Epic Six Thousand Mile Family Road Trip of US National Parks - pic and video heavy - Page 2
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    1. #36
      Junior Member R-Design M&M's Avatar
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      Well done and excellent photography.
      Nice color BTW, our course I'm partial...

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    3. #37
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by R-Design M&M View Post
      Well done and excellent photography.
      Nice color BTW, our course I'm partial...

      Mike
      Big thanks... as for the pics, I took my Canon SLR with a ton of lenses, an Olympus Tough, a GoPro and guess what camera took the best shots?..... my Samsung GS7 Edge Phone!

    4. #38
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Here's a shot on the way to Cody, WY and eventually the east gate of Yellowstone. The Wapiti Valley is stunning.







      My youngest got this pic of a bear!


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    6. #39
      Junior Member BT_XC90's Avatar
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      Great post mate. good detail, looks like we all have gone along with you on the trip

      Love the colour, I am sure you have had loads of fun with the beast.

      Hope you do many more of these long trips without any issues.

      my Expectations from my car are rising now
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    7. #40
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BT_XC90 View Post
      Great post mate. good detail, looks like we all have gone along with you on the trip

      Love the colour, I am sure you have had loads of fun with the beast.

      Hope you do many more of these long trips without any issues.

      my Expectations from my car are rising now
      Thanks from across the pond! Let's keep the trip going...here's a shot with some snow on the Beartooth Hwy from Red Lodge, MT to Cooke City, MT. This has to be one of the coolest roads in America. Summit is just under 11,000ft.



      Skim through some of these videos to see such awesomeness.





      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-19-2016 at 10:24 PM.

    8. #41
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      On the way down the Beartooth Hwy, we came across some canyon forest fires near the Chief Joseph Hwy (back left). A couple days later I met a two guys who said they saw them putting them out with planes and helicopters.



      Some great switchbacks around 1min and 2min here...

      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-22-2016 at 11:22 PM.

    9. #42
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      The bison really started showing up around Cooke City and Silver Gate at the northeast entrance of Yellowstone.



      I woke up to this...



      Such a cool spot to stop and stay a couple nights.



      ..and the Pilot Assist comes in handy for the bison crossing traffic jams!




      ...and finally the Grand Tetons!

      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-22-2016 at 11:18 PM.

    10. #43
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      That Teton pic is fantastic.

    11. #44
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Zaxxon View Post
      That Teton pic is fantastic.
      Thanks! You could park a Pinto in front of those mountains and it would still be outstanding.

      After a night in Jackson, WY we stopped at Dinosaur National Monument. They basically built a building around a dinosaur excavation site. Kids loved touching real dino bones.



      This is not a real dinosaur.



      This are real dino bones...





      Here is some video of the Colorado National Monument. This is outside of Grand Junction on the way to Arches National Park.



      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-29-2016 at 09:49 PM.

    12. #45
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      Just wanted to say that your pictures and vehicle had me switch my purchase from a momentum to an R-Design. Thanks!
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    13. #46
      Junior Member russ399's Avatar
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      This is also on my bucket list. I plan to drive my XC60 up to Wyoming some day soon and see Devils Tower.
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    14. #47
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by colmeir2 View Post
      Just wanted to say that your pictures and vehicle had me switch my purchase from a momentum to an R-Design. Thanks!
      Good to hear. It's an excellent choice!

      Quote Originally Posted by russ399 View Post
      This is also on my bucket list. I plan to drive my XC60 up to Wyoming some day soon and see Devils Tower.
      It's a sacred place to the Native Americans, as are so many of the places we visited. Please respect the heritage and traditions if you go. So many families couldn't control their kids to stay on the trails and off the monuments, which left us shaking our heads.

      Next up, some off-roading at Arches National Park!

      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-23-2016 at 06:56 AM.

    15. #48
      Junior Member snow4me's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by GeoJoe View Post
      ...This is not a real dinosaur....



      I'm still very much enjoying reading about your trip. Thank you for sharing!
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    16. #49
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      Epic indeed....very nice

    17. #50
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoJoe View Post
      Good to hear. It's an excellent choice!



