Archive for August, 2013

Carfidant Paint Depth Gauge – User Review

Posted in Detailing on August 29, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  52,634

52634

We’re taking a break from my long-distance late summer travels for a product review today.

“What’s under that shiny paint?”

That’s the tagline for a new product that promises to potential car buyers that it will help them determine if a vehicle they’re looking at has ever been involved in an accident.  I was given the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to perform a review of the Carfidant paint depth tool, so I used my 1994 Legend and my 2013 ILX as subject vehicles.

carfidant

The idea here is that an all-original car should have pretty consistent readings around the entire vehicle.  A car that’s been hit & repainted, however, can vary widely from panel to panel.  The reason for this is that extra layers of paint & Bondo cause the meter to give higher readings.  Those high readings are red flags and could be an indication that body work has been performed, even though the vehicle may look 100% mint condition to the naked eye.

See the results for yourself here:

NALM Day 6: Home Sweet Home, Arizona

Posted in Legend, NALM, Road Trip on August 26, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  526,807

526807

Day Distance:  1,090 Miles

dallas

North Carolina to Arizona in two days.  Seems almost impossible, even to me!  But, I am living proof that it’s possible. Boy does it ever feel good to be back at home!  As much as I love life on the road, after this adventure I’m completely exhausted.  The 4,073 miles of memories were totally worth it, though.

My day started in Dallas, Texas at 5:30 in the morning with a wake-up call that made me want to throw my iPhone out the window.  Between traversing multiple time zones, my sleep patterns are all out of whack and I was far from rested.  I told my Garmin Nuvi GPS unit that I wanted to “Go Home.”  A few minutes of calculation later, and it said I would arrive in 15 hours, 10 minutes.  Sigh.

gps2

But what was unique about those hours?  They were all on the same. exact. freeway.  Check it out (below picture, top left corner).  Once I got underway on I-20, my next turn was in a whopping 1,048 miles.  This is where I basically activated autopilot mode for the duration of the drive.  As long as I kept the car between the white lines, I’d be at my home by later in the evening.

gps

Sunup to sundown.  That’s how I roll.

sunrise_tx

One nice thing about west Texas (and perhaps, the only nice thing?) is that the speed limits are high.

IMG_7488

I spent several hundred miles staring at this:  cruise control activated around 87-89 mph.  I had a tough time feeling “okay” about driving at such a rate of speed without fear of police intervention, but I was grateful to make the drive pass by quickly.

speedo

This is about as interesting as the scenery gets out there.

road

I rolled through the small towns of Abilene, Midland, Odessa.  The primary industry out there is oil & gas.  Along the vast landscape you can see dozens of oil pumps bobbing up and down.  Midland, by the way, was home to former U.S. President George Bush as well as his wife Laura.  I learned that from a road sign at city limits.

san_antonio_el_paso

Picking up some lost time!  I crossed two time zone boundaries (Mountain & Pacific).

mtn

Fuel in Willcox, Arizona after finally entering my home state again.

willcox

And back on the interstate to continue the westward journey.

i10

Those nice looking blue skies soon transformed into something a bit more gloomy.  As I neared Tucson city limits, things looked pretty ominous.

storm_clouds

It warmed my heart to see “Phoenix” on a sign at last.  I was getting so close.

phoenix_sign

Until…. I entered a total parking lot on the interstate!  Extreme weather had contributed to a 6-car pileup.  Imagine having driven 1,000 miles and being only 50 miles from home, then coming to standstill.  I was discouraged.

traffic

Those remaining 50 miles were tedious and scary.  A torrential “monsoon” rainstorm had torn down trees, overturned an 18-wheeler, and stripped some of the road signs right out of the ground.  Rain was still coming down very heavily as I made my way into the Phoenix valley. But I made it!

It is so good to get home.  I extend a huge thanks to everyone who checked in on me throughout the journey!

full_map

Here are a few fun facts about my trip:

