Archive for December, 2014

Reader’s Ride: Phil’s 1992 Legend LS

Posted in Legend, Reader's Ride on December 30, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  532,163


Odometer (ILX):  108,794


I received a text message last week from my buddy Phil.  Well, technically it was just a picture of a very clean G2 Legend coupe.  “Yours?!”  I responded.  Indeed, Phil responded that he had snagged his “new” car from the son of its original owner just a day prior.  It came with an impressive stack of maintenance records and a clean history.  Score!

Phil and I got together on Friday afternoon to get a few photos of our Legends together.  These two cars, by the way, added up in mileage to a whopping 802,595 miles combined.


Phil’s odo


The front end of Phil’s car is in remarkable shape.  The whole vehicle received a professional respray not long ago.  It’s also now protected with a Clear Bra.


Wheels are aftermarket 15″ Konig units, but Phil is thinking of sourcing a set of the correct OEM alloy 7-spokers.


How many bugs have these two cars collectively killed over their lifetimes?


Phil’s Type I powerplant still looks nice for having over 270,000 miles on it.


Gotta love that factory spoiler.  Phil’s car also has the accessory cellular telephone in the center console.


Seats are in remarkable shape thanks to having been covered by sheepskin covers.


Just check that passenger seat out!


Congrats, Phil, and welcome to the family!

Christmas Day Road Trip to Show Low, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on December 26, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  532,138


Odometer (ILX):  108,657


Trip Distance:  338 Miles


There’s no feeling quite like the “life flashing before your eyes” panic you get when you’re running to a car and lose your footing on a sheet of ice on the sidewalk.  Silly me, I should’ve known better than to disregard the freezing conditions when I bolted to the ILX at 7:22 a.m. this morning to start my 3-hour return drive to Phoenix from the mountains in Show Low.  I’d give $1 to see what I looked like trying to stay upright while balancing a laptop bag and my backpack on my shoulder.  Somehow, I didn’t meet the pavement head-on and as soon as I caught my breath again, I was laughing it off.


It was just 17 degrees when I started the car – and as many of you know, its battery is already near-dead.  Luckily, the ILX cranked to life and I turned on BOTH seat heaters, cranked the temperature to “Hi” and activated the defroster.  That was before I realized the windshield was covered in ice and I couldn’t see a thing.  My Chase Sapphire credit card made a decent impromptu ice scraper as I cleared an area large enough to see out of before driving out of the neighborhood.

The Phoenix-to-Show Low drive on Christmas morning yesterday was a repeat of one I’d taken exactly a year prior.  It seems to have become a bit of a tradition for me to get in the car and venture to the Sitgraves National Forest when most others are opening presents and sipping on hot cocoa.  Here’s last year’s trip write-up when I took the same route, which will detail the driving experience of the Salt River Canyon – one of Arizona’s most scenic day-trips.  Today, I’ll focus more on the town I visited on Route 60 after passing through that canyon.


After cruising eastward from Mesa on Route 60 toward the mining towns of Superior and Globe, I rolled through the canyon and took a series of pictures of the rest stop at the base – which was closed last year but has since re-opened.  The steel arch 1934 bridge across the Salt River and its 1996 replacement made for a nice photo op while I wandered around the facility before continuing up the other side of the canyon.  My playlist, by the way, for the ascent consisted mostly of Peter Cetera music.  Songs like this one were being blasted.


Show Low is a neat little community in the White Mountains that was established in 1870 and incorporated in 1953.  Due to its elevation at just over 6,300 feet, the town experiences all four seasons, unlike Phoenix which somehow skips over winter altogether.  Legend has it (see what I did there?) that the town’s name has roots in a poker game between two early settlers of the area, Corydon E. Cooley and Marion Clark.  The area in consideration comprised 100,000 acres and they decided whoever could show the lowest card would be the winner, and the other person would have to move.  Cooley had the deuce of clubs and won the game.  Today, Show Low’s main street is called Deuce of Clubs.


A friend of mine had rented a cabin near Torreon Golf Course that provided a cozy place for a group of us to crash out.  But first, I attended his family’s Christmas dinner and feasted on 3 full courses of deliciousness.  Friday’s return trip to Phoenix offered up some amazing views of snow-dusted landscapes and bright, blue sky.  Road conditions between Heber and Payson on Route 260 were slippery due to the prior night’s snowstorm, but I took things easy and made it home safe and sound in just a little over three hours.

Thanks for coming along on the drive!  Here are the rest of my pics.

