Alaska Trip Finale: Stops in Utah; Home in Scottsdale, Arizona

Odometer:  171,688


Total Trip Distance:  7,909 Miles

I can’t believe it’s over.  I did it.  After 16 days on the road and 7,909 miles traversed, I’ve successfully driven not only to Alaska, but to the Arctic Circle, and back.  It was a trip that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.


I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have done it alone, so I thank Jason for being such a great trip companion even though we took separate cars.  Also thanks to the many folks who followed along for the adventure online, and especially those who offered hospitality along the way.  In all I drove through 8 states and 3 provinces.  Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Alberta, Yukon Territory, and British Columbia.  I documented the trip in 13 blog posts including this one, so if you’re just now tuning in, feel free to keep scrolling backward to start from the beginning.  My nightly stops were at these locations:

  • Washington, Utah
  • Butte, Montana
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Pink Mountain, British Columbia
  • Teslin, Yukon Territory
  • Fairbanks, Alaska (x 3)
  • Teslin, Yukon Territory (again)
  • New Hazelton, British Columbia
  • Cache Creek, British Columbia
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Kuna, Idaho
  • Logan, Utah
  • St. George, Utah

I have to say it’s remarkable that I was able to take a 170,000 mile car on a journey of this length and never have to think twice about it getting me from A to B.  I didn’t need any of my 3 spare tires.  I didn’t check or add oil at any point on the drive.  As a matter of fact, the last oil change from 8,000 miles ago still says I have 40% life remaining according to the “maintenance minder” in the car.  This is why I drive the car that I drive.  Relentless reliability.

On Thursday morning, I departed Josh’s place in Kuna, Idaho and I had about a 300-mile day to my dad & stepmom’s place in Cache Valley, northern Utah.  I gave my dad a hand washing his Ford F-350 and then dined later in the evening at my favorite restaurant in town, called El Sol.  Ryan, who Jason and I met up with on the first leg of our journey, joined again for the occasion.

Friday, I made my way southbound and traveled virtually the entire length of the state of Utah from north to south, staying at my mom’s place in Washington.  Along the way, I paid a visit to my grandpa because it happened to be his 86th birthday.  And the final stretch took place yesterday, when I drove the last 400 or so miles of my very long journey home.  Phoenix welcomed me with 114-degree temperatures.  Welcome summer.

Here’s a 17-minute video that documents my journey in bits & pieces from start to finish.  Viewers beware:  It may cause motion sickness and it’s mostly just me shooting “selfie style” and narrating some of our stops.

Utah state line


Dad’s 1990 F-350 XLT Lariat Dual Cab 4×4


Dad’s new 2016 Honda Goldwing motorcycle.  Packed with tech!


This thing even has navigation.


We took a night drive up to visit my Grandpa Hugie at Providence Cemetery.  He passed away in 1989 when I was only 7 years old but I still have great memories of him.



View of Cache Valley from my dad’s back deck


ILX in grandma’s backyard


The home across the street dates back to the early 1900’s and it’s the home my grandma grew up in


Heading southbound on Hwy 89-91 which passes through “Sardine Canyon.”


Arriving in St. George about 6 hours later


Visiting the nieces and nephews in St. George


Arrival at home in Scottsdale


Check out that nasty interior, too


Two pages of handwritten fuel log, from start to finish.


The nerd in me couldn’t resist putting this in electronic format so I could run some metrics on it.  I fueled up 41 times and spent a total of $826.52 on gas after taking into account the Canadian exchange rate.



27 Responses to “Alaska Trip Finale: Stops in Utah; Home in Scottsdale, Arizona”

  1. Congratulations! That’s a mammoth, epic road trip. Thanks for taking us all along (virtually). I doubt the ILX designers imagined one of their creations going on this kind of adventure, but glad to see the car held up for you. Also, glad that you made that trip safely.

    Now get some rest, man!

  2. “Dalton Brown” Haha! What’s with the Lunar Lander on your neighbors house? That’s a huge swamp cooler!

    • Hey man, we need heavy duty A/C equipment down here for obvious reasons! I was talking to my neighbor just yesterday about that unit, actually. $8,000 worth. I need a new one soon and it will probably cost about that same amount! Ouch.

  3. Midnight Mystery Says:

    That ILX is good on gas… That’s is some beautiful scenery where your parents/grandparents live..

    So, you’re now around 171,000 miles, so, you’ll catch me in a couple of months, haha…

    I’m most shoked by how long your oil is lasting, you’ll be driving around town now, so it should start to go down a little faster now, I guess, but really, you could have 12-14,000 miles on one oil change… I’m well into 50%, probably getting close to 40%, amd have only been about 1,700 miles…

    Good luck washing it though!!!

