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  • Westbound Wanderers, Day 7: New Mexico and Arizona

Westbound Wanderers, Day 7: New Mexico and Arizona

Historic Route 66 on Memorial Day

May 29, 2018
Photographers: Jason Gonderman, Monica Gonderman
Photo 5/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 19
Photo 6/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 5

Day 1 - Getting Keys to the Denali...

Day 2 - The Denali's Price Tag...

Day 3 - We Head South Before West...

Day 4 - Our 35 Gallon Fillup...

Day 5 - We had to go to Branson...

Day 6 - Passing Through Places with Fireworks...
Photo 7/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 4
Photo 8/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 6
We couldn’t leave Amarillo, Texas, without checking out Cadillac Ranch, which is the artsy thing in the middle of the desert where ten Cadillacs are buried nose first in the ground. It was quite windy so we didn’t stay long, and we didn’t bring our own can of spray paint to leave our mark, but at least we can cross it off our list now.
Photo 9/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 7
Photo 10/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 8
We encountered high winds on this journey, which had to hurt our fuel economy. It subsided as the day progressed. We visited Tucumcari, New Mexico, where we found some photogenic Route 66 relics that we just had to drop the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali in front of for quick photos. There are so many backdrops we’d like to plop the GMC in front of, but we simply can’t afford to stop that often. Our lunch selection was a Whataburger in Albuquerque. We don’t have these in our area, so we were obliged to give it a try. It was okay, but really, we won’t be going out of our way for another one any time soon.
Photo 11/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 9

We intended to stop for fuel in Gallop, New Mexico, and the range indicated we had more than enough. When the range started dropping too quickly for comfort, we stopped 55 miles short of Gallup in Milan, New Mexico. It turns out that was a really good choice—the truck would have been on fumes, and who needs that kind of extra stress. We just don’t know the range of the truck well enough yet to trust cutting it that close in the middle of the desert. That tank calculated 15.85 mpg, undoubtedly hurt by high speed (often 80-84 mph) and high winds.

We rolled into Flagstaff at a decent hour and enjoyed some Cracker Barrel for dinner before checking into our hotel for the night.

Photo 12/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 10

Route: Amarillo, Texas, to Flagstaff, Arizona

Odometer (beginning of day): 1980 miles

Odometer (end of day): 2593 miles

Total miles traveled: 613 miles

Truck observations: 5PM glare off the hood when heading directly into the sun; lane departure seat vibrator gets driver accused of passing gas

Roadtrip observations: “We should do the speed limit for a while…” says the pilot, as we have 128 miles of quickly-dropping range with 81 miles to go; reached Mountain and Pacific Time zones; reached 7,200 feet at the Continental Divide; ice chest has consumed 95 pounds of ice

Road conditions: Climbed from sea level to over 7,000 feet; 75 mph speed limit highway

Weather conditions: Windy and warm

Fuel stop 1 (location): Milan, New Mexico

Indicated average fuel economy: 16.7 mpg

Average speed: 63 mph

Miles: 502.9

Gallons: 31.737

Price per gallon: $3.29

Price: $104.70

Actual fuel economy: 15.85 mpg

Photo 19/19   |   2018 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Denali Roadtrip Day 7 18

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