Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I just completed our first major Prius road trip - three delightful nights in rural Wyoming followed by one delightful night at her parents’ house in Boulder.

Ten thoughts and observations:

1. The Prius was extremely comfortable. We left Colorado Springs at 10 a.m. and arrived in Thermopolis at 7:20 p.m. with no stiff necks, sore legs or aching backs.

2. Coming down Cameron Pass in Colorado, we used B mode for the first time. It was GREAT. I’ve never used the brakes less on a mountain pass.

3. The Prius is a rarity in Wyoming. (So are people, relatively speaking - there are only about 500,000, with a population density of 5 per square mile.) We saw only two Prii: One in Cheyenne and one heading north out of Cheyenne. Both were seaside pearl - perhaps this color especially appeals to us landlocked owners - and both times the passengers waved, which equals the total number of waving Prius drivers we’ve encountered in three months in Colorado Springs. We also had, in Saratoga, our first-ever inquiring passer-by.

4. Wyoming rural speed limits appear to be designed to selectively increase the population’s intelligence. They are 65 mph even in twisty mountain roads with lots of blind corners, such as the Wind River Canyon; anyone foolish enough to drive that fast will soon die, hopefully before procreating. In Wyomingans’ (?) defense, we didn’t actually see anyone going that fast in the hairier sections.

5. I don’t think road surface gets enough credit for its effect on mpg. Heading west out of Hiland, there was a passage on Wyoming Highway 20/26 where it seemed as though the asphalt was actually grabbing the tires; I could feel resistance even though the car was going downhill. A few miles later, we hit the quietest patch of road we’ve ever been on in the Prius. At 63 mph, it was as if we in a glider: The loudest sound was the faint whoosh of air around the car.

6. The regular gasoline in Colorado and most of Wyoming is 85 octane, but in lower-than-average Thermopolis, it was 85.5 octane.

7. Wyoming gasoline used to be cheap, because quite a bit of oil is refined there. Six years ago (our last visit), it averaged 10 to 20 percent less than Colorado. Today the price is as high as or higher than in Colorado. I don’t know if this is caused by decreasing well output (and the resulting higher production costs) or higher profits.

8. There is some amazingly beautiful country in Wyoming, even to someone who’s been spoiled by Colorado. The Thermopolis hot springs - pictured below, with the Bighorn River turned red by two days of rain that filled it with the region’s extraordinarily fine and sticky-when-wet (!) red soil - are mind-boggling in their size and otherworldly beauty. They are also VERY sulfurous.

9. For all you carnivores, the Hotel Wolf in Saratoga serves an incredible filet mignon. If you’re in Thermopolis, the short trip to Butch’s Place in Kirby for a buffalo burger or fried chicken is well worth it. Kirby’s population is 54; our Prius may have been the first ever seen in town. (You’ll also see some lovely agricultural scenery, a nice contrast to the basic Wyoming mix of mountains and high prairie.) And the Yellowstone Drug Store in Shoshone serves 65,000 huge and excellent shakes and malts a year.

10. Over 1090 miles, our trip mpg was 59 screen/58.8 pump. Most of the driving was at 55 to 65 mph, peaking in the 70s on I-25 and dropping to the low 30s on Colorado Highway 14, which is a real mountain road. The temperatures were in the 70s for our initial drive to Cheyenne, but most of the time hovered in the 40s and low 50s; we had a hundred miles or so of light rain, but mostly the roads were dry. Our best mpg stretch was about 50 miles at 99.9+ mpg, when low speed combined with lots of rolling. (See “Mileage Nirvana” topic for the full story.) Total gasoline cost was about $41.33 - considerably less than our meal at the Hotel Wolf.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
thermopolis

Hey, nice road trip. We've been to Thermopolis just last February. We had a great time, the hot springs are wonderful. We got about 46 MPG on that trip. I'd go again, just to sit in the free state park pool.

The Prius did get some questions whenever we filled and at our motel. No one could believe the room inside or that we were getting over 40 MPG.

If you see (no pun intended) a Seaside pearl with a bunch of bumper stickers and SD plates, that's us! We wave like crazy when we see another Prius. Our next trip to Denver will probably be over Memorial Day. There are but 9-10 Prii here in Rapid City.

Cheers!
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top