Loved these organized, linear cloud formations approaching Superior on US Route 60


Queen Creek Tunnel, constructed 1953


Heading up Route 60 from Globe, Arizona.  I had the road to myself.




Each time the sun broke through the clouds, it would ignite the hills in vivid colors.


Some rock formations in the distance.


I asked some nice tourists to take my picture.


Parking at the rest area at the base of the Salt River Canyon.


1996 (background) and 1934 (foreground) bridges across the Salt River


This is the one that carries all the automobile traffic today.


Graffiti on the red bridge.


Perched and enjoying the scenery in the canyon before getting back into the car.


I love how ornate the 1934 steel bridge is.  Today, it’s only open to pedestrian traffic.


View from the steel bridge, looking up the Salt River.


Looking back toward the steel bridge from the parking area.


Heading back up the canyon, and stopping to check out this teeny little cabin.


Back at the top of the canyon after the 2,500-foot ascent on curvy roads.


Getting closer to Show Low!


Just in time for some light snow flurries.  Brrrrr!


Nightly accommodations at the cabin at Torreon Golf Club.


My friend gave a gift to himself, from himself.  At least that’s a good way to ensure you get what you want!


Friday morning frost.


The ol’ credit card ice scraper trick.


Quick picture while I let the car warm up before heading out on the 3-hour return drive.


Crisp as can be.  I love a big blue sky.


Heading westward on US Route 260 toward Payson.


Lowest that I saw the temperature dip to.  This is probably a record for the car, in the 2.5 years I’ve had it.


Breakfast in Payson, Arizona:  Ever seen a McDonald’s that will kick you out if you stay longer than 30 minutes?


Quick break along Highway 87 on the descent back to the Phoenix area.


Have a great weekend!

Legendary Lunch at Bill Johnson’s Big Apple in Phoenix

Posted in Legend, Maintenance on December 22, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend sedan):  146,187


Odometer (ILX):  108,115



Let’s eat.  A gigantic, cheesy neon sign with a steer on top of it was more than enough to lure me into a restaurant called Bill Johnson’s Big Apple on Van Buren Street in Phoenix on Saturday.  Each corner of the building’s rooftop had a cow perched on top of it, so right away I knew I was in for a treat.  After a quick picture with my Legend sedan, I stepped inside the swinging front doors and cruised back in time to about 1977, because evidently that’s the last time this restaurant received any kind of decor update.


Twangy country music – including some Christmas songs in the mix – played softly on surround sound, but otherwise things were very quiet (perhaps because I’d missed the lunch rush and beat the dinner rush) and I had my pick of just about any booth in the house.  I took a seat and glanced at the 4-page menu.  To be honest, I would have loved to indulge in the 10-ounce USDA Prime Top Sirloin for $18.99 — and I’m sure it would have been delicious — but I simply didn’t have the appetite at the time.  I instead went with the Smokehouse Quesadilla filled with BBQ pulled pork and cheddar cheese, which I rate at a solid 8 out of 10.


Bill Johnson’s has been a Phoenix landmark since 1956, when Van Buren Street was one of the city’s critical arteries and it was lined with modern motels and restaurants.  Today, nearly 60 years later, the neighborhood is the type of place where you probably don’t want to be wandering around in the middle of the night.  Traffic has shifted to the parallel Loop 202 freeway and the few restaurants and motels that remain on Van Buren are run-down and best described as “sketchy.”

Somehow, though, Bill’s has endured.  The theme is “Authentic Arizona Cowboy Grub,” true to the atmosphere that Bill and his wife Gene envisioned when they first opened the restaurant.  It will come as no surprise that Bill’s car was a Cadillac with longhorns mounted to the hood.  Bill’s legend (and I’m not talking Acuras) lives on and I’d recommend a pit stop to anyone looking for a fun dining experience with a kick-back vibe and tasty food.


This weekend, I pulled my Legend sedan out of storage to put a few miles on it.  It went to Acura of Tempe for its semi-annual oil change with 5W30 oil.  Everything checked out on the inspection except for a dying battery and some rear brakes that could probably be done in the not-too-distant future.  The car had driven just 1,539 miles since its last oil change on July 12th, and the bulk of those miles were for a drive to Los Angeles and back for the 10th annual National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) that month.

Here are the rest of my pictures from this Saturday quick drive.

View from my booth at Bill Johnson’s


Motto at Bill Johnson’s


My menu selection


Not a bad looking meal!


Back to the car we go


In for service at Acura of Tempe


Quick pics at the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church on Northern Avenue


Unique architecture for the Phoenix area!


