499,000!

Odometer: 499,010

Fewer than 1,000 miles to go!  The suspense is killing me.  I rolled 499k tonight on the way home from work on Hwy 87.  Seeing that number 5 start to peek up on the odometer gives me chills.  When I reported the milestone to my friend Dave in Seattle, he said that the 5 is winking at me.  Truth.  Here’s the site of the 499k occasion.  It doesn’t look that exciting, but to me, it was!

Today’s history lesson is a flashback story on one road trip in particular that was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

My drive to 5 was sharply sidelined at around 299,000 miles in July, 2007.  I was en route to Austin, Texas for an Acura Legend “meet” with friends in the wee hours of a Saturday morning when a deer decide to become roadkill on Highway 290 between Fredericksburg and Johnson City.

Shaken up but still assured that the car was roadworthy, I continued on and still attended the meet with a wrecked car.

The following morning, an early departure again found me on Highway 290.  Here’s where it gets interesting — surreal, even.  I hit ANOTHER deer and wiped out the driver’s side front end.  At this point, you heard me right, I’d hit two deer on the same stretch of road within 24 hours of each other.  Apparently lightning does strike twice in the same place.

Knowing now that Austin is 1,007 miles from home, I knew I had a serious issue.  My only functioning headlight was soon made inoperative by entering water (of course, it was raining!  What else could go wrong?) so I was pressed to make it home before sundown.  I certainly had some stares and concerned onlookers from both the folks I passed on the interstate and the attendants at my fuel stops.

And I did.  The trusty old Legend, though bruised, got me safely home to Phoenix without missing a beat.

And a day or two later, looking shabby but still proud of its accomplishment, the Legend rolled 300,000 miles in this very location in front of my friend Chuck’s house.

Not long afterward, I made arrangements to have the car repaired by a friend’s body shop in Logan, Utah.  Autocare Collision Repair had the car for several weeks during its reconstruction.  Here’s a shot I took of my coupe driving northbound on I-15 in Salt Lake City, with my dad at the wheel, when I was leaving it for body work and I flew back to Arizona.

And a few shots I took while visiting a couple of weeks later.

The car was outfitted with brand new, factory spec parts.  I saved a chipped piece of one of the old battered headlights as a souvenir.  Finally it was time for the Legend to be back on the road.  And it came back stronger than ever.  So strong, in fact, that Acura of Tempe proudly showcased the car in their Service Department for a couple of weeks.

The old Legend at 303,000 miles looked right at home with the new models on the floor.

Well, 990 miles from now the Drive to Five will reach its destination.  The Acura goes in for an oil change and a new windshield next Monday.  This will be the car’s 152nd oil change – each and every one documented with a receipt from the dealership performing the service.

Drive on!

5 Responses to “499,000!”

  1. Wow. The picture of the deer made me laugh so hard, it just seemed so out of place, and so sad, yet so funny in just the wrong way. If you really wanted to keep your car so original, why did you fix it! While all of the readers might be counting up to 500,000, I am on the edge of my seat counting down.

    • Counting down because you want me to start a new chapter of my life! I know! Yes the deer was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. I should’ve thrown him in the trunk and made jerky later on.

      • You know… deer jerky is actually quite delicious. On a more positive note, the Yakima Rack for the wagon arrived today and the countdown now begins.

  2. I’m enjoying this history. Can’t wait for more! Yesterday, on the I-15 near Bluffdale, I saw a Legend two-door coupe, same color, just like yours. I followed it to the Alpine exit and where he got off. I was going to get a picture and send it to you, but didn’t because traffic school has me scared smart-phoneless (at least smart-phoneless while driving.) ‘Sides, you prolly already know him.

    • I guarantee I DO know him! Us Legend owners are all related somehow! Next time put those spy skills to work and bust out the smart phone so you can send me a picture – it’s all in the name of journalism!

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