NALM 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Part 1: Kicking Things Off

Odometer (Legend coupe):  563,437

Odometer (Legend sedan):  159,945

Trip Distance:  1,804 Miles

Please meet my friend Kiley from Kansas.

In all my years of being such a fanatic about Acura, she’s the first person I’ve met who took it to the ultimate level.  Acura emblem earrings.  Lipstick that matches her car.  Her Legend grille tattooed on her arm.  Acura from head to toe, with accessories to back it up — her purse is a leather portfolio that was originally intended to hold an owner’s manual.  Kiley is one of the reasons why I just love this community.  I love people who are passionate.  It’s no wonder she won “Most Enthusiastic” at this year’s meet.

For 14 years, the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) has been a summer tradition of mine.  In fact, I was curious how far I’ve driven just for the sake of attending this annual car club meeting.  It comes out to nearly 35,000 miles, and the summary is below by year.

This year, for the first time, the state of Colorado played host to our group.  It was the perfect getaway spot to find comfy temps, brilliant scenery, tasty food, and a bunch of really awesome people like Kiley.  You all know I don’t just do this for the cars, right?

This year, there were about 30 members, 18 cars, and 11 states registered – and not a single one of them a Colorado local.  In fact, if my math skills hold true, our group’s one-way mileage just to get here adds up to over 20,000.  That’s some serious dedication.  What is it about this car club that compels people to sacrifice lost wages, lost sleep, and risky travels to enjoy the camaraderie for a few days?  It’s that ‘Legend mystique’ and some will never understand it.  And that’s okay.

  • Take Alex, for example, who as of about a week ago undertook a complete transmission swap on this car and still pulled it off in time to drive it 2,100 miles across the country from Florida.
  • Or Chris, who drove a similar distance with his twin 12-year-old daughters, making it a family vacation including a stop at the Titanic Museum.
  • Corey, who spent 3 nights sleeping in his car on the way here from Seattle (and lost his wallet in Spokane along the way).
  • Ben, who lives primarily in Shanghai but comes back each year for this event at great time and expense.  And who locked his keys in his car twice.
  • Jay, who drove from Alabama in his 300,000+ mile Legend coupe and is now on his way to Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Mirel, who got his car out of the paint booth just days ago and was literally still installing emblems and trim pieces just moments before he began his 3-state roadtrip.
  • Waseem, Ken, and Evan, who don’t even have their Legends with them this trip but who still came to be a part of the family.

I guess I feel right at home here once a year with people who have my same level of craziness.

My 850-mile drive from Phoenix was done in a single stretch with 3 fuel / stretch stops along the way.  By the time I was making my way up Highway 24 westbound to the host hotel, the sun was just dipping below the horizon of the peaks ahead of me.  I arrived just in time to catch up with the group at Ute Pass Brewing Company on Wednesday night and then enjoy the cool breeze of the back deck at the Country Lodge after sundown.

Thursday was comprised of a road rally to Breckenridge, but I had to sit on the sidelines and stare at my laptop back at the hotel since I didn’t have the day off work.  No matter – there were still a few days of fun & festivities left.  We dined on some of Colorado’s finest Mexican food before calling it a night back at the hotel.  In the next couple of blog posts, I’ll share a little about our “main event” – a drive up one of America’s highest-elevation paved roads, to Pikes Peak summit at over 14,000 feet.  I’ll also discuss a special event at the local dealership where they allowed 6 of our members’ cars to be place into the showroom like it was the 1990s all over again.  Teaser:

I’ll also have 2 or 3 videos for you to enjoy.  While you’re waiting, check out this article by Kurt Klingensmith about the Radwood event I attended back in March, with some great photos of my Vigor!

I-40 & I-25 interchange in Albuquerque, New Mexico:  A little over halfway there!

Arrival at Country Lodge – that’s Chris’ Legend GS

Working from the hotel on Thursday, this was about as much as I got to experience the great outdoors

Headed to dinner with Chris, Callie, Sienna, and others.

Leon, Waseem, James, Kiley, Evan, October, Nancy, Alan

Ben, Smiley, Ken, Corey

Alex, Matt, Callie, Sienna, Chris, and Jay

Prep for Pikes Peak.  More to come!

11 Responses to “NALM 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Part 1: Kicking Things Off”

  1. So I’m sitting on my sofa, reading, when my iPad that’s on the end table dinged at me- something happened on WordPress… and lo and behold, the first NALM post appeared! Great to see the Legend coupe on the road yet again. Did I read it right- you did 800 miles in one shot? That’s highly impressive.

    Both cars had their hoods up in the last shot… should I take that as an omen of bad news to come about the Legends, or is that just a cool-looking photo?

    Cool feature in that Radwoods article, too!

    After how much I enjoyed taking the Accord up Mt. Washington, you better believe I’m looking forward to the Pikes Peak write-up!

    • As for the hoods-up shot, we were just checking fluids. I have a chronic power steering leak on the coupe so every once in a while I check the level. In this case, I didn’t end up needing to add any. And yes – over 800 miles in a day, which is pretty ambitious, but not as far as some of the guys went. My friend Chris just made it home to Baltimore from Colorado last night – pulling two days at 1,000 miles+ each.

  2. STL_Dave Says:

    Great start to NALM 2018 – Can’t wait for the next installment!

    • Thanks Dave! Much more to come. This was one of our smaller NALMs but I have always said, sometimes those more intimate groups are the most fun because you really get to interact with people and get to know them better. This has become a sort of family reunion for me. Glad Chris and his girls got a chance to visit you on the way out! Stay tuned for Parts 2 & 3.

  3. Much respect to Kiley for being a true Acura fan like yourself! I loved the stats and the commitment from all the others members to get there. Looking forward to seeing the Pike’s climb!

    • I have 20 minutes of video to whittle down to something more short & sweet, but I can assure you the Pikes story will have you on pins & needles! Haha

  4. These people have great dedication, wonder if there’s a national TL meet somewhere! 🙂

  5. Looks like a great meet in a beautiful location this year. 35k miles just for NALM events — wow!

    • I know, that’s a lot of miles just for joyriding to car club meet-ups. And it doesn’t include any miles that were driven as part of the event – almost every NALM has included a scenic drive or something of that nature. I wouldn’t be surprised if my NALM miles are close to 40,000. I need to get a life! 🙂

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