Tucked away in the garage with the NSX.  I do love these sedan taillights at night.


ILX drive across Mill Avenue bridge in Tempe


Over and out!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

CNET’s Top 5 Most Durable Cars

Posted in Blog, NSX on December 18, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  532,046


Odometer (ILX):  107,890



“Lord of Odometers”?  Well now, I must say that’s a first!  My coworker Derek coined that nickname for me in an email today at the office.


Derek bought his new Audi A5 Cabriolet in May, and I took it for a spin back then.  It appears that he’s now mastered the art of pre-meditated odometer photos (learning from the best, of course!) as he pulled off this feat:


That’s right, my friends.  Radio station set to “60’s on channel 6,” driving 6 miles per hour, with 6666 miles on the odometer and 666.6 miles on the trip meter.  Now, if only it had been 9 degrees warmer it would have been 66 degrees Fahrenheit, too!  Man, Derek was on a roll with this one.  Congrats to him!  For some of my odometer pics from over the years, you can see my post Odometer Photo Phrenzy.


Alright, all you high-milers.  What makes and models do you feel are most likely to run the longest?  Brian Cooley of CNET (who, BTW, I got to meet at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show!) has summarized the top 5 most durable cars according to data from RL Polk.  The average car on the road today is 11.4 years old.  Not surprisingly, Honda’s Accord tops the list.  See for yourself:

NSX talk:  It was three years ago, in January 2012, when the “Concept” Acura NSX debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.  That same day, Acura showed us the all-new ILX compact sport sedan and the latest generation RDX SUV.  I was in attendance for the festivities.  Now, it’s finally time for the rubber to hit the road with regard to Acura’s latest NSX supercar.  After extensive engineering & development, the production version of the twin-turbo NSX will roll out before the public eye on January 12, 2015.


I’m excited for the opportunity to attend, and you can bet I’ll do my best to snag a front-row seat for the occasion.  For those of you who wish to participate from the comfort of your desk chair, you’ll want to tune in at 11:50 a.m. (Eastern time) to Acura’s YouTube channel.  Here’s a teaser that’s been posted in the meantime:

Looks and sounds like a pretty mean ride to me.  Have a great Friday & weekend!

Weekend in Northern Utah: New Lexus for Jeremy

Posted in Utah on December 15, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  532,041


Odometer (ILX):  107,696


Trip Distance:  1,018 Flight Miles



No matter how hard the folks at the Car-Freshner corporation try, the aroma from a New Car Scent tree can never quite compare to the real thing.  I got a good strong whiff of the real deal on Saturday morning in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I accompanied my friend Jeremy on his trip to Larry H. Miller Lexus for delivery of his newly-arrived 2015 Lexus GS350 F-Sport.  It’s not every day someone gets to drive off the new car lot in a car with just 14 miles on the odometer, so I felt it appropriate to document the special occasion with plenty of pictures and a video for him.


Boasting a 3.5-liter V6 that packs 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, the GS350 is a luxurious sports sedan that can probably embarrass a few sports cars in get-up-and-go.  The F-Sport package adds special suspension, brake, and wheel upgrades.  When Jeremy and I showed up at the dealership on State Street, his Ultra White Lexus was already parked on an immaculately polished floor in the Vehicle Delivery Area.  The roof was adorned with a giant red bow, which Lexus offered to sell along with the car for a bargain $500 additional.

The Lexus’ all-wheel-drive will certainly come in handy for Jeremy’s imminent trips up Little Cottonwood Canyon to ski at Snowbird Resort.  Odd for this time of year, the snowstorms haven’t yet dumped on the Salt Lake Valley but we did get plenty of rain during Jeremy’s drive-off after he had taken care of all his paperwork and signed his life away.  Later that day, I thumbed through a brochure at Jeremy’s house outlining some of the features & specs on his GS.  One page – and its headline in particular – caught my eye.


Here’s that headline:


The fine print stated that during its development, Lexus had road-tested the GS by driving it the equivalent of 26 times around the Earth.


But here’s the kicker:  The circumference of Earth is 24,901 miles.  If the Lexus GS traveled that distance 26 times, that only comes out to 647,426 miles.  So, I’m sorry Lexus; you were 352,574 miles short in your journey.

The rest of my weekend was filled with family and food, as my dad hosted about 45 people at his home in Providence, Utah for the annual Christmas party festivities.  Providence is about 80 miles north of Salt Lake, and Jeremy and I drove a “loaner” Lexus ES350 up there (long story).  While the ride was comfortable and the amenities nice, the car was a bit too sedated for my taste and I craved something with a little more personality.

