2000 miles, 10 states, 7 full days of driving, and we’ve made it to Colorado! This move has an air of permanence about it. Props to anyone out there who is currently working from the road – we have really struggled to find steady, reliable internet. The campgrounds all advertise free wifi, but it is almost always crap. We have the Verizon Jetpack that gets us 3G or 4G LTE almost anywhere… but it also costs hundreds of dollars each month to get any amount of normal data usage. So, we are still working hard on the business, but are also planning on settling down a bit… and of course, we brought the kitties with us!
We picked up the camper from storage in Crestview, FL, and set out on a Thursday with the intention of getting to Colorado Springs within 2 weeks. The first night was a quick trip down the road. The second night we went another couple hours, and made it into Mississippi. We quickly realized that this constant driving and moving each day was going to get old really fast – so we decided to quicken the pace.
We made it off the crowded I-10, and almost all the way up to Shreveport, LA by day 3. So far, the Jeep has handled the camper pretty well. On the interstate, it cruises nicely with the overdrive off between 60 – 65mph. Anything faster than that, the thing tends to move around back there a little too much for comfort. Anything slower would be a bit of a hazard with fast moving traffic. I have also started to notice a shimmy when I apply the brakes – this happens whether we have the camper in tow or not. I just paid a shop a bunch of money to replace the pads and rotors on the Jeep. Chalk that up to one more time a car place has totally failed to do the job!
Day 4, we entered the massive bit of land known as Texas. The weather app said “a light rain barely enough to wet the pavement.” Of course, the reality was a torrential downpour. The initial plan was to stay on the interstate through Dallas, but when the weather turned nasty we changed our minds. Something about having a 4,500lb box swinging around behind, while semi after semi goes trundling by with blinding water and shifting winds made me a bit nervous. We got off the big road and took local highways north of the city.
We saw a bunch of nice little north Texas towns, and stopped at the Bonham state recreation area the first night. We made it almost to Amarillo the next day, and spent the night at the Old Towne Cotton Gin RV Park – super cute and clean!
Day 6 had us cross into the northeast corner of New Mexico. Turns out they have a pretty sweet extinct volcano up in those parts – cool!
We could definitely feel the gain in elevation, and I think the Jeep was feeling it too. I got back on the interstate at Raton, NM. The road immediately climbed up a mountain. We barely made it up to the top – I kept the pressure on the engine just below the point where it would over-rev. Our speed slowed to about 40mph, but we eventually made it up. There was no relief at the top though, because now we had to make it back down the other side. The grade was steep, I probably should have put it in 2nd gear, but by then I was going too fast. The road curved and steepened. I started to apply the brakes, but that pesky shimmy started up hard – The steering wheel started shaking violently, the car was not really slowing down at all, the road kept sinking and curving. I’ve driven through a blizzard in Minnesota, a tornado in Iowa, and the worst Chicago traffic has to offer… but I think this was closest I’ve come to dying (well there was that one time the door flew open in little Cessna my dad was flying, and the only thing holding me in the plane was the little strap of seat belt… but mom doesn’t need to know about that). After another couple minutes of white knuckle racing down the mountainside, the road leveled out. We made it down, but honestly are lucky no one was in front of us, and nothing disastrous happened. I will not be taking this thing up any more mountains any time soon!
So after a week of hard driving we made it to the Springs. I parked the car to check in at the RV park, and the poor thing wouldn’t start back up. It knew we had made it out Colorado-way, and it was done. I waited a bit, and finally got it going again, but we’re done with the long trips for a while. Now we can sit back and enjoy these lovely mountain views!