Highway Trip

My friend Jean is an “inmate” (her words) in a very nice old folks home. I have known her since 1970. We have lots of history. We talk on the phone quite often. She wanted me to visit. I was in Quartzsite, AZ and she is in Champaign, IL. I got on the road with the new Esbit stove and headed east.

June in Colorado’s Shavano Wildlife area. Because of the snow I tried out the Esbit. The smell of the solid fuel was not bearable, for me. Even when I used it on the tailgate outside. Very sad. It worked well enough, a bit slow.

The soup, still in box (no dishes!), heated up nicely with one fuel tab.

After a few days the snow melted and I fell in love with the area.

Leaving Salida, CO the serious driving started.

I drove through all kinds of little towns, was awed by the Mississippi, couldn’t get over the size of the wind turbines, saw Amelia Earhart’s birthplace, never had a problem finding a place to stay . Fell in love with a country and western song on the radio about a guy who loved his International Harvester. Thought about Eisenhower, regenerative agriculture, the business of corn and ethanol. Fun two lane drive for days. Then I was in a big city in Illinois. City traffic, big university graduation, horns, sirens, lights, stop signs, one way streets. Aggh. Headed back west after a 15 day visit.

For some cock-a-mamie stressed-out reasoning I decided to return via interstate highways. In the pouring rain. On I-70 for many many miles. Days of scary amounts of rain, monuments at rest areas to the westward-ho men and the “Indian troubles”, no one wearing masks.

Ate at interesting truck stops and never really knew where I was. I think it was the sameness of the road and going so darn fast. Lilith, the truck, held up very well.

Finally got to stop and camp in nature with giant boulders, then camped on the banks of the healing Colorado River. I’ll tell you about that part next post.

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13 Responses to Highway Trip

  1. Ming says:

    I’m so glad that you are continuing with your blog, I do so enjoy following along with your adventures both in the places you travel as well as the gear that you move through.

    I am a fan of gear and travel with many stoves. Inside the van, I have adapted a backpacking stove to use a 5 pound propane canister. We refill it once a month.

    I also have wood stoves that use twigs and alcohol stoves that use denatured alcohol. Your Esbit stove could use alcohol if you replaced the fuel cube with a tea light shell filled with alcohol. It would take 1.5 fills of the shell to boil 2 cups of water. Alcohol is a slow fuel, but cheap.


    • Mas Prema says:

      You are a big help, Ming. Great suggestions. Thank you for continuing to follow along!

      On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 12:04 AM Truck Camper Hints wrote:



      • Ming says:

        I should specify that I prefer to use twig burning stoves whenever I can for the water boiling, soup making, and grilling.

        I have tried many, but currently my most versatile one is the Firebox stove. I can also use it with an alcohol burner.

        You can make a cheap version using an Ikea cutlery container, a hacksaw, and some skewers.

        YouTube abounds with DIY stove instructions and reviews.

        A good saw is recommended with wood stoves. Oh, and a pot you don’t mind getting very, very sooty.


      • Mas Prema says:

        Hi Ming. Great ideas. Thank you for sharing all of these years. I will investigate the firebox stove..

        On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 3:25 PM Truck Camper Hints wrote:



  2. Tim says:

    Wonderful description of your journey, Thank you for sharing!!
    Safe Travels!


  3. Tony says:

    I just love your site, been following for years. Hope to one day live the same. Keep well tony


  4. mark schatzman says:

    Loved this post. Enjoyed the details (songs, food, the review of the stove) as well as your opinion on the trip. More of this is great for those of us armchair travelers.


    • Mas Prema says:

      Thank you, Mark. Thank you for the encouragement!

      On Sun, Jun 13, 2021 at 4:33 PM Truck Camper Hints wrote:



      • Mark says:

        I was looking back at your essentials list just now as well as other posts since I’m heading out to some “Dark Sky” parks in Texas soon. Per your “too big of a propane tank”, I found a 10 lb tank at a local propane dealer. They get used ones in from time to time and it’s just perfect for one person. For some reason (probably because so few are made) they are a bit pricier but I got mine for $40 and will be using it forever.


      • Mas Prema says:

        Oh Mark. That ten pounder sounds perfect. Let me know if it lasts as long as you need.

        On Sun, Jun 13, 2021 at 7:43 PM Truck Camper Hints wrote:



  5. pip says:

    Fabulous Post – and great pics to set the scenes. Thanks a lot and hope you are keeping well. Life’s adventure continues!
    Pip from Aus.


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