Memorial Day 2017: Cabin Retreat Near Beaver, Utah

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip, Utah on June 1, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,509

Odometer (ILX):  199,757

Trip Distance:  1,016 Miles

When I say that Phoenix gave us a ‘warm welcome’ upon returning from my brother’s cabin in central Utah on Monday, I mean it in the most literal of senses.  When I started the car at 7:50 in the morning from my brother’s cabin retreat near Eagle Point ski resort in southern Utah, the exterior temp readout displayed 43 degrees Fahrenheit.  When my friends and I rolled into Phoenix 8 1/2 hours later, it said 107.  Needless to say, I felt overdressed.

Nestled in a grove of trees in the Fishlake National Forest at nearly 10,000 feet in elevation, the destination for our two-night stay was a second home that my brother Bentley built in 2015.  It’s become a summertime base camp for all sorts of recreational activities.  But calling this place a “camp” seems ludicrous, since it’s more modern and three times the size of the home I’m living in.

Our northbound holiday weekend trip started on Friday afternoon, when four of us made our way toward Las Vegas in two vehicles:  My 2013 ILX and James’ press car flavor of the week, a fancy-pants 2017 Genesis G90.  Its double-paned glass, football fields’ worth of leg room, and 5,000-pound heft allowed it to glide its passengers through the desert in ultimate serene comfort.  Meanwhile my little 2.4-liter four-banger was plenty audible at 3,500 RPM cruising speed, but at least I was able to drown it out with some proper road trip tunes.

Mom’s house in Washington, Utah was our waypoint for that evening – a quick in-and-out overnight stay since Saturday morning we had plans to mosey another 120 or so miles northbound.  We did take the time to meet up with my brother Payton and his family pre-departure and to partake of the breakfast fare at “The Egg & I” on Bluff Street.

Beaver, Utah is a town with a sense of humor and a sense of pride.  Most of its 3,000 residents live within a few minutes’ drive of Interstate 15 which is the lifeblood and artery of commerce in the community.  About the only notable destinations there are an outlet store for a company called Cache Valley Cheese, a historic 1876 courthouse, and a 9,000-square-foot pawn shop.

We plunked down $170 at Mike’s Food Town – the only grocery store in town – to get some food & supplies.  As I was standing in line at the register, I looked down and saw that a stranger had placed a box with a saline enema in my cart.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the culprit, and it was my jokester cousin Dillon who happened to be doing his shopping as well.  Dillon and his mom, Jodi, and Jodi’s boyfriend Michael joined us for one night at the cabin.

In the 19 miles from the Highway 153 junction with Main Street to the Eagle Point ski area in the Tushar Mountains to the east, we climbed over 4,000 feet in elevation.  Here’s where I gladly rowed my own gears in a spirited upward drive with the ILX.  The G90 was no slouch, maintaining impressive composure on the twisties, but when a curvy mountain road is placed in front of me I prefer complete, old-fashioned driver engagement with a clutch pedal and stick shift.

If it weren’t for the presence of a solid guardrail along the side, Highway 153 is the type of road that will give you the heebie-jeebies.  There are steep drop-offs and embankments as the road winds its way upward.  Passing lanes are very few and very far between, so luckily we encountered very little traffic.  My mom and stepdad had already arrived and were anxiously waiting for us.  We settled in and unloaded the cars, then soaked in the view and the cooler temperatures.

We took my brother’s 6-seat Polaris Raptor ATV for a spin around some of the dirt trails in the surrounding area.  In high gear, on a downhill grade, we could only get it up to about 30 miles per hour with our 4 adult bodies onboard.  So I think the 120-mph speedometer is a little optimistic!  The go-anywhere capability was nice, though, and we plowed through a couple of snowbanks with ease.

Cousin Dillon taught us how to play craps, complete with a full blown Vegas style layout and all the chips we cared to gamble with.  Downtime was also filled with a couple of short hikes and a few selections from the DVD binder.  My favorite was “Ocean’s Eleven.”  We took a picnic lunch a few miles up the road to scenic Puffer Lake.

