NALM Day 1: Moriarty, New Mexico

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

10 Responses to “NALM Day 1: Moriarty, New Mexico”

  1. For those of us who can’t break away for NALM this will be fun to read the posts daily! Have a great trip! Lets hope its somewhere on the western seaboard next year.

    • Yeah I agree! These long-hauls to the east are killer. I’m thinking NALM LA, Vegas, even SFO. Maybe you and I should put together a bid and have it be in southern Utah’s red rock country. Can’t think of a better photo-op in the world!

  2. Drive safely! That’s a lot of solo time in a car. I hope you have lots of road treats and tunes!

  3. Drive on Mr. Hugie, drive on!

    • Thanks Dave! As I just mentioned in my email, I made it to Tennessee. The humidity is killing me already! Hope all is well with you. Wish you were going to be in attendance this weekend. Your GS would surely win best of show.

  4. Jason Pawela Says:

    Tyson, I’m super excited to be coming along the ride with you…via the blog here! I bet it’s nice to be behind the wheel of the Legend again. Don’t let a little ol’ check engine light spoil the mood. Believe it or not, I’ve never been through Moriarty. I haven’t been here in a little while and man, there’s lots to catch up on!

    • Yeah, glad you’re getting up to speed Jason! And btw, you’re not missing much by leaving Moriarty off your “must-see” list in New Mexico. The Motel 6 was one of the nicer ones I’ve stayed at, though!

      • Kevin Trinkle Says:

        There is a Wal-Mart and a dead Stuckeys in Moriarity. That’s enough to make me want to visit!

      • Jason Pawela Says:

        Well then I won’t make it a priority any time soon. However, who could resist a dead Stuckeys? There’s one in Continental Divide that someone turned into a house!

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