Beating the Heat: Mogollon Rim Campout + SLX & RL Updates

Odometer (ILX):  218,415

Trip Distance:  250 Miles

I’ve left town every weekend for the last 6 weeks.  Exhausted doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.  But when it comes to making the most out of my summer, I live by a motto my mom emphasizes:  Carpe diem!  For this past weekend’s excursion, I ventured to the Sitgreaves National Forest in the mountain ranges about 2.5 hours northeast of Phoenix.  It’s a spot where temperatures typically range about 20 or more degrees cooler than the Phoenix valley.

Four friends and I found a great campsite just off Young Road, a couple of miles down a narrow dirt road that overlooked the Mogollon Rim and offered fantastic views to the south.  We set up camp and stoked the fire, then cooked burgers & brats over the flames.  Nobody had any particularly good ghost stories to tell as dusk fell, but we spent a good chunk of time proposing potential names for my friend Adam’s soon-to-be new dog.  More to come on what he ended up deciding.

We managed to avoid any run-ins with local wildlife, and the overnight low dipped to a pleasant 60 degrees.  Woody whipped up some delicious breakfast burritos with ham, bacon, and green salsa for breakfast the following morning.  All too soon, it was time to pack up the site and head back down to civilization.  The ILX fared well on the dirt road, though high grass in the median occasionally tickled the undercarriage due to ground clearance issues.

Thanks for coming along!

Camp all set up

Evening sunset looking south across the Mogollon Rim

Breakfast is served!

A relaxed Saturday morning

Soaking in the view

Headed out toward Payson, then Phoenix

Turning 218,000 miles

The vehicle I probably should have taken on this trip is the 1996 SLX.  I’m still getting comfortable with it – trying to gain a little more confidence in its roadworthiness.  I actually took a 350-mile road trip with it on Saturday, including a stop in a little mining town called Superior about 70 miles east of Phoenix.  It did great!

I like this old dealership.  Maybe a good investment as a place to store / display cars for someone?

I rolled 140,000 miles on the way home.

I also spent some time this weekend working on the RL.  Here’s an update video I filmed today, illustrating current condition and recent maintenance.  The engine bay got a detailing!

Hope the holiday weekend treated you well!

16 Responses to “Beating the Heat: Mogollon Rim Campout + SLX & RL Updates”

  1. Looks like you had a fantastic camping trip – the views are outstanding!
    Nice to see the SLX out and about – such a cool looking SUV.
    I can see you with that Dealership – maybe a Honda/Acura mini-museum! 😀

  2. What a pristine campsite! I knew not that such greenery existed within a couple hours of Phoenix. Ha. Actually, I did…. and will be witnessing such scenery myself in less than two weeks. Sedona, we are coming for you!

    The RL displays much elegance. The look commands respect. It has such classic lines, and the paint is still perfect after 20 years. That’s a keeper car. Thanks for babying it. Oh, and have you given ‘It’ a name?

  3. First of all, that view from Mogollon Rim was amazing – I would imagine scenes like that don’t get old, no matter how long you live out west.

    Really enjoyed all the car updates. The frame of the SLX still makes me shudder (!)… which is a shame, because you’ve got its exterior looking really nice. And maybe I’m the only one here who thinks this, but I’d love to see you fix all the little issues in the RL and make it your daily driver. I mean, the ILX is cool and all, but I really like that RL!

    How are the Legend coupe and sedan holding up?

    • I just scheduled the Legend coupe for an oil change on October 12 in Daytona Beach. I’ll be there for the National Acura Legend Meet. So that’s about as exciting of an update to share on that one! The sedan is chilling since it had a moment in the spotlight already at the Japanese Invitational in Pebble Beach last month.

  4. You are quite brave driving the SLX. But I guess it makes sense to build your confidence up in it. I too would be way too speculative. What a fun random way to spend an evening though, out in the woods among some peers, enjoying some nature.

  5. Such a stunning area to go camping in. You always find the best places! The SLX and RL are looking primo. With the SLX especially, the massive amount of work you’ve put in has paid off. Bigly.

    • Lol at “bigly.” That’s for sure! And, even as I type, that old SLX is getting freshened up on the interior. I think after that I’m “done” and can call it Radwood-ready. Then it’s time to find another project to dump lots of money into and obsess over. Ha!

  6. That amazon purchase was fun- the red row fence thing looks great
    And enjoyed the short videos – you make them very well

  7. Lovely camping trip! No doubt the ILX got a good dose of off roading with that. SLX looking great as always and that black paint did wonders to cover up what lurks beneath. 🙂 I’m in love with that RL. Not just for the history, but I think it’s one of the classier designs Acura put out. Happy Friday!

    • Totally agree! The design of the RL has aged well, and driving it gives me a great sense of nostalgia! Plus it’s such a cushy / sophisticated cruiser. TGIF for sure. Have a great weekend!

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