According to The Plan for 2018 we intend to have Rubble shipped to Arizona. I post a listing on uShip, and receive a couple quotes for $2,600. We then try to recruit some friends to make the trip, offering to cover all gas and tolls (I estimate these at $1,200) plus $1,000 payment. Finally we decide to make the trip ourselves.
We set off on Saturday morning just before 9am EDT. We take the most direct route possible. From Flemington, NJ we cross Pennsylvania, clip the Northern tail of West Virginia, pass through Columbus, Ohio and stop in Clayton, OH (just short of the Indiana border) in a Walmart parking lot. We’re hauling a camper trailer, and Walmart is known to be RV-friendly, so we climb in the back and sleep in our own bed. On day 1 we logged 590 miles over 9 hours.
“It’s not really camping when you don’t have a house to go back to.”Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
We rise early on Sunday, put in almost 14 hours of driving, and cover 880 miles. We stay on I-70 through Indianapolis. When we reach St. Louis we take I-44 across Missouri, just missing the corner of Kansas, and into Oklahoma. We stop for the night at the Walmart on Garth Brooks Blvd just past Oklahoma City.
On day 3 we again hit the road by 4:30am local time. We take I-40 through Amarillo, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. A little later we get off the interstate and cross El Malpais National Conservation Area and Fort Apache Reservation. It takes about 17 hours to cover the remaining 953 miles, so we pull into Hay Creek Ranch about 10pm.
The trip out took 282 gallons and a cost of $795 to cover 2,421 miles. This is a paltry 8.58 MPG (or, more informatively, 0.1165 gallons per mile).
In the morning we disconnect the trailer, repack Betty, have a quick breakfast at the Oracle Inn, and return whence we came. Others at the campground informed us that we passed through a canyon the night before. It was dark, so we had no idea what beautiful sights we were missing. We drive north on AZ-77 to the northern border of San Carlos Reservation, which is Salt River Canyon. A little further along is Flying V Canyon, followed by Becker Butte.
The long days coming West took a toll, so we slow our pace on the way back East. We limit ourselves to 9.5 hours a day for 4 days, averaging 600 miles per day.
By Thursday we are in Missouri and ahead of schedule. We stop at Meramec Caverns for relief from the rain that has followed us since New Mexico.
We reach Flemington on Friday night, completing the round trip in exactly one week, with an additional 160 gallons consumed (15.13 MPG, 0.066 GPM) and $465 spent. Now we need to prep Mackenzie for her first voyage West of Pennsylvania.