    • Yeah the MPG is really impressive. I did notice that the economy was a lot lower when I was running non-Premium gas, though. As for the wash, I am not really looking forward to that. Almost tempted to see if one of my detail friends wants to take a crack at it… The bugs alone will take an hour to fully clean off.

  4. I can’t image how many hours that video took…I love it! It really sums everything up great, and you made sure to catch me wearing all three DIFFERENT white hoodies. 😀 Glad you got some action footage of those nasty frost heaves too! I didn’t quite make it to 9k…just 8,936. lol Thank you for helping make it such an amazing trip! Until next time…

    • Crazy your drive was a full 1,000 miles longer than mine. Now you get to add that important piece of Fairbanks paperwork to your maintenance records! As for the video, it actually took next to no effort at all. I just sorted all my trip pics by file type, took all the QuickTime movies and pulled them into another folder, then loaded them to a new Movie Maker file in order and voila!

  5. Finally got home to Phoenix huh? You hadn’t posted in a while. I was afraid you were lost and I would have to mount a rescue mission with my TSX. 😉

    • Yeah I kind of took my time the last few days getting through Utah since I knew I didn’t “HAVE” to be back in Phoenix until this evening (for work tomorrow). So it was nice to have shorter drive days as opposed to the 10-11 hour stints that Jason had been pulling every day for a week prior.

  6. Brad Heffran Says:

    114 degrees? I didn’t realize you had that kind of heat there to start June. Glad your 8,000 mile adventure to the north was eventful in only the best sense of the word. Thanks for sharing it through all your photos and commentary!

    • You’re welcome Brad, and thank YOU for following! As for the heat wave, it’s like walking outside into an oven but you’ve been here in July so it’s something you’ve experienced before. I think even for us this is a little unusually warm for this time of year. Here’s to hoping, anyway…

  7. Really epic adventure Tyson!

    Very happy to hear you arrived home safely. Just watched your video and actually thought you acquired all that mud through normal driving not sliding around in mud puddles 😉

    I hope you don’t mind the especially “warm” reception I arranged especially for hour arrival!?

    Glad everything went well and you enjoyed another memorable excursion…

    • Ha, I promise, most of the mud was from regular driving, but since the car was already dirty, I had a 3-year-old moment when I just wanted to play in the puddles a little bit more for good measure. As for this heat, it’s crazy! How can I be expected to detail a car in this environment? I’ll be stopping at the coin op power wash (touchless, just using the sprayer, of course) after work today to get started on the mess… Hope your attic projects are going well.

  8. “I’ll be stopping at the coin op power wash (touchless, just using the sprayer, of course) after work today to get started on the mess”

    You mean you went to work and parked the car with the Alaska mud shouting out to the world?? 😉

    • YES! I put the car in my usual parking spot here at the office – always surrounded by spit-shined and valet-driven Porsches and BMW X5’s. I haven’t had anyone ask me to drive my muddy hulk off the property yet, but I’m about to leave the office and head home in it. Then to the wash! Bye bye Alaska mud.

  9. Charlie Says:

    Thank you and Jason for sharing the details of your journey. I highly recommend Spirt Car Wash. 68th street just north of Thomas on east side of road. Lots of sun shades over the vacuum area to protect yourself from the sun.

  10. “always surrounded by spit-shined and valet-driven Porsches and BMW X5’s”

    Just thought I let you know that your car is BETTER than any of those cars. It is more durable, reliable, and dependable than any car made by Porsche or BMW. I would choose your car every single time for a monster long distance trip like the one you just took.

  11. Just stumbled onto this:

    • Hey, Uri! That’s awesome – I remember watching it awhile back. Love seeing those retro videos from when the Legend was new. Thanks for sharing it!

      • Did you ever see that old Motor Trend video on the then-new S2000? It always makes me crack up, watching 17 year old reviews.

  12. Tyson, I’m shocked you put some 87 in your car! Unless that’s premium in up there? Congrats on what looks to be an amazing trip, and for creeping up on 200k! Time for a TLX?

    • Hi Elliot! No, 87 is definitely not Premium. The ILX gas door says “Premium Fuel Recommended.” So that tells me it’s not “required.” Plus in certain places up there, Premium is simply not available. I don’t think I’ll be upgrading to a TLX any time soon. I enjoy a manual transmission too much! I hope you’re having a great weekend!

  13. Just purchased 2017 Acura ILX premium. Waiting to be delivered. Internet surfing and found your blog. The story is very nice read and interesting. It made my Sunday afternoon with a cup of java. Thanks you for writing such a excellent report! It just made me road trip like good old days again.

    • Hey congrats on your purchase and welcome to the ILX family! Hope you love the car. Mine has treated me very well over the last 4 years. Keep me posted on your ownership experience and any fun road trips 🙂

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