Day 1 – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Odometer:  5,976

Trip Mileage:  516 miles

Let the games begin!  My voyage to the National Acura Legend Meet’s 2012 event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is underway.  I’ve just finished checking in at a luxurious Motel 6 in New Mexico’s capital, Santa Fe.  I’m only about an hour north of much-larger Albuquerque and sitting at about 7,200 feet elevation in the mountains of northern New Mexico.  Can’t wait to see the sunrise up here.  So far, so good.

I’ve now added another state to the list of ‘conquered’ destinations.  That means, my ILX has now traveled through:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Utah

Here’s what today’s trip looked like.

Beginning mileage:

The afternoon departure from work in Scottsdale, Arizona as the trip begins.

It didn’t take long until my ascent from Phoenix to the mountains of northern Arizona was accompanied by some ominous looking storm clouds in the distance.

Rainy times on Interstate 17 northbound nearing Flagstaff, Arizona.  Thankfully the ILX is well-equipped with Michelin all-season tires that kept the ride stable.

A lot of these grades are steep as the road climbs from Phoenix area’s 2,000 feet elevation to Flagstaff’s 7,000 feet.  I was able to leave the car in 6th gear and it held its speed impressively.

Shout out to my friend Ryan for sending me on my way with a mix CD that I rocked out to!  Today’s 7 hours in the car went by in a flash thanks to lots of mobile audio entertainment.

Now on Interstate 40 eastbound.

Even in an age where iPhones and GPS systems have made travel “on the fly” so easy, there’s still something I absolutely love about having a printed paper map.  Besides the one I got from Google Maps, I also bought a $13 road atlas from Flying J this evening.  A must-have.

The open road of Interstate 40 eastbound in northern Arizona was pretty deserted for a Tuesday afternoon.  Some blue sky peeked through the clouds at one point.

This has got to be one of the oldest operating DQ’s out there.  Holbrook, Arizona.  My friend Kevin and I ate at this DQ last year on my way to NALM 2011 in Morristown, New Jersey.

A very rainy arrival into the “Land of Enchantment” at the Arizona – New Mexico border.

And a rainbow awaiting me not long afterward.

There’s just something about these desert skies at dusk!

Two fuel stops today – Holbrook, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The ILX is doing great and I’m feeling refreshed and ready for another long day of driving tomorrow!

In other news:

I walked out of Supercuts on Sunday to find a twin (or at least sibling!) in the parking lot in Scottsdale.  Next to my car is a 2012 Acura TSX Special Edition, finished in the same Silver Moon color as my ILX.  It’s also powered by the same 2.4 liter, 201 horsepower 4 cylinder motor.

Yesterday, I had the door latch recall on my car taken care of.  It was a quick and painless ordeal.  Acura has done a great job of communicating this to customers and promptly making replacement parts available.  I was glad to get this done before my journey started.

If you’re into motorsports beyond just luxury cars, check out the Fall Fuel Fest.  My brother Bentley’s business is called H&S Performance and specializes in diesel pickup performance upgrades.  They’re sponsoring an all-day event at headquarters in St. George Utah with motocross, diesel truck pulls, and dyno events.  Guaranteed to see some high horsepower engines over there.

Heard the name Gunther Holtorf?  This guy’s story is inspirational!  500,000 miles in a Mercedes SUV, hitting nearly every continent in the globe over a 23-year span.  The photographs that accompany his story are awesome.  Check out this video.  My favorite line:  “He drives like an old granny!”

Guess it’s time for me to start shipping my 500k-miler overseas to give this guy a run for his money!

Up next:

Below is what I’m going to attempt tomorrow.  14 hours drive time, 883 miles from here in Santa Fe to Omaha, Nebraska.  Can the ILX do it?  Can I do it?

Tune in tomorrow night to find out.

6 Responses to “Day 1 – Santa Fe, New Mexico”

  1. Right on, ride on, and write on, Tyson!

  2. … and so it begins.
    I wonder what movie that line was first used in?

    Drive safe Ty! I’ll be checking back daily to keep up on your progress.

    A few bills of my daughter ate into my NALM budget, so I’ll be participating via your blog and .org’s coverage.

    • What movie is the line from, Dave? Thanks for checking in – glad you could join me from the passenger seat – figuratively speaking. Hopefully you’ll be back in the game for NALM 2013.

  3. It’s not the same without your photographer, isn’t it?

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