Total miles driven: 4,365

Assessment: A trip of a lifetime. This ranks up with any of our SCUBA, Asian or European adventures.

Favorite Spot: Impossible to choose.  Kim & I have decided it was the journey, not the destinations that made this trip special.  Highlights were the cruise to Perkins Cove, driving on country roads, Niagara Falls, and seeing Kim’s relatives.  And just generally meeting some of the nicest people.  We were so far from home, with California tags, we actually had folks follow us off the freeway to come talk to us.  The mid-westerners were particularly aggressive (not meant in a bad way at all) at coming over to talk.  I found them incredibly welcoming.

States Visited: 22

1) Massachusetts
2) Maine
3) Vermont
4) New Hampshire
5) New York
6) Ontario, Canada
7) Pennsylvania
8) Maryland
9) Virginia
10) West Virginia
11) Ohio
12) Kentucky
13) Indiana
14) Illinois
15) Missouri
16) Kansas
17) Nebraska
18) Colorado
19) Utah
20) Arizona
21) Nevada
22) California

Things that broke

  1. Brake Light Switch (replaced)
  2. Lift gate weather strip (glued and taped)
  3. Transmission Computer Display (not fixed)
  4. Starter became loose (fixed at home)
  5. Air Conditioning (worked well enough)
  1. Door Conduit folded instead of sliding into door (WD40)
  2. Headlight switch knob came off (bought Allen wrench and reattached)
  3. TheThrottle Position Sensor slipped (re-adjusted and tightened)

Biggest surprises

  • I knew the engine burned some oil.  It burned through 6 quarts or a quart every 727 miles.  It doesn’t leak and runs great with no plug fouling.  I’m leaving it.
  • The car ran great at 12,000 feet.  I was so unsure that I left it running while we made frequent stops going through Loveland Pass.
  • The car ran COOL. Even in 106 degree heat with the A/C on, the car ran 180 degrees.

The Driving

Best Drivers: Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania.

Surprise: From Virginia on I was surprised how the drivers would tailgate.  Rural areas were no exception.

Worst Drivers: No contest.  The drivers on I15 from Las Vegas to Corona.  Cars swerved from lane to lane, sometimes crossing 2 lanes to gain one car length.  But it wasn’t California drivers.  It seemed some kind of infection affected drivers from all states.  Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona & California cars were all crazy.


California is a rarity in that trailers are not allowed in the fast lane, with some exceptions.  And they have a slower speed limit.  We got used to Tractor-trailer rigs passing us.  But it was the culture that these different laws apparently enable that concerned me.  I watched truckers cut-off cars, swerve violently to change lanes and nearly hit cars.  We had one nearly run us off the road.  Our lane ended and the trucker came from behind to box us in.  And there was a red light immediately ahead.  It made no sense.  I’ve not encountered that blatant “anti-car” culture in California.


Everyone says you don’t need a GPS in the car if you have a phone.  Well, we were in many, many locations where we had no cell signal at all and the phone could only tell where you are, not how to get where you are going.  Similarly, we were in some areas where my onboard GPS would give up and just say it didn’t have enough information to provide guidance.  I also found that if my onboard GPS didn’t have information on an area, it would route you around it, sometimes adding hours to the trip.  Because we used both we did ok.