We calmed down from the drive to Palm Desert, and the Check Engine light went out! Maybe the light is simply a reflection of my mental state. In any case, it felt better that it was not nagging me about something.
Sunday, we drove back to Jojoba Hills to pick up the things we had forgotten to pack. That's the nice thing about only doing 54 miles the first day -- you are still close enough to make corrections. It was also a test of the truck to see if it would run well and to see what kind of mileage to expect.
Highway 74 heads south from Palm Desert and immediately climbs over 3,000 feet in 11 miles. Then it weaves along the highlands above Palm Canyon and crosses the Pacific Coast Trail. We turned south on 371 to go through Anza and down into the Temecula Creek valley and Jojoba Hills. We picked up our NetDrive (with all our backups and music files) we had forgotten and left some small items we didn't need. We also said goodbyes to our neighbors and headed back, stopping at the Cahuilla Creek casino to collect $10 and then on down the mountain to Palm Desert.
The truck achieved 20.0 miles per gallon! And no Check Engine light. We had a light supper with my sister and brother-in-law and then headed back to the trailer to prepare for the Monday journey.
Monday morning we packed everything up and drove off toward Phoenix on I-10. It was a dull drive but things went well until the wind picked up, blowing in our faces. Our mileage plummeted according to the gauge. It improved when we dropped down into AZ and the wind died down. We fueled up across the river at Erhenberg ($3.979 per gallon) and continued across the Sonoran desert that covers western Arizona. After 280 miles we made it through Phoenix and into Mesa. Our mileage for the trip had dropped below 12 mpg, but everything seemed to be running okay.
I turned off the Interstate onto city streets to reach the Val Vista Park in Mesa where we planned to stay, and the damned Check Engine light came on! The truck seemed to be running fine, but it was unhappy about something.
We made camp at Val Vista and set up. TV came on quickly, but the Internet did not want to lock into the bird. Then I noticed the top of my tripod had cracked into two pieces. Damn! Always, there seemed to be a downer. I finally got a good signal, and we were back online.
Tuesday morning, I joined Kelly for a visit to one of his distributors. Good meeting and good potential. Today (Wednesday) I did the "turn ignition on three times" and saw that the Check Engine code was P1693 -- whatever that means. Then Alice and I took Wolf over to PetSmart for a bath and haircut, and I finally found a replacement tripod. And for some reason, the Check Engine Light went OFF. Go figure. I may still call Peter at Dodge to find out what the code meant.
Tomorrow, I plan to mail out three new orders and do some shopping, then we will see Kelly in the evening and have dinner with he and Dixie. Friday we will head north to Verdi Valley. I have been doing some thinking about where to go after that, and it looks interesting: short legs and good scenery. More about that later.
We are getting into the swing of traveling, and it looks to be a good trip. I will be adding some comments about what we are seeing, and what is happening in the world to affect RVers and the like. Maybe you folks can let me know what you think. In the meantime, drive easy and keep all your wheels on the ground.
the Prudent RVer