Archive for December, 2015

ILX 150,000 Milestone, Utah Trip, and a 30-Something Birthday

Posted in ILX, Legend, Milestones, Utah on December 29, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  540,467


Odometer (ILX):  151,120


I have quite the potpourri of news updates for you all today!  I was on my way home from work last week when my 2013 ILX hit its 150,000-mile mark.


Timeline of major milestones:

  • 16 Miles at Delivery:  June 12, 2012
  • 50,000 Miles:  August 15, 2013
  • 100,000 Miles:  October 16, 2014
  • 150,000 Miles:  December 21, 2015

Maintenance history since new:




The Legend coupe had to get a new starter last week from Hon-Man in Tempe, Arizona after the original one lasted 540,428 miles.  About a week ago, I had needed to move the car out of the garage to get access to the attic opening, and it would click but not turn over.  The starter had been acting up for some time so I finally had it taken care of.  Hon-Man’s parking lot was full of other Honda products, but I parked next to a 1993 Legend sedan when I dropped the car off for its service.


Service was $599 parts/labor and included replacement of an inner CV boot that was torn on the driver side axle.  Back on the road now.

My friend Daniel stalked me on Christmas Eve on Loop 202.

For about 10 years now, I’ve been attending an annual Christmas party hosted by my friend Chuck in Phoenix.  This year, he gave me a glass “moose mug” like the style used in the classic film “Christmas Vacation.”


My friend James gave me a very fitting license plate!


I made my way north to my hometown in Utah (~400 mi) in the ILX on Christmas morning.  Weather conditions on my end were vastly different from the ones my stepmom and dad were experiencing.  Here’s a text conversation excerpt:


I stopped for a quick visit at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the north end of Las Vegas.  It was only 50 degrees, but looked much warmer!


Virgin River Gorge on Interstate 15 northbound:


“Castle” Christmas light display at a home in St. George.  This won a $50,000 contest!


With my niece Vivienne.


Lunch with mom.


Taking my brother’s 1968 Chevy II Nova SS 6-speed for a cruise on the day after Christmas:


I drove it about 100 miles, round trip, to & around Mesquite, Nevada


Great sunset lighting overlooking the peaks around Mesquite.  You’ll soon see this car in a feature story in Hemmings Muscle Machines.


Mom even rolled around in it for a bit:

We received a visit from a few friends on Sunday prior to the return drive to Phoenix:  Tyson, Tia, Chandler, Jack


Jack, Chandler, Tyson, Branson


Jack took my brother’s M3 6-speed for a little ride


Branson rode 400 miles back with me from St. George to Scottsdale to take delivery of this 1994 Legend coupe from a prior post.


On the morning of 12/28, we pulled it out of the garage and he went on his way!


Desert Mist twins before Branson’s departure.


It was my 34th birthday yesterday, so I went and pulled the NSX out of the garage for a celebratory cruise.


I received a ton of well-wishes from friends & family.  My email inbox overflowed with about 700 Facebook notifications.  Here is a short video capturing some of the day’s highlights.

And, I think that pretty much brings you up to speed!  Hope everyone’s New Year festivities treat them well this weekend.

Saturday Drive to Greenlee County: Town of Duncan, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, Ghost Town, ILX, Road Trip on December 20, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  540,423


Odometer (ILX):  149,872


Trip Distance:  481 Miles


Come back with me to 1883 today.  About 5 miles from the New Mexico state line lies a community that I’ll introduce you to.


Duncan’s story mirrors that of so many other small towns of the Old West:  Mining origins, bustling and prosperous earlier years, and a steady decline from then onward.  Today, the 696 people who live there are hearty.  After all, they’ve survived two devastating Gila River floods that nearly wiped out the entire town, not to mention a widespread fire.  To top it all off, the main highway through town – once a critical east-west thoroughfare – was bypassed about 30 miles to the south by Interstate 10 in the 1950’s.  Duncan was left high and (not so) dry for the next several decades.  It’s a small town in every sense: The people all know one another.  Traffic lights are non-existent.  And the locals look at you with a raised eyebrow and ask, “You came to Duncan, why?” if you tell them you’re visiting.



It seemed only fitting that before visiting Duncan, I visit Dunkin (Donuts).  So, I grabbed a bagel and beverage in Scottsdale around 7:30 in the morning before beginning my journey.