No group outing would be complete without oodles of food – night one was grilled chicken, night two was pasta with Rob’s Famous Meatballs.  I’m confident nobody went hungry during this vacation.

All-too-early, we were loading up the cars on Monday morning and preparing for our return trip.  I opted to take a different route this time – cutting east on Highway 20 toward Highway 89, then south toward the Arizona state line.  I think this was a good call – not only did it deliver some great scenery, but the traffic was light since it allowed us to avoid the Las Vegas & Hoover Dam holiday cluster.  Besides, we also got to stop and see the bridge at Marble Canyon and a few other attractions.

And so concluded our 1,000-mile, 3-state, holiday weekend trip.  I’m ready to do it all over again!  Who’s with me?  A short video and some pics follow.

Snoopy riding a telephone pole ‘rocket’ just outside Wikieup, Arizona on Highway 93

Taking a breather outside the G90

199,000-mile ILX rollover between Las Vegas and St. George

Breakfast at The Egg & I in St. George on Saturday morning

Doing a little shopping in Beaver

Wandering around with Jack

Group pic on the steps of the cabin

Driveway

Raptor ride

Couple pics near a creek with some heavy snow runoff

Paying a visit to the location where some relatives’ ashes are buried

Tyson, Jodi, Michael, Todd, Tia, Jack, Dillon

ILX at sunset

Still plenty of snow on the ground at the ski lodge

Map of Eagle Point

Riding in the back of stepdad Todd’s truck to our picnic at Puffer Lake

Hwy 153 descent

The guys bought me an “I heart Beaver” bumper sticker

Phoenix, only 434 more miles!

Abandoned service station in Fredonia, Arizona

Marble Canyon

Lee’s Ferry bridge with the gang

Visitor from Philly, Bartlett Lake, Car Updates, & Upcoming Trips

Posted in Integra, TL on May 25, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,450

Odometer (ILX): 198,657

Odometer (TL):  97,286

Ahoy!

Here’s a short and disorganized update as we get ready to kick off the 3-day Memorial Day holiday weekend.  I was lucky to have my friend Derek visiting from Philly for a few days this week so I did my best to introduce him to Arizona life.  We took a Saturday drive with several friends to a small reservoir about 50 miles northeast of my house called Bartlett Lake.  It was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.  On Sunday, we stopped by Papago Park for some hiking, then later cooled down with some gelato at a place called “Frost” in the Biltmore Mall.

I’ve had to cycle through a few cars for some maintenance needs.  The Legend sedan got an A/C recharge at Hon-Man in Tempe last week.  There’s a small freon leak and it had lost its charge over about a three-year timeframe.  The ILX got an oil change in preparation for an upcoming trip to my brother’s cabin in southern Utah.  And the Legend coupe is scheduled to get a replacement vehicle speed sensor (VSS) next week so it’ll be ready to go to Sacramento for this year’s NALM (coming up the second week of June – roughly a 2,000 mile round-trip adventure).  The VSS has lasted since 319,000 miles in 2008 so I suppose it’s time.

I finally got the NSX washed from its trip to Las Vegas for WestFest.  The Vigor came out for Sunday brunch at NCOUNTER on Mill Avenue in Tempe.  The Integra went to a small meet recently in that same area.  And the TL continues to impress me with its fun to drive attributes every time I take it out.  I installed some OEM color matched splash guards (amazingly, still available new, and with a < $100 pricetag for all 4) and a set of all-weather floor mats on the interior.  Perhaps my favorite update on that car was that I picked up a Queen album on DVD-Audio.  Can you imagine how good Bohemian Rhapsody sounds on max volume 40 with that media?  Concert hall.

Does that cover all of the cars?  Haha, I think so.  Here are a few pics to hold you over until my next adventure.

Integra meet pics.  Club member Dillon parked alongside me with his ‘rust’ colored hood.

Great group of enthusiasts!

I’ve driven by this sign a lot but never taken the time to stop.  I finally had a reason.

