Week 315 - US Highway 50 - 08-26-2012

US Highway 50 from Fallon, Nevada to Green River, Utah

In Weeks 311-312 we traveled 2,800 miles. Enough miles and photos for six travelogues.  So we would be neglectful if we didn't embellish about our "Taxi" ride with more photos of the trip.  One thing we have learned in traveling through all 50 states is that every state has a surprise for you.  What image comes to mind when you think of traveling through Nevada?  Ours is something like the photo below.  We have to ask, "What are you doing in this place? Did your grandfather's wagon break down here?"

Well, surprise, surprise, US Highway 50 is different from the view above. This highway extends over 3,000 miles from West Sacramento, California to Ocean City, Maryland.  The section in Nevada is known as the "Loneliest Road in America".  It is long and sparsely populated but US Highway 50 offers you a variety of terrain and photo opportunities. 

We start our travelogue in Fallon, Nevada, location of Naval Air Station Fallon.  Since 1996 this has been the home of TOPGUN, the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program.  Fallon is the last town of any size until you reach Ely over 250 miles away.

Along the way to Ely you pass through Austin, Nevada, a cute old town nestled in the mountains.  And look, trees!

Back on the road it was only minutes between sunshine and a downpour. 

For a town of 4,255 (2010 census) Ely is delightfully filled with murals, statues and other artwork.

Not sure what this is, but it's artsy!

Next stop is Scipio, Utah at only 190 miles from Ely.

Once into Utah, while they've never heard of trees, they've got rocks down pat: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, all the flavors.

Mandy enjoyed this rest stop and the Castle Valley view area. Ooh, is that greenery we see?

At several of the rest areas the local Indians had beautiful pottery for sale.  We loved the turtle, but first, we were not sure that it wasn't imported from China and second, it was $27.00. Hmmmm!

You've got to admit, Utah has some stunning colors and formations.

"Drowsy Drivers Next Exit". Everyone else, "Keep It Moving!".  But not you trucker, "Slow Down!"

Great clouds . . .

. . . great rocks.

Every snapshot from Alaska was a postcard. Utah is not bad either. Clean air is a photographer's friend.

Arriving at Green River, you find a town of about 1,000 people.  Not much there, but Shady Acres RV park is a bargain with cable TV, WiFi, Deli, Gas Station, large laundry, RV wash and low daily rates.  We covered 595 miles on this section of US 50.  That leaves us just about 2,400 more miles to report on. That will take awhile, but we'll try.

In our six years and 85,000+ miles of traveling our experiences has been pretty positive.  And when we have had disappointments, we don't report them, just ignore them. Maybe a cranky RV park employee or slow service at the repair center.  But, these are truly few and far between. And next time the employee might be a joy (or unemployed) and service might be fast!

However, we feel the need for this report. We feel that it was a scam!  On this trip we arrived at the Flying J in Scipio, Utah, at the junction of US 50 and Interstate 15.  We pulled into the fuel stop and a young man named Derrick ran right over to us. He pointed out the cupping on our tires (marked with red arrows below). Then, he told us that our tires were cracking (marked in yellow) and might soon separate and cause a front tire blow out. Ouch, that would hurt and could cause a major crash.  Since we were on the mission to pick up Aunt Glo, we needed good tires.

Derrick directed us to George at the tire shop where we could get new tires. So, we finished our fueling and visited George.  He looked at our tire and repeated the warning that we could get a blow out at any time.  We were not prepared to invest $1,200.00 in two new tires.  But George was pretty convincing.  He had the Michelin tires and encouraged us to replace. "How much", Pete asked.  $1,200.00 each. Eaaaaaaaaaaaaaach?  Last time we bought four Michelin's in Montana and they were $550.00 each. Needless to say, we turned down George's offer.

As we continued our travels, we slowed our normal 60 mph down to 50 to be safe. We "knew" that we needed new tires but would wait until Denver for better pricing.  We began research. We took this tire photo and sent it to our RV buddy and wholesale tire rep Tom Dietrich. After an exchange of emails and a phone call, Tom told us that while our tires were obviously cupped, they were not about to separate. Note that the cracking was only about six inches on the right front tire, none on the left. Tom said that we probably got the cracks by rubbing against a curb.  He also told us that if the cupping was causing steering wheel vibration, we could exchange the front tires with one side of the rear.  As we don't feel any vibration we elected to do nothing.

We so appreciate Tom's expertise.  But since we were going to be carrying Aunt Glo, we checked with a tire shop in Denver, so that someone could look at the tire firsthand and not just at a photo.  This shop could have tried to sell us tires (at $600 each). However, they echoed Tom's decision and told us we had nothing to worry about.

By the way, Tom, serving the Western United States, had heard another story about this tire shop in Scipio. And thinking back on it, we noticed three motorhomes lined up for tires as we drove away.  While it is not conclusive that Derrick and George are running a scam, it sure looks that way. So, just be diligent and aware if you pull into the Scipio Flying J and told you need tires.  We don't think this tire shop is owned by Flying J; it is just on their property.

With love, yes, even for you Derrick and George, Pete, Ellen and Mandy, still alive after driving 2,100 miles on bad tires.

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight." Proverbs 11:1

Photos from Jul 2012

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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