Choo Choo Trains

Odometer (ILX):  5,356

Papago Park on a Sunday afternoon is a pretty quiet place when it’s this warm, but it makes for a nice Acura ILX backdrop.

I traveled to the “Mile High” city of Denver, Colorado this weekend.  I didn’t take an Acura, but time was short so flying was the best bet for travel logistics.  The last time I was in Denver, I did drive the Legend.  It was February, 2011 and my car had about 462,000 miles on it.  I drove out to visit my friend Josh who had recently moved there from the Phoenix area.  The drive was 850 miles each way and took about 14 hours.

A few photos from that 2011 journey follow.  This trip was just one month prior to starting this Drive to Five blog.

Flagstaff, Arizona on I-17 northbound

Check the sign – “Highway of Legends”!  This is just off I-25 north of the New Mexico state line.

The sunset-in-the-mirror shot is one of my favorites.

Ever heard the Eagles’ song “Take It Easy“?  It talks about standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.  Well, I stood on a corner in Winslow:

Somehow I even had time to meet up with two fellow Acura Legend owners.  First, my friend Sean in Albuquerque.

And in Colorado Springs, Adam with his super clean 5-speed coupe.

I love that everywhere I go, I can find people who are just as crazy about Acura as I am.

The purpose of this latest weekend trip was to do a little “train chasing.”  Union Pacific #844, a steam locomotive that’s been around since 1944, makes an appearance each July at a “Frontier Days” event.  The train departs Denver, Colorado and travels around 100 miles to arrive in Cheyenne, Wyoming just in time for a Wild West parade, chuckwagon cookoff, and other festivities.  My friend Matt and I cared more about the locomotive itself than sticking around for the rodeo.  Our day started off by staking out a couple of locations along the track north of Denver where we were able to watch the train go by en route to Cheyenne.

Our rental 2012 Chevy Malibu was not a pleasure to drive but it did the trick.

Here she comes!

Lots of other folks were out there with the same intentions.  It’s pretty incredible to hear (& feel) this huge locomotive passing by.  Lots of momentum!  Here’s a video I shot with my iPhone.

Hot pursuit!  Well, track speed was really only a max of 65 mph or so.

Finally – our arrival.  Cheyenne, Wyoming is home to about 60,000 people.

Nothing like a bowl of ice cream made by a 1927 John Deer 3-horsepower engine:

We also made a pit stop at Holliday Park which since 1963 has been home to one of the world’s largest steam locomotives.  This particular example, “Big Boy,” weighs 1.2 million pounds with the tender & locomotive combined.  It is one of 8 survivors from the original 25 units that were built between 1941 & 1944.  Big Boy gets a lot of respect from me, because it’s a high miler in its own sense:

During its 14 years of service, it traveled 440,545 miles.  That’s 31,467 miles per year.  Still not the ~45k that I was averaging in my Acura Legend until its retirement, but still a very impressive feat especially considering the level of upkeep and maintenance on a beast of this size.  And unlike Big Boy, the Legend is still going strong and will continue to accumulate miles rather than becoming a museum artifact.

Denver at dusk

Enjoyed the weekend trip and hope all my readers enjoyed theirs too!

Pandora Internet Radio

I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but it took me over a month to take the time to investigate how this works and actually get it set up in my ILX.  I must say I’m in love.  I downloaded the Pandora appplication (for free) from the App Store to my iPod Touch.  From there, I simply had to launch the app, plug in the USB connector, and then hit AUX on the instrument panel to select it as the media source.

Next, all controls can be managed from the dashboard.  I can go to my main menu of custom-built stations which pre-populate on the screen, select my preferred, and start rocking out.  The system even lets me “Like” or “Dislike” songs using the Select button.

Best of all, I get to see the album art.  This is nifty!

And another feature I discovered:  “SVC.”  Speed Volume Control.  The ILX audio system can modify the level of volume depending on how much noise is in the cabin.  I’m a little bit proud of myself for actually figuring some of this high-tech goodness out!

Door Latch Recall:

I received an email this week about a recall on the front door latches of the 2013 that will affect 6,200 vehicles.  My service advisor at Acura of Tempe was quick to notify me and get the parts on order. I’m taking the car in tomorrow to have the corrective action performed.

Another Acura Brother

My local friend Devan swung by this past week to check out my latest ride.  He’s got an ultra clean 2003 Acura TL in White Diamond Pearl with just over 160,000 miles.  Devan by trade is a professional at auto detailing.  In fact, he’s got his own business called DNA Auto Detailing.

I first met Devan last November at a car show held at SanTan Honda in Gilbert, Arizona:

His TL looks just as phenomenal today.

If anybody in the Phoenix area is looking for a detailing pro, he’s your man.  Thanks for the visit, Devan!

Just two more days until my departure for the Wisconsin trip for the 8th Annual National Acura Legend Meet (NALM).

Hang on for the ride!

4 Responses to “Choo Choo Trains”

  1. Kevin Amoth Says:

    Load up the song “Tradegy” by the Bee Gees! Great tunes when you are out in the middle of nowhere. ActionJackson and I pull out of my residence on Wednesday headed up to Milwaukee. Remember, there we have a date to sign the inside of my trunk lid. Time to start thinking what you are going to put in there!

    • Kevin, thanks for the roadtrip soundtrack recommendation! I’m actually listening to Tragedy right this minute and I fully approve. I’ll be thinking about a special message to write as the inscription on your trunk lining! Look forward to seeing you in a few days in Wisconsin. Drive safely and enjoy the caravan with ActionJackson.

  2. It’s always a joy to follow along with you. We just turned over 25,000 on the Goldwing and both witnessed it. It’s a far cry from the miles you have racked up but it’s a start. I have that many running miles on my poor feet! Always in forward motion we go!

    • Congratulations on the milestone on the Goldwing! Matt and I noticed when we left our rental car at Hertz this morning that it was at 24,990. I guess 25,000 is the number of the day. Keep on rolling. Send me more pictures from Bryce Canyon and some of the other places you’re seeing aboard the motorcycle.

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