Here are a few of my other photos from the weekend.

All aboard Southwest flight #1649 for the short 90-minute trip from Phoenix to Salt Lake


Arrival at the Lexus dealership in Murray, Utah


The GS350 ready to roll out.


There’s a mean looking front end.


The big moment as the glass doors parted and the car made its exit.


After picking up Jeremy’s roommate, we headed out on the town.  Of all the exciting places we could have taken the GS350, guess where we went?  Costco.


Later that day, I met up my friend Branson for lunch.  He drives this 1995 Acura Legend LS coupe 6-speed in Cayman White Pearl.  It has 162,000 miles on the odometer but sure looks brand new.


Who can identify which (newer) Acura those 17″ wheels originated on?


With Branson out for a cruise in the loaner ES350 I was using.


Dinner in downtown Salt Lake at Trio Cafe with my friends Shane & Fred.


With Jeremy headed to Logan for the family party.


Quick photo-op in my grandma’s backyard for some “senior portrait”-esque pictures.


No Hugie family function is complete without a viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Each of us can pretty much quote the entire film from front to back.  My dad even put together a trivia game with questions about the movie.


Gotta love this grandma.  She’s not a fan of cameras, but I got her to crack a grin here.


I have the best sisters-in-law.  These lovely ladies are Kali and Kyann.


Out in front of my dad’s place, the extended family’s cars started arriving.  Included in the mix was this 2000 Acura 3.5 RL that my mom used to drive, which is now owned by my 21-year-old cousin Chad.  I picked that car up in 2005 when it had just 22,000 miles on the odometer.  Today, it has around 145,000.


Monday morning trip to Salt Lake International Airport in Jeremy’s Lexus.  The Wasatch Mountains were stunning with a recent dusting of snow against the vivid blue sky.  Temps in the low 30’s, making it reason enough to use the heated seats as we made the 20-mile drive for my drop-off.


Hope everyone else had a nice weekend as well!

Palm Springs Again: Roadside Assistance

Posted in California, ILX, Road Trip on December 9, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  532,000


Odometer (ILX):  107,466


Trip Distance:  536 Miles


“Quartzsite tow” I googled on my iPhone.  When the representative from Everett’s Towing answered the phone, I told her my situation.  “I’m at the Bouse rest area eastbound on I-10 about 30 miles from Quartzsite with a dead battery.  Can you send a truck to give me a jump?”  Meanwhile I was reaching out of my comfort zone by walking up to random people at the rest area: Tourists in a rental Caravan, a guy in a white PT Cruiser, a couple in a black Acura TL-S, and a family in a Ford pickup.  Nobody carries jumper cables these days!


Location reference.  AKA:  Middle of nowhere, smack-dab in the desert.


My predicament happened because while my friend Justin was in the bathroom, I left the car’s ignition turned on so that I could stay in the car and use my work laptop which was plugged in to recharge.  I guess the laptop sucked a lot more power than I thought it did.  When Justin came back and hit the red START button on the instrument panel, lights flickered, the engine jolted briefly, and then everything went dark. My heart sank as I realized what had happened.  At over 107,000 miles and with 2.5 solid years of daily use, the ILX’s battery has been getting a little more tired lately so I should have known better.

Stressed out about making it home to Phoenix (still a 90-minute drive away) so Justin could make it to a volleyball tournament, we anxiously watched the clock as we awaited help from the tow company.  Then, a light bulb went on.  We remembered that stick shifts can be push-started.  It was a long shot, but we decided to try our luck at doing the same with the ILX.  Because of the angle of the parking lot, it made the most sense to conduct our experiment in reverse, so I took the driver’s seat and released the parking brake.  Justin gave the car a hearty push from up front and I started coasting rearward in reverse with the clutch depressed.  When I felt like I had some pretty good momentum, I kicked my leg off the clutch pedal abruptly and the car came to life.  Genius!  Saved by a manual transmission.

Meanwhile, I felt bad leaving the tow driver high & dry so I called and offered to pay him for the time he’d already spent heading my direction.  Lesson learned:  I’m putting jumper cables in the car tomorrow.

It was a quick out-and-back weekend trip to Palm Springs, California for a party hosted by my friends Scott & Sandy.  Their beautiful home was dressed to the max and bustling with dozens of people, Christmas music, and plenty of cheer.  Justin and I had the chance to take a spin in Scott’s nicely restored 1966 Mustang in the perfect top-down weather before making our return trip to Phoenix the following day.  Here are a few quick pics from the weekend.

