Sylmar, California – First 10,000 Miles Completed

Odometer (ILX):  10,105

Whoever wrote that song, “Oceanfront Property In Arizona” needs to look at a map!   No water in sight.  I’ve had enough of Phoenix’s blistering heat so it’s time to high-tail it to some REAL ocean air of Cali-for-nye-aye.  I’m just north of Los Angeles tonight off Interstate 5 in Sylmar, but tomorrow I’ll continue my journey northbound to sunny San Francisco.  Here’s what today’s trip looked like after departing from work:

Ten thousand miles have come and gone since June 12, 2012 (less than two months ago!) when I took the key to my 2013 Acura ILX from John Watts representing Acura’s Digital Marketing team.  It’s been a great ride so far.

The occasion happened on Interstate 10 westbound in Banning, California.

Ever seen pictures on the news of those crazy dust storms we get in the desert?  I drove through a mild one this afternoon.  Visibility here was actually pretty good.

It wasn’t until I got OUT of the dust cloud (below picture) that I realized just how bad the air had been in there.

*cough, cough*

Pit stop for a taste of the old west:  Desert Center, California.

The drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles is brutal, traversing several hundred miles of scorching 110-degree desert wasteland.

The town of Desert Center (though its current 204 residents hardly comprise a crowd!) got its start in the 1920’s as a small repair garage.  Following is an excerpt from Wiki:

A Model T truck was modified to serve as a tow car. Gasoline was pumped by hand from a 55 gallon drum. Lydia served food and refreshments to thirsty and weary travelers. In spite of the remote location 50 miles (80 km) in any direction from anything, the Ragsdales prospered. Ragsdale named his outpost ‘Desert Center’. In 1921, it was announced that the sand road running through Desert Center would be relocated about 5 miles (8.0 km) north, straightened, paved, and named US Route 60, a modern “high-speed” highway. Ragsdale abandoned “old Desert Center” and built a poured-concrete café in the adobe style with an attached gasoline station and a huge service garage. Across the road, a series of wooden structures were built, including a market (which at one time was the largest Coleman camping equipment dealer in the country), and a post office. He also built several cabins for travelers, and a large “plunge” (swimming pool) next to the café where travelers could escape the desert heat.

The cafe, as it turns out, is still standing but no longer open:

These old gas pumps are remarkably well preserved for their age!  For those wondering:  fuel price here is 39 cents a gallon.

A few other sights to see in this barren land.

And resuming my journey westbound, the sunset was spectacular as it always seems to be in the desert.

I’m still getting some great average MPG’s in this thing!


My first 10,000 miles in the ILX have been rewarding and fun.  The car has plenty of comfort, power, and technology to offer a traveler who’s looking to go the distance.  Tomorrow the adventure will continue to San Francisco.

Friday Flashback:

I was last in SF this past December 2011 for a concert, but the last time my Legend saw San Fran was in June 2010 when I traveled out there for a Legend meet. My car had about 428,000 miles on it at the time.

Great people – Legend forum members.

My good friend Sergio takes a look at the coupe.  He also took it for a spin at the time.

Bay Bridge in the morning fog.

I of course had to drive the car down the “crookedest” street in America, Lombard Street.  This 1/4-mile long, one-way stretch of road has 8 tight switchbacks.  I would’ve loved to skateboard down this thing.  Probably would’ve crashed and burned after the first hairpin.

Good memories.

Side note on the ILX in parting:

Now that the 2013 ILX has been on sale for a couple of months, more and more automotive journalists are publishing their reviews of the car.  Here’s one critique by Brian Cooley of C Net that popped up this week – a good amount of praise, especially for the tech features and drivetrain.  The ILX that Brian is driving is a twin to mine, outfitted with the 2.4 liter and 6-speed manual and finished in Silver Moon Metallic paint.

Sneak peak of what’s up tomorrow:

Next update will be after the SF trip is over!  Until next week sometime…

2 Responses to “Sylmar, California – First 10,000 Miles Completed”

  1. Kevin Amoth Says:

    10,000 miles in two months! Don’t wear out the driver’s seat in the ILX! Your getting great mileage in the glorified Civic.

    • Fuel economy’s been great! But gas prices out here in CA are still way higher than I’m used to paying anywhere else. Driver’s seat is holding up okay so far…

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