As far as road trips go, this was definitely an interesting experience I will never forget.
As far as crossing the country along the most unimaginative or scenic route possible goes, please shoot me if I ever decide that it might be a great idea to do again.
I honestly shouldn't complain, there weren't any major (or minor) problems for the entire trip. Months in advance were spent being absolutely terrified of what lay ahead, and I was imagining every single possible "worst case scenario" that my overactive brain could come up with happening to my xB out in the middle of nowhere. But, thank the Box Gods, it wasn't the case. The only real casualty of this entire endeavor was my Betta fish that I accidentally left in the car overnight the first night...
R.I.P. Commander Shepherd. You were a good fish, even though I always had to give you directions to your food.
So my trip from the West Coast to the East Coast went from being a chronicle of adventures and vehicular mishaps to being a game of kitty-in-the-lap and trying to snap photos of scenery with my cell phone while driving. Did I mention that this trip was made with two cats loose in the xB? Because it was. And I'm thankful, too, because they kept me company.
Although I will say a 2100-mile road trip is not the best place to take advantage of the therapeutic and calming effects of petting a cat.
A few things I feel I must write about in order to keep this article relevant: preparations made, the actual ride itself, and comfort. I'll go into gas mileage in the next article with the rest of the photos.
I figured it would be a good idea to get an oil change and tires rotated, so I did some browsing and found a little hole-in-the-wall import service shop in Oceanside, CA that had more than a few outstanding reviews. And, as luck would have it, they were having a special. I got a little worried when it took about 40 minutes longer than anticipated to get my car back, but they had warned me ahead of time that they might have to order my oil filter and have it delivered. I absolutely hated
handing my baby over for some strangers to fiddle with her insides, and I was like a nervous mother pacing outside the shop. It also didn't help that my appointment time was sandwiched between a very nice BMW and a Jaguar. Both vehicles sitting there looking sexy and curvy, and then there's my aerodynamically-challenged kitchen appliance trying to look cool. I couldn't have been more proud.
The first half of the trip went from northern San Diego all the way through to Odessa, TX with a couple days spend in Tucson, AZ to visit a friend. I was surprised at just how comfortable the ride was. Granted my stock suspension wasn't like floating on air, but things didn't start getting uncomfortable until about Hour Six of each day driving when my bum started to go numb. This little guy was my "Guardian Trooper" for the journey... jealous, Dion?
Getting out into the Imperial Hills, CA area:
Forgive the grainy picture of sand everywhere
but it was taken with my cell phone:
I really like this shot.
Obligatory "xB in the picturesque sunset" photo. We had actually pulled over to look at the huge full moon that was rising, but this direction interested me more:
Flatlands on the way towards Las Cruces, New Mexico:
This was my view going into Las Cruces... snow-capped mountains and a Jetta butt. Well... the Jetta butt was my view for all but the last day of driving, but I'm not going into that.
My xB wasn't really loaded down, thankfully, we were able to fit more of my stuff onto the moving truck than I anticipated. Although I don't doubt for a moment that everything of mine would have fit. But this gave my girls plenty of area to roam and get comfortable for the haul. And believe me, they did.
Mele (cow spot) spent half of the trip laying on the microwave, and the other half hiding behind the passenger seat under the bench:
And Nola (tabby) spent about 99% of the trip right here:
Because the other 1% of time that she was in her carrier, she looked like this:
I'll be getting the rest of the pics from the second half of the trip, from Odessa to Atlanta, resized and up soon. There are more shots from the first half in my clubxB album here:
TO BE CONTINUED....