  • Total Distance:  4,073 Miles in 6 Days
  • Average Daily Distance:  678 Miles
  • If I drove 678 miles per day, every day for a year, that would be 247,000 miles in a year
  • 11 States Visited:  Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana
  • Crappiest Roads:  Toss-up between Jackson, Mississippi, and Shreveport, Louisiana.  Roller coaster ride, broken pavement, and potholes the size of the Grand Canyon
  • Most Road Construction:  The entire Interstate 40 corridor in northern New Mexico
  • Best Food:  Zaxby’s fried chicken in Asheville, North Carolina.  WE NEED a Zaxby’s in Arizona!
  • Worst Food:  Chobani yogurt from the Love’s Travel Center #475 in Sweetwater, Texas.  It looked like soup.  Also, the chocolate milk that I got there expired on May 31st, nearly a full 3 months ago.  Gross.
  • Best Scenery:  Interstate 40 from Knoxville, Tennessee to Asheville, North Carolina.  2 tunnels and some of the most amazing curves I’ve ever driven.
  • Worst Scenery:  Everything from Abilene to El Paso, Texas.  That 453-mile stretch is forgettable.
  • National Acura Legend Meets That My Legend Has Been To (Starting 2005):  Dallas, Tulsa, Las Vegas, Chattanooga, Branson, Morristown, Salt Lake City, and now Asheville
  • Other Car Sightings:  Legend (1)  ILX (0)
  • Favorite Pit Stop:  Conoco classic service station in Shamrock, Texas along old Route 66
  • Clever Place Names:  “Chair Crusher” restaurant and “Sherlock Homes” mobile home retailer in Henryetta, Oklahoma.  “Mom & Pop’s Pyro Shop” fireworks dealer in Lordsburg, New Mexico.  “Belly Acres” real estate in Abilene, Texas.
  • My Car Issues:  Check engine light on day 1.  Low power steering fluid on day 2.  Worn out driver’s side wiper blade.  Otherwise, NADA.  I have not even had to add any engine oil to keep the level full.
  • Best Song That Came on my iPod Today:  “Chariots of Fire”  I loved cranking this to max volume and picturing a slow-motion race to the finish line as I neared home in the Legend.

🙂

Once again, thanks to the NALM Ground Team for putting on a phenomenal event.  It was worth every mile of the drive.  And thanks to all of my great readers for the support and encouragement along the way.

Final Video:

NALM Day 5: Dallas, Texas

Posted in Legend, NALM, Road Trip on August 25, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  525,717

525717

Day Distance:  976 Miles

dallas

The return trek from NALM is fully underway!  I’ve already knocked out about half of my return trip to Phoenix from western North Carolina.

These are a few pictures from yesterday evening as the NALM festivities continued.  I met a ‘twin’ license plate car.  The GS 6-speed parked next to my coupe is registered in North Carolina but with exactly the same letter / number combination as I have on my Arizona plate.

6spd

I spent some time wandering around the area behind Creekside Lodge.  It was so relaxing to sit and listen to the river flowing.

river

Temperatures were pretty much perfect, too.

kevin

We feasted on a delicious BBQ meal catered by Fat Buddies Ribs & BBQ.  It was finger-lickin’ good.

dinner

Lee, Mike, Alex, and Eric were enjoying it for sure.

blue_shirts

Alan took center stage for a few announcements related to the itinerary for the following day’s events.

group

The highlight for me was when Kevin announced that he had a special award to present to me.  Wearing his “500,000 Mile” T-shirt, he called me up to present me with a certificate and a custom clock.

kevin_tyson

Check out these goods!  Apparently I had the highest mileage Legend at NALM with 524,741 miles on the odometer at the time of the ceremony.

award

Kevin has gone to great lengths to prepare a number of awards for many folks who traveled to NALM.  It really makes the trip worthwhile to be appreciated in such a way.  Thanks, Kevin!

kevin_tyson_award

In anticipation of the long couple of driving days ahead of me, I didn’t sleep all that well last night so I was up & out the door by around 5:30 in the morning.  The first few hours of my drive were along some backroads between Maggie Valley and Atlanta.  I ran into a lot of fog but otherwise it was an easy stretch.  I grabbed a quick parting shot of my car next to Alex’s Milano Red coupe before rolling out.

alex_tyson_morning

It was really 5:25, but I glanced at the clock in my car which is still set to Arizona time.  TOO EARLY!

time

Visited a friend’s place in the Alpharetta, Georgia area.  Nice homes out there!

alpharetta

Then it was on in to Smyrna off the 285 & 75 freeways.

arriving_atl

I grabbed a tank of 93 octane.  Kevin had presented me with a bottle of Chevron Techron fuel system treatment last night.  I feel like my car runs smoother after having run that through!

chevron_fueling

Two friends came by to meet up with me at a local Starbucks.   Paul drives a 1998 Acura 3.2 TL and Matt drives a 2008 Honda Accord coupe.  Both of them work for Honda/Acura and both found me via this blog.  It’s always great to meet fellow enthusiasts!