      It's a sacred place to the Native Americans, as are so many of the places we visited. Please respect the heritage and traditions if you go. So many families couldn't control their kids to stay on the trails and off the monuments, which left us shaking our heads.

      Next up, some off-roading at Arches National Park!

      GeoJoe

      I am still waiting for your photos and videos going off road in Moab... Up elephant hill etc etc.

      Please tell me you did that... haha

    18. #51
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      Thanks for sharing this, gives me more confidence for when I receive my XC90. Any more thoughts on the car as you must have really got used to it with such a long trip.

    19. #52
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by HWHL View Post
      GeoJoe

      I am still waiting for your photos and videos going off road in Moab... Up elephant hill etc etc.

      Please tell me you did that... haha
      I wish! Sorry - but just some simple dirt roads will have to do for now. No slick rock for the XC90 this time around.



      A couple Arches...





      Arches is so cool.. but it's not just Arches. This balancing rock is amazing.






      Good thing we have air suspension. The GoPro makes this look more rough than it felt.




      Quote Originally Posted by neon View Post
      Thanks for sharing this, gives me more confidence for when I receive my XC90. Any more thoughts on the car as you must have really got used to it with such a long trip.
      As I tracked our progress, one thing I noticed is that the trip odometer and the trip calculations that are in Sensus are not synced. Early on I noticed a 40 mile difference in mile count from the miles that were displayed in the gauge vs what was displayed in Sensus. I couldn't figure this one out.

      I also noticed Sensus seems to think that a maximum trip should be about 50 hours of diving or 3000 miles. Somewhere around this threshold, it rolls back over to zero miles and then the gas mileage gets screwed up. I had a consistent 23.9 MPG average displayed for days, and then one day I got in and it said 1.9MPG. Not sure why this happeded, but I just reset the trip in Sensus and we went on our way. The trip odometer in the gauge continued to log the miles as normal.




      It did this to me twice, once in Montana and then again at the beach in Alabama - both after at least 48 hrs of drive time and 2500 miles.

      You OCD guys must be cringing at all the sand! It cleans up nicely and the screen protector held up great.




      As mentioned, I also ran Waze during much of the trip on an iPhone. I found this really nice charger, stand, USB combo device on Amazon and it worked great throughout the whole trip. It has a lighter plug and I even ran my radar dectector through it too.

      Now if the Sensus maps could just hold up to what Waze showed. Check us out driving through this lake, according to Volvo. Compare the Waze map, even without a cell signal.




      Quote Originally Posted by snow4me View Post



      I'm still very much enjoying reading about your trip. Thank you for sharing!
      Thanks for checking it out!

      Quote Originally Posted by moliver2k9 View Post
      Epic indeed....very nice
      I appreciate the kind words.
      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-26-2016 at 10:03 AM.

    20. #53
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      A couple of other observations I noticed while my whole family slept in leather draped cabin comfort and I was left to stare out the windshield for hours on end....

      I seriously considered this Volvo to be our lifeboat on this trip. With the Sensus double reboot at 113 degress now far behind us, and even though we had been avoiding the record heat that was hanging over most of the country, I was still very concerned that we would be in an extremely remote place with no cell service and no water, and potentially stuck on the side of the road for hours.

      I made sure that as we passed though UT, NM and TX and as the temps grew higher again that we had plenty of water, snacks, etc to hold us over if something were to go wrong. Fortunately, no hiccups at all, but I think I used up every inch of cargo space!


    21. #54
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoJoe View Post
      A couple of other observations I noticed while my whole family slept in leather draped cabin comfort and I was left to stare out the windshield for hours on end....

      I seriously considered this Volvo to be our lifeboat on this trip. With the Sensus double reboot at 113 degress now far behind us, and even though we had been avoiding the record heat that was hanging over most of the country, I was still very concerned that we would be in an extremely remote place with no cell service and no water, and potentially stuck on the side of the road for hours.

      I made sure that as we passed though UT, NM and TX and as the temps grew higher again that we had plenty of water, snacks, etc to hold us over if something were to go wrong. Fortunately, no hiccups at all, but I think I used up every inch of cargo space!

