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Old 08-27-2021, 07:23 PM #1
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Arrow Going to California, Part 4: She gone...

Well boys, Maggy, my 2002 SR5 Sport, left port about two hours ago, on her way to California.

Being a fanatic father, I have already inquired about engine and trans temps and been given a report from the OBD Fusion app my son is running on his iPhone. (he's not driving at the moment, so no worries about two hands on the wheel...)

The rig had just shy of 189,000 miles on her when she rolled out of the driveway, laden like the Edmund Fitzgerald with all manner of personal effects and human tonnage. I'm sure she'll be well over 200,000 when she makes the return voyage in Spring.

I'll be very interested to get some mileage numbers once they're on the road for a day or two.

The last bit of work I did, after the brake pads and rotors was:
  • brake fluid change (left it to the dealer, I was running out of free time...)
  • transmission drain/fill (OMG! FAST, FUN AND EASY!)
  • re-mount the spare I had removed a couple of months ago when doing the rear diff drain/fill
  • re-mount the front skid plates (my arms still hurt)
  • top off air in tires (32psi)
  • Undid the "AK antenna mod" and replaced it with a rubber stopper from Home Depot.
  • added windshield washer fluid

I don't think cleaning all windows inside and out counts as maintenance, but I did sweat more doing that than anything except working on the front brakes and rotors a couple of weeks ago!

The schedule calls for Maggy to ease her way westward like a butterfly, stopping in St. Louis, Omaha, Laramie, Salt Lake City, Winnemucca and finally, once-sunny Lake Tahoe. Apparently those kids never learned about points, distances and straight lines.

If I get any interesting photos, I will be sure to post them.

Thanks to everyone who has read and/or contributed to this series of posts!

p.s. Happily I am not Toyota-less in the interim. Now I can get caught up on some GX470 maintenance...
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Old 08-27-2021, 08:04 PM #2
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Sweet thoughts.

I was in tahoe last month for a few days on my way to SF area, tahoe was gorgeous, clear skies yet just 15 miles east smoke was visible and odor was strong.

Pray for Cali (whether you like Cali or not, a large chunk of our fruits/veggies come from there)!

Best of luck to your family driving there and back!!
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:56 PM #3
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@jgue467 : That was a different fire. The current Caldor Fire is a LOT closer and the Tahoe basin is basically unlivable right now. Every person I know there has left because they can't breathe. These are mostly fit outdoor types, mountain bikers, etc. Rubicon and most other trails and forests in the area are closed. The food-growing regions are pretty fire-proof and safe. Until we run out of water.....
@vonhughes : Sorry for the gloom and doom. You're a good dad and I'm sure the rig will do great!
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Old 08-28-2021, 09:19 AM #4
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Yeah I might have referred to the tamarack vs. the caldor, I was there last two weeks of July, at the time the tamarack fire was 35 miles south of south lake, then 7/26 they shut down 89 because the fire crossed the road. I knew then this was gonna be very bad.

Hope the two don't join up or maybe they already have.

Now 50 is shut down and south lake is a ghost town. I drove from Salt Lake on 7/16 and could not see the mountains for the last 300 miles, smoke was so thick, instant I opened door 300 miles away I could smell smoke as if it were 30 feet away, incredible, yet it happens, even in Austin, we've had a few bad ones here over the last 10 years yet not on Cali's scale.

Prayers for Cali.
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Oh yeah, GO LONGHORNS!
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Old 08-28-2021, 01:19 PM #5
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Thanks for the info, advice and well wishes.

I've been watching the daily Cal Fire updates, air quality websites, etc. Agree it doesn't look good, but when you commit to a plan...then off ya go!

Caldor does seem to be the one that will get everyone heading for NV if she makes it over/around the peaks and smaller lakes to the SW.

