So, have I hit 500,000 miles on my 2005 Acura TSX you ask? As a matter of fact…
6/25/16 around 4:45pm approximately 1.2 miles from my house in Kuna, ID it finally happened.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the little people that made this possible…
OK, seriously, I would like to thank some people…
- Once again I’d like to thank Acura. For building a quality car that was fun enough, & comfortable enough to be worth putting a half a million miles on over the last 11 & 1/2 years.
- Lyle Pearson Acura Service. All members past & present, for keeping me on the road all these years and blazing a trail for all TSX owners.
- All my readers who have followed me on this journey & contributed to the blog by sharing stories, comments, etc…
- Tyson Hugie. The one who encouraged me to not only to start the blog, but to keep it up these last few years. Contributing with ideas, time & video collaboration. (Without him, my readers would likely never have seen the wonders of Japanese guys in white lab coats rolling tires down an Olympic Ski Jump on YouTube.)
Which brings me to a dedication. The following recollections, (I was going to use “memories” here, but after re-reading, it made him sound like he was dead, & he’s NOT) are dedicated to my Cousin Benny, who not only was the one I went on my first real road trip with, but once upon a time, had his heart set on putting 500,000 miles on his own 2000’ish Honda Accord Coupe many moons ago.
My First Road Trip:
This all started with my cousin Benny. When we were teenagers, everything was black or white with Benny. There was no “gray” or middle ground. For example, if my cousin Benny went out & bought himself a 60 count pack of Crayola Crayons, there would be 30 black, & 30 white. If you got in an argument with Benny, it was like arguing with a brick wall. As long as the brick was painted black, or white. So when he first approached me about going on a road trip when we lived in Southern California, I was a little hesitant, maybe even a little scared of what he had it mind. Turns out my gut was right. He wanted to do 4-corners.
Now, you may be thinking “Big deal! From So. Cal. 4-Corners (where the borders of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, & Colorado meet) isn’t that bad.” No, No my friends. I mean, what the kids now call “EPIC”, as in 4-CORNERS! Murrieta, CA, Key West, Niagara Falls, Seattle & home again 4-corners. Home being Murrieta, CA at the time. 4-Corners meaning, roughly 9,000 miles and a MONTH on the road. Remember, 30 black, 30 white. Go on the Mother of all road trips, or don’t go at all. This proposal was made when he was 16 years old! Obviously his parents were not cool with this. So we put it off. I’m sure it was his parents hope that he would forget about it & move on to something else. (30 black, 30 white)
Of course his folks were just fooling themselves, because, not long after he turned 18, he informed his parents that we were still going on this road trip, & it would happen in Oct of 1994. That’s something else I want you to ponder for a couple minutes. 1994. I was 19 years old. Benny was 18 years old. In 1994 ANY kind of cell phone was pretty rare, much less a smart phone. The internet was still in its primordial stages. Growing its first stubby little legs and crawling out of the swamp & taking its first breaths of the stinging cool air.
It was a United States Road Atlas, $1,000 each, a primitive cell phone borrowed from a friend for “emergencies” only (“emergencies” meaning to call home at least once a week so the Moms wouldn’t have a stroke, or if we scored some jail time), & a freshly painted 1982 Z28 Camaro named “The Red Baron” .With a non-functioning cruise control, that once set would continue to climb to sub orbital lift off speeds, & no windshield wipers. I don’t mean that they didn’t work, I mean, they weren’t on the car. Unnecessary drag, Rain-Ex Dude! (30 black, 30 white)
Once I somehow managed to convince my Boss at the time to keep my job open for me when I came back, on a cool crisp morning we packed up The Red Baron & headed out. This is what the trip looks like on Mapquest today…
It’s way too long of a trip to recount the entire thing, even if I could remember all of it. But I will review some of the things I do remember…
I DO remember staying at The Glass Pool Inn (if you ever want to stay in a place that has a strong vibe of hookers & murders, then this is the place for you!), & eating 7 plates worth of food at the buffet in the Excalibur Hotel while in Las Vegas, & the waitress clearing our table halfway thru because she had thought we had finally had our fill at plate #4.
I remember seeing the Hoover Dam & the Grand Canyon for the first time.
I Remember staying at the Camelot Inn, in Amarillo, TX. It was actually pink when we stayed there…
I remember us taking one of Benny’s “short cuts” on a state highway in Louisiana & Benny got pulled over. Somehow Benny was out of the car & the cop was explaining that California was not a “Compact State” (I think that’s what he called it) basically meaning that if the officer issued us a ticket & let us go & we didn’t pay it, Louisiana would contact California looking for help. California’s response would be “Go pound sand.” So the officer gave Benny some options…
Option#1…Follow the officer back to the station (a 20 mile backtrack) and pay said ticket.
Option#2…Ride with the officer back to the station enjoying the comforts of his back seat & have The Red Baron impounded.
Now, I’m sitting in the passenger seat with the windows down listening to all this, when, & I kid you not, Benny starts asking the officer questions. Benny needed more info. So he asked questions like…”If we ride with you, can we run the siren?” & “What do you serve for breakfast?” I’ll never forget sitting on the side of that highway at 11pm or so, shaking my head listening to this conversation thinking… I’m going to jail.
After Benny finished questioning the officer on the possible perks of being arrested, he agreed to follow the kind officer back to the station after all. I say “kind”, because if I were the officer, I would have shot Benny. At this point Benny gets back in the car, looks at me & says “Lets ditch him.” He was serious too. In the 30 seconds or so it took the cop to turn off his roof lights & start a U-turn, Benny & I discussed the likelihood of us actually ditching this cop. Discussing things like, it’s dark out. We have no idea where the roads go, we’re completely unfamiliar with the area. The Red Baron will never outrun radio signals, & how many bored Louisiana cops would love to pursue two California boys in a bright red Camaro? I mean, You’ve seen the movie Deliverance, right? Reluctantly, Benny made the U-turn. My cousin is stubborn, but not a moron. Benny refused to drive not 1 mile an hour over the posted speed limit after that night for the remainder of the trip. (30 black, 30 white)
I remember planning to be beach bums in Key West for a week, but upon getting there, it wasn’t much like we expected. (Remember, no internet for research, ratings, nothing. Everywhere we went, we were totally winging it. We couldn’t call ahead to book motel rooms, see which restaurants were any good, want Chinese food? Either stop & find a pay phone & check the phone book & then locate it on the road atlas, or drive around until we stumble across a Chinese restaurant, & so on…) I don’t remember which island we ended up on, but it was mostly seawall & the small beach we did find was coral rock on one side in the water & fish deposits on the other side. So we snuck into one of the fancy hotels nearby and enjoyed the swimming pool and spa for a while discussing a plan B. Which was, after Epcot & Disney World, to spend the extra time with Grammy in GA. (I’m on the right, Benny on the left) Then to Dad’s place in North Carolina followed by friends & family in PA.
I remember standing on top of one of the Twin Towers, World Trade Center in NY. Breathing in some of the most toxic air I’ve ever seen, followed by Niagara Falls. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Then enjoying the much clearer view from the then called Sears Tower in Chicago. You could actually feel the building swaying in the wind.
I remember the nonstop drive from Chicago, to Bellingham, WA. Stopping in the middle of the night somewhere in North Dakota to marvel at the band of the Milky Way in the sky. I still to this day, have never seen so many stars & felt so small. We spent a few days with a friend in Bellingham & then headed south to wrap up the trip. We pretty much split everything down the middle, 50/50. The entire trip with food, gas, motel & even Disney World & Epcot Center cost us around $750 each.
Spending 30 days straight in an ’82 Camaro with the same person can be a challenge with any company. When the trip was over, Benny & I didn’t speak for 6 months. Not because we were mad at each other. We just had our fill for a while. After that time elapsed, we got together & shared the pics from our multiple Kodak disposable cameras and talked about the trip. (despite being invented in 1975, there were no such thing as digital cameras as we know them today back then either…Gasp! A “selfie” back then was…well, never mind.)
Sadly, a few years later, this was the fate of The Red Baron… A noble steed, sent to pasture.
Once upon a time, I had lots of pictures from this trip. I spent 2 hours scouring the house trying to find them. The pictures above are all I could find. They’ve been scanned for your viewing enjoyment on all the latest laptops, tablets & smartphones.
So what does the future hold for tsxtravels? I’m not really sure, to be honest. Now that I’ve hit my goal of 500k, which was the whole point of this adventure, I may keep it going for another year & then hang it up. I really can’t say for sure. Running a business & having a 3-year-old son is pretty time consuming as it is, & with Luke being gone for over a month now, has reminded me of how little time I have with him at this stage in his life. I DO know that I plan on keeping the TSX on the road until the motor blows up. So maybe I’ll keep an open journal until them. I guess we’ll take it one week at a time. Another thing I do know for sure is that now that the TSX has worked its little mechanical heart out to get me to bask in the glory of the 500k club. It deserves something a little special. I’ve heard nothing but good things about https://www.heeltoeauto.com/ on both the TSX Facebook groups & Acurazine. So after I post this, I’m going to check out their website & see if I can find a little something for the ‘Ol Girl. I’m keeping her stock, so I won’t be dropping a turbo in her or anything, just a little accessory or something to celebrate the occasion. I’ll let you know what I end up getting.
Oh, & the surprise prize? This sweet etched glass plaque…(I put my mouse pad behind it to make it easier to read) Tyson was able to actually hand this to me when he just happen to be blowing thru town for the big event! Tyson was buying yet another Acura for his collection. The boy just can’t help himself!It was accompanied by hand written notes of congratulations & friendship. Thank You Tyson & Jason! It’s very cool! (shout out to my awesome neighbor for coming out & snapping this pic of the occasion)
Thanks again to all of you from all over the world that has followed me here, Facebook & Instagram! A special shout out to benopoly on Instagram & his Black Beauty following me all the way from New Zealand! What a sweet Accord Euro R CL7 doing its thing & making Auckland a better place.
Thanks everybody! Stay safe & see you again soon!
Peace out & stuff…