      Great to hear... but does not inspire confidence. I drove from Las Vegas to Zion - Boulder UT, Bryce, Moab, through to Sedona and back to LV in a Kia rental without any hiccups. The fact that you had a double reboot (beginning of trip) and where worried about that happening in the middle of the desert is scary. Granted we should always be prepared for an emergency but in a 60,000$ vehicle it shouldn't be that big of a worry...

    22. #55
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by HWHL View Post
      Great to hear... but does not inspire confidence. I drove from Las Vegas to Zion - Boulder UT, Bryce, Moab, through to Sedona and back to LV in a Kia rental without any hiccups. The fact that you had a double reboot (beginning of trip) and where worried about that happening in the middle of the desert is scary. Granted we should always be prepared for an emergency but in a 60,000$ vehicle it shouldn't be that big of a worry...
      I agree.. but now that I've done it, I'd pack up the XC90 and head across the country today without hesitation. More than anything I point to multiple Bluetooth connections trying to ping the Sensus for connectivity (along with the extreme heat) for the reboot. Once we turned all off but the one we were streaming music from, we had zero issues and my confidence grew stronger every day.

      Overall, I was trying to prepare for any situation. I saw several people on the road with flat tires. I was actually more worried about an external factor like a nail in the road or an idiot driver texting instead of watching the road more than the Volvo having a problem.
      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-24-2016 at 08:01 AM.

    23. #56
      Junior Member badcyclist's Avatar
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      Only at Swedespeed does the absence of problems cause others' anxiety.
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    24. #57
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by badcyclist View Post
      Only at Swedespeed does the absence of problems cause others' anxiety.
      After the reboot in St Louis, what was I supposed to do? Should I have just turned around and called it quits?!

      I found the parallel funny with the amount of Lewis and Clark stuff we saw. We crossed the MO river several times and checked out a ton of stuff about their journey to explore the north west. I somehow felt a similar sense of adventure as I trusted our transportation to get us out there and all the way back safely.

    25. #58
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      On the way to Durango, we were blessed with this amazing sunset. Hard to believe your eyes in some parts of the USA.



      Durango is such a cool little mountain town. So much fun to be had...

      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-25-2016 at 10:05 PM.

    26. #59
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      We spent an afternoon at Mesa Verde. Taking a tour of the cliff dwellers homes might have been the highlight of the trip for me. Intense to think that so many people lived here, then they vanished.

      You can see some of the dwellings from the road...



      ...but a hike down to the cliffs is a cultural experience in Native American history.



      Outstanding stone work for the period, with many of the original logs and beams.


    27. #60
      Junior Member badcyclist's Avatar
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      Do you still get to climb up ridiculously tall wooden ladders to get into the cliff dwellings? I haven't been there since the late 1960's, but it was a fantastic place, and one of the best trips I ever took with my parents and siblings.
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    28. #61
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoJoe View Post
      We spent an afternoon at Mesa Verde. Taking a tour of the cliff dwellers homes might have been the highlight of the trip for me. Intense to think that so many people lived here, then they vanished.

      You can see some of the dwellings from the road...


      ...but a hike down to the cliffs is a cultural experience in Native American history.



      Outstanding stone work for the period, with many of the original logs and beams.


      Are you going to Four Corners? Yosemite National Park? Four Corners is on Native American Land. Kind of neat to stand in "four states". I really loved Yosemite. I did a road trip in my v60 4 years ago starting in California and heading east. Nothing like the scenery out west.

    29. #62
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by badcyclist View Post
      Do you still get to climb up ridiculously tall wooden ladders to get into the cliff dwellings? I haven't been there since the late 1960's, but it was a fantastic place, and one of the best trips I ever took with my parents and siblings.
      Yes! The ladders are still there and a crucial piece of the tour. The crowds are warned that they have to climb steep ladders, crawl though tight spaces, etc. My 7yr old thought it was really cool. My 10 yr old was seriously freaked out, started crying and almost turned around and went back to the car. I was having none of that! We pushed on together, like a family should, and everyone loved it in the end.



      Here's another shot, although zoomed in and overexposed, shows a group on a tour for scale of just one of these dwellings.



