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Old 09-25-2009, 05:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Helena, Montana
Posts: 613
T minus 14 hours and counting

T minus 14 hours and counting to Saturday morning’s predawn launch for the third major SMB Expedition of 2009, a 14 day tour of the Colorado Plateau and the Four Corner Region.

Tomorrow’s launch trajectory will be toward the south, clearing the Continental Divide three times before entering eastern Idaho on Interstate 15. The Expedition will avoid the dreaded Salt Lake City Metroplex by diverting east on Interstates 84 and 80 for the objective of tomorrow’s 500 mile run, a camp at Rockport State Park near Park City, Utah.

Weather conditions for launch day look to be near perfect, with clear skies, a low of near 50 degrees F and high in the mid 80s, the complete opposite of Expedition One’s 10 degree take-off.


Final loading is underway, with 47 gallons of Low Sulphur Highway diesel, 20 gallons of fresh H20, 4.5 liters of red wine, and 40lbs of high quality kibble for two labradogs. Here is a photo of large black labradog crew member, also known as the four-legged stomach, getting ready for his first desert trip.

The smaller yellow labradog crew member is an experienced desert rat, having survived Bill Burke's heavy truck training 4WD class in may of this year.

Preliminary cooling of the reefer has begun on shore power, closely monitored by the launch crew following last week’s complete frying of the diesel starting batteries:


So far the status of the two new Yellow Top Optima starting batteries appears to be nominal.

Tomorrow morning the crew will be up at 0500 hours for the traditional pre-launch breakfast of store-bought cinnamon rolls and instant coffee. Okay, real astronauts get a breakfast of steak and eggs, but they don’t have to do the dishes before boarding the Space Shuttle!

2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,676
Re: T minus 14 hours and counting

Originally Posted by Ed in Montana
... Okay, real astronauts get a breakfast of steak and eggs, but they don’t have to do the dishes before boarder the Space Shuttle!
That's why you have two Labradogs.

Good luck on your expedition. Stay hydrated and keep an eye on tire pressures. The southwest has been quite hot lately.


SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:00 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,209
Re: T minus 14 hours and counting

Have a great trip. We are planning on heading over to the four corners area from mid October to mid November. Sure the temperatures will be different.....especially at night.

Just looked at the battery saga. Reminds me that I have not replaced my chassis battery yet. Living on borrowed time. Normally I find that my vehicle (chassis) batteries last 7-8 years. My Chev Express is a 2000 model and has 98k miles on it. That is about 9.5 years!!! Never have had a starting battery last this long. Knock on wood. Probably wise to retire it and get a new battery while at home.

We went to the Michigan thumb area this last week. The "fall" weather was warm, humid, and the air was very still. The penthouse roof fan really helped. Very glad we installed it.

Again have a great trip.
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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Location: Oroville, CA
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Re: T minus 14 hours and counting

four legged stomache
E350...7.3 PS 4x4 by Salem Kroger 4'' exhaust
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