Honestly not even sure what “TL” business is but they didn’t seem to mind me parking there.

What do you think of those new splash guards?

Photo by my friend Jim who stopped by.

Jim’s 2008 base TL automatic – only 50,000 miles on it!

ILX loaded up and headed toward Bartlett Lake last Saturday.

The lake gang.  And my shockingly white shoulders.

Setting up camp

With Derek, hiking around Papago Park

Tempe’s historic Mill Avenue Bridge

Brunch with Lance

Vigor out and about at my former office.  This building was once home to US Airways.

My friend Matt stopped by this afternoon in his 1994 Legend LS.

Suuuuuper-duper clean, 110k-mile Sirius White Pearl.

Even the engine bay was spotless

Photo from reader Tim of a 1986 dealership.  I like it!

Finally, check out this Redline Reviews feature on the 2018 Acura TLX.  The last 4 or so minutes are an impromptu dialogue with host Sofyan Bey from when I visited Maryland a couple of weeks ago.  Have a great holiday weekend!

 

 

Two Integra Feature Stories: The Truth About Cars, Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car

Posted in Integra on May 12, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra):  239,106

Odometer (ILX):  197,837

Happy Friday!

My little green machine is getting more than its fair share of time in the spotlight, thanks to its feature on “The Truth About Cars” written by Steve Lynch, who joined for our recent escapade up Mount Lemmon near Tucson.  The comments that spilled in were nostalgic in nature, with over 70 people chiming in to throw in their $0.02 or more about the “glory days” of Honda and how they had this memory or that regarding the sport coupes of the brand’s yesteryear.

The car also got some publicity in a magazine.  After 12 years and 140 issues, collector car publisher Hemmings has announced that its “Sports & Exotic Car” magazine will be retired.  Many of my readers will recall that I had the honor of getting my Legend featured in the November 2014 issue.

Now, the Integra is representing as well.  The May 2017 issue (yours for only $6.95!) contains a Buyer’s Guide for the 1992-93 Acura Integra GS-R, and the feature car for the story belongs to yours truly.  Power team Jeff Koch (photography) and Mark McCourt (prose) delivered a top-notch, educational piece for potential GS-R owners.

Cover feature even!

“NSX Jr.”  I like it!

A couple of weeks ago, I snapped some photos in the Melrose area of central Phoenix – roughly 7th Avenue & Indian School Road.  It’s an “up and coming” part of town but still has a few original mid-century era buildings that haven’t yet been restored.

One example is this dry cleaning shop.

I’ve already had the article made it up into an acrylic plaque for my garage – now to find a wall space large enough to hang it!

Speaking of mag features, my ILX got its moment in print recently as well.  The May-June 2017 issue of Arizona Driver Magazine contains the story on my recent trip to the Nellie E Saloon in western Arizona.

Thanks for the feature, Editor Joe!

Couple other last news bits before you start your weekend:

What do you think of my new TL plate?

My friend Matt came over last night in his ’03 CL-S and brought some DVD-Audio discs.  Have you ever heard of such a medium?  The sound quality is phenomenal!  Fleetwood Mac on max volume!

Joint milestone with my friend Chris.  Making history in our twin cars.

This was a jaw-dropping high-miler I saw the other day.

CHECK YA LATER!

Acura NSX “WestFest” 2017 – Las Vegas, Nevada – May 4-7

Posted in Nevada, NSX on May 7, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,434

Odometer (NSX):  107,620

I have to give my friend Tony Ciervo some credit.  The Malibu, California native is the original owner of a 1991 Acura NSX in Berlina Black that’s about to roll 70,000 miles.  Now, that’s not a huge mileage achievement by any stretch, but can you imagine buying a car new and keeping it for over 26 years?  That’s commitment.  “What do you do for a living?” I asked him, noting that I pegged him as a bit of a brainiac/nerd from the get-go.  (Maybe it was the socks w/ sandles he was wearing).  “I’m a mathematician,” he said.  “Go figure,” was my response.  He started laughing.  It took me a minute to recognize the pun that I’d just created.  Gotta love someone with a sense of humor.

