Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wow...... Weight Distribution!

Well we did not have every thing figured out. We left on Wednesday at 10 AM. Planned for 7AM but house cleaning for our wonderful house sitters and house guests was more work than we thought. We have not done much at home in the last couple of months since we have been soooooo busy. Day 1 we wanted to get to Lubbock, TX. On our way we realized our sway bar did not stop the swaying! I don't know if you have ever been in a vehicle that has a trailer causing it to sway, but it feels like your own personal tornado. You have limited control, are thrown around and your heart beats out of your chest. It is SCARY! We regained control of our vehicle, pulled over to catch our breath and tighten the sway bar. That seemed to help quite a bit and we made it safely to Lubbock. Very little to report if you know Lubbock! The KOA was nothing to brag about because like the rest of the Texas panhandle it was a gravel parking lot.

The next day (June 7th) we were going from Lubbock to a little west of Flagstaff, AZ. Actually one hour south of the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It is killing us to pass up the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon, but that is just an excuse for the great bug adventure trip 2! Somewhere in New Mexico (I am still too scared to remember where we were exactly), we had our own personal Joplin, MO tornado hit our rig. We started swaying so bad we were all over Interstate 40! I am sure people are still talking about the rig that they were sure was going to flip. Our two dogs went from sleeping soundly in the back seat to standing in the back seat with there eyes open soooo big, no words were necessary, they were screaming "what the hell!" If the outside was a tornado than you should have seen the inside. It looked like we took a blender to every single thing in the trailer. Lets just say there are Cheerios in every nook and cranny.

Kava sick after the Joplin MO swaying

One of my mugs fell over and got caught in the handy organizational wire rack and the force of the sway completely busted it off. The cup was on the floor and the handle remained in the wire rack! Sway bar tightening NOT working! We can absolutely not go over 60mph or we sway. This makes no sense to us since bigger travel trailer truck rigs are FLYING by us. We of course have to stop (change our pants) and regroup after this one!! John heads into the Flying J and I call the travel trailer and RVing God and really all knowing one in any motorized vehicle situation (aka my Uncle Kent Davis). He has helped us solve many of our newby travel trailer issues and I was really hoping for some all knowing wisdom here. Kent of course had a whole list of solutions starting with tire pressure and ending in weight distribution. We needed to have more weight at the front of the trailer. Once again our massive amounts of gear were causing a problem. We cleaned up the mess in the trailer and moved a lot of our gear to the front of the trailer. This really helped. Problem solved? We still felt like we could not go over 60 and every time a semi passed us, we were at risk of another sway event! So our Flagstaff AZ KOA arrival time of 4 PM ended up being 8PM. When we finally got there and set the trailer up and went to bed, we were exhausted.

Below is a picture from the Flying J facing East. We had gone over the Rockies with our swaying RV! That was NOT fun.

We also have not gotten anything but the G9 out to take pictures. Our focus is to get to Sequoia National Forest. BUT here is some high speed photography.... pictures taken at our max speed, between 50 -60 mph! First are some Texas panhandle pics.  Yup flat!

Then New Mexico!

Then Arizona, We did not get pics of Flagstaff, but it was beautiful! We got in after dark.

We look forward to start taking insect pictures and sharing them!

Kendra and John

- posted from ipad during the international bug expedition 2012

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About Me

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John is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin. Kendra is a Professor at St. Edwards University in Austin. John has focused on dragonflies and damselflies in his career. He has two books Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-central United States and The Damselflies of Texas. He is currently working on the Dragonflies of Texas. John and Kendra are also currently both working on revising the Peterson Field Guide to Insects of North America. We have had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Latin America, Africa and other parts of the world where we enjoy taking photos of pretty much anything that will allow us to capture its image. We are lucky enough to be able to teach students about the amazing biodiversity we see and to travel and photograph together.