My day started out eastbound on US Highway 60 on a voyage back in time.  By the time I’d driven 100 miles, I’d already passed through a half dozen teeny little towns that were past their prime:  Places like Miami, Claypool, and Globe that survive – barely – on the mining industry thanks to nearby Freeport McMoRan copper extraction operations.  I stopped just a couple of times for photos at abandoned sites and to explore some back alleyways with their boarded-up windows and rickety looking exteriors.  I also stumbled across a collection of four 1950’s Lincolns tucked away on a side street, some in better condition than others.



In Globe, I cut to Highway 70 and continued heading toward New Mexico.  I rolled on a two-laner through the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation which covers 1.8 million acres in eastern Arizona.  No reservation would be complete without a casino or two, and I exercised restraint by not stopping at the Apache Gold Casino Resort, lined extravagantly with palm trees that looked very out of place in this barren landscape.  I also was tempted to make a stop at the “Rock-A-Buy” rock shop on the roadside, but decided to press on.  I arrived in Duncan at 11:58 in the morning, just in time to pull my Acura ILX into Bart Tipton’s Saloon – long since boarded up – for a photo next to a 1950’s Chevy fire truck that probably hasn’t moved in quite some time now.



Church bells rang out the 12:00 hour, and I received a wave from a woman on the patio of the Riverfront Lounge across the street.  She was probably mumbling to herself, “Damn tourist.”  I think I had the only vehicle in town newer than about a 1990 model year.  Jason arrived not long afterward in his well-traveled Mazda 6 sedan and we dined at the only place available for lunchtime grub:  Tumbleweed Cafe / Patio / Lounge at 206 Old West Highway.  Jason and I had work to do:  The purpose of our meet-up was to lay the preliminary ground work for a 2016 Alaska drive we’ll be taking together next May.  It’s now been 10 years since my dad and I took a similar 7,500-mile round-trip drive to Fairbanks and back in my Legend, and I’ve been wanting to go back.


The Western Burger hit the spot while Jason and I took a detailed look at timing, destinations, and budget topics for our Alaska trip.  You’ll see coverage of that adventure in its entirety next year, and I’m excited to take you all along for the ride.  Our very young waiter made a fuss at the cash register when we went to pay the bill for lunch.  “You guys had to wait awhile; I’m going to take 10% off your bill,” he said.  I told him not to worry about it.  The total for our meals was only $20, and we’d been busy chatting it up about Alaska, anyway.


Duncan was the perfect meeting point for our Saturday drive because it represented a 3.5 hour one-way drive for me and a 2.5 hour drive for Jason.  We took some time to explore the town – or what’s left of it – now that we were well-fed.  A few blocks west of the restaurant lies a concrete platform that was once home to a railroad station.  A drive down “East” Street (which is more gravel than paved) reveals older homes that have clung to their foundations in spite of the floods that came through the area, as well as empty lots where not-so-lucky homes used to reside.  We got a few looks from locals who were setting up for an outdoor picnic of sorts in their front yard.


Next we rolled up to a park that at one time was probably the pride of the town.  In 1998, a jet fighter plane was perched on top of a hill just south of town in recognition of the men and women of the Armed Forces who had served from the Duncan area.  Today, the park is in a sort of disrepair.  The adjacent swimming pool looks like an algae breeding ground, and the landscaping looks like it hasn’t seen much attention in awhile.  Still, we got a good overview of the valley from there and the winding Gila River in the distance.


Our last stop was at Germaine’s Emporium, an elaborate collection of antiques, toys, books, and just general “stuff” right on the main highway.  There were only two other customers there – locals, I think.  Jason and I walked through the series of 5 or 6 rooms that were crammed with artifacts on shelf after shelf.  I didn’t have cash on hand (shame on me), but Jason loaned me $1.40 so I could buy a cute little hardbound New Testament that was probably 100 years old.

It was time to split ways, so I said farewell to Jason and we headed in opposite directions on the Old West Highway.  I looped home via an alternate route – interstate this time, instead of back roads.  The I-10 experience is far less interesting but also far less involved than going through all the little towns on US 70 and US 60.  I set my cruise control at 78 miles per hour and whizzed through Willcox, Benson, and Tucson on my way home, arriving just in time for a Saturday night out with friends.  Enjoy the rest of the pics below!