The NSX Club of America (NSXCA) has a strong regional chapter in the southwestern United States.  And what better way to round up a few crazy car-people than setting up a meet in the city that never stops partying – a city that receives 41 million visitors each and every year.  Cinco de Mayo weekend saw about 60 NSXs overtaking the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada in a 3-day event called “WestFest,” put on by region leader Les Rowe with the help of a handful of other volunteers.

In attendance at the event were people and cars from an assortment of demographics.  There were members who flew in from around the country and even one guy from Japan.  The cars ranged in model year from 1991 through 2005 when the first generation ended, and we even had a few new, second-gen 2017 NSXs in the mix.  One of them was driven up by none other than Acura’s own Kelly Lynch from the Torrance, California-based Public Relations team at headquarters.  We were glad to have her and her sister Jody joining in for the fun and games.

Our host hotel was a long-time Las Vegas landmark since 1986, the Gold Coast casino with its 87,000 square feet of gaming space.  Conveniently located within the lobby is a TGI Friday’s restaurant and a Java Vegas coffee shop, both of which saw plenty of my business over the course of our event.

For me, one definite highlight was reconnecting with my buddy Fred (above), who I’ve known for upwards of 13 years but who I hadn’t seen for about 10.  At that time, we were both driving Acura Legends and crossed paths at various meets.  Oddly enough, we think the last time we saw each other was at NALM 2007 in Las Vegas.  Here, in fact, is a photo of us together at the dinner table during that event (I’m second from left, and he’s at the far back of the table on the right).  Time flies.

So it seems fitting that exactly 10 years later, we’re back doing the same thing but with NSXs instead.  Fred has a “Midnight Purple” 1995 NSX with over 180,000 miles on it that’s wearing Hawaii plates.  It’s been all over the country, and unlike a lot of NSX owners, Fred isn’t afraid to “daily drive” his.  My kind of guy.

My trusty 1992 Formula Red NSX performed flawlessly on the 300-mile trip to Las Vegas, delivering ice cold air conditioning and as much comfort as can be expected from a 25-year-old, two-seater sportscar.  I did take the opportunity to rock out to the Top Gun soundtrack on audiocassette – specifically, “Danger Zone.”  The car rolled over its 107,000th mile somewhere along the way.

On Friday, our group was hosted by a dealership called Findlay Acura about 20 minutes away in the suburb of Henderson.  General Manager Kevin Hicks rolled out lots of red carpet for us, including a taco truck, audio entertainment, and these lovely ladies.  We enjoyed spending a few hours at his facility and we were even able to send a couple of club members to the roof so they could capture an aerial photograph of the parking lot.

There was a go-karting event in the afternoon at Gene Woods Racing Experience but with temperatures pushing triple-digits, I opted out.  I spent the evening hunkered down in air-conditioned environments including a bar called Charlie’s where I met a drag queen named Farrah Moan.  I hadn’t heard of her, but apparently she’s kind of a big deal on the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”  Things went smoothly until my friend Tony got his bare foot (he was wearing flip flops) stepped on by her high heel.  That’s what you get, Tony!  Haha.

Despite the fact that most people who visit Vegas don’t stray too far from the Strip, there’s actually plenty to do outside city limits from a recreational perspective.  Club member Chase Heath developed a 200-mile scenic drive route for Saturday’s activity including waypoints at Mount Charleston and Valley of Fire State Park.

I elected to join for just the second half of the drive, so I met up with the group at Aliante Casino for lunch and hopped in with the caravan for the afternoon portion.  But before that, I made a special visit to my friend Jeff’s place.  Jeff has been in my “car family” for well over a decade now.  He went from a 1993 Legend coupe to a 2003 CL and now to a 2008 TL.  It just so happened that my visit fell on his 41st birthday.  He took the NSX for a spin and enjoyed it.

