- Sep 1, 2002
- Conway, AR
I thought I would share my trip with all you Avalancher's out there. My sister recently had a baby boy and my Father and I decided to take the ole Avalanche to California instead of flying. I took an old futon mattress and put it in the back of the truck....dropped the midgate and let me tell you....it made one hell of a bed! We leave Arkansas at midnight and my Dad crawled in the back to try and get some sleep and about 40 miles into the trip I ran over something and blew out my rear driverside tire. I pull over and and right then and there I knew this was going to be a bad trip. We get out of the truck and are trying to figure out how where the jack is...how to hook up the tools...and all this while it is raining outside! We finally got the spare tire on and when we tried to put the flat back under the truck the tire winch broke! Here we are in the pouring rain pulling out all of our luggage so we can get the flat tire in the back of the truck....all in all we lost about two hours! We get back in the truck...soaking wet driving on a 16in Firestone spare tire! ( I have the 17in tires) We get to Oklahoma City at about 6 in the morning and some town outside of that we found a Goodyear tire shop to see if I can get the flat fixed....well...just as I expected I ended up having to buy a new tire ($180) and we just wasted another hour. OK....now I feel better knowing that I have the proper tire on....we continue on throught Oklahoma and I'm not exaggerating when I say there was a dead skunk about every half mile...so you can say that that State actually stunk! We finally make it through Oklahoma and get into the panhandle of Texas and guess what we run into?....FREEZING FOG! Here I am driving white knuckled and my Dad hanging on to the OH S*&$ bars because we could not see 5 feet in front of us and I'm doing about 80mph following a Trucker. So here we are driving with ICE starting to form on the windsheild and the sand and grit being thrown onto the windsheild from the trucker in front of us.....here's the fun part....the windshield fluid froze so we couldn't clean the windshield and I'm putting my face as close as I can to the windshield to find somewhere where I could see! Ok...we finally get past the freezing fog and my washer fluid finally thawed out and I was able to clean my shield....about an hour later we hit New Mexico and I let my Dad take over driving. As soon as I get comfortable and we ran smack into a freakin snow storm!....so there went me trying to sleep! It took us about 4 or 5 hours to get accross New Mexico and my Dad was able to get us to Flagstaff, AZ. In Flagstaff I had to buy some VIVRAN to keep myself awake because I have no slept since Arkansas! So..here we are driving down the mountain in the pitch black of night on an ICY I-40! For awhile there I thought my truck had some sole because it was slippin and slidding the whole way down that mountain! We finally get past that and cross into California and my Dad takes over because I litteraly cannot keep my eyes open and while driving accross the Mojave dessert I finally doze off and when I opened my eyes I look over to my Dad and guess what?.....he's fast asleep at the wheel doing 85mph!!! I woke him up screaming like a little girl and he had no idea how long he was out! Let's just say the both of us were wide awake after that! We finally reached our destanation but my Mother and Brother-in law met us at a gas station because we could not drive anymore. All in all it took us 30 hours to get there and between the two of us we only got maybe...30 minutes of sleep! The trip back was much better because it was sunshine and no rain the whole way back. I did have some minor problems with the Avalanche (broken fog light mount, SES light for the Vent Valve) but what really amazed me was the gas mileage! We averaged about 21mpg! When we returned home to Arkansas I'm sad to say I traded in my 2002 Z71 for a 2003 Z71 I looked at the 2003's while I was in California and made up my mind that when I got back home I was going to trade it in. I'll post some pics of my new truck as soon as I can and I hope all you AV'rs enjoy this story.