      Quote Originally Posted by MyVolvoS60 View Post
      Are you going to Four Corners? Yosemite National Park? Four Corners is on Native American Land. Kind of neat to stand in "four states". I really loved Yosemite. I did a road trip in my v60 4 years ago starting in California and heading east. Nothing like the scenery out west.
      We didn't go to Four Corners. Although I thought that would be a cool stop, as a geographer I found out a long time ago that the spot is actually not even in the right place. Although the NGA would like you to believe different.

      We're saving Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion and so many more for summers to come.
      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-26-2016 at 10:01 AM.

    30. #63
      Junior Member STEVOlvo's Avatar
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      The ULTIMATE road trip. Wow, this is the stuff many of us dream of doing....
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    31. #64
      Junior Member badcyclist's Avatar
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      Mesa Verde is so cool-- I am happy that the wooden ladders and original crawlspaces are still being used. Hope they never upgrade.....

      Fantastic trip and car report, and great pictures-- thank you!
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    32. #65
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      fantastic report, and thanks for the long videos

      glad you are loving the car and that you had a wonderful trip. You had some magical experiences.

    33. #66
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by STEVOlvo View Post
      The ULTIMATE road trip. Wow, this is the stuff many of us dream of doing....
      It took a ton of dreaming and then the plan had to go into action. That was the hardest part.

      Quote Originally Posted by badcyclist View Post
      Mesa Verde is so cool-- I am happy that the wooden ladders and original crawlspaces are still being used. Hope they never upgrade.....

      Fantastic trip and car report, and great pictures-- thank you!
      You're welcome! Glad you like it.

      Quote Originally Posted by ADP1 View Post
      fantastic report, and thanks for the long videos

      glad you are loving the car and that you had a wonderful trip. You had some magical experiences.
      Yes, it was an excellent trip and we can't wait to go on another.


      I've also had a couple PM's in regard to the air suspension.

      I changed the height several times throughout the trip. I really liked running in Dynamic, which brings you a little lower to the road. I feel a few more sharp bumps in Dynamic. You can easily tell the height and stiffness difference if you've driven in Comfort or Eco long enough. I also changed to Off Road a couple times. It's got a lot of height, more than I used on this trip. Off Road holds you back significantly on steep downhill descents, which helped on long, bumpy stuff. Cool feature!

      One time we pulled into a hotel and while idling the air suspension gave out a short hiss. That was after a 600 mile day with a full load, parked on slight slope and I'm guessing it was a simple temp adjustment as it had also dropped 20 degrees outside. That's the only time I've ever heard it do that.

      When you have the easy entry / exit on, I think it's best to let it settle before anyone opens a door. This is rare when four people pull into just about anywhere. No one has the patience.

      Finally, the road surface has so much to do with the ride and more importantly cabin noise. Air suspension can help some of this, but tire choice probably makes more of a difference here.

      If you're having a tough time choosing air suspension or not, here's some versatility if you need it. So get a good warranty and use it! Change up the ride settings often and have fun with it. If you're not going to use it, don't waste your $$$.

      Here are some dirt roads from the Badlands that felt just fine in Comfort. I've also gone back and added a few more pics and vids above.

      Last edited by GeoJoe; 07-27-2016 at 09:10 PM.

    34. #67
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Before we took a left in Albuquerque, we stopped in the Aztec Ruins National Monument. This place is easily accessible, packed with history and not crowded at all.

      You can walk through many of these structures...




      On the way down to White Sands, we found a rock shop near the Trinity Site. This is the birthplace of the nuclear bomb. They were even selling a rock called Trinitite that was formed from sand melted by the explosion.


    35. #68
      Junior Member GeoJoe's Avatar
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      Finally, the World's Largest Pistachio!




      ... and then White Sands National Monument. WOW! We got there just at dusk, on a day that had hit at least 100 degrees, and it felt great out. This was another highlight as the kids got to sled down the dunes too!



      Just breathtaking out there...


    36. #69
      Junior Member snow4me's Avatar
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      WOW!! love those pictures from White Sands! Gorgeous!
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    37. #70
      Junior Member Config's Avatar
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      Good gosh, definitely an unforgettable epic trip! Glad entire trip was safe and without incident. It was sure nice to read about the spots and stops.
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