Pit stop in Desert Center, California


Interstate 10 westbound


Backyard with a golf course view


Party hosts


Home exterior, with the palms decked out in blue lights


Following Scott in his new 1993 Legend LS coupe


Taking a look at some old iron.  Pictured here is Scott’s 1959 Mercury Park Lane.  Massive!


Out for a spin in the 1966 Ford Mustang 289 V8 with “Pony Package” interior.


Mustang in rare “Emberglo” color.  A real beauty!


Weekly Wrap-Up

Posted in Blog on December 4, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  106,585



I was at dinner this evening with 5 friends at a local taco place.  The subject came up about planning a weekend trip to San Francisco for next March in celebration of a couple of birthdays.  “Airfares are $74 one way,” Scott began to tell the group, “but that doesn’t apply to Tyson because he’ll be driving there anyway.”  Do my friends know me well or what?  My Mapquest mind had already started calculating the drive time, distance, and best route.

That distance, by the way, is about 758 miles each way and you can bet I’ll be rip-raring to take that trip when the time comes next year.  Today I have just a few assorted bits of news to share as we kick off the weekend (well, kick off our pre-weekend, anyway).

Last weekend was the Phoenix International Auto Show.  Though it pales in comparison to the Los Angeles show which I saw just a few weeks ago, it was still a nice look at some of the latest offerings from each automaker.  I couldn’t even get through the front door of the Phoenix Convention Center without being stunned by this drop-dead gorgeous Ultrasonic Blue Lexus RC coupe.  A Lexus product specialist approached me, along with my friends Chris and James who I was with, about taking a test drive in one of the cars from the fleet.  While the RC was booked out for the rest of the afternoon, I did get the chance to drive a Lexus NX Turbo.  It was a super-smooth crossover.


Just inside the front door, this Rolls Royce Wraith sparkled in all its high-class glory.  I think I have a thing for blue cars.  But $366,850?  Dang, I forgot my checkbook that day.




My 1992 NSX came out of the garage a few times this week after getting a fresh battery.  At just under 99,000 miles, I’m dreading the 100k roll-over but can’t resist taking it out for a spin every once in awhile.


Loop 202 eastbound:  Just before the car got rained on for its first time in 3 years.  Those of you who are as obsessive-compulsive about keeping a clean car as I am will understand my angst about that.


On Tuesday, I had lunch with Joe who you met on the Canyon de Chelly drive.  He recently had the rear bumper of his 1995 Legend LS coupe refinished and it looks brand spanking new.  His Legend is just under 170,000 miles now.


Nice looking coupe, Joe!


We interrupt this news broadcast to show you the Toyota Prius with a Mercedes license plate frame that I saw a couple of days ago.  (massive eye roll here)


Moving on.  Do you remember when I got an up-close look at the all-new 2015 Ford F-150?  Well, the truck that I’d seen there was just a prototype.  The time has finally come that I was given the chance to put some actual miles on one of those beauties.  I attended a “Drive the Future of Tough” ride & drive event in Phoenix on Tuesday.


This F-150 “Lariat” model rings up at right around $50,000 as I recall.  It’s a hefty chunk of change, but it’s a hefty chunk of truck too.  This thing had more bells & whistles than I could wrap my head around.  Look into those LED headlights and you’ll be mesmerized.  Or blinded.


My tester had over 13,000 miles on it and was in the middle of a cross-country tour from the east coast all the way to San Diego.  I hit the push-button start and it came to life.  I commented to Service Zone Manager Jasen Turnbull in the passenger seat, “Is this thing even running?  I can’t hear it.”


Before leaving the parking lot, he taught me about some of the gadgets that the truck has, including this “360-degree” view of the truck – made possible thanks to the myriad of cameras mounted around the vehicle.  Seems like that would be a handy feature when parking a truck of that size.


As for driving impressions, I walked away thoroughly impressed.  For being a truck, it rode really smoothly.  Power was more than ample and there was just a ton of space inside.  This would be a rock solid cross-country rig.


Innovations abound here, like a rear tailgate that locks when the doors to the truck lock.  Clever.


Amenities are nice on the inside, too.


And finally, I bring you news of both a happy and a sad nature.  Chuck, a long-time friend from here in the Phoenix area, said farewell to his 1993 Legend LS Coupe 6-speed after a decade of ownership.  At just 32,900 miles on the odometer, his coupe was a mere baby.  Its proud new owner is another friend of mine, Scott.


