I just filled the tank and figured out my overall mileage, which was 27.5 mpg! I am very happy with that, and that includes a lot of miles driven around Asheville.
The price of gas varies widely - Virginia is the lowest I've seen in the east at $3.49/gal, and New York is by far the highest at $3.99. It was a few cents cheaper when I left here, but seemed to go up between arriving yesterday and going out this morning. I don't understand why the speculators should make so much money on oil released from the national reserves. Maybe someone can explain it. This isn't oil we have to worry about getting from the Middle East, but is right here in our possession and the way I see it, the government has already paid for. So who is walking off with such a nice profit? I'd rather see it go to the government than the oil speculators. I may be in the minority here, but I don't mind saying I wish the basic price of fuel was regulated nationally, with the states adding their taxes. We expect the states to keep the interstates in good repair (which doesn't always happen) so they should get the $ from tax on each gallon of fuel. But the hourly change in price at the pump shouldn't be controlled by speculation.
I don't like to write much of anything political, mainly because I know I'm in the minority and will piss a lot of folks off. I'll let this sit for a while and see if I still want to include my thoughts before I hit "Publish".
I noticed that while driving the Highlander to and from Asheville, I tend to drive faster than when I was driving the Ford 1-ton. I'm not sure why that is, as the Ford certainly had the power and speed when I wanted it. The SUV handles so well and is so easy to drive, plus being more comfortable to sit in for a long time. I would like to find sheepskin covers for the front seats, but it looks like I will have to order them online, which I would rather not do. I can't figure out why they aren't available locally.
I have to say something about the "safety corridors" - they are NOT any safer than any other stretch of highway. I try to observe the 55 mph speed limit for 35 miles, especially the sections where "Fines doubled next # miles", but I began to realize I was just making it less safe for myself and others on the road. No one drives 55, and if they have to scramble to get around me they are not driving as safely as they should. I ended up just trying to keep up with the traffic, but I don't like it. I certainly feel more in control and safer when I'm driving 55-65, but I can't do anything about others on the road so I may as well enjoy the speed and handling of my vehicle.
I saw a flat bed truck behind me that was carrying lumber which was laid side to side rather than lengthwise in the truck. I notice the lumber had slid across the bed and was sticking way out on one side. I can't believe the guy didn't get off the interstate at some point and get it corrected, but he bumbled along. Then I saw in the rearview mirror that he was passing a big semi, and I thought to myself that he was going to damage the semi with that lumber. It hit the truck's side mirror which I saw fall off, but of course he kept on going, while I concentrated on putting some distance between me and him. These things sure add to the tension of the trip.
I was cold when I took Lady for her first walk this morning, and two hours later I turned on the A/C in the car when driving to get gas.
I put one of the PetRide covers into the back seats this morning. It is simply a huge piece of black canvas with straps that can be wrapped around the head rests to hold it in place. There is nothing I can see that will secure it where the seat back meets the bench seat, and nothing to keep it from moving around. I had been using a large fleece throw to cover the area where Lady rides, in hopes of catching much of the dog hair. I took it outside to shake it out, and there was quite a bit of hair that flew off. I doubled it over and put it on top of the black canvas seat section. She will have it all balled up in no time, as she rides for a while, then stands up and turns herself around three times, then lies down again. So much for keeping anything neatly in place. As much as I enjoy having her around, life would be so much simpler without her. Many of you will think that is heresy, but it is simply the truth from my point of view. After years of taking care of children I now have another big child to take care of at a time when I can barely manage for myself.
It's hard to believe that the time is nearly here to start planning my trip back to CA. I realize it will be necessary to get a place to live with a 6-month lease. During that time I'll try to figure out how I can travel when I feel like it and not have to worry about motels that will accept dogs, constantly keeping ice in the cooler, and not getting a balanced diet because I can't cook anything for myself. I wonder if a small Class C can pull my Highlander. I really hate to have to tow anything, but I'm not ruling it out, especially since this is merely in the thinking stage.
I notice that I rarely need to nap during the day since I've been on the iron supplements, but today I am wiped out and can do very little. It must be tiredness from the trip, and I hope it doesn't last long.