NALM 2015 in Houston, Part 4: Awards Ceremony, Drive to El Paso

Odometer (Legend coupe):  537,541

537541

Odometer (Legend sedan):  149,207

149207

Day Distance:  742 Miles

map

Texas is too damn huge.  How is it possible that James and I spent an entire day driving and never left the state?  Here’s how today’s drive directions could have been written:

  1. Enter I-10 westbound at mile marker 750
  2. Drive 742 miles
  3. Exit I-10 westbound at mile marker 8

That’s it.  I’m pretty sure those 742 miles could have taken me through several states in any other region of the country.  I guess there’s one great thing about a simple day on the road – it gave me plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and appreciate the chance to listen to good music without worrying about navigation.  James and I have just checked into a hotel in west El Paso for the evening after spending about 11 hours staring at the open road.  A couple of nice things about driving westbound:  We’ve already gained back one of our two “lost” time zones, and we were chasing the sun so we had more daylight to work with.

sunset

sunset_sedan

This morning, NALM Awards Director Kevin P. Amoth took the spotlight during the closing ceremony for the 11th Annual National Acura Legend Meet.  Kevin’s presentations are always fun-filled and thoughtful.  He even had a few special items for me:  A license plate frame, some replacement cruise control & audio buttons (mine are well worn), and a replacement sticker for the top of my coupe’s airbox cover.  “It’s the last one in the country!” Kevin told me.  I believe it.  Kevin and I have a special tradition for NALM events that we’ve been carrying out for a few years now.  Each year, I take a silver Sharpie marker and sign my name – and a short message – on the underside of his trunk lid.  This year, it was the first time he’s brought his 1994 “Polar Bear” coupe, so I had a clean slate to begin with.

kevin_tyson_trunk

trunk_inscription

I had some ants in my pants after a couple of hours in the meeting room, especially knowing how long James and I would be driving later that day, so we said our farewells and made our way to the parking lot to hit the highway shortly after 10:00 in the morning.  Unfortunately, that meant that we missed the announcements about award recipients.  Here’s what I know so far:

  • Best in Show:  Jeff
  • Best Wheels:  Kevin
  • Cleanest Engine Bay:  Mike
  • “Because Racecar”:  TJ
  • Best Paint:  Larry
  • Most JDM:  Ross
  • Longest Drive:  Sergey (Seattle area, WA)
  • Best Participant:  Ed
  • Most Improved:  Chris

Truly those awards were very well deserved.  In all, NALM attendees drove a total of over 25,000 miles to be in attendance at the meet.  It took a lot of time, effort, and money for them to be a part of it.  And you know what?  I bet you could ask any of those guys if they thought the trip was worth it and they’d say YES without even thinking twice about it.  Here I am 11 years into it and not regretting a single mile.

marriott_departure

An isolated thunderstorm dumped just enough water on the Katy Freeway to make it the first time my Legend GS has been driven in rain since 2008.  No matter.  “It’s not going to melt,” as someone wise once told me.  I’ll detail it up when I get home to Phoenix sometime.  By the time we got to San Antonio and beyond, the skies were clearing.  Everything west of the Highway 1604 interchange got a little more desolate and I was okay with that, because it meant I could set my cruise control at 83 miles per hour in the 80 mi/hour zone and not be worried about excess traffic.

rearview

Our only stops today were in Sonora, Texas at the Pizza Hut and then at the Love’s gas station in Van Horn, Texas, for fuel.  An easy-peasy drive – and tomorrow, we have only 6 hours remaining until our arrival in the Phoenix area.  Stay with us as I’ll have one more installment at the conclusion of this adventure!

A few more photos from today follow.

Kevin presenting Mike with the “Golden Glow” Award this morning.

mike_kevin

Quick photo of my car with Ben’s white coupe.  I will see Ben in a few weeks at NSXPO in Palm Springs, and we’re going to get a similar photo of our NSXs together.

tyson_ben

I-10 westbound approaching San Antonio – this isn’t something you see in Arizona.  “Hurricane Evacuation Route”

hurricane

Pizza Hut parking lot in Sonora, Texas

legends3

And the open road awaits

i10_2

Fueling up at Love’s in Van Horn, Texas

van_horn_legends

Dinner is served!

lunchables

Safe travels to all you other NALM-goers who are still traveling to your respective homes.

14 Responses to “NALM 2015 in Houston, Part 4: Awards Ceremony, Drive to El Paso”

  1. Tyson – it was once again a pleasure to be with you at a NALM event. James is a cool guy and I’m glad he was able to assist you in getting both of your beautiful cars to Houston. I always enjoy the awards ceremonies and it was a honor to give you departing gifts along with many others. We are a Legend family, and we take care of each other. Alan, Chris and I battled through torrential rains as we headed east yesterday. I’ve never before used my flashers on the interstate. “Polar Bear” ran flawlessly as we drove through an area that got 7 inches of rain!

    • I heard about those rains! Pretty crazy. We were dry as soon as we got out of the Houston metro area. Only about 6 hours to go today. Text me when you’re home safe and sound. It was great to meet Wendy!

  2. Great review, Huegs! It’s nice to see awesome people who have such a passion for a ‘Legendary’ car. I hope you and James have a safe trip back. See you soon!

    • Thank you Lance! We are having a great time and wish you could have joined us for the festivities. We talked about you yesterday at the I-10 / I-20 split. Would have loved to swing through the Metroplex to say hi to you. Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

  3. autoscribe74 Says:

    Fun coverage, Tyson. Where are all the 1Gs?! You need to get Scott to drive his new Coupe, next year…

    • I know it! Well, I’ll be seeing Scott & Sandy anyway in a couple of weeks at the NSXPO in Palm Springs. A few people are encouraging me to submit a bid to host NALM 2016 in Phoenix / Scottsdale. Maybe…

  4. When THACURA goes missing, you’ll know who stole it… ME! God, I LOVE that car.

    • That car just amazes me! Pulled it out of storage last weekend and didn’t touch a thing, then put James in the driver seat for a 2,400 mile round trip drive and it hasn’t skipped a single beat. I’ll clean the bugs off it before you come to take delivery.

  5. Amazing write up! I’ve wanted to see the views in Texas for awhile.

    • It’s beautiful out there, Nate! West Texas is a little barren but during that sunset hour it was amazing lighting and made for a great road trip setting. Where’s your next adventure to?

  6. How did you lose the “cleanest engine bay” award? Mike must have sterilized his at the microbial level. Haha. Hope the rest of the drive home is smooth sailing 🙂

    • Thanks, Brad! Mike really did have that thing disinfected – you should have seen him out there in the morning prepping his Golden Glow Legend for the judging. For 195,000 miles on it, the car looked brand new. And the white-gloved judges surely thought so. Hope you had a great weekend 🙂

  7. Wow! I really got behind here. Part 4 already…love it. Certainly a true Legend fan. Looks like you and James had tons of fun! Glad the drive was smooth going for ya…if long! Surprised you didn’t get the cleanest engine bay too!

    • I’ve come home with my fair share of NALM awards over the years — time to let some other folks have a chance :). We definitely appreciate you accommodating us last Wednesday night. I especially enjoyed meeting “Untitled.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: