When a Pro Blogger & fellow Acura enthusiast lets you know he’s coming to town, what do you do? Well, you find the funnest & most scenic stretch of road you can find in the area, & swap keys. Over the July 4th weekend, Tyson Hugie of famed http://drivetofive.wordpress.com/ & myself did just that. As most of you know, the first stretch of road on the way to Salmon, ID is some of my favorite asphalt in Southern Idaho. Tyson has heard all about it and decided it was time to not only see this road for himself, but also to spend some time behind the wheel of my TSX. I don’t believe he’s ever had the pleasure of driving the 1st generation TSX before this encounter. I on the other hand have driven several ILX’s from the loaner fleet of my favorite dealer, Lyle Pearson Acura. But I haven’t driven a stick in years! So it was a bit of an adjustment for me to get back in the manual mode.
We met up around 9am July 4th at the hotel Tyson was staying at in Boise by the Airport. We gassed up, swapped keys & started logging miles in no time. Heading North on hwy21 thru Lucky Peak Lake is the beginning of the gentle curves and mountain scenery into the Boise National Forest. An hour later you enter Idaho City, which is a small town with an old west feel & charm to it. There was a preteen’ish young man sweeping the store front when we pulled up for a quick stretch and quick discussion of Tyson’s preliminary thoughts on the TSX. Tyson asked the young man what the town had planned for the special day, & this guy rattled off every different kind of event & time schedule you could imagine from the pie eating contest, to the parade and closing with the fireworks show. This guy was the man! I never got his name, but he was friendly, had a sense of humor, good worker, and the kid hands down knew his stuff. I hope his parents are proud of him, & themselves. Only good parenting can raise a quality young man like this. But alas, we already had our day planned and needed to move on.
Back in the cars and on the road heading to Lowman, Tyson once again led the way in amazingly virtually zero traffic in the TSX. This is the stretch of road i wish I could drive everyday. Extreme curves, mountain views & fresh air flood the senses while you’re behind the wheel during this leg of the trip. The road starts off fairly mellow, but it winds tighter and tighter with every passing mile until you think you’re on some fantasy racetrack in the Grand Turismo series on the PlayStation.
Tyson, being from Arizona, Marveled about the rivers out here and how clear the water was…The new ILX is a nice car. Once I got used to the gearbox, & the fact that I had a 6th gear, it was “Row, Row, Row your boat” thru the curves like a dream. Some of things that stood out to me as far as differences between these two cars go, were these…
The sound. I don’t think Tyson switched out the exhaust, but the ILX had a much deeper & notably LOUDER exhaust note than the TSX. Tyson made the same observation about how much more quiet the TSX cabin was.
The handling. The ILX handled quite well. But I found it to have a little more body roll in the curves. Especially when I told Tyson to feel free to open up the TSX to truly appreciate its ability. I had a hard time keeping up with Tyson in some of the more technical turns. The TSX looked like a slot car on a race track shooting thru the corners. The ILX did well, don’t get me wrong, but I had a lot more verbal protesting from the ILX’s tires. They didn’t seem to care for me much at all. So I made up the distance in the straights.
Lastly were the seats. Now, I have my seats set up in a very specific way with a couple of outside items to complete the effect. I’ll go into this more in a future post. But the seats in the TSX seem to hold me & hug me every time I slide into thm. I didn’t get near the same feeling in the ILX. They were comfortable for sure. They just didn’t have the same “sporty” feel to them.
All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable drive out to Lowman. We stopped at the Sourdough Lodge for some outstanding omelets, & hit the road once again backtracking a few miles to catch the Banks Lowman Rd passing thru Garden Valley so Tyson could catch hwy 55 heading North to his final destination for the night, McCall. We swapped cars for about 3 hours that morning and I really did enjoy it. But if I had to pick the car I’d take home if I could do it all over again, I’d keep my TSX. But maybe I’m just being partial. Oh well.
Before we gave each other our cars back. we enjoyed one last stop so Tyson could enjoy the scenery. Here’s Tyson trying to figure out “why the water isn’t brown”? And “why is there so stinking much of it”? And here he is getting in the mix, risking life, limb & iPhone for live action water shots, because, “nobody back home will believe this!” to post on Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, Elixio, LifeKnot, Ravelry or whatever else he posts all his adventures to. (OK. I googled “social media sights”)
A couple last shots…Hopefully Tyson will forgive me for having a little fun at his expense, and knows I’m grateful for the meetup & the cruise. Oh, & FYI, after I got back in the TSX, I found myself reaching out to push a clutch pedal that wasn’t there the whole stinking way home. Funny how you don’t drive a stick for over 15 years, and after only 3 hours, it’s second nature again.
I hope you’ll join me for my next post for a unforeseen plot twist in my quest for 500,000!
Everyone be safe out there!