Achieving Normality

After the fun of Halloween it was back to driving in a professional manner for our Lone Star project in Midnight Cruiser. A run from Camp Verde with a load of vegetables on October 30th left us parked up in Elko. A while back I reported that I was trying to clear a couple of Heavy Haul achievements in American Truck Sim that were reliant on getting a transformer as cargo. Just before starting this project Rolled Gold had finally picked one up from Elko going to Santa Maria. That should have cleared both the achievements as the Transformer was the last Heavy Cargo type that I needed for the full set and if I was called into a weigh station the I would be over the required weight for the ‘How Heavy Am I’ achievement. Well, we were called into a weigh station but for reasons that I can’t explain the achievement remained locked although I did clear the ‘I thought this was supposed to be heavy’ achievement for hauling all the cargo types. Frustrating…

So here we are in Elko again but now we’re in Midnight Cruiser with 475 rather than 625 horses and sure enough there’s a Transformer in the available loads! It’s going down to Kingman which means climbing up to the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over Black Canyon just downstream from the Hoover Dam. But there’s also quite a few sharp climbs on the Nevada sections of Route 93 even before we get there! I pondered long about taking the load but with an 18 speed gearbox I should have the flexibility to get us over the climbs so I signed up for the challenge πŸ™‚

The climbs started with the crawl up the slip road onto Interstate 80 – 3rd gear with the engine waking up the neighbors. We had just about wound her up to 50mph when we were called into the weigh station. Bingo! – this time the achievement unlocked πŸ™‚ From there we got going again but one of the steeper sections on I80 dragged us down to just over 20mph with our hazards on to warn following traffic that we were going slow – goddamn place needs a crawler lane!

We picked up Route 93 from Wells and headed south. I don’t think we ever succeeded in getting above 40mph as we tackled the hills and were very careful round the tighter corners. I had hoped to get to Pioche before taking my drivers break but had to park up in Ely instead. We left Ely on Route 50 through the hills beside Taylor Peak before picking up Route 93 again at Majors Place. Now we were able to make better speed pushing up to 55mph on the long straight stretches before easing back for the Pioche bypass and again to pass through Caliente. We also passed an antenna array along the way which I can’t find on the real world map – I wonder if the map dev’s have mistaken Coyote Springs for the VLA which should be in the New Mexico expansion when that comes out? Does anyone among my readers know of a radio telescope or similar array alongside the Route 93 in Nevada? If you do, please tell me what it’s called in the comments πŸ™‚

Finally there was the slow crawl through Las Vegas before tackling the climb up to the Hoover Dam which was actually quite easy compared with some that had gone before. We dropped down towards Kingman only to get called into the weigh station by the Arizona Police. The truck must have been considerably lighter by this time because we were almost running on fumes πŸ˜‰ Overall we barely scraped 4mpg on the run and I had to refuel after delivering the load – putting 268 gallons into ‘Cruiser’s 300gal tank. Then I was off to bed with my driving hours spent.
Here’s a shot of Midnight Cruiser on the Pioche Bypass – those cars are going to have to wait for a straight stretch to overtake me…

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