Road trip!

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8,859
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Texas
I could have sworn I posted this, yesterday, but I probably closed the window without pushing "Submit." :-/ My wife and I (and our daughter, for half the trip anyway) took a 6-state road trip the last couple of weeks. Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and back. 3560 miles in the 2011 Grand Cherokee, and I couldn't have asked for a better road trip machine. I only wished for a Hemi a couple of times, and probably wouldn't have at all if it had been a 2014 with the Torqueflite 8 instead of a 2011 the 5-speed NAG-1. It was smooth, quiet, powerful enough, and comfortable. A few observations: The OLM went off the first day out when we were heading out for dinner in Amarillo. It only had 3500 miles on the oil, so I reset the OLM. I'll change it this weekend with about 7200 on it. The OLM in my Challenger isn't so conservative, but apparently the one in the 2011 Pentastar is calibrated more like the one in my Ram. I always run the oil TWO OLM intervals in the Ram, so I guess I'll do the Jeep the same way. Highest oil temp was climbing Wolf Creek Pass- and that was only about 210 degrees with the coolant at 212. The trans stayed below 190 on the passes, and ran right at 170 all the rest of the time. Gas mileage was good. On the hard climbs and 80-MPH interstate runs it dropped down to about 22, but cruising around southern Utah and to and from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, it floated up as high as 27. Overall trip average was 24 and change. Oil level never budged on the stick- its filled with M1 0w30 AFE. The trip itself was incredible, I'd do it again tomorrow. We'd been through southern CO before, so Wolf Creek Pass and Durango were known- but still great. Four corners was interesting if you happen to be in the area, but not worth a special trip. Got the obligatory pictures of our feet in 4 states at once. whee. The highlights, without a doubt, were Monument Valley (just like in all the Westerns), the North Rim (words fail), and Zion National Park. We toured both Hoover and Glen Canyon dams (I'm a gearhead, after all!). Definitely recommend anyone who hasn't seen those works of engineering to GO DO IT if you can. The art in and around Hoover is impressive too- lots of bronze, polished brass, terrazzo, and bas-reliefs. Art deco at its best. But Glen Canyon is the one that's in a pretty place with the red sandstone canyons. Dropped our daughter off at the Vegas airport to fly home just before touring Hoover, and then headed back east. Had much cooler and wetter weather coming home- it never got over 85 on our pass back through New Mexico after peaking at about 113 just after leaving Hoover Dam, and we went hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains in West TX. without ever getting out of the 80s too (amazing for August). That was our 50th birthday present to each other. :-)
 
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2,393
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SD
Originally Posted By: Miller88
Wolf Creek Pass, way up on the great divide, truckin on down the other side ...
Me an' Earl was haulin' chickens, on a flatbed outta Wiggins...
 

440Magnum

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8,859
Location
Texas
Originally Posted By: Miller88
Wolf Creek Pass, way up on the great divide, truckin on down the other side ... Is it 4x4 or 4x2?
4x2.
 
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5,722
Location
Charlotte, NC
Your gas millage pretty much mirrors what I see in our 2013 GC. That Pentastar engine is impressive. I find myself playing with the throttle just to hear the revs... (-: Wayne
 
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14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
While you were in Durango, did you get a chance to ride the narrow gauge train to Silverton? That's a must-do adventure if you haven't yet done it. My family did a western tour many years ago, and the train ride was a highlight of the trip. My grandfather pastored a church in Silverton back in the '50s, so it brought back many memories for them at the time. http://www.durangotrain.com/
 
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5,763
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Da Swamp
Originally Posted By: thunderfog
The Guadalupe Mountains are the best kept secret as far as National Parks in this country. Out of the way and not easy to get to. Did the Tejas trail there in 2006.
I visited Guadalupe and Carlsbad Caverns in 1993. My old Reader's Digest Atlas from 1965 doesn't even have the park on there, because it was established in (I think) '68.
 
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5,763
Location
Da Swamp
Originally Posted By: zrxkawboy
Originally Posted By: Miller88
Wolf Creek Pass, way up on the great divide, truckin on down the other side ...
Me an' Earl was haulin' chickens, on a flatbed outta Wiggins...
I was on that road once, going to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, but never drove the pass itself. "Earl, this hill can spill us; you better slow down or you gonna kill us!" ". . . the chromium-plated, fully-illuminated genuine accessory shift knob come right off in his hand. I says, 'You wanna screw that thing back on, Earl?!?' "
 

440Magnum

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8,859
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Texas
[quote=Hokiefyd]While you were in Durango, did you get a chance to ride the narrow gauge train to Silverton. Not this trip, but we did ride it about 5 years ago. We've also ridden the Cumbres & Toltec between Chama NM and Antonito CO 3 or 4 times over the years. Of the two, the scenery on Durango & Silverton wins, but the technical "railroading" on the Cumbres & Toltec (especially if you run the leg eastbound from Chama) is more impressive. They often have to double-head the eastbound trains, and its very cool seeing and hearing a pair of K-36s chugging those grades in tandem. We were lucky that K-37 #497 was still in service when we last took the Chama train and it was paired with a K-36 on our eastbound run.
 

440Magnum

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8,859
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Texas
Originally Posted By: thunderfog
The Guadalupe Mountains are the best kept secret as far as National Parks in this country. Out of the way and not easy to get to. Did the Tejas trail there in 2006.
We try to get there every few years. We've done the Guadalupe Peak ("top of Texas") trail, McKittrick Canyon trail , and now Devil's Hall trail. We also took the '99 Cherokee out and ran the Williams Ranch 4x4 road one time, too. That was pretty amazing scenery as well, and a pretty moderate 4x4 trail. Just some creek crossings and dry-wash crossings, really, nothing that would put you at serious risk of breaking something in the middle of the desert.
 
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