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Posts posted by MarylandDave

  1. We have finally given up our resistance to a pickup truck and are buying a 2018 Ford F-150 with the 3.5L EB and max trailer package. I’m sure we could’ve managed with the Touareg but we have big aspirations for long, mountain-heavy trips and the greater capability and storage margins give us comfort. Funny, I never used to notice these things and now they are every third vehicle I see. 

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  2. 2 hours ago, BackofBeyond said:

    Yes, we really enjoyed our time exploring this area (PNW) 2 summers ago - I can see us spending more time there in the soon to be retirement phase...... but one thing I've discovered - warm/hot is very subjective - what we consider to be a warm day is downright scorching to some - . I don't remember a day out of about 14 where I thought it was warm. The PNW was if anything comfortable - but not swim temp warm. 

    AS for the NC/North GA/SE TN - about as perfect overall weather one can find. We are just west of this area. If I head south 12 miles - elevation- it is very similar. 

    I am really fond of UT - haven't spent any time in the SLC area, but all around - between UT and CO - I could spent a loooooong time.

    Adding Oregon coast to my must-see list... 

    @BackofBeyond, so true regarding comfortable temps! My wife is always cold and we’ve learned not to ask her how it feels outside. 


  3. 2 hours ago, DavidS said:

    When you put it that way, I have to promote Salt Lake City, population 200,000. Before I retired recently, I did a lot of work to recruit people to the University of Utah. My major pitch was about the collaborative scientific community, but my pitch was also was about the lifestyle in SLC as a small city. Low traffic, walkable, bikeable, 45 mins to ski areas in winter or great hiking in summer. Climate with all four seasons, but not too hot or cold in summer or winter, with very low humidity that tempers the climate extremes. It is the largest city in the state, so it has a vibrant restaurant scene as well as major cultural opportunities, including music clubs, multiple theatre groups, symphony, opera, ballet. We live in a walkable neighborhood one mile from edge of the University and one mile from the center of downtown. 

    Salt Lake City is well situated as a jumping off point for camping. To the West, it is 8 hours to the Sierra Nevada mountains. To the North, it is 5 hours to Grand Teton or Yellowstone. To the East, it is 8 hours to Rocky Mountain National Park. To the South it is 5 hours to Moab, Canyonlands, Zion or Bryce. 

    Thanks @DavidS! I have spent time in SLC and think the town is awesome, though I never considered it as a place to live because of the enormous influence of the LDS. Not a criticism, just not my thing. My understanding from a friend who lived there (and loved it) is that there is a clear-cut social divide between those in the inside and those on the outside. Maybe I’m more a Park City guy? Nevertheless, you make a great case - every place you mention is on my short list.

    Big fan of your photography, by the way. Your Sedona pictures had me ready to move there!

  4. Thanks @Jim_Oker, and completely agree. I am glad I worded my post the way I did as it generated some fascinating discussion. But if I had to re-word it I would write: name a town or small city where you would choose to live as a convenient base to explore your favorite places in the west. Something with enough downtown to have a restaurant scene, neighborhoods near enough to be walkable, hiking and biking and a nice climate.

  5. I’ve very much enjoyed all of the posts here. Though my wife and I have the great parks and sights of UT/WY/MT on our bucket list, the comments regarding seasons and efforts to follow the best weather have provoked thoughts regarding our possibilities from home. It’s 11 hours north to Acadia and about the same south to St. Augustine. We should be able to find the weather we like between those two poles. 

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  6. Happy Friday, gang. (Oh sorry, forgot that very few of you track actual days of the week.) Just a fun exercise, really. We have long contemplated a move out west and look forward to using our as-yet-unbuilt Ollie to conduct the search. Recognizing that everyone has their own preferences for town size, climate, and camping destinations, what would you consider the best place to live if the goal was centrality/convenience to your favorite outdoor attractions out west? For instance the front range towns of Colorado seem awesome, but travel to so many of the cool destinations starts with a schlep over the mountains. So maybe some place like Grand Junction is better for that reason.

    Anyway you talk, I’ll listen. Thanks!

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  7. My wife and I look through here and on the FB page and at least twice a day turn our phone to the other and say “ooh, don’t you wish we were here?” before jumping on some dull conference call or other. Trying not to wish my life away but can’t wait to have the freedom to head for the hills whenever the urge strikes. Thanks for the vicarious thrills. 

    194 days until May, our Ollie birth month. 

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  8. Wow, this thread is everything we are buying an Oliver for. We will take delivery next May and hope to spend a year gaining enough experience to tackle a 2022 summer trip to MT, WY, ID. (I’ll bug you all about the details of that itinerary later.) I feel very privileged to have access to such expertise. Thanks to everyone here who so selflessly offers their wisdom and guidance. 

    Quick question: how many hours a day of travel do you consider a reasonable and sustainable number? We are hoping to blast through the Midwest and plains so that we can get to big sky country, but want to be realistic about budgeting that time. We are fairly hardy road warriors and did the Hohenwald to MD route 11 hours straight through, though it’s undoubtedly less stressful in a small car than in a truck with a trailer. I realize that everyone will have their own answer but hoping for a survey. 



  9. Incredibly thoughtful and detailed post, @gatorewc! Thank you. I will refer back to these suggestions when we get close to planning our pickup in May. We stopped in Asheville on our way to Hohenwald and really loved it. What a beautiful town, and the Biltmore - wow. 

    Suddenly spring of ‘21 doesn’t seem soon enough!

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  10. Thanks @Mainiac! We’ve transitioned fully into excitement mode and are thrilled about the new date. (The weather is gorgeous here - possibly a related factor.) Yes, we’ll start with a few wimpy places ten minutes from home, unless you count the camping we’ll do near Hohenwald at pickup. I suppose the long drive home is the first real stresser. I’ve learned a ton about tire pressure and lug nuts in the last 24 hours.


    Does anyone have any campground suggestions near Oliver in the GSMNP? We’d like to pause there for a few days while we shake her down, and it’s on the way home but not too far if we need to head back to Hohenwald for adjustments. 

  11. 54 minutes ago, bhncb said:

    Perhaps a tent or maybe a pickup camper would better suit your needs.😄 Tire, or axle bearing, failures are the most  prevalent breakdown cause while towing.  By checking wheel lug torque daily, along with tire pressures, you're also given to inspect the entire running gear for anything obvious. It's just best practices and insurance that provides comfort at the end of the day while sitting around the fire.

    Your other assessments are probably well placed though and yes, position indicators on wheel lugs is widely used/often required on commercial big rigs.

    My wife doesn’t do tents. Snakes. 😉

    Thanks for your reply. I’m a detail person so I’m only half-kidding. 

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