Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Pre-GoatRun: Day 4

    Posted on September 27th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Can someone tell me why I woke-up before sunrise today? I guess 7am comes early in Texas! I really have no clue why I got up so early… as last night I decided that I was going to take the “direct” route to Los Alamos, rather than the more “scenic” one I had originally planned.

    View Larger Map

    Since I visited the Cadillac Ranch last night, I figured I’d skip it this morning. I had debated going to Home Depot to buy a few cans of spray paint, but I wasn’t feeling like walking in the mud to tag some cars.

    I headed out across Texas and quickly found myself in New Mexico. The scenery was nice, and so too was the 75mph speed limit!

    I had skipped-out on breakfast this morning and didn’t refuel last night… so it didn’t take long for both me and the G8 to get hungry. I pulled into a great travel stop (a Shell station with a Subway), but was really disappointed to only see 90 Octane on the pump. Given my car has a tune that is optimized for at least 91 Octane, I didn’t know what to do.

    I was running on fumes, so had to get some gas… and hoped that 90 Octane wouldn’t be problematic. I looked in the mini-mart for some “octane booster”, but didn’t come across any. I did some quick searching online about what to do in this situation, and I guess the high elevation helps with knocking… Fortunately I didn’t have any issues, and the G8 wasn’t even pulling any timing (even at WOT).

    Just after stopping for gas, the G8 decided to go into “Limp Mode” again (it wasn’t related to the gas). I was on Interstate-40 so threw on the hazard lights and crawled to a stop on the side of the road. I’m getting better at pulling off the road quickly (I didn’t bottom out or anything), but I’m tired of this.

    Today was definitely not the day that I had planned. The main reason for driving to Los Alamos was to visit “The Black Hole“, so on my way I decided to give them a call to check how late they are open tonight (and if they are open tomorrow). Well, turns out they are closed for “inventory”… Bummer!

    Without much reason to spend the night in Los Alamos, I stopped into a hotel in Santa Fe and tried to figure out an alternative plan. There were a few roads up by Los Alamos that I had planned on driving tomorrow, but it was still fairly early in the day… so I set out to drive the roads (and then sleep in Albuquerque).

    I went out to my car to cancel my hotel reservation in Los Alamos, and while sitting there I received another series of DTCs. I was parked, so didn’t need to drive off the road, but it was a bit difficult to clear everything out and get running properly. Then, not far down the road, the car again went into limp mode… this time while sitting at a stop light! I was able to limp across the intersection to a safe stopping place, but this stuff is getting a little crazy. Fortunately I didn’t receive any other DTCs for the rest of the day.

    The drive up to Los Alamos was very scenic, with the road winding through several deep canyons. After spending the past few weeks driving through areas of the country that were covered in forests, it was great to see the open views of the Southwest. One thing that I never get enough of are the rich colors of the rocks.

    Having grown-up around the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, I was interested in checking out the area around the Los Alamos National Laboratory (I know, I’m a total nerd). The road that I was trying to drive looked like it took me through the main gate to the laboratory. In Livermore you need a badge to get past the main gate, so I thought I was stuck! I drove around trying to find an alternate route, and almost even considered driving back the way I had come, but figured I’d at least go to the gate and ask directions… Well, it turned out just anyone could go through the “gate”!

    After looking like a fool, I made the drive up into the Jemez Mountains. This area really reminded me of the forests in the Sierras. A really unique thing about this area is that it has recently burned by a large forest fire. Many of the trees were black towards the bottom, but you could see the living branches at the top… it was very interesting.

    While driving through the twists and turns of the mountain forest, I was surprised to find myself entering what looked like the grasslands of Middle America. Turns out, I had found my way into the Valles Caldera.

    The drive back down from the mountains made my afternoon. There were all sorts of scenic views to be taken-in while driving down the twisty road. The turns were mostly sweepers, and the speed limit was quite low, but it was much better than sitting on the interstate! I’m really glad that I decided to make the trip up to Los Alamos, rather than just heading to a hotel early.

    Since I drove almost half of tomorrow’s drive, today, I really don’t know what I’m going to do in the morning. The only thing I know is that I’ll be working my way closer to Las Vegas!