Heard other than US-50 headed east, there really aren't many other (any other?) ways to beat feet out of South Tahoe and get to Carson, etc.
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Old 08-28-2021, 01:43 PM #6
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Originally Posted by vonhughes View Post
The schedule calls for Maggy to ease her way westward like a butterfly, stopping in St. Louis, Omaha, Laramie, Salt Lake City, Winnemucca and finally, once-sunny Lake Tahoe. Apparently those kids never learned about points, distances and straight lines
wonder how long that's gonna last
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Old 08-28-2021, 01:59 PM #7
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Just got some more info...looks like the El Dorado Sheriff's evacuation "warnings" have gone as far as Emerald Bay and Cascade Lake. Can't imagine it will take more than 24 hours for mandatory to hit SLT, short of some serious work by Mother Nature and the lads on the ground.

Brutal.
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Old 08-28-2021, 03:39 PM #8
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The fires are moving towards Tahoe, just a heads up.
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:22 PM #9
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Greetings from smoky California. I would advise your family to avoid both highway 89 and highway 50. 50 is closed and will not re-open any time soon as the Caldor fire has little to no containment. It's been burning for several weeks already and as of today is 19% contained. I-80 is open and would be the best route but you will drive right past Tahoe. That's fine because you can't even see the lake as the smoke has settled in like a dense fog. If that is their final destination, I would advise heading further north instead. Smoke is bad from north of Redding to Fresno so you've got to go to the Oregon border to avoid the dense smoke. Nevada near Reno and Carson City is just as bad as that's where most of the smoke is blowing.

To put things in perspective, the Dixie fire is the largest single source wildfire in CA history. As in forever recorded history.

The Eastern seaboard has hurricanes, the mid-west has tornadoes, the west has fires. It is a natural disaster area so plan accordingly.

2021 Fire Season Outlook | Welcome to CAL FIRE - Day to day updates on the major fires.
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Old 08-29-2021, 11:11 PM #10
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Fire crews are going to make a stand at Echo Summit. I sure hope they can hold it off til the winds die down.....
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Old 08-30-2021, 12:16 AM #11
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To put things in perspective, the Dixie fire is the largest single source wildfire in CA history. As in forever recorded history.
The Dixie fire stopped (and will hopefully stay stopped) about 500 feet from my parents' cabin (north end of the fire). Not 'out of the woods' but fingers crossed. This is the week every year we would normally be up there, but instead we are at their house right off highway 50 in the lower foothills, dealing with the Caldor fire smoke. Good times.

We haven't hit peak fire season yet, so fingers are still crossed for SoCal.

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Old 08-30-2021, 05:45 PM #12
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Boy oh boy, fellas...

As everyone knows, as of late Sunday night, the Tahoe basin is now the Afghanistan of North America...get out ASAP! Terrible for everyone who lives in that area full time.

This being the case, the planned arrival in South Tahoe is not going to happen as planned for Maggy and her crew. The group is holed up in Salt Lake City for the night.

Looks like the trip will be redirected to The Emerald City, Seattle. When things clear up in Tahoe, they will head back to Cali.

Prayers and best wishers to all the fire fighters and hot shots who have to battle these fires in Cali and wherever else they may be!
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Old 08-31-2021, 10:31 AM #13
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It's getting crazy up there:

Caldor Fire's flames reach communities very close to South Lake Tahoe as winds continue
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Old 08-31-2021, 09:39 PM #14
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Yeah, I feel bad about feeling bad that my kid can't get there, but then I see all the people fleeing on 50 West with only what they can fit in their vehicle and it gives me some perspective.

Wish they could get an inch or two of rain this week, but I know that isn't going to happen.
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Old 09-01-2021, 05:09 PM #15
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Yeah, I feel bad about feeling bad that my kid can't get there, but then I see all the people fleeing on 50 West with only what they can fit in their vehicle and it gives me some perspective.

Wish they could get an inch or two of rain this week, but I know that isn't going to happen.
Other than an occasional thunderstorm in the high sierras, CA goes from mid-May-late October with 0.00" precipitation. Not a new thing either, we just don't get rain for 6 months out of the year. It's the main reason why CA gets these massive fires in what is technically fall where OR, WA & other states can get some relief.
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