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With just over three weeks to go before we head off on our great trek across the United States, my ace motor engineer, Chris Cooper, has flown out to California to check the car over and carry out any work that is necessary. He is combining a week in the sun with a bit of work!

He's taken with him the latest electronic wizardry to boost the power output of the Landcruiser. With the added weight of the extra fuel tank, sump guards, security cage etc., the car struggles when we hit long inclines or need to overtake a truck on a hill. This electronic box of tricks boosts the brake horse power by about 10%. It can be switched on and off at will, so that fuel economy should not be too badly affected. It will be interesting to see how much the performance is enhanced.

We've more or less finalised our route which will take us across California, into Arizona for one night and then into Colorado for four nights. We will be staying in Vail as the guest of Jim and Leejun Taylor. There is a link to Jim's website on the right hand side of this page. The site has many great photos of the various rallies he has entered. From Vail we head south into New Mexico and Santa Fe. Then on into Texas where we will be staying with friends from the rallies, the Crouchers and the Nelans in El Paso, and Ahmad Fakhr in San Antonio. I'll give more details of the route later on.

We leave London on the 19th March, which will give us over a week to do all the final preparations. Another adventure is about to begin!

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