Mar. 10th, 2016

sparr: (cellular automata)
The last three days of the trip we finally mostly got our shit together with regard to planning interesting stops. We successfully scheduled but unsuccessfully orienteered for some hot springs west of Denver, then spent a morning at Arches National Park. We delivered some furniture in Eureka NV while traveling along highway 50, the "Loneliest Road in America". There were more mountains, a snowstorm, and miles of people's names written with rocks in the sand on the side of the road. We stopped to explore a small old irish cemetery and an abandoned hospital. We made another delivery in Vallejo CA just before reaching our destination. One copilot was dropped off in Oakland, and the other copilot and passenger spent one last night in the bus in SF. We made a deal for them to unload the bus into storage while I was at work, then had dinner one last time, then parted ways so they could continue their west coast adventures.

This stretch of the trip we started seriously experimenting with more-than-one-gear intentional downshifting and engine braking, as well as manually managing the transmission for the long steep uphills. This resulted in far fewer "please stop" conditions from the engine computer, and a lot less shifting and stuttering on the uphills. I also started to use the alternative shifting mode after some further advice from people on the internet. Overall, crossing the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada was a lot easier than crossing the Appalachians, mostly through more attentive driving on our part, including going significantly slower on the 5%+ grades.

Nothing else of note happened with the bus in the last few days. Next post will be about actually making changes inside the bus.

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