Today was a mostly driving day - about 425 miles. On such days one's mind turns to the mundane needs of an RV traveler. Needs: reasonably priced fuel, pumps spaced far apart so we can swing around them pulling the trailer, overhang high enough so we don't hit it with our roof AC, clean bathroom facilities, US Today (newspaper) vending machine, place to dump gray water (used for showering and washing dishes) from holding tanks, squeegee with extra long handle so you can reach over the truck's hood and scrape all the bugs off... Whenever we stop at a Flying J truck stop, we not only can count on these needs being filled, but many more that we didn't even think of til we got there.
Forgot to bring enough clean underwear? - buy more at the Flying J. Ran out of fruit for lunch? - great bananas on sale at the Flying J. Important papers flying around in the back seat? - Get a new briefcase at the Flying J. Need a shower? No problem at the Flying J. Short on propane? - just pull right up to the pump at the Flying J. Need to do some laundry? - The Flying J can take care of that too. Need to surf the web and read some e-mai? No problem at the Flying J. Hungry? All you can eat buffets are standard at all the Flying J. Need a haircut? At many Flying J's a beautician is on duty 24 hours a day. And when you get to Montana, the Flying J even has a casino!
I'm sure that the Flying J chain was established for long distance truckers, but they have made real fans from the RV crowd. We have a little map with all the stations in the US clearly marked and plot our fueling course accordingly. We use our little loyalty card to rack up discounts on the gas price. These days anything you can do to make the gas more affordable is a smart move.
We did some hefty climbing today over 5,000 feet in elevation and are enjoying some mountain views. Tomorrow should be our last driving day - for a while. We will be well north of I-90 and have heard that we may be out of range for our satellite dish. We'll keep writing, whether we can post right away or not.