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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Tailwinds, icicles, antelope and perfect solitude.

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insp1505

Oregon

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Joined: 06/11/2010

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Posted: 04/20/12 12:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Spring is one of my favorite seasons to camp. The snow is receding up the mountains, the days are becoming longer and there aren't as many other people out camping yet to have to share my favorite areas with.

One thing we get in Idaho during the spring are winds. Actually we get wind all year in Idaho but this past week the winds were aligned perfectly for some fuel savings in both directions. Central Idaho has some huge mountain valleys and the highways run up the bottoms of them. The winds are funneled up and down these valleys so you generally either get a head wind or a tailwind. My luck is usually to get headwinds both ways, coming and going, but this last trip was different. I rolled with tailwinds in both directions almost the entire trip.

Normally I get about 13 mpg on flat, low wind drives at 65 mph. Heading up into the mountains I was able to get over 14 mpg going up hill with the assist of the tailwind. I was excited because I normally get about 11.5-12 mpg on this climb, and maybe 10 mpg if I have a headwind. On the way home 5 days later the winds shifted for a downhill, tailwind cruise. Basically I coasted for about 70 miles. I didn't take any pictures going up but on the way back I had to snap a few to document my mpg. My massive AF acted like a sail as I cruised down the mountain valley getting 20+ mpg at 65 mph for over 70 miles.

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The Snake River Plain is mainly big flat desert with no mountains to shape the wind direction so they come from all over but mainly from the west and southwest.

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Unfortunatly I wasn't able to hold on to the 20+ mpg for the whole trip home. The side winds were so strong at times I had to put both hands on the wheel and slow down under 60 mph. That's pretty rare for me to have to do that. When I got back to town my fantastic mileage had dropped down to just under 15 mpg but that's still better than I normally get.

[image]


The snow level was higher up the mountain than it normally would be this time of year because the mountains didn't get as much snowpack this winter as they normally do. That just means camping in the high country is going to start much earlier.


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I climbed as high as I could before this snow bank got my tail end going sideways toward the hill side. I got out and walked around the corner only to see a continuous path of deep snowpack heading further up into the mountains. I didn't want to damage anything sliding into a rock or spend all evening digging out so my original destination plans would have to wait till next month.

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I turned back and found a nice spot along the creek to make camp. I unloaded the camper this time so I could go do some exploring around the lower country roads in the area.

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I set-up camp, built a fire and watched the sunset over the snow capped mountains.

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The view of camp from across the valley.

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The weather was generally good for the 5 days. A couple of passing storms from time to time with some light rain and drizzle once and a while. Daytime highs were upper 40's to low 50's. Perfect weather for some prospecting.

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View up towards the high country from camp.
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It was cold overnight, a couple of the clear nights got down to 17-18 degrees which was no match for the Arctic Fox though. The other benefit of the cold overnight temps were some really cool icicle formations along the creek to photograph.

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Bulb Ice
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A few other views of the creek with out icicles.

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I took a nice Sunday drive and found some more snow, antelope, and some cool cloud bursts.

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I had to leave Tuesday to get back to town for work on Wednesday. Time always flies when you're camping. Basically it was an uneventful, quiet and peaceful, relaxing week away from work. Thanks for looking, hope you enjoyed.

* This post was last edited 04/22/12 11:34pm by insp1505 *   View edit history

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 04/20/12 02:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice - I like the long exposure shots of the water.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Steve.


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
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gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 04/20/12 04:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great camping spot and pics. Thanks for sharing.

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 04/20/12 04:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Superb study on flowing water! Very impressive photos.

You've picked some great camps out there, too !

Many thanks for putting together this photo book / narrative! It must have been a huge undertaking.

Very impressed,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 04/20/12 04:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice landscapes, and great pictures, thanks.


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Bubtoofat

SE Michigan

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Posted: 04/20/12 05:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That sure is some beautiful country out your way. Nice work on the photos.
Mike


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nycsteve

NY

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Posted: 04/20/12 05:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sharing. I like the stream pictures, you shot at a low shutter speed. Do you remember what the SS was by any chance?





GoinThisAway

middle TN

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Posted: 04/20/12 07:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you figure out how many $$$ that tailwind saved you [emoticon] What a lovely place to camp and some really "cool" stream shots. Nice to see someone exploring the backroads in a dually too!


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Jay Pat

Round Rock, TX

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Posted: 04/20/12 07:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What about the gold??!!!
Pat

Edit: Enjoyed the post!!


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F350mule

Ohio

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Posted: 04/20/12 07:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Enjoyed the pics! Thanks for sharing.


2001 F-350 Crew-cab 4x4 2001 Lance 1010 Life is good


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