We’ve hit the limit

I think we’ve discovered how many days in a row we can tow 400 miles.  The answer is “four.”

I find it very convenient that someone, back in the early days of American westward emigration, conveniently spread out certain cities exactly 400 miles apart. Burlington VT – Buffalo NY – Jackson Center OH – St Louis MO – Tulsa OK – Amarillo TX.  That was great forethought, pilgrims.

But 400 miles is too far in the long run.  It’s just too much time in the car.  Back muscles begin to stiffen, eyes glaze, bowels seize up, and gradually your mind begins to go.  We found ourselves asking what day it was, what state we were in, and (worst of all) actually interested in roadside attractions just as a way to escape the car for a few minutes.  Somewhere in Missouri, Eleanor ended up buying a set of steak knives.

This morning didn’t start out very well for me.  We slept late, which was well needed, but that just meant that the temperature was already spiking as I worked outside to prepare the Airstream for departure.  I had some extra jobs to do today, like lubing the Hensley hitch.  The old BAL Tongue Twister came apart while I was using it, too.  It has been rebuilt once already and needs replacement, but I gave it a quick partial reassembly and threw it in my box of tools.  By the time all things were ready I was also ready for a fresh shower.

Well, no time for that, so we headed out and promptly got on the wrong highway, then stuck in some crazy traffic caused by a wide load, and all the while the loose parts on the Tongue Twister were making an incessant rattling noise.  Eventually it was all sorted out, but it wasn’t much later that I was looking for a break, and we hadn’t even gone 100 miles yet.  By 3 p.m. I was worn out and abruptly pulled the Airstream into a rest area to do something we almost never do in those places: actually rest.  Thirty minutes later we resumed rolling down I-44, and I was just hoping that somehow I’d make it to Tulsa.

We did, finally, but not until 7 p.m. and it was again hot, at about 96 degrees.  It will be ironic if the coolest stop we make is in Arizona, and at this point I’m guessing it will be, somewhere around Eager AZ just north of the Apache National Forest.

The refrigerator has been way too warm lately.  Eleanor defrosted the coils less than two weeks ago, but all the humidity has caused them to frost up again and this drastically impedes cooling.  Some sausages had to be thrown out upon arrival in Tulsa, so we did an emergency defrost followed by turning on the electric boost fans.  I think we will run the boost fans while towing from here on in, at least as long as the temperatures are above 90.

We’re taking a break here.  The RV park we are in is nothing special, and Tulsa has no particular attraction, but we all need a day out of the car to move our bodies and recover our minds.  I’ll spend most of the day working on Fall magazine layouts and Alumafandango stuff, and then we’ll hit the road again on Wednesday.



  1. Mike Young says

    I know exactly where the knife shop/bazaar is in Missouri. It must have some strange gravitational pull on Airstreams. We got away with just one or two Chicago Cutlery knives. Not particularly good ones either, as I recall.

  2. says

    Good idea about running the fans while driving. we are hoping that temperatures cool off a bit in 3 weeks when we hit the road. Right now in the Nevada desert where we are headed to first they are seeing near triple digit temperatures at midnight. Yeah, MIDNIGHT!