Our caravan of 43 NSXs rolled out for an afternoon in the red rocks of the Valley of Fire.  The scenery feels a bit surreal – curvy roads that cut through vivid sandstone rock formations.  You feel like you’re in a car commercial out there.  We sure enjoyed ourselves and we got plenty of attention in the process.  I just happened to fall in line with 5 other Formula Red NSXs when we got back on Interstate 15 for the trip back to the hotel.

Things concluded in the ballroom at Gold Coast, with our banquet dinner, awards presentation, and closing remarks.  It was truly a memorable event and gets me excited for NSXPO which will be held in September in Wisconsin

I knew I’d found the right spot when I saw a fellow NSXer on the 2nd floor of the parking garage

Not bad accommodations

All checked in and credentialed

Separated by 16 years

May Lee from the NSXCA leadership, me, Les Rowe (SW Chapter leader), Kelly from Acura

Arrival at Findlay Acura on Friday morning

Group shot!

NSXs for days

Back of T-shirt design.  It’s supposed to be a poker chip.

Nouvelle Blue Pearl really pops in the sunlight.

More from dealer day.

With Fred from San Diego.

Group shot

In the NSX with Jeff

Group drive to Valley of Fire

Scenery

Caravan of red NSXers on I-15 south

Banquet dinner venue at Gold Coast casino

Hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride!

Weekend in Maryland: A Meet & A Milestone Along the Susquehanna River

Posted in Legend, Milestones, TL on May 1, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,429

Twins.  Check out those T-shirts, and check out the cars!  This was summer 2015 at the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) in Houston, Texas with my friend Chris from the Baltimore area.

In January 2016, Chris flew to Phoenix for the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  It just so happened that his trip also involved a special 150,000-mile rollover for my car which we celebrated at Papago Park near the Phoenix-Tempe border.  In a fitting second half to the story, I’ve now flown to his neighborhood on the east coast and rolled 150,000 miles on his Legend GS.  Cool, right?   By now this kind of nerdy behavior shouldn’t surprise any of my readers.

Piggybacking on this special weekend event were some other activities, including a visit from a few of our friends at Redline Reviews with a brand new 2018 Acura TLX and a taste of some of Maryland’s finest crab cakes.  Sexy cars and tasty food – that’s my kind of vacation.

Friday afternoon’s PHX-BWI flight was delayed three times, making a painfully late arrival even worse (as in, 1:00 in the morning the next day).  When I finally got on the ground in Baltimore, I opted to catch an Uber to a shady nearby motel rather than having my friend Chris drive the 50 or so miles to come pick me up at that hour.  Room 241 of the Motel 6 on Nursery Road smelled a lot like an ashtray, and when I got up the next morning, so did all my clothes.

That didn’t matter though, we had an action-packed day ahead.  The first unexpected twist was that Chris picked me up in his wife’s Chevy Cruze as opposed to a Legend or a TL, but it all made sense later on.  We made our way northbound through a series of bridges & tunnels to get to his place in Havre de Grace.  The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, at 1.4 miles in length, takes drivers underneath the Patapsco River.

Chris had milestones on the brain, and I ended up rolling one on EACH of his two Acuras.  The first was in his 2008 TL Type-S – a car in many ways a twin to my own recently-purchased TL.  It has, however, a few things that set it apart:  20,000 fewer miles, a black interior as opposed to my ivory, and some special aerodynamic equipment in the form of an A-Spec body kit.  I rolled the odometer to 78,000 miles on the way to the local grocery store in Havre de Grace for donuts.

Not long afterward, loyal Legend lover Kevin from Georgia arrived on the scene.  He was wearing a blue T-shirt commemorating my 2011 milestone in my coupe.  Looking good, Kevin!

We prepared our roll-out toward a burger & shake spot called Arctic Circle (much more “hometown” than the chain I had pictured it to be) where a few other friends were already there waiting for us.