accord_legend_tl_2

You’ll notice that Paul’s super clean TL is equipped with 17″ wheels from an Acura TSX.  Paul was featured as a Drive to Five Reader’s Ride not long ago.

tl2

Matt’s Accord is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen.  I even noticed that he’d paid special attention to cleaning up his chrome exhaust tips.

tl_legend_accord

The Accord is just about to roll 80,000 miles.

matt

Check out that immaculate interior.

accord_interior

Paul’s TL is just under 240,000 miles, but you’d never know it from looking at the condition.

paul

Again, attention to detail here!  Looks amazing for being 15 years old and nearly 1/4 million miles.

tl_interior

After my meet-up with Matt & Paul, I continued my westbound trek on Interstate 20 in the Legend.

alabama

I didn’t linger very long in “Alabama the Beautiful” but I did use one of the rest areas right off the interstate.

alabama

Got this roll-over on a video, coming soon on YouTube.

525

And, spell this one out loud with me.  M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I.  Love that.

mississippi

Subway sandwich for me, a tank full of octane for the coupe, and we were off yet again!

gas_miss

“Chunky,” Mississippi.  Love the name of that town at Exit 121!

chunky

Here’s when I crossed the Mississippi River.  It’s the chief river of the largest drainage system in North America.  It flows 2,530 miles from Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  The bridge took awhile to cross!

mississippi_river

At the other end of the bridge, I entered Louisiana.  About the only notable thing that happened in Louisiana was in Shreveport when I saw a broken down Canterbury Green Legend sedan on the side of I-20.  This, for the record, has been the only Legend I’ve seen this entire trip – excluding those that were involved with NALM, of course.

As nightfall descended, I was already nearing my nightly destination of Dallas, Texas.

texas_sunset

There, I met up with my friend Brad who drives a 2012 Acura RDX.  Thanks Brad for swinging by!

tyson_brad

I’m staying at the home of my friend Jeff.  He is a fellow Legend fanatic who drives a near-twin to my car, except with a lot more upgrades!  Notice his car at the left below.  It has JDM one-piece headlights but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of all the things he’s done to it.

jeff_and_tyson

Desert Mist Metallics in the driveway.

dmm

Jeff has “plasti-dipped” his emblems to give them a black finish.  It looks great with his blacked-out trim and wheels, too.

dmm_backs

This 6-speed is a riot to drive.  I took it around the block and I can only describe it as an “evil” version of my own car.  Lower, more aggressive sounding, and better handling.

tyson_jeff_dmm

Thanks, Jeff, for letting me stay at your place!

jeff_tyson

Check out that custom engine bay work.  Attention to detail is the name of the game here.

jeff_motor

Tomorrow:  The final stretch home, at last!  We’re almost there!

9th Annual National Acura Legend Meet Pictures

Posted in Legend, NALM, Road Trip on August 24, 2013 by tysonhugie

Welcome to Maggie Valley, North Carolina.  This small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains has been overtaken by a swarm of Acura Legends for a multi-day event.  It’s heaven on earth for a Legend fanatic like me!

I just had to share our awesome ‘backyard’ from here at the Creekside Lodge.  We’ve got a great little river out there and we’re about to dine on BBQ dinner in just a few minutes.

stream

Alex installed my NALM 2013 sticker.

alex_sticker

I’ll proudly sport that!

sticker

Kevin calls his car the Old War Horse.  It’s an L model but with some tasteful GS trim level upgrades.

kevin_sedan

We dined at Legends Sports Grill.

legend_grill

legends

Table #1:  Kevin, Gerry, Chaka, Joe, Will, Waseem, Tyson, Eric

table2

Table #2

table1

Gerry ordered the “Joker” burger which has peanut butter on it!

gerry_burger

Chris, Tyson, Ben.  Chris drove from Maryland in his 1991 Prelude Si 4WS.  Ben drove from San Francisco in his 1992 Legend LS coupe.  Both have been friends of mine for many years.

chris_tyson_ben

I gave Chris the chance behind the wheel of my Legend for a couple of miles after dinner.

chris_driving_coupe

Gerry had to take off.  He is the original owner of his 1992 Vineyard Gray Metallic Legend LS sedan.  It has 253,000 miles on it now and still runs great.

gerry

Here is our group outside the lodge drawing straws.  Alan, event co-chair, used this as a way to tell who would be going first during the following morning’s dyno runs.

straws2

straws1

Finally, Alex took my coupe for a spin.  He knows how to build a fast Legend.  It was an honor to have him behind the wheel.

