Tortilla Flat

Odometer (Legend):  516,084

Odometer (ILX):  15,733

Nothing like a twisty road to put a car’s handling to the ultimate test!

Since the ILX hadn’t yet driven Arizona Highway 88 – the “Apache Trail” – I decided to take a quick Saturday afternoon ride up to Tortilla Flat.  This road a favorite among motorcyclists and sports car drivers due to its highly technical nature.  It made for a perfect setting to run the ILX 6-speed through its gears.  This place is located northeast of the Mesa, Arizona area – shown here at Point A.  The squiggliness (my computer doesn’t think that’s a real word) of the line for Highway 88 should tell you something about how fun the curves are!

Here I was reaching the first of two short one-lane bridges.  This one is near Canyon Lake.

Canyon Lake in the background is a popular summertime destination for folks seeking a break from the intense heat of this area.

Finally, I arrived at Tortilla Flat.  This place was settled in the very early 1900’s (and maxed out with a population of 100) as a stagecoach stop on the Apache Trail.  Today it’s pretty touristy.  I’ve eaten at the restaurant, though, and it’s good stuff.

Just a few miles after rolling through Tortilla (and a lot more curves) the pavement ends.  The next 20 or so miles of road are dirt until arriving at Roosevelt Lake.  I drove this dirt road in my Legend a few years back but I wasn’t about to subject my new car to that type of terrain!

Meanwhile, I did grab a couple of scenic shots before turning around to loop back to civilization.

The driving experience in the 2.4-powered ILX leaves little to be desired.  The suspension seems to have been tuned for roads specifically like this.  Very little road noise even from the pavement that’s deteriorated on certain sections of the road.  For being a 4-door sedan, the car is very well planted in corners (there’s far less body roll than my 515k mile Legend!) and it’s light and nimble on its feet.  I especially loved the short throws of the 6-speed transmission and the light clutch engagement.  This car loves to rev high and scream through the corners – traffic and road conditions permitting.  I had a blast!

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Last Friday, I got an extreme sweet tooth craving so I indulged in a mouth-watering treat:  Cold Stone ice cream.  The Cold Stone world headquarters is located just a couple of miles from the office where I work, and it was here in Arizona (Tempe, to be exact) that the very first Cold Stone location opened back in 1988.  The company has now spread to over 1,100 locations nationwide.  The store #000001 is located at the southwest corner of Southern Ave & McClintock Rd, right here (Point “B”).

This made for an easy post-work commute in the Acura ILX.  The original store is pictured in the background.

I was greeted by a lot of choices, but I already knew exactly what I was going to get.

This, my friends, is the best combination of ice cream mix-ins under the sun.  What we have here is a “Love It” size bowl.  The ice cream is cake batter, and the mix-ins are cookie dough and rainbow sprinkles.  Absolutely delicious!

The ILX owner population continues to grow.  The New Owner Sign-In thread on the forums now has 24 people who have posted about their new rides.  Here are some images shared by member “ILXDRIVER” from Toronto, Canada of his Polished Metal Metallic 2.4 liter 6-speed ILX with Sport Underbody Kit like mine has.  Looks great!

Legend Update

My Legend got me comfortably to Tucson and back on Friday night (240 mile round trip) without skipping a beat.  It will be due for an oil change in just a few hundred miles.  I think this is the first time in my 9+ years of ownership history on that car that it’s taken me longer than 3 months to put on 3,000 miles.  I thought it would be interesting to post the following image – this is a sticker on the airbox indicating a change interval of 7,500 miles recommended.

I’ve rarely gone longer than around 4k!

I drove the high-miler to work today and enjoyed our (finally!) fall weather.  Now if we could just get those daily highs to dip below triple digit range!


Rear windows down allow just enough air flow in the cabin.

The Other End of the Mileage Spectrum

Today I visited one of the 3 Phoenix-area Acura dealerships, Acura North Scottsdale.  My friend Dave tipped me off on a minty delicious 1990 Legend L sedan in Tuscany Taupe Metallic with a mere 25,563 miles on the odometer — quite the contrast from my experienced 1994!  That comes out to just 1,162 miles per year that were put on this beauty.

This car is absolutely stunning.

These are rare OEM accessory wheels that I’ve never seen in person until today.

Yours for only $7,995!

Interior smelled amazing.  The car didn’t have floor mats in it – perhaps they were in the trunk.

A Legend reflected in a Legend.

This is a rarity – the 1990 CD player.  I wonder if it works.

The only way the seats could be this supple is if this car has been garaged its entire 22-year life.  I almost felt guilty planting my butt in the driver’s seat!

Speaking of Legends as a blast from the past:  Thanks to member Ezequiel from the Acura Legend Owners & Enthusiasts group on Facebook for sharing this old newspaper clipping with an ad from his local Boise dealership that dates back to 1995.  Only $31,999 for a new Legend!

Here’s one that I saved from the Pioneer Shopper want-ads in St. George, Utah dated about 1998.  This black Legend was for sale at a dealership called St. George Motorcars.

And I’ll be heading to St. George this weekend, in fact.  The ILX departs tomorrow afternoon for the 400-mile trek, by way of Las Vegas.  I’ll be back Sunday.

One of my favorite fortunes I’ve gotten at a Chinese restaurant:  You will soon be going on a fun road trip with friends or family.  Yes!

Until next week!

5 Responses to “Tortilla Flat”

  1. Canyon Lake, Cold Stone, and a low milage Legend! This is an AWESOME entry Ty!

    My fav @ Cold Stone – cake batter with mixed fudge, graham crackers, and heath bar.

    Now that I see it, I think Canyon Lake was were my Uncle took me, as I remember the twisty road, the one lane bridge, and the small little town at the bottom of the drive.

  2. Dave, I’m debating about making some changes with how my posts are released. It’s information overload trying to combine multiple sub-topics into one entry like this one. I’m considering making the entries shorter, but releasing them once every day or every couple of days instead of (mostly) weekly as I’ve been doing. Would you have a preference one way or the other?

    I’ll have to try your combination at Cold Stone. Mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Canyon Lake is where you ended up. It’s pretty much the only place in the area where you’ll find those twisty roads, the one-lane bridge, and the town at the end/bottom of the drive.

    Have a great weekend —

  3. Kevin Amoth Says:

    I’ve sat on a saddle at the Flat!

    • You have!? Even I haven’t done that yet! Time for me to make another trip out to the wild west, I guess. You need to get our here to Mesa and visit the fam you’ve got out here. And more importantly, me. Hope you had a great weekend, Kevin!

  4. Tyson – *I* don’t mind the multi – subject entries. It lets a lot of folks know you have more in your life than “Acura.”

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