Right off the bat, I recognized the “Still Night Pearl” Acura TLX A-Spec that Sofyan Bey, Redline Reviews’ host, had driven up from Virginia a couple of hours south.  The TLX was his tester for the week – fresh out of the gate from a media launch in Kentucky and fresh in automotive news as it barely debuted two weeks ago at the New York Auto Show.  We were lucky to catch a first glimpse.

The next stop on our tour took us to the picturesque Susquehanna River where recreational fishermen and boaters were taking advantage of the unusually warm and humid April afternoon.  There were so many visitors, in fact, that we had to travel another couple of miles up the road to a grassy picnic area in order to find parking that would accommodate everyone.  Chris’ Legend GS rolled its 150,000th mile at precisely the designated spot – arrival at the boat ramp.  A few more folks had showed up for the party, including Marc from New Jersey in a pristine 42,000-mile 1995 Legend coupe, Karna in a 2001 Honda Prelude SH, and Jaysen and Davey in their Legends.

I got the chance to take the wheel of a couple of those cars and it’s always a treat when a friend entrusts me with his or her pride and joy.  Chris had arranged for our group to visit “Legends Vineyard” in Churchville, Maryland.  For $7, we were able to sample about 10 different wines.  It seemed appropriate that most of the cars parked out front during our visit were Legends!  A few of the other guys had to depart shortly thereafter, but Kevin, Chris, and I dined at MacGregor’s in downtown Havre de Grace where I sampled the most popular menu item:  crab cakes.  They were divine.  These pics are for you foodies!  (Looking at you, Brad and Tim)

Tartar sauce & cocktail sauce on the side.  That potato, though!

As the sun set on our busy Saturday, we admired the scenery from the Havre de Grace Promenade at the waterfront.

Sunday’s events were a lot less structured in nature, and that made for a nice low-key day.  Chris & Kera served up scrambled eggs, sausage, & toast which I washed down with some super-smooth chocolate milk from a dairy up the road in Pennsylvania.  Chris and I decided to check out one of the local salvage yards but it had only 3 Legends in inventory and they were already pretty well picked-over.

It was already time to start making our way toward the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, so we cruised down I-95 toward the city, stopping for a bite at Chop Pit Beef for lunch.  It’s a historic spot that I’d describe as “Arby’s but a million times better.”  I had the ham & beef combo sandwich with the house BBQ sauce.  To Die For!

Many thanks to Chris for being such a great host and to the many friends who came out to play.

IN OTHER NEWS…

For years (about 7, to be exact), I tried getting ahold of the license plate “ACURA” for one of my cars.  The Arizona DMV’s website always told me that the combination was unavailable, which came as no surprise.  Initially I settled for “THACURA” which had my initials in it.  But miraculously one day, it popped up.  I snagged it and proudly put the plate on my 1994 Legend GS sedan.

The story got even better this past weekend, when my friend Dan had me over to his home in Mesa to show me his new 2013 Viper.  In the trunk of the Viper was a gift for me – a vintage Arizona license plate with ACURA on it.  A real plate, mind you.  Last registered in 2001.  What are the chances?  And the best part is that the design is period correct for my car.  According to AZPlates.com, this maroon style ran from 1980 through 1997.

The DMV issued me a new registration sticker and allowed me to put the old plate back into use – some 16 years after it had last seen the roadways!

Few more pics from the Maryland trip below!

Signing Kevin’s trunk liner.  This has become a tradition.

Rear 3/4 view of the new 2018 TLX A-Spec.

TLX interior.

Too excited for my own good.

Looking northward from the bank of the Susquehanna River.

Geek mode, activate.

What better place to take a convoy of Legends?

Parked outside…

Party time at Chris’ place!  Set up like bowling pins.  We just needed another one front & center.  Maybe next time I’ll drive out and play frontrunner.

Quick pic with Marc before he headed back to New Jersey.

Easter Trip 2017 to Southern Utah with Jack & Lance

Posted in Arizona, Road Trip, Utah on April 23, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,423

Odometer (ILX):  195,000

Trip Distance:  827 Miles

The Arizona Department of Transportation has a sense of humor!