alex_driving_coupe

Today was an action-packed day of activities.  This was the scene in the parking lot when dawn arrived.

parking_lot

First order of business was a very scenic 30-minute drive into Asheville.

driving

Alex’s 1994 Legend coupe went on the dyno at Redline Performance.  Videos to come!

alex_dyno

Ben also subjected his 1992 coupe to the same treatment.

ben_dyno

Meanwhile, I had the chance to also wander around and check out the insides & outsides of some of the other Legends in attendance.  Many of the cars were ultra clean!

gs_interior

This GS 6-speed was particularly nice.  It has the exact same license plate as my Legend does, just from another state!  (North Carolina)

white_gs

Chaka’s highly modified Legend went up for a test, too.

dyno_gs

Here’s the man behind that build.  He was proudly wearing a “Congratulations, Tyson – 500,000 Miles” T-shirt.  Thanks for your support, Chaka!

chaka_tyson

Ryan and I are representing the Desert Mist Metallics out here.  Showing some love for paint code YR-506M.

ryan_tyson

Mike from Georgia came out in his amazing Canterbury Green sedan with custom red/clear/red taillights.

tyson_mike

This is Jon.  I drove his Legend this morning and it’s a monster.  Dual exhaust, fully modified, and it rides like it’s on rails.  An awesome car that represents many hours of time & effort invested.

tyson_jon

Ryan’s car only has 91,000 miles on it.  I drove it this afternoon and it handled like a new car.

ryan_sedan

A few of the guys in the parking lot talking cars.

lot

We had lunch at Zaxby’s for some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten!  They have a warning sign in there “WARNING:  ZAXBY’S CAN BECOME ADDICTIVE.”  They weren’t kidding!

zaxbts

This Legend came all the way from Connecticut.  It started out as a stock 1991 LS but now has a 3.5 motor from an Acura RL and a 6-speed manual transmission.

chris

Alan’s straw hat comes out to every NALM.

alan_hat

Here are this afternoon’s “formal” group pictures.  We were missing a lot of the cars, but the photos still turned out awesome!

lineup

line8

line7

line6

line5

line4

line3

line

line2

backs

Signing out from Maggie Valley for my last night here.  Tomorrow:  Back on the road to the Wild West!

It’s been an amazing reunion with great friends here.  Thanks for coming along.

NALM Day 3: Maggie Valley, North Carolina

Posted in Legend, NALM, Road Trip on August 23, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  524,675

524675

Day Distance:  407 Miles

map

I made it!  Today was a light day in comparison to yesterday’s marathon:  Just 5 hours, 45 minutes and only 400 miles to my final destination in Maggie Valley for the 9th Annual National Acura Legend Meet.

The Legend was rip-raring to go as I departed from Jackson, Tennessee this morning.

motel

Fuel at Sunoco somewhere in Tennessee.  Like I told my friend Chris, “I don’t even wait for the receipt to print.  I hop back in the driver seat and head out!”

sunoco

It felt great to finally see that blue marker closing in on its destination.

closer

Asheville!  The finish line is now in sight.

asheville

Lots of bridges today – a rare sight for an Arizonan like me.  “River” to me frequently just means the bridge is crossing a dry river bed.

bridge

Torrential rain came down between Knoxville and the North Carolina state line.  Traffic slowed to a crawl and even with the wipers on the highest setting, they couldn’t keep up.  Once the clouds parted it was a beautiful canyon.

nc_welcome

Two tunnels on I-40 eastbound.

tunnel2

If I had an aftermarket exhaust system, this is where I’d let it roar.

tunnel

It felt weird using a green-handled nozzle at the gas station and I had to remind myself, “THIS IS NOT DIESEL.”  I double-checked the button before I selected the 93 octane, anyway.

gas

Quick oil level check – all systems good!  I’m running Valvoline 5W30 oil.

oil_check

And finally, I arrived at the Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge and received a warm welcome from all those who had already arrived.

prelude_legend

These guys gave me a little grief for my aftermarket audio system and some missing hardware under the hood (thanks to those deer collision incidents in 2007) but overall they were impressed with how things looked!

group_with_coupe

One lonely Prelude in the background – my friend Chris drove down from Maryland in his 1991 Si 4WS 5-speed.  It’s a beauty with around 220,000 on the odometer.  The Legend in the foreground belongs to Alex.

alex

Nice looking lineup!

lineup

Chaka’s engine bay.  Many of these Legends have had extensive upgrades & improvements.

chaka_engine

Reunited with Alan from Florida who helped plan the meet. He gave me my commemorative NALM shirt.

alan_tyson

It’s good to be here!

legends2

We’re rolling to dinner shortly at a restaurant called “LEGENDS.”

legends1

Signing out from North Carolina!

