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  1. #1

    Default Toronto to California and everything in-between

    Hello all! I just discovered this forum while doing some very preliminary research for next summer's road trip. I thought I'd contribute a few pics from a trip I did last June/July.

    Starting in Toronto, I drove down the east coast, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, through the Great Smokies, through the South, down to the Mexican border, along to California, up the California coast, down through California's gold mining country, through Yosemite and Death Valley, through Arizona's canyon lands, through Monument Valley, up Pike's Peak, and back to Toronto through the midwest.

    Overall, the trip took 24 days and covered a bit over 15,000 km. It was epic and fantastic -- definitely my best trip thus far!

    Leaving Toronto:


    Looking out from the Blue Ridge Parkway:



    The Blue Ridge Mountain Hostel just outside Galax, VA:


    Lonely road in central Texas:


    I made it a point to visit all my favourite flavours:


    AA artillery outside of Lordsburg, NM:


    Copper-coloured everything in Bisbee, Arizona:



    Opening my door to a cactus forest in Saguaro National Park:


    At the Pima Air & Space Museum outside of Tuscon, AZ:


    Posing at the tunnel used in Steven Spielberg's Duel:


    In the Hollywood Hills:


    On California's Highway 1:


    On the California coast during the summer wildfires. We were turned around 5 miles later:




    In the San Joaquin Valley:


    Some antique signage in Bodie, California:


    Leaving Bodie:


    Airing up my tires after the unpaved Bodie excursion:

  2. #2

    Default

    Entering Death Valley:



    Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley:





    Leaving Death Valley:


    Train crossing near Route 66 in Arizona:



    Hanging over the south rim of the Grand Canyon:


    Posing in the Valley of the Gods near Monument Valley:


    The rust-coloured dust of northern Arizona:


    Standing at the summit of Pike's Peak:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I still can't believe you used your car!

    I would have loved to drive to top of Pike's Peak tollway in your car! I don't think I would've driven to Bodie in it though.

    Very smart dropping the air pressure in your tires! I do it all the time in my SUV, but I would never have thought it possible with the tires on your car.
    How much chassis clearance did you have after you dropped the air pressure?

    Great photos! Thanks for sharing. (Wish they were a little smaller to better fit our page parameters.... though).

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default

    Hey Mark, thanks for the positive comments! It's my belief that cars are meant to be used and enjoyed -- and that any superficial damage accrued in the process is both temporary and "worth it." I love driving sports cars and I love road tripping in convertibles -- the top was only raised a single time during a torrential downpour in Virginia! The Miata's still in great shape inside and out, and she's rarin' to go on another big trip!

    Regarding air pressure and clearance: I normally run my tires at 34/36 front/rear, but I dropped them to 22/22 for the ride in to Bodie, a few trail runs in Monument Valley, and the gravel-slinging Pike's Peak ascent. I have about 4-5 inches of clearance to the lowest point on the front of the car (a plastic undertray/aero aid) and about 6" to the front subframe rails. I drove the trails with caution and common sense and encountered no problems. In a larger sense, the car was lovingly flogged and complained not a single time.

    Oh, and my apologies for the size of the pics... I can do some resized versions later tonight.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-08-2008 at 12:32 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I agree with that 110%

    Quote Originally Posted by SmittyNC View Post
    It's my belief that cars are meant to be used and enjoyed -- and that any superficial damage accrued in the process is both temporary and "worth it."
    When I was in the USFS, I drove my Fiat 128 on jeep trails and I have been known to drive a variety of vehicles in places, "a wise person would never attempt" -- on this forum we try and offer as sane and prudent advice as possible -- while still recognizing that pushing the envelope is part of the thrill.
    Regarding air pressure and clearance: I normally run my tires at 34/36 front/rear, but I dropped them to 22/22
    That's good to know -- I often run the tires on my SUV at 15 to 22 depending upon the roughness of the road (how sharp the rocks are) -- for future trips you might consider the PowerTank for your tires -- I use both powertanks and the 12-V compressor you have -- The advantage of a powertank is speed....I use the mini-tank -- it would fill up (all four) of those tires about 4-5 times I would think.
    I can do some resized versions later tonight.
    That would be great -- thanks!

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Fun times!

    You've captured the fun of the road perfectly in your photos. Love the car.

    I drive my NB on logging roads quite often. No matter how slow I go, my teeth can be rattling. I've never thought about lowering the air in my tires. Would this be a good example of when to do it? Hmmmmm...interesting idea.

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