NALM Day 2: Jackson, Tennessee

Odometer (Legend):  524,268


Day Distance:  1,072 Miles


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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




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.


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


I wasn’t kidding!  Check out the map.


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


Eastward ho.


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.


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


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.


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!


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.


Rollin, rollin, rollin.


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.


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


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!


10 Responses to “NALM Day 2: Jackson, Tennessee”

  1. Okay all that driving made me tired. Color me gone. I hope you don’t dream of driving…. Haha

  2. Jason Pawela Says:

    Wish I could take the Accord that far east! Good thing you caught the power steering fluid before any damage happened. I remember really liking Arkansas for some reason. Maybe the calm freeways. I think it’s awesome you’re confident enough in the Legend to take it that far. Let’s see the 999,999 someday!

    • Yeah I’m keeping a close eye on the fluid level now. I also never saw that check engine light during this 1,000 mile stretch, so that’s a good sign. As much as I enjoy the Legend, I have zero intentions on driving it another 475,000 miles to hit a million. An occasional road trip like this is good enough 🙂 TGIF!

  3. Thats a good chunk of driving there Tyson! Is the iPod on shuffle, or do you like to listen to songs in a specific order?

    Drive carefully!

    • All on shuffle, Dave. Every once in awhile I get a song idea that I’m “craving,” but the rest of the time I just let it play. If you have any playlist recommendations, let me know!

  4. Kevin Trinkle Says:

    I hope lunch wasn’t Chik-Fil-A.

  5. Sadly, yes. I was craving the waffle fries like crazy.

  6. Tyson:

    Is the total mileage you covered in one day (1072 miles) your all time personal best for one day? That is a ton of miles. My personal best is 700 miles in one day and I was exhausted.

    • Carlos, I don’t think it was a record by any means. At one point many years ago, I drove my brother’s 2001 Lexus IS300 non-stop from Jacksonville, Florida to St. George, Utah with only a quick power-nap in the car somewhere halfway.

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