NALM Day 2: Jackson, Tennessee

Posted in Legend, NALM, Road Trip on August 22, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  524,268

524268

Day Distance:  1,072 Miles

moriarty_jackson

I’m a thousand miles from nowhere
Time don’t matter to me
‘Cause I’m a thousand miles from nowhere
And there’s no place I want to be

My friend Chris told me this could be my theme song for my trip to North Carolina, and I couldn’t agree more.  Thanks Mr. Dwight Yoakam for your talent.

As long as I’ve got a full tank of gas, good tunes, and the open road, it doesn’t matter where I’m going. And today, I saw over 1,000 miles of America from behind the wheel of my 1994 Acura Legend coupe.  Here’s how my day played out.

For a couple of years now I’ve been cautioned about a leaky power steering pump on the Legend.  It’s the original, so understandably getting a little tired.  It was resealed 11,000 miles ago but still loses fluid.  I started the morning off with a whining power steering pump.  When I checked the fluid level, it was well below MIN so I topped it off and grabbed a couple extra bottles of fluid for good measure.

ps_fluid

Nothing like plugging in a destination address and seeing that it’s 14 hours, 10 minutes away.  I knew it was time to get comfortable in the driver seat so I slipped off my shoes and queued up the roadtrip playlist.

1038_eta

Sunrise in New Mexico was worthy of a photo op.  Mr. Sunshine woke up after I’d already been on the road awhile, and he went to bed at least a few hours before I did.  I put in overtime today.

sunrise

Cheesy pics are the result of staring at the road for too many hours at a time.

tyson_bored

First stop was the Amarillo, Texas:  home to Cadillac Ranch.  It’s also home to a steakhouse where if you can finish a 72-ouncer, it’s free.  I didn’t quite have the appetite.  Instead, I went with a yogurt and some oatmeal while the Legend enjoyed the company of this stately looking 1980’s Mercury Grand Marquis.

amarillo_grand_marquis

Shamrock, Texas might as well be called Radiator Springs, because it feels exactly like a trip into the cartoon world of the Pixar movie “Cars.”  I especially enjoyed this old Conoco station which now houses the visitor center.

acura_legend_coupe_shamrock_texas

I wonder what the price of fuel was the last time this thing was in use.

conoco

A nice biker couple took my pic to commemorate the visit.

tyson_in_shamrock_tx

Peek-a-boo.

shamrock_legend

I’d worked up some munchies by the time I got into Oklahoma, so I stopped just west of Oklahoma City for a bite to eat.  The town of Yukon is exceptionally proud of the fact that Garth Brooks is from there.

yukon_oklahoma

In fact, I dined at a restaurant on Garth Brooks Boulevard.

lunch_el_reno

I wasn’t kidding!  Check out the map.

garth_brooks_rd

The Legend was a little thirsty, too, so I went ahead filled up that 18-gallon tank once more.

domino_station

Eastward ho.

ama

Up to this point on this trip, I have not seen any other Acura Legends on the road.  This is not surprising; the car has now been out of production for over 18 years.  Still, I keep hoping and wishing for the chance to give a head-nod or thumbs-up to a fellow driver if & when I see one.

okc_signs

I found my way through Oklahoma and then crossed that state off my to-see list for the day.  Next up:  Arkansas.

arkansas_sign

I treat a long-distance drive just like I do a long-distance run:  by breaking it up into chunks.  I’ve found that based on hundreds of thousands of miles of experience, I’m most comfortable stretching my legs every 200-250 miles.  When I fuel up the car, I look at my 2014 Rand McNally atlas (thanks grandma!) and see about where I’ll be when I’ve driven that far.  This way, I always have something to look forward to.

tyson_truck

I much prefer easy-on, easy-off gas stations rather than ones that make me sit through multiple traffic lights, and this one at exit 57 fit the bill nicely.  Best of all, they had 93 octane.  It ran $4.09 per gallon.  A sign at the entrance to the station said,  “Premium is Ethanol-Free.”  Good to know!

93_octane

Holy caffeine alert.  24 ounce Mountain Dew cans exist?   I wouldn’t dare.  A bottle of Tampico orange juice and some beef jerky fit the bill, though.

mtn_dew

Rollin, rollin, rollin.