Morning visit to Dunkin Donuts on Hayden Road in Scottsdale


Abandoned building in Miami (Arizona, that is)


Traveler Hotel in Miami.  I think it’s closed, but that’s just a guess.


Who can identify the year of this Pink Lincoln?


Roadside abandoned service station on US 70


Restroom facilities are long-since left to ruin


Even Keen’s “Fort Thomas” Store was shut down, with a lonely dry gas pump out front


Pictured here is the Simpson Hotel in Duncan, built 101 years ago and still in operation today.


Some of the other cars around Duncan, including a decent-shape 1985 Honda CRX.


One-stop shop!


Exploring a dirt road up a canyon south of Duncan, until I got to a No Trespassing sign


Owner will finance!  Should I buy some property in Duncan?  Fixer-upper, for sure.


Rock church in Duncan


Lunch is served.  And the curly fries were better than the ones at Arby’s!


Elevated concrete platform where a train station used to reside


Kool Spot RV Park and its elaborately painted (not) sign


View of Mount Graham as seen from US Highway 191 between Safford and Interstate 10


And finally a sunset as seen while stuck in bridge construction traffic on I-10 near Benson last night


Thanks for joining!

Here are a few other fun links to take a peek at today.

Have a great week, everyone.

Just Another Legend Post: New Acquisition & Phoenix Meet-Up

Posted in Arizona, Legend on December 13, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (1994 Legend Coupe 6-Speed):  540,378


Odometer (1993 Legend Sedan):  178,473


Odometer (1994 Legend Coupe Automatic):  167,954


Odometer (1994 Legend Sedan):


Odometer (ILX):


A couple of months ago, I scrawled a note on a scrap piece of paper.  “Nice Legend!  If you ever want to sell it, call me.”  I left it underneath the windshield wiper of a car next to me in the parking lot in Scottsdale, Arizona.  It was a really nice-condition 1994 LS coupe, Desert Mist Metallic, just like mine.

I didn’t expect to ever hear from that car’s owner – especially since the car had out of state Oregon plates – but I did.  I received a phone call from an unknown phone number many weeks later from “Lee” who’d just taken European delivery of a brand new BMW M235i convertible.  “I’m ready to sell my Legend,” he said.  And the rest is history.

I took delivery of Lee’s car a few days ago and while I have no space or need for the car at my house, it’ll be going to a new home in Salt Lake City with my friend Branson in the next few weeks.  With only 168,000 miles on the odometer, it’s barely getting broken in.  Branson will take great care of it.  I was glad to help find this car a new home!

Lee getting his license plate removed while I took care of paperwork


Traditional key handoff


And the first photos during fill-up at the gas station


Check that interior!  Flawless for the age & mileage


Later that same day, I took the sedan for an oil change.  It’s only a few hundred miles from 150k


And my friend Ian ‘spy-shotted’ me while heading home from retrieving the coupe


I wasted no time in getting a Legendary photo shoot set up in the driveway that evening.  It took a step ladder to get the right angle, but at this point my neighbors already know I’m off my rocker, so it didn’t raise any eyebrows.


Yesterday, I had a few friends over for a meet at my house.  Despite the cold weather (“cold” as in probably 50 or 60 degrees, which is enough to justify a hooded sweatshirt for us Arizonans), we hung out for a little while and got a few more pictures.  In attendance were Joe, Michael, Mirel, Chris, Benjo, and Zach.  A few of us cruised over to the local salvage yard in south Phoenix and scavenged for parts afterward.  The only treasure I picked up was a passenger side headlight for my 1994 Vigor.  Thanks to Mirel for helping retrieve that.  The bumper on that car was a lot hard to remove than it looked!  Here are a few photos from yesterday’s meet-up.


The ‘new’ car was here with missing front plate


Another ladder shot


Back ends


A hint of blue sky


Tyson, Mirel, Benjo parked at the Ecology salvage


Mirel giving me a hand with that Vigor headlight


Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Edit, one thing I forgot to include:  Thanks to my friend Tim, I found this really great article about a guy who spent a year as a truck driver.  As someone who drives a ton, I can totally relate to this on many levels.

Link here


Acura “Periscope” Event – Tomorrow!

Posted in Blog on December 9, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  148,877


So here’s something a little different.  Anybody free tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Pacific?

If you have a smart phone, you’re going to want to download the free app “Periscope” if you haven’t already.  The logo looks like this.