Back in the saddle again, at last!  My trusty silver steed came back into action 11 days ago after its recent bodyshop visit.  Two friends and I rode off into the Arizona sunset toward Las Vegas, then southern Utah.  The occasion?  Family fun in St. George for the Easter holiday.  It was an 800-miler with some of the best roadtrip tunes in the business.  Lance took over the backseat and I serenaded us with his in-car karaoke.  Our favorite artists to jam out to are Tracy Chapman and Jars of Clay.

“You got a fast car.  I got a ticket to anywhere.  Maybe we can make a deal, maybe together we can get somewhere.  Anyplace is better, starting from zero got nothing to lose.  Maybe we’ll make something.  Me, myself I got nothing to prove.”  Classic lines from Tracy’s “Fast Car.”

The Panda Express in Kingman, Arizona was just the spot to satisfy our cravings for orange chicken and Beijing beef at the halfway point on our drive to St. George Friday night.

Saturday was a day full of activities and good food.  We had breakfast at Bear Paw on Main Street in St. George, and then hiked around on the Red Hill overlooking town.  It was a perfect day with a light breeze and clear skies.  My brother Payton had laid out an assembly line for painting Easter eggs at his home in Santa Clara so we stopped by there and dyed a few eggs of our own with the kids.  I took Jack and Lance up to Snow Canyon and we played around in the sand dunes for an hour.

My grandma and grandpa were hospitable during our unannounced drop-in and even served up lasagna and garlic bread.  We got to spend an hour enjoying the serene backyard patio from the comfort of lounge chairs and chatting it up.  Later that evening, my brother Bentley had us over to his place for a test drive in his 1968 Chevy Nova SS, tacos on the menu, and a game night.  Great way to close out the night.

Easter Sunday consisted of an egg hunt at my brother’s place – complete with eggs of all sizes, filled with more candy than the entire sweets aisle at Walmart.  Stomach ache!

Add this road to your must-drive lists right this instant:  Arizona Highway 89A – Vermillion Cliffs.  It’s the best.  This two-laner runs along the Utah-Arizona state line and traverses some of the most vivid landscapes your eyes will ever see.  Plus, you get to stop at the Cliff Dwellers homesite where Native Americans are usually selling wares like jewelry, rugs, and other artifacts.  Finally, you can stop at Lee’s Ferry where a historic 1928 bridge offers a dramatic view of the Colorado River.

That’s the route we took on our return drive to Phoenix on Sunday, while eating way too much Easter candy and jamming out to more classic hits – mostly from the 1990s.

Thanks for coming along for the adventure!

Breakfast burrito from Bear Paw in St. George

Cruising around in mom’s 2004 Infiniti G35.  It turned over 36,000 miles!

View of St. George

Checking out brother Payton’s “Intensa Blue Pearl” Lexus IS300

Easter egg preparation

Nephew Rex collecting his Easter eggs

With Lance and Jack at Cliff Dwellers along Highway 89A

Enjoying the view from Navajo Bridge at Lee’s Ferry

Hiking South Mountain in Phoenix this past week with my friends Dante & Riley

My brother sold his 1993 Legend L coupe to a friend of mine, Brandon, yesterday.

Hanging with my nephews

Scenic pics along Old Utah Highway 91

 

New Acquisition: 2007 Acura TL Type-S 6-Speed

Posted in TL on April 18, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend coupe):  552,392

Odometer (Integra):  239,106

Odometer (ILX):  194,219

Odometer (Legend sedan):  151,406

Odometer (NSX):  106,804

Odometer (Vigor):  106,611

Odometer (TL):  96,755

Whoa, Nelly!  What has Tyson done this time?

If you know me well enough, it won’t come as a shocker that I’ve just expanded the fleet by one vehicle.  With long-term plans for the ILX involving a family member taking over its operations in a couple of months, I needed something to replace it with as a “daily” driver.  The third-generation Acura TL has long been on my list – specifically, one in eye-popping Kinetic Blue Pearl paint color with a manual transmission.  Now a decade old, the KBP TL-S still conveys an attractive presence.  Plus, what’s not to love about quad exhaust tips!

