Fourth of July weekend was spent nursing Gus on a 12 hour round-trip tour of Colorado..mostly at slow speeds. Getting Gus fixed took a couple of weeks. I won't get into details, but we've taken steps to address some potential issues with the 2008 F-550. We picked the truck up the day before we were scheduled to travel to SLC for a trade show. I wasn't 100% confident and was on a schedule, so we redshirted Gus in Fruita and made the trip to Salt Lake in the FJ. It was kind of a revelation how much faster a trip goes when you can drive the speed limit!
In case you tuned in later, the Earthroamers use a 41" Continental MPT tire (MilitaryPoliceTire) which is super beefy. The tire, without a wheel, weighs over 100 pounds. Each. They are very rugged, but are limited to speeds of 65 mph. So, when on the Interstate, I set the cruise control to 65 and take a nap. No, seriously, it requires more attention driving at 65 as so many morons pull in front of you and slow down, or pull into traffic from on-ramps without looking. It's WAY easier to be doing the speed limit.
We went to Salt Lake so I could attend a few meetings at the Outdoor Retailer show. I've gone almost every year, twice a year. There are people in the industry I've known since high school. A lot of business gets done as well as being like a big family reunion. It was also the last year the show will be in Salt Lake. I was at the first show in Salt Lake, more than 20 years ago..so it was the end of an era. A buddy of mine from the industry have had a tradition of having dinner at the show. During these many years we have had various jobs, various homes, gotten older (possibly not wiser)...and we've managed to share a meal twice a year. We'll see if that continues in Denver (where the show will be starting next year). I hope so. I got a lot of work done in 24 hours; but the best part was visiting with people whom I care about and have worked with for decades. It was nice that Nancy could come and get a glimpse of the show.
We decided to take the long way home and drive from Salt Lake to Torrey, Utah. We finally ate at Cafe Diablo in Torrey, something we managed to not do until this weekend, despite having driven through Torrey about eleventeen times a year. If you are ever visiting Capitol Reef and not camping (or are tired of camping) I'd recommend checking out Torrey Schoolhouse B&B. It's a nice place, and the owner has done an amazing job refurbishing a dilapidated old brick school. Yelp it.
We did a long hike in Capitol Reef which reinforced our "one mile" rule..no matter how crowded the parking lot is...walk a mile and the gaper ratio drops a lot.
Later, we drove over the hill to Boulder Utah (one of my favorite places) and stayed at the Boulder Mountain Lodge. It was weird to do so, compared to staying in one of our stealthy campsites off the Burr Trail. Yes, even in a truck that is 11 feet tall and 25 feet long; you can drive right past our little campsite and not see us. It's sweet.
The BML was nice...it's an amazing oasis as the edge of the desert, with large mowed lawns, and lots of shade from the old cottonwoods. Of course we ate at Hell's Backbone Grill, which is my favorite restaurant. It didn't disappoint.
We did a hike on the slick rock and drove back to Fruita, driving between huge thunderstorms.
This coming weekend we'll do a proper shakedown run of Gus and make sure everything is 100%, so we can start planning a longer trip in a week or two. We plan on meeting some friends at an undisclosed location for the eclipse, and spending some time exploring Wyoming..something we've neglected for far too long.