[V8] Trip report - Thanksgiving holiday

Kellock, Ed Ed.Kellock at infor.com
Wed Nov 30 13:21:54 EST 2005

"This is a really great car."  quote from copilot about 30 minutes
before the completion of the journey.

Colorado Springs to Los Angeles (Santa Barbara & Palos Verdes), round
trip.  Left Friday 11/18, returned Monday 11/28.

Overnight in St. George, UT on the way out, then Kingman, AZ & Santa Fe,
NM on the return.

Just under 2500 miles in about 32 hours.

Nearly $400 in premium fuel (at wildly varying prices).

23 mpg on the way there, 15 on the return, pulling a trailer.

My car came with a DaLan hitch when I bought it used in 1999.  I've made
good use of it since.  This time was a 4x8 Uhaul trailer which weighs
780 pounds with a max gross weight of a ton.  I'm pretty sure I was at
or very near that (books, record albums, furniture, an old Schwinn,
household appliances, etc.).  

On the way there, I was absolutely amazed at the speed of the "flow of
traffic".  Through the Rockies on I70, traffic was flowing at between 85
and 95 mph.  I happily flowed along with.  Down I15 to St. George at
night, about the same, even with a road that looked (but fortunately was
not) as slick as petroleum jelly smeared on black ice.  The rest of the
way down I15 into the LA basin, average speed was between 90 and 100+.
I let a number of SUVs drive off toward the horizon when I set my cruise
control at 90-95.  Even through LA on 210/134/101 to Santa Barbara,
traffic was rarely under 70 mph, often 85+.  

On the return, I set the cruise at 80.  I chose my Nokian NSW's for the
trip and had those inflated to 40 all around.  The trailer said 45 each
for its tires, done.  With the load I had in it, the tires were well up
inside the fenders.  And my car was pretty close to being on its bump
stops in the rear, what with 3 separate stops at Trader Joe's for wine
and other necessities.  ;-)   (BTW, for TJ fans, there's one in Santa Fe
now.  Only a 4-hour drive from home, yea!)  Nevertheless, I was still
able to lift the tongue of the trailer when absolutely necessary so I
believe I had it packed well, weight distribution wise.  It did
virtually nothing but track perfectly behind the car all the way home.

Lots of hills to climb too.  At 80, I only needed to downshift to 4th as
the elevations increased.  On I25 up through northern NM and CO, there
were a few 3rd gear climbs, Raton Pass most notably, but even there, I
was able to maintain 75+, leaving a Nissan Titan far behind.  Hmph.
Maybe he was just observing the speed limit... would have been quite out
of character for him considering the previous 100 miles.  Anyway....

It's almost criminal to keep this car at 6000 feet elevation.  It is
such a beast at sea level I almost didn't know how to drive it.  Not!

Fortunately didn't have any inclement weather except for some crosswinds
coming up I25.  Prior to that we lucked out with mostly all tail winds
across I40.  

Trips like this make all the care and pampering worth it.  And as noted
by my copilot, no "special Audi procedures" were required the entire
time, save for a rap or two on the dash to "refresh" the temp and fuel

Colorado Springs
'91 V8q 5-speed "a really great car" now with 144k miles

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