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Old 10-26-2009, 10:12 PM   #31
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Re: Grasshopper

Well, Shay recently finished updating her daily blog of our trip to/from Chilliwack including pics & links to maps of our route/progress. For those that are interested, feel free to check it out at http://grasshopperescape.blogspot.com/.

I still plan to post some pics of Grasshopper's interior/exterior - particularly highlighting some of the mods/customizations that may be of interest to others. Hopefully I'll get them posted sooner than later...

Brad
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:38 PM   #32
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Re: Grasshopper

Wow Round trip --> 5,698 miles I'm in arkansas and wondered about how far of a drive it would be. A little tricky not being retired yet. Thanks for the link.

Edit for a question, did you ever have any problems in the state parks finding room for your whole rig to fit? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:44 PM   #33
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Re: Grasshopper

Welcome back! It looks like you guys had a wonderful trip! I wish my daughter and I could take several weeks off and just drive to Chilliwack ourselves... : Do a quick drive up there, and take time coming back to Wisconsin, visiting cool places such as the Yellowstone....

Grasshopper looks just WONDERFUL!! Love your decor. Green theme inside and out, really nice looking counter tops, .... I bet your kids love it living in Grasshopper!! What an adventure. Are they three-year olds? My daughter is four.

How did your 4Runner do towing Grasshopper? Was it comfortable? I am naturally curious, as I have also a 3rd gen 4Runner, although I am not worried whether it is big enough for Cafe Egg. Especially with transmission cooler that I had installed few weeks ago.

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Old 10-26-2009, 10:57 PM   #34
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Re: Grasshopper


I read the whole thing, from beginning to end. Great pix and a good read. You get thumbs up from me for stopping to smell the roses, and with two little guys.

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Old 10-27-2009, 01:45 AM   #35
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Re: Grasshopper

WOW--I just read your whole blog..
Sounds like you had an excellent journey and the pictures were beautiful.

Enjoy the "Grasshopper" and many more exciting Escapes...
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:06 AM   #36
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Re: Grasshopper

In response to various questions asked...

GoCamp - I agree that it was no small feat to arrange for the length of time needed for a trip like that since we're not retired either. It definitely required plenty of planning & coordination to cover work, home & community commitments but was doable for us and totally worth it.

As for the state parks, we never had any problems with space. It certainly gave me lots of quick practice with backing up with Grasshopper attached. Interestingly, I found that using the mirrors when backing up didn't work well for me but it was a breeze just looking over my shoulders. Also, we found hitching/unhitching was easy to learn & not a problem at all even with the WDH. We always loved tent camping in state parks and feel that often the little known state parks turn out to be some of our favorite camping spots.

Gerda - Regarding the kiddos, one is four & the other two. The 4 year old loved listening to audio books, singing songs & asking questions about the places & things we saw throughout the trip. He also insisted on helping with various set up & break down tasks (e.g. the stabilizers & pads, hitching/unhitching the safety chains, & removing/plugging the cord btw trailer/tug, connecting the water hose, etc). I'm sure your 4 year old will love it.

As for the 4Runner, it did fine considering what we put it through - full load in car and trailer, high altitude mtn passes, steep inclines/declines, below freezing weather, rain, snow, ice, etc. On the return trip, we crossed the continental divide 6 times with the trailer. Some of the highest mtn passes &/or steepest inclines pushed the car pretty hard, but it made it. Just don't expect to break any speed records. I was glad to have 4x4 with new tires rated for M+S b/c we frequently unhitched & went on rough dirt/gravel roads in the snow that required it. In the Tetons, we almost took a 4x4 trail down a ravine to the Snake River that had an 18% grade. However Shay talked me out of it - maybe next time (without the kids).

Comfortwise, the 4Runner was great. Going up to Chilliwack, we were stuffed since we were bring lots of supplies for Grasshopper with us. We have a large Yakima hardshell rooftop cargo carrier which helped but we needed more capacity. Thus I purchased an aluminum hitch cargo carrier (500lb capacity) with a waterproof bag. Turns out that was just the ticket. As a bonus, we also use it on the back of Grasshopper (we chose the bike rack ready option). On the road, I picked up two dominator slinky tubes with various attachments and a big hard shell locking plastic trunk to store them in. The hitch carrier was a perfect place to store it for easy access (will include in pics at some point). I figure we might also use the hitch carrier for other things like coolers, camp chairs, roll-up table, bin with chocks/leveling blocks, etc. Should be interesting when we add our mtn bikes & my kayak on top of the 4 Runner - it'll definitely be worth a pic when it happens.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:52 PM   #37
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Re: Grasshopper

Nice Blog!! I just read though it & it took me back to 1976 when i made a similar trip (in reverse). Gotta love the rockies!
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:13 PM   #38
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Re: Grasshopper

Great work on the blog, Shay.
The writeup was very well done, my only nitpick would be the size of the photos. There were a couple I would have liked to see larger, but when clicking on them, they came up the same size as in the blog.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:07 PM   #39
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Re: Grasshopper

Texscapees: could you post a picture of your shelves that you had installed in your 'closet'?
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:11 PM   #40
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Re: Grasshopper

Thanks for all the props on the blog - it was fun to write! I found that I paid more attention to the details of each day so that I could record them that night. As for picture size - I started out uploading full res files, but in many places the internet connection speed was very slow, so I switched to uploading pictures at 50K+/- each. I'm hoping to work on the full photo album soon, and will upload it to Picassa - we'll post a link here so you all can enjoy it as well.

Shay
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