Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Day Three, Walsenburg CO

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Today’s theme is Changing Landscapes, I guess. The Gawk Factor remained high as New Mexico offered its own variations long before getting into Colorado. High desert, high forest, mountains, and sweeping, grass-covered valleys that resembled forty-mile dinnerplates. I would say prime land for cattle, which were there behind fences. But then I started to imagine the same ranchers reintroducing buffalo grass and raising buffalo. No need to load them with antibiotics, or assist births, or watch them freeze in the winter. Just turn them loose, and keep count. As they say, anything is possible if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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I’ll simply parade the photos, which will show in order some of the things I was gawking at. One of the shots has a pair of

Dodge Vipers that passed me on I-25. Then later, they passed me again with a wannabe in tow, some guy in an older orange Mustang with a broad racing stripe that didn’t even sound like a V8. The exhaust hissed as it passed the Furd, its engine at high RPM and straining to keep up at about 80, looked like. Keep dreamin’, Chet!

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I stopped in the outskirts of Walsenburg, Colorado at a truck stop named the Apache Travel Center. Not a lot here. There’s a Best Western motel next door that’s supposed to have a WiFi signal, but I got close and no soap. There are two open signals that are too weak to see consistently, let alone use. I broke out my Hawking WiFi extender to try to locate and amplify something usable, but it saw nothing worthy of the Defiant’s privilege. Oh well. Tomorrow’s stop won’t be a truck stop, rest area, or Walmart. Stay tuned.

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By the way, the new Cooper S/T Maxx off-road tires are in fact pretty bad for towing the TT, even at my maximum of 60. The tread is so thick it squirms, and the effect when mixed with a sidewind will keep you awake behind the wheel. Wants to suck right into a passing semi as the pressure wave from it travels up the Innbruck’s length from back to front. Between twisting descents at high speed and blustery winds appearing over elevated roadway, it occasionally felt so determined to swap ends that a reduction to 55 was a help in keeping it manageable. It’s not a traditional oscillating trailer sway so much as a magnifying of inertia and wind forces that the new tires are not resisting very well. It should get better when half the tread is gone, and maybe when I move the office battery pack rearward inside the trailer. Maybe. Too bad, because they’re so spectacularly good off paved roads.

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6 thoughts on “Day Three, Walsenburg CO

  1. Linda Sand on said:

    A truck like the one in your last photo is what my daughter lives in–she drives for Swift. She says it is like living in a van turned sideways. Her cab is about the same length as my van but hers is a LOT taller than mine. She calls the upper bunk her attic. 🙂

    • Yup Linda, it looked pretty wide to me, and sizable overall. The tinted sidewindows pivot out at the bottom for a little air. Kinda nice, though a tad expensive per cubic foot if purchased solely as an RV!

  2. Do you find you have trouble with other vehicles when you drive slower? I wonder about tickets (ok, I worry, not wonder) when I drive slower for safety.
    Parker

    • No, though I occasionally keep an eye on the side mirror just to see how things are going as vehicles approach from the rear, the Interstate is not an issue for me, as it’s up to those following to sort out lane changes. Two-lane state highways are a different matter, as you’ll find an idiot now and then who will pass blind on a curve and force you to hit the binders to avoid a head on right beside you. Tickets are of no concern, since even Ag equipment can poop along at a jogging pace unmolested. “Obstructing traffic” includes a component of incompetency or carelessness causing wholesale problems, not driving at a safer speed for a given loaded vehicle. There are some twisty sections or climbs that are best taken at somewhere under the posted speed limit, and it’s of little concern until a rare passing driver invokes Darwin’s principles. On the whole, on country two lanes, I will roll at the speed I’m comfortable at and bias toward the right so that a following driver can get a decent view of what’s ahead, as a courtesy. Most will eventually pass, while some will just stay back there. If it’s a semi that has to struggle with acceleration, I’ll back down on throttle once he’s fully committed in the passing lane, then double-flash the brights once he’s clear enough to pull back in. Apart from that, I just motor along, stay consistent, and let anyone following sort it out for themselves. If I go well under the speed limit to reduce body roll or pitching on rough pavement, there will be someone trying to pass. If I’m going ten over the limit to arrive when I told someone I would, there will also be someone trying to pass. Doesn’t matter what your speed is. If I don’t have a scheduling problem, I’ll normally do the speed limit, but top out at 65 MPH to save fuel. I’ll take it easy on tighter curves and bad pavement to save the camper’s contents, tires or suspension. My goal is to do what I must and try not to cause difficult problems for other drivers, which means less stress for me. Not much you can do about the incompetents that jump in now and then.

      • Wow, oak you a question, and get an actual, useful-in-the-reaworld answer. Thank you muchly. Yes, the “obobstructing traffic” thing is what I’ve mostly been fretting over. I generally have courtesy in mind with whatever I’m doing, and so far have had no crazy incidents with other drivers. It’s been the looming prospect of an unaffordable ticket that has consumed me. Now I can slow down and drive like a granny. Not my normal style, but my new abode demands it and as it weighs more than me, I concede.
        Really though, thanks.
        Parker

        • You’re welcome, Parker. I tend to take sincere questions seriously and give a real response, because they prompt me to stop and think awhile. Odd thing is, I usually write stream-of-consciousness answers and, just after posting them, kick myself for blathering on and on. I should be writing concise summary answers, but that takes a lot more time for me to do. So I just cough up whatever comes to mind…like this response! I could/should have just written “Hey, thanks!” Anyway, semi drivers face much the same situation, only more so, so drive like a granny semi driver. You’ll get there safely!

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