Adding to the “must-have” mentality was the fact that my friends Marc and Chris – both east coasters – have twin KBP TL-S manuals, and they’ve been egging me on for a while now about joining the club.  A few other close friends knew I was on the hunt – and Jason had the winning ticket.  Saturday afternoon, April 8, he sent me a text message with a link to an Ebay auction that had just gone live the evening prior.

It was a gorgeous car – 96,000 miles, original owner, fastidiously maintained since new and totally in stock condition.  My eyeballs widened as I scrolled through the 25 photos with the listing, trying to find anything “wrong” with the car that would turn me away.  Nothing did.  Adding gobs of icing to the cake:  This car was in my home state, about 2 hours north of me in Flagstaff.

I sent a message to the seller right away asking if he’d have time to show me the car the following morning, on Sunday.  And Sunday, I road-tripped the Legend coupe to Flag so I could give the TL a look-see in person.  The car, and its seller Dave, were as nice as could be.

I opened the driver side door – taking note that I still couldn’t see even so much as a scratch or ding on the car – and do you know what was sitting on the driver’s seat?  A printout from an Excel spreadsheet showing every line item of maintenance since new.  Needless to say – it was love at first sight, and I knew at that point this was the TL for me.  The test drive solidified that conviction.  Dave and I took the car out onto the Interstate 17 northbound onramp and I gave its 286 horses a little workout.  It was awesome, and there was no turning back.

By that evening, we had come to an agreement and a deposit was sent.  On Monday, Dave emailed me a whopping 36 PDF scanned receipts detailing the car’s maintenance since new.  Geek mode set in and I prepared a maintenance spreadsheet, of course.  By Tuesday, I had a check in hand for the balance, and on Wednesday, I took delivery of the car.  Logistics worked out perfectly, since Dave needed to fly out of Phoenix airport for a business trip, so he drove the car from Flagstaff for me and I just covered his rental car for his return trip.

Now was the fun part.  My friends have known for some time that the 2004-2008 Acura TL is one of my favorite cars of all time.  In fact, we lovingly call it the “3GTL” and enjoy sending spy shots to one another when we see one on the road.  You’ll recall in my recent blog post that the ILX came back from a 6-week accident hiatus on Wednesday, too. The wheels in my head started spinning.  What if I invited some friends over to see the refreshed ILX, but in reality, the TL could be there to surprise them?

And so it was done.  I carefully figured out the timing and played it out in my head.  When roommate James left to run an errand, I quickly pulled the TL into the garage from where I had parked it at the end of the block.  Then I put a cover over it.  Later that evening, he and a couple other friends came over and learned about the latest Acura-quisition.   Here was the video of the reveal:

The best part about the car enthusiast community isn’t the car itself but the network of people you get to meet through it.  I’ve already staged a couple of “copycat” photos with my Chris in Maryland since we both have twin cars, times two.  Here are photos of his Legend + TL, and my Legend + TL.

Chris’ cars

Tyson’s cars

I look forward to having some fun with my new Type-S and as of later this summer, it will become the primary daily driver as my brother Payton will take over operation of the ILX.

Here are a few more photos!

This conversation was with Dave, the seller.  “Door ding free zone” — I love this guy!

First look at the car on Sunday, April 9th

Dave’s garage.  He sold the TL to make way for the white 2017 Porsche Macan you see in the background.

Initial odometer reading when I first took the driver seat:  96,565.

That color just pops!

Back in Phoenix on the night of delivery

Just before heading to the house to stage the surprise reveal

TL stickered at $38,795 with this equipment

Check out that DVD-Audio demonstration disc collection!  Can’t wait to try out the sound system!

Exhaust tip polish!  Before and after:

Getting a little crowded in this garage.

My friend Conor’s reaction was about like mine when I learned of this car.

Haha.  I’m glad there are others out there who get just as excited about stuff like this as I do.

Thanks for reading!