Here’s the idea behind Periscope:  You’re able to pop your head into the life of a random person (or to follow specific people) across the world for a glimpse into what they’re doing in real-time, with photo and video.  I was first introduced to Periscope by none other than Jason Richmond, better known as HondaPro Jason, when he was streaming live video from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas in November.  I’ve since seen it used as a powerful and engaging way to entertain viewers!   It’s the next best thing to having all those attendees there in the flesh.

I gave Periscope a test-drive for the first time this week, and I’m a little hooked.  I decided to see who was online in my general neighborhood and randomly clicked a broadcasting user.  “Thanks for joining, Tyson,” the guy on the screen said.  A total stranger!  He knew my name because it had shown up on his screen that another viewer had joined the feed.  Awkward for me, but funny at the same time.  Later I went global and selected a live feed from a Periscope user in Buenos Aires.  The guy’s message was entirely in Spanish, but the funny thing was, his background music was “Creed” with that classic “With Arms Wide Open.”  Thousands of miles away and enjoying Creed.  Who’da thunk it?

Point of all this – tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Pacific there will be a special charity event to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation that involves Periscope and slot cars.  At this time that’s about all I’m at liberty to say, but here’s the official announcement:

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines. The Slot Car Holiday Heats are live this Thursday. Join @Acura on Periscope on 12/10 at 10:30am PST for a charity race. Benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. #RaceYourHeartOut

More details tomorrow!  For now, get your phones ready for race action.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset



Salt Lake City & Logan, Utah – Quick Weekend Flight

Posted in Utah on December 7, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  540,340


Odometer (Legend Sedan):  149,696


Yesterday, I had to explain to a TSA agent at Salt Lake City International Airport why I was carrying over $400 in coins from the U.S. Mint in my carry-on bag.  It was selected (not surprisingly) for secondary screening while going through Security for my SLC-PHX flight.  “It’s a Christmas gift from my grandpa,” I told him.  Moments later he found another treasure in my luggage – a bag full of cheese curd.  “And this?” he asked.  “That’s from grandma,” I said.  What an odd combo of things to take on a flight, I guess.  As the agent finished his inspection and sent me on my way, he said, “Enjoy your very unconventional Christmas gifts.”  And I will!


It was a quick “up & back” weekend to northern Utah for some family parties this past weekend, but I flew instead of driving.  I’m giving a Gold Star to whoever can spot the blatant error on this advertisement in Southwest Airlines’ magazine.  I did a double-take as I was flipping through the magazine from seat 15F last Thursday evening.


From Salt Lake airport, I picked up my rental car and met up with some friends for dinner.  That rental was this underwhelming 2015 Volkswagen Passat.


My destination the next day was about 90 minutes to the north, in a valley near the Idaho state line.


I’d swapped cars by that time, and I borrowed a friend’s 2005 Acura TL.  The cigarette lighter in the Passat wasn’t even working so I couldn’t charge my cell phone in the car.  My friend Jeremy needed his TL picked up at Jody Wilkinson Acura so I paid some friends in the Service Department (hi Allen!) there a visit and picked up the car in Service.  I felt much more at home behind the wheel of an Acura for the drive up I-15.


The world’s largest fly fishing fly is on display in front of an outdoor supply shop on South Main in Logan.


Utah State University, founded in 1888 as Utah’s agricultural college, today has almost 29,000 students.  I graduated in 2005 with my degree in Business.  Hard to believe a decade has passed!  This building with a bell tower, one of the oldest on campus, is called Old Main and was constructed in 1890.


A blog reader stopped by to say hello while I was at my dad’s house preparing for the family party.  Here’s Sunny and his Honda Civic.


Sunset in Cache Valley


Morning view of the Wellsville Mountains, as seen from my dad’s back porch.  The highest peak here – Box Elder – is only about 9,300 feet in elevation, but the mountain range is one of the steepest in the region.


On Saturday morning, we took my dad’s 1990 Ford F-350 about 20 miles up Blacksmith Fork Canyon to Hardware Ranch, a wildlife preserve where about 400 elk come to feed every winter.  Dad’s truck has a 460 V8 motor and automatic transmission.  The red interior is eye catching.  Only 126,000 miles on this 25-year-old ride!



My Volkswagen rolled 30,000 miles before (gladly) turning it back in at the airport.


That’s the quick update on weekend happenings.  Hope everyone had a great one!