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Old 06-22-2009, 12:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Best intentions...

This past week my wife and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary... When I asked where she wanted to have dinner, she wanted, Long John Silvers... I know, its NOT the best food out there, but its what she wanted. She has been wanting it though for sometime and there isn't one in all of Utah. Nearest one to us is in Rock Springs, Wyoming. About 210 miles east of here.

So the decision was made to run to Rock Springs, spend the night, and then do some sight seeing. I didn't give my wife a choice, I told her we were taking the Neon. I wasn't about to drive the Supercrew for this trip...

The drive began nice enough, had to climb the hill out of Salt Lake City toward Park City. I could just feel the mileage slipping away as we got slowed down and into 3rd gear before the top. But worse, was the 12 miles of road construction. Once we got past Evanston, Wyoming settled in and realized I really wished I had cruise control.

Got into Rock Springs, settled into our hotel and hit Long Johns. Its what she wanted, and she was happy... Makes me happy.

So, after breakfast yesterday, we decided to run down the west side of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Quick check of the maps (I don't even have a GPS yet!) showed it would really be only about 60 miles out of the way. Gassed up, well, 36.89 MPG isn't THAT bad, but I had expected better...

Of course, I forgot my camera for the trip. The scenery through the Flaming Gorge area is remarkable. We stopped frequently, even taking side roads. The Neon is NOT happy with gravel and dirt roads with 40 psi in the tires!!! The Jeep would have been a better choice, but hey, the Neon did OK. But we saw a bald Eagle, and a bunch of pronghorn antelope including lots of little ones. I see them all the time where I work, but my wife doesn't get to see much wildlife up close (save the dead deer on the side of the road...). We scouted a couple great places to return to with our tent trailer later in the summer. Have to see if my friend will let me borrow his sit on top kayaks so we can enjoy the lake...

Drive back was unremarkable once we left the park. Of course there were the bunches of windmill generators in operation and the handfull more being built. I have always enjoyed watching them just turn. Or, maybe I'm just weird.

Stopped in SLC at a recycled bike shop looking for the tandem we want. They had a couple but all would need more to fix than I can buy one through Amazon for... Had lunch at Noodle Co. and I was good with a meatless bowl even. (Secret here guys, between us... I like red meat. But sometimes a meatless meal can be satisfying too!) Quick stop at Whole Foods for my favorite beverage (Honest T) and some ground Bison and other meats for dinners this week. Last stop? Salt Lake Bicycle Collective. No, they didn't have any tandems. But what a shop. Kids working on bikes, other people dropping stuff off, other people working in bikes. Looks like someplace I'll go volunteer some time with later this summer. Not sure how I would have got a tandem home with the Neon though, had I found one!!!!

I probably didn't do any better mileage-wise for the return trip, but the scenery was awesome and of course, the time spent with my wife... Considering I almost lost her to illness just 2 months ago, sure made this trip very special.

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Old 06-22-2009, 04:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Congratulations on the anniversary. Twenty six weeks is something to talk about these days !

A good trip all round and , as much as it may sound like heresy to admit it on this board , there are times when fuel economy takes a second place to more important events in your life.

It is great to know you both enjoyed the outing.

Cheers , Pete.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Considering I almost lost her to illness just 2 months ago, sure made this trip very special
That's something to celebrate too
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As comedian Red Green says, "If your wife's having fun and you're not, you're still having way more fun than when you're having fun and she's not."

But it sounded like you both were enjoying yourselves. Awesome!
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
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S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
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Thanks! We had a great time. Sat and watched a nice sunset Friday night, and despite the periodic rain Saturday had a great drive home. Our next planned trip is towards Capitol Reef National Park in a few weeks and that will be in the Jeep, not the Neon. Next trip in the Neon might be to California in September perhaps... Depends on if I can get someone to watch my dogs for me. Since the kids are having their own summer plans away from home, no more built in dog sitters.

Time to scrounge more junkyards to see if I can find cruise control parts for my Neon. I had hoped to see 40 MPG for the trip. Oh well. Better luck next time. I do know that when we go with the Jeep in a couple weeks, my highway miles will be OK, but will drop when we hit the trails... And next trip, I'll have my cameras...
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I grew up in that area, and considering the climb out of SLC and the sisters outside of evanston, 36mpg is decent out of a 2nd gen neon on that route.

I put an audiovox CC in mine and it worked well, but if you are looking to go with the stock style system, neons.org had a good writeup on putting them in. Just make real sure you get a good clockspring when you get the parts. Which is why I finally went the audiovox system.

Glad you had a good trip though, and congrats on the time spent together.

Jim
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

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90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

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Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
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I'm thinking of grabbing junkyard parts. But almost all the Neons in the local yards are first gen. I haven't spent a lot of time at neons.org, since finding 2gn.org, just for the 2000-2005s. I might just look for an aftermarket kit. Gotta have cruise. And better lighting.

HA! Someone thats knows the road! Awesome! Thanks...

With my wife's health issues, we are looking forward to more of these trips. I must remember to take my camera, I must remember to take my camera...

Hmmm, wonder what the odds are the Neon could pull the old tent trailer...
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
With my wife's health issues, we are looking forward to more of these trips. I must remember to take my camera, I must remember to take my camera...
Put your cam in the car you plan to take. I wouldn't have remembered to take my book bag to school if I didn't put it by the door every night
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you are going to go junkyard parts, my understading is that the PT cruiser parts are the same...at least it is another place to look.

The neon likely would pull a small tent trailer. There is a guy here that pulls one designed for a motorcycle with no issue, but I think it is only like 500lbs.

I polished my headlights with the kit from Advance Auto that was like $20.00. The stuff actually works the way it says it will as long as you take your time. Have done it both on the neon and the wife's intrepid.

If you decide to camp in the area, there is a smaller campground on the east side called Little Firehole that is not usually as crowded.

Jim
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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congratulations


more people need to spend time with their loved ones

methinks

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