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Road Trip/Mega-Adventure

Mr. Alligator

Explorer Addict
Joined
November 30, 2014
Messages
1,298
Reaction score
1,029
City, State
Tampa, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 XLT Explorer
One of the things I really enjoy is travel around the World…. Morocco, Cambodia, Vietnam, Columbia, Myanmar, Egypt….. long list of wild destinations.

COVID-19 still limits options, so here we go…. 1997 Ford Explorer, 552,000 miles. Leave Tampa, Florida, and go up through Tennessee. Then to St. Louis, to Denver. Then, up and over the Rocky Mountains to Grand Junction. Then South to San Diego.

That is where the adventure starts… if all goes well, and the Beast is still running, we will travel all of the way down the Mexican Baja to Cabo San Lucas. Then take the 17 hour (+/-) ferry ride to Mazatlan, mainland Mexico. After some time on the beach, we will drive back across Mexico to Texas, then home.

Should be a Mega-Adventure.

If all goes well.
 



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Sounds like a great adventure. Just make sure your AAA account is paid up, you have a GPS system that doesn't require internet service and a good tool kit with some belts, hoses, etc. to cover some of the basic repairs you might need to do. Also, maybe one of those devices that will get you emergency assistance no matter where you are located.
 






Get good Mexico car insurance too.
 






Are you planning to post updates here when you can?
Also, major props to you for having the courage to take an Ex with that mileage on a trip like this! Or is that mileage a typo?
 






I have had this truck since new, in 1997. It does have more than 550,000 miles. Never had a catastrophic failure on the road, but have replaced several starters and fuel pumps away from home. It is not like driving a new vehicle, but the positive side is that it is not like driving a new vehicle.

Fuel pump access panel has worked on three occasions, and allows the fuel pump to be changed with a 1/4 inch drive ratchet and the fuel line release tool, in any location, in any weather. I have a spare fuel pump, spare starter, some miscellaneous relays and parts, and a few boxes of tools with me for this adventure.

Explorer Forum has been extremely helpful, and really has allowed me to keep going. Never could have done it without this Forum. Really. Thanks for the encouragement, and I will try to send a few updates.

Thanks again.

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Road Trip, Day Two: Today, we cruised through backroads of Tennessee and Kentucky. We crossed the Cumberland River on a ferry ($1 USD). We found old barns, winding creeks, wooded roads weaving through the trees and steep hillsides, nicely maintained Churches, rugged looking people, quaint towns and diners that looked like Mayberry …. all Americana. It looked like mountain life, without the mountains. At first, it seemed different to be on long stretches of 25 mph roads… then we found long stretches of unpaved 5 mph roads! And even some remote sections that made us glad we had four wheel drive. It was a wonderful day.

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Road Trip, Day Three: Today was an InterState Highway day…. Spent most of the day at 65 mph. Missouri and Kansas go on forever. We had light rain and overcast weather most of the morning … ideal for travel.

Beverly has been able to continue to participate in her own “Cross-America Quilt Store Tour”. She went wild in a Quilt Shop outside of St. Louis. Later we stopped at a Cracker Barrel near Kansas City, one of her favorite restaurants. And here we are, 500 miles from Denver! And still chugging across the USA.

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Years ago I was driving through Kansas going from WI to Albuquerque, NM. South of dodge city I lost a set of tires off my trailer, the hub got hot and managed to come off the spindle with the nut still in place. It was late at night, I made a right turn which sent the tires across the road, they stopped at some ladies front door. No damage and the local police officer heard on his radio so he pulled me over.
 






Road Trip, Day Four: camped in the truck last night, after walking around at sunset near the Smokey Hill River. Shortly after midnight, thunderstorms lit up the night and rain pounded our roof. Great sleeping weather.

Later in the afternoon, we finally made it across Kansas…. Endless farmlands, many oil rigs, and wind mills. Crop dusters flying low over the fields. Colorado had more of the same, until about ten miles after Denver. And we made it to the Rocky Mountains. Good to be here at Georgetown.

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Where do you spend the nights? In Walmart Parking lots?
 






Where do you spend the nights? In Walmart Parking lots?
When I travel cross-country by myself, I stay at truck stops, rest areas, or on-ramps that are loaded with eighteen wheelers or very remote. With my lady friend, we stop at camp grounds or RV parks near the interstate, mostly so we can use the showers. Or hotels, if the weather is too hot or too cold for comfort (below 40 or above the mid seventies).

I have stayed in Wal Mart parking lots in the past… but a lot of travelers that do that seem to make a mess, stay past sun up, and generally take advantage, so I mostly avoid that.
 






Road Trip, Day Five: Up and over the Rocky Mountains! Avoided the Eisenhower Tunnel, and snaked our way over the Continental Divide. Lots of snow and 40 degrees during in the morning on Loveland Pass. Then through the Glenwood Canyon.

Finally, we made it to Grand Junction, Colorado. I spend Winters here, where I work as a snowboard instructor and lift operator at Powderhorn Ski Resort, near Grand Junction. We will adventure around here for a few days…

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I've got unlimited showers at Pilot and Flying J, if you want I could pm you a screenshot of my reward card, the picture of the barcode can be scanned.
 






Beautiful pictures, the loveland pass picture reminds me of when I was learning to drive a truck. It was summer time, june 30th and I got to learn how to put chains on in 3 feet of snow while blocking us50 a mile from the top of monarch pass.
 






I've got unlimited showers at Pilot and Flying J, if you want I could pm you a screenshot of my reward card, the picture of the barcode can be scanned.
Thanks, Josh. Very kind offer!

Beautiful pictures, the loveland pass picture reminds me of when I was learning to drive a truck. It was summer time, june 30th and I got to learn how to put chains on in 3 feet of snow while blocking us50 a mile from the top of monarch pass.

Chaining up in three feet of snow blocking Monarch Pass sounds scary!

Glad you made it out of that situation.
 






Road Trip, Day Six: Met up with Jeannine, and we cruised through Paradox Valley… had breakfast at a Resort in Gateway, saw the mining remnants, furnaces and chutes near Naturita, circled around the snow-capped La Sal mountains, toured a miner’s home blasted into the rock, shopped in downtown Moab, and swam in the Colorado River. Another Awesome Day.

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Road Trip, Day Seven and Eight… staying in Grand Junction, and traveling into the Mountains. Colorado National Monument and Grand Mesa. Heading out, down South to New Mexico, tomorrow….

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@EB4X Hehehe. No charge. Enjoy.

And be safe.
 






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