Off-Roading an Acura
It’s time for a Friday Flashback. At 315,845 miles in March, 2008, I took my Legend where no Legend had gone before. Following is the write-up that I shared on the Acura Legend forums at that time after completing what I called an “Adventurous Sunday Drive.”
Hope you enjoy following along as much as I enjoy reminiscing about that fun road trip from years ago…
There’s a road I’ve been wanting to drive for a long time now. It’s Arizona Highway 88, also known as the Apache Trail. The road was constructed in the early 1900’s as a stagecoach route and at the time was the only link between Phoenix and the mining town of Globe. It has since been bypassed by a more efficient route and is lightly traveled except by tourists.
So this morning I got up at the crack of dawn and headed out.
The road is one of the curviest, windiest roads I’ve ever driven on and I was lucky to have it all to myself. The first 20 miles or so are paved and go through some beautiful canyon passes. At a summit, however, the pavement ends and the remaining 22 MILES of the road are unpaved. That’s where the fun started.
I had a great time and never encountered another vehicle at any time during my drive — which was lucky because there were many stretches where it would have been impossible to pass. The road was graded gravel for most of the distance, but the washboard was pretty bad and it kept causing my TCS to activate until I finally just turned it off.
There is one stretch of the road — called the Fish Creek Grade — where the road drops 900 feet within a mile. From the web:
Steep-sided canyons, rock outcroppings and magnificent geologic formations are all along the road. Fish Creek Canyon is perhaps the most awe-inspiring section. The road hangs on the side of this high-walled canyon and winds its way along tremendous precipices that sink sheer for hundreds of feet below.
Here you can see this section of the road. The view is pretty incredible once you’re down at the bottom. You look up and realize how much of a drop-off it was. This was one of the widest sections where I took the picture; the rest was strictly a one-laner.
Most of the guard rail is just wooden planks except for a few sections. It’s a lot steeper than it looks!!
Awesome view of Fish Creek once you get to the bottom of the canyon.
Lots of huge saguaro catci along the road.
This little cave would be fun to hike in.
One of several one-lane bridges.
Can you find the coupe? Again, Desert Mist is a great color for being camouflaged in the desert!
Just stirring up a dust cloud.
I had a little too much speed coming into one of the corners, and the car started going sideways on me in the dirt. Then I decided the Legend wasn’t a rally car and decided to take it easy!
Great view from up top.
Approaching Roosevelt Dam, where 88 meets up with 188 and the off-roading is over.
Just past the dam.
When you finally get a view of the lake, it’s AWESOME. The morning light was hitting it just right.
Today, my Legend has traveled another 200,000 miles since that eventful Sunday drive. Next time I head for the dirt hills, I’ll hopefully take an MDX. Though I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the 1996-1998 Acura SLX!
I stopped by Acura North Scottsdale this week to see what was on the lot. For the first time, I saw an ILX with a chromed-out set of the factory 17″ Premium package wheels. Looks good! This car was a 2.0 liter automatic model.
My ILX is doing well! A few “current events” items:
- About 2 1/2 months after taking delivery of my ILX, I have now finally seen a fellow ILX driver on the road! On Saturday afternoon at 6 p.m. in north Phoenix (56th Street & Deer Valley), a Polished Metal Metallic ILX Premium passed me going the opposite direction. Made my day!
- In playing around with the push-button start, I realized that if the car’s moving and you hold the button in for 5 seconds or so, it’ll shut the car off even while you’re moving. Good to know in case of emergencies.
- My goofball friend Matt decided it would be fun to call his phone using my bluetooth system in the ILX while we were both riding in the car. When he then answered his own phone from within the ILX, he was able to use the ILX speakers to amplify whatever he was saying into his phone. Random!
- I finally took the time to program my door locks so that they don’t always try to lock themselves when I’m driving, nor do they automatically unlock themselves when I turn the car off. It’s handy being able to customize those settings.
Today I ran the ILX the lowest it’s ever gone on the fuel tank. Range said 27 miles. I started getting a “Low Fuel” warning when the range was in the mid-30’s.
It only took 10.4 gallons to fill up.
And then when I got underway again, the range shot sky-high to 457 miles.
I guess that means I’ll be getting 41.34 mpg on each of those 10.4 gallons I just added?
Nothing quite like a drive home from work, coming up on a 3-day weekend, with the right tunes blasting, an Orange Berry Blitz smoothie from Jamba Juice in the cupholder, and a classic Arizona sunset like this.
Big weekend adventures await.
Anybody else remember this classic 1987 John Candy & Steve Martin movie?
That’s a hint about what I’ve got up my sleeve for the next few days. Tune in next time!
Have a great weekend.