I was present for today’s key hand-off ceremony (pictured above) at Acura of Tempe.


This coupe is going to a good home.


Scott sent a few pictures from the drive back that I felt were blog-worthy.


Looks like the clouds parted for him eventually.


I received a text message from Scott after his 4-hour drive home to Palm Springs where he acknowledged just how great of a road-trip partner those old Legends can be:


Pit stop at Courtesy Diner in Blythe, California.  Best grilled cheese around.


And a final shot in Desert Center.


Thanks, Scott, for sharing the pictures.  And congratulations on your new (old) ride!

Edit 12/5/14:  A friend just posted this on Acurazine and I was a little surprised.  Another ILX is right on my heels in mileage.  This 2013 2.0 liter automatic with Tech package is right around 103,000.  The chase is on!



Quick Drive: Warner Valley, Southern Utah

Posted in ILX, Road Trip, Utah on December 1, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,910


Odometer (ILX):  106,356


Trip Distance:  12 Miles



As sunset drew near one evening during our visit to St. George, Utah for the Thanksgiving holiday, my friend Ryan asked me if I knew of “any good drives” in the area.  “Pssssh” I thought.  “Of course!”  It wouldn’t be a Tyson-Ryan road trip if there wasn’t at least a little bit of off-roading, like that one time we drove Hell’s Backbone. That’s why, at first thought, the remote area of Warner Valley came to mind.


It had been a long time since I visited Warner Valley.  Maybe 18 years?  I know for a fact that we went camping there when I was in Boy Scouts, and I was probably 14 at the time.  The landscape I’m sure hasn’t changed much, but the steadily sprawling urban development has encroached on what was once barren wilderness back then.  This road trip didn’t just rewind the clock 18 years, though.  It rewound the clock to 190 million years ago, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  That’s because Warner Valley is home to some of the best-preserved dinosaur tracks in the southwest.  There are, in fact, about 400 examples of dinosaur tracks that have been found in the area since it was originally mapped in 1989.


Ryan and I took to the dirt road with enthusiasm and started kicking up some dust.  The red one-laner snaked its way through the sagebrush and led us past some areas where people were set up with firearms and doing target practice.  We gladly continued onward from there.  I did get a little nervous because the road conditions got a little sketchy – the gravel gave way to sand which was quite deep in places.  Remembering that one time when I got the ILX hopelessly stuck in the sand, I knew that I needed to keep my momentum to avoid that.  My car’s traction-control assistance did kick in a number of times as the front tires lost grip in the sand.


Luckily, Ryan kept a pretty good pace from ahead of me and I stayed on his tail despite being enveloped by a cloud of dust.  The desert’s colors really took on vivid hues as the sun dipped down in the western sky.  Soon, it became pretty clear we’d run out of daylight before getting down the road much further, so we opted to loop back once we arrived at the site of the Fort Pearce Historic Site.  It’s a small stone structure that was built in 1866 during Utah’s “Black Hawk War.”  Native Americans from the Ute tribe were trying to drive out the Mormon settlers.  In a series of battles, 100 Indian lives were lost and 70 Mormons.  The 42 x 22 foot structure was one of several guard posts that were built during that time.  The war ended by about 1873 and the remains of Fort Pearce stand as a reminder.


(photo credit Washington County Historical Society)

I’ve heard of “instant karma” but never seen it in action until Ryan and I started heading back to toward civilization.  Despite the fact that we were clipping along at 30 miles per hour, a Ford pickup came up in my rearview and got uncomfortably close.  It was clear he wanted to blast past me, but the road was far too narrow at that time to allow it.  At the next possible area, I did scoot to the right and he flew by, spraying a cloud of dust in my direction.  It was just seconds later, as the driver took his truck halfway up the berm on the left side of the road in an attempt to pass Ryan, that he lost control of his truck and ended up spinning it sideways in the deep sand and having to stop.  I passed him with a chuckle and Ryan and I continued on our merry way.

Thanks for joining on the trip!

Dinosaur track photos:


(photo credit


(photo credit

Heading out on the dirt road, following Ryan’s dust cloud


Quick photo op in the middle of nowhere


Another angle


Love the red sandstone scenery


ILX + S2000


Great sunset skies out in the desert


And headed back to civilization


Return drive to Phoenix on Saturday morning


The Virgin River Gorge section of Interstate 15


The Legend getting out for its weekly “walk” around the block.