Long before my route was paved there were much hardier travelers who passed this way. I stopped for a brief photo and took a moment to reflect. Lately I’ve been reflecting on how thoroughly spoiled we are with easy, efficient, convenient long distance travel. Several decades ago vehicles were not as low-maintenance and relatively trouble-free as they are now. Before the transcontinental railroad, traveling across The States was a serious, life-threatening endeavor. As modern motorized backcountry travelers there is always the possibility that our machines and computers will fail and we will be reunited with primal overland travel; walking.
Below is a poor grab shot through windshield glare and at a substantial distance as I drove through the small town of Quincy, California. It’s not everyday that one sees an nicely restored original Bronco with uncut rear fenders, and nice, narrow original size tires.
Onward further into the country where I met Brian and his family—very kind people. Brian and I visited for over an hour, talking mostly about trucks and tires, before I started reversing my path.
After several miles I drove down a dirt road where I enjoyed lunch. I really like having a tailgate for picnics, one of the advantages of a pickup over most utility vehicles.
Excellent Highway Fuel Economy
After lunch and enjoying the sights and smells of the forest, my fuel economy mission resumed. Theoretically, there are many ways in which to improve fuel economy. Though if your vehicle is outfitted the way you like it and your maintenance is up-to-date, the best way to increase fuel economy is to drive slower and pay attention to your driving technique—there is more to it than simply lowering your top speed.
My not-so-speedy-delivery was a 183.7-mile all highway roundtrip, on which the 3UR-FE 5.7L aluminum Toyota V8 consumed 9.761 gallons of gasoline. The math says that’s 18.81 miles-per-gallon. Excellent.
I’d love to attain this type of economy all the time, but mixed driving, living at altitude, and driving up and down mountains makes it nearly impossible. Though for a lifted truck with a big gasoline-powered V8 engine, and reasonably large & wide 33-inch LT285/70R17D tires (Dick Cepek F-C II), being able to top 18 miles-per-gallon is an accomplishment. Some of the credit has to go to the very tall sixth gear overdrive, which lets the engine lope at very low revolutions-per-minute when lightly loaded, and use little fuel.
Road Traveler – Rollin’ Forward and Sippin’ Fuel
Copyright © 2012 James Langan