524k

Much of Arkansas looks about like this.  Tree-lined interstate with little traffic.  Speed limits are 70 mph (65 mph for trucks) and I kept the cruise control at 73-75 consistently.

i40

Sunrise in New Mexico, sunset in Arkansas.  Just another day in Drive to Five land.

sunset

And finally, tonight’s destination in Jackson.  Just a little blip in the radar off I-40 east of Memphis, but it’s a cozy bed after a long day on the road.  Thanks again for coming along for the ride!

gassing_up

NALM Day 1: Moriarty, New Mexico

Posted in Legend, NALM, Road Trip on August 21, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  523,196

523196

Daily Distance:  462 Miles

moriarty

And we’re off!

It’s been 14 months since I “daily” drove my Acura Legend; I spend most of my seat-time in my 2013 Acura ILX and I’ve had boat-loads of fun with it.  But for this particular occasion, the 9th annual National Acura Legend Meet felt like a fitting opportunity to blow the cobwebs off that old tried & true ride for an old fashioned cross-country trip.

Loaded up and ready to hit the road, I went to work for 1/2 day.

morning

I’ve often described that it feels a bit like putting on an old shoe to get back into my Legend.  It just “fits.”  Perhaps that’s because over the course of the 428,000 miles I put on it over the last 10 years, the driver seat is molded to my shape of my buttocks?

As I was giving my colleague at work the low-down on what to expect while I’m out of the office, our conversation on the phone went something like this:

  • Melissa:  So where is it you’re off to this time?
  • Tyson:  I’ll be in North Carolina on Friday night & Saturday night
  • Melissa:  Oh my gosh.  You’re… flying… this time, right?
  • Tyson (grins):  Umm, nope.

At this point even though she was in Rhode Island and I was in Arizona, I could picture her eye-rolling gesture just as clearly as if she’d been standing in front of me.  Some people will simply never understand the beauty of a good road trip.  Here was my ‘beginning’ mileage for this trip.

beginning

The first few hours of my drive were on the scenic back-roads of northeastern Arizona, including this piece of the “Beeline” Highway 87.

87

Summer thunderstorms, though, would soon put a damper on those perfect roads.  Luckily, the Legend’s Michelin Primary tires are fresh.  They handle the wet better than any other tire I’ve tried.

payson_rain

Once I arrived in Holbrook, I finally got on a “real” interstate.  I would be spending the next 1,300+ miles on this same interstate.  Guess it was time to start getting cozy in that driver seat.

abq_sign

Here’s a welcome change from the high-revving 2.4 liter ILX 4 cylinder.  The Legend, by contrast, lugs around at 2,500 RPM, barely giving the 3.2 V6 a workout.  Consequently, it’s a quieter ride.

cruising

Interstate 40 traffic was minimal as I made my way toward the AZ/NM state line.

mirror

And the clouds parted just in time for me to catch some sweet patterns in the sky.

rain

Speaking of colors, how about a bright orange Check Engine Light in my face?  This popped on at 522,989 miles.  I’m 99% sure it’s related to a recurring fault with the EGR (Engine Gas Recirculation) system.  Performance was unaffected and I’ve seen this one before.  It seemed odd that it would show up randomly over 200 miles into my drive.

cel

Welcome to New Mexico!  I’ve stopped here too many times already, so it was a fly-by this time.

nm_welcome

Dine & dash at the Arby’s in Gallup, New Mexico.  I’m glad to have that half-bra to save my fresh front end paintjob from getting needless rock chips.  I probably should’ve taken the time to install the bottom piece, too.

gallup_legend

Not much to see here!

gallup

After my dinner stop, that pesky CEL never came back on.  Soon I was seeing Albuquerque city lights!  That little red dot toward the top right of the picture — that’s the moon, believe it or not!

abq2

Just about 30 miles from ABQ I rolled into the small town of Moriarty.  I fueled up the Legend and now it’s time to relax for the night.  I paid $3.69 for 90 octane – which apparently is considered “premium” fuel here.

90_octane

Checking in and checking out for the night!

motel_arrival

The one thing that’s really killing me this trip is the “loss” of time due to the crossing of time zones.  Since Arizona is on Pacific time (we don’t observe Daylight Savings) and North Carolina is on Eastern, I’m losing a full 3 hours.  I guess it’ll make the return trip feel like a breeze since I’ll be gaining them back and chasing the sun.

I’m going to make an attempt at doing as much of this tomorrow as I can.  Come along for the ride.

tomorrow