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Our Southwest Road Trip


SM 2003
Full Member
Jul 3, 2002
San Diego, CA
Congelado Chronicles

About a week ago we got back from a two-week drive with our Av through the Southwestern part of the United States. Three things we realized:

-Heated seats are a good thing :)
-Black Ice on the road is not an urban legend :6:
-The Av is a great cruising vehicle ;D

The first two apply to driving through Colorado. Other states included with our trip were Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, then back to California. The scenery and people were great. What a great country we live in. (y) A few photos follow.

Our trip took us through Las Vegas to Dixie National Forest and FishLake National Forest in Utah. I think it got up to about 40 degrees during the day. Here's Avalanche after 1200 miles of driving and some light off-roading:

And some of the actual Utah scenery:

We headed east though the Green River area, to Grand Junction and to Estes Park, Colorado. Here's a picture of a real Elk next to the sign for the cabin we stayed in. We also saw hundreds of them at the Rocky Mountain National Park:

And a deer eating a plant:

We estimated it would be a 1.5 hour drive from Denver to Pueblo, but it turned into a 5 hour drive thanks to all the black ice. Cars were all over the place! We narrowly averted one accident. That stuff is freaky. We got about a foot of snow on the Av when we pulled over for a little while. The next morning, our Av looked like all the cars from the area. All kinds of grey gunk on the assist steps and wheel wells:

We went through a car wash, left a club brochure on another Av, then headed out to Royal Gorge. The temperature gauge in the Av said it was 15 degrees, but it felt way colder:

We headed through Santa Rosa, Roswell, and Carlsbad New Mexico. We stayed in El Paso, Texas a couple of days -- what a great town! We love H&H car wash and it's little attached restaurant! While in El Paso, we got an oil change from Mission Chevrolet. Really nice guys. Left club brochures on a few Avs.

From there we went back into New Mexico, and high-tailed it through Arizona. Plus we had a little fun in Glamis on our way back to San Diego.

:0: We played slug-Avalanche during the trip. Every time we saw an Av, we got to pop the other person. Since I drove 1/2 the time and my wife drove 1/2, we ended up with a tie (15 Avs a piece). >:D

This trip was over 4000 miles and the Av handled great the whole time, especially on the slippery stuff. I noticed the rumbling front-end issue when turning (which has been mentioned on this site), and problems with the fuel gauge (which also has been mentioned on this site). Next trip we plan to take a tow-able trailer with us, but this one was a blast! ;D
Great pics, great story! Sounds like your AV did great.

Is that second to last pic taken here in Denver? If so, where was it?

It's too bad it was so cold here and your drive on I25 was so miserable :6:. I consider such cold weather like that embarrassing. I guess I'm not the Colorado climate type :0:.
The cold weather was nice. :rolleyes: We must have looked like the crazy Californians we are to the locals. Once we got out of Denver, hardly anyone else was on the highway. :eek:

The last picture was taken in Royal Gorge National Park, in Canon City west of Colorado Springs/Pueblo. Beautiful scenery, but pretty cold this time of year. :)

Too bad you didn't give me a heads up you were coming through - I am about 30 min from Estes Park and if you came down HWY 36 from Estes Park to Denver you were about 2 blocks from my place.

Sounds like you had a good trip - glad you got the AV home safe.

WOW, Some beautiful pics! Nice trip. Would love to do a trip like that with the family. When I was a kid we always traveled. Now you have to go North to Yellowstone or Glacer.
Thanks for sharing, great pics! I'm guessing that's a 2500 Avalanche looking at the rims - question is 2WD or 4WD. I don't think I've heard of anyone here with a 2WD 2500...
Ours will be a 2500 2WD. Don't do any off-roading & wanted the extra towing capacity. Of course mine isn't here yet!!! :8: I called today, dealer said they will get a report on Monday if it is scheduled this week. I want it by Nov. 31...I want the extra $500 rebate!
Chief said:
I'm guessing that's a 2500 Avalanche looking at the rims - question is 2WD or 4WD.
Chief, it's a 4WD 2500. I think the Auto4wd feature saved our lives on the black ice. :eek:

Traz, I hope you get your Av soon! :)