smoke clearing the day we arrived at the Maroon Bells (blog link)
  • A nice soak in a clothing optional hot spring (blog link)
  • Numerous bighorn sheep along the La Verde Vista trail along the Rio Grande (blog link)
  • And though I didn't write a blog about our hike at the Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu or our camp site at Abiquiu Lake, they resulted in a few of the best photos of the trip.
Coming into the Ghost Ranch

Hike into the box canyon at the Ghost Ranch

Overlooking Abiquiu Lake

- Paul

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing Paul! Fantastic adventuring and blogging for sure. What a trip - can't wait for your next one...