Outlined below is the journey of freelance photographers Mark Wanzel and Kevin Lamb as they took a 13-day road trip throughout the United States.
When completed, their run across America (in a tiny 1985 Honda CRX two-seater sports car) would see them in 15 different states and rack up nearly 11,000 km, where they experienced everything from heavy rains, flash floods, hail, boulders and wilting heat. They captured stunning lightning shows, crossed paths with border patrols near Mexico, escaped police across state lines, met a courageous man who was crossing the country on foot (for the 6th time!), visited geographical oddities such as a huge meteor crater, and were faced with running out of gas while racing to get to the Indy 500 track. And all of it in the course of just 13 days.
Mark Wanzel is an award winning photojournalist with the Barrie Examiner who lives in Barrie, Ont., with his wife and two children, and has a passion for anything automotive.
Kevin Lamb is a former Barrie Examiner photojournalist and is a past winner of Canadian Geographic’s Wildlife Photography of the Year. He is currently working on a book about Canadian music. He lives in Barrie, Ont., with his wife and their cat, Fred.
There is vacationing and there is travelling.
A vacation is about relaxing at a given destination: easy, comfortable and worry free. Traveling can mean many things — by train, plane and automobile — involving multiple destinations.
When the idea was proposed to undertake an 11,000 kilometre journey over a 13-day period (most would do this in a month), an epic adventure immediately came to mind. This was far from being a vacation.
Mark Wanzel and Kevin Lamb each had two weeks away from work and both are photographers who love to travel.
The question then arose. How much can be seen in a two-week period on the road on a budget? Both of them decided that the American southwest would play a significant role in planning of this trip. For Kevin, the images of the southwest are coloured by old Hollywood films. For Mark, it is all about the landscape. The American southwest offers vistas that are unique to the rest of the continent. Between the two of them, this is a region that has long been an area of interest.
There are many different ways to travel, but it was agreed upon from the outset that it would be done by car.
Many believe that the best way to see America is by car on the open road.
What they did was nothing new. Every year, families travel through North America in their campers and RVs by the thousands in comfort. Neither men have an RV or any desire to ever own one. Both have new cars in their driveways, with leather seats, air conditioning and dashboard GPS. But that would be too easy. Why not up the ante and do it in a 28-year-old two-seater sports car? Now it’s an adventure.
This kind of travel is definitely not for everyone, but what they hoped to establish is that the enjoyment is in the effort that is put forth.
They embarked on an adventure in a time where little thought is given to the open road, and to the love of the automobile. It’s one thing to be driving the trip, but they also documented every step of their journey as well.
With an allotted amount of time, a certain amount of organization was necessary. Using modern day conveniences such as Google maps, online motel booking — cross-referenced with many iconic locations and as many out of the way oddball stops that could be located — a route was born which they believed could maximize their adventure.
Due to the size of the vehicle, careful thought and planning went into the packing of gear as this was to be the home for both of them throughout their journey.
With their predetermined route, they hoped to capture life on the road as it unfolds. At the end of each day, they filed photos and reported on their progress and adventures.
Day 1, Sept. 8: Barrie, Ont., to Nashville, Tenn., 1,287 km in 12 hours
Upon leaving Barrie at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday there was an obvious lack of traffic to Toronto and along the 400 series highways. We made short work of the overnight trip to Windsor and the American border.
An uneventful border crossing gained us access to the U.S. Any anxiety was quickly diminished once the trip began into America and during the 1,300 km trip to Nashville, the car performed flawlessly and we achieved the 35 mpg that we had expected.
Our first stop in Monroe, Ky., for breakfast resulted in our first exposure to the genuine southern hospitality that the region is known for. Kind hellos all around.
We then continued on our way through Kentucky and stopped at the Mammoth Caves, which is a highly recommended stop when visiting the state. There are many such sites to visit throughout the area and into southern Indiana. It’s also a great way to take a break from the heat as the temperature underground hovers around 10 degrees Celsius year round.
A short distance later saw us inside the International Corvette Museum, which, not surprisingly, entertained Mark, a car aficionado. Even a non-car person like Kevin enjoyed the well thought-out displays and the wide range of iconic cars from each era.
Leaving the museum, we crossed into Tennessee where we stopped in Nashville for food and a place to spend the night.
When in Nashville, one of the more peculiar sights is a full-scale replica of The Parthenon of Greece, which is fully lit up at night, and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. The original structure was built in 1897 for the state’s centennial exposition. The current building was completed in 1931. One thing that caught Kevin’s eye was the number of huge bats that swooped around the city and were lit up by the Parthenon’s floodlights and by the glow of the downtown core.
After an evening out with friends, we retired back to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, the largest non-casino hotel in the continental United States outside of Las Vegas, and which also ranks 29th in the list of largest hotels in the world.
From here on in our accommodations will become less extravagant. Over all, the first day was an exciting one offering a wide variety of sites. We’re both excited to push on and see what unfolds.
From The Road,
Mark and Kevin
Day 2: Sept 9, Nashville to Tulsa, Okla., 1,000 km in 10 hours
We left Nashville a little later this morning as we needed our rest from the full day before. We had been awake for approximately 27 hours.
We were fortunate to have another Honda CRX driven by Cam, a friend of Mark’s, from the Nashville area, escort us out of town to begin Day 2 of our journey. Our end destination would be Tulsa, Okla., but a tour through Tennessee from Nashville is not complete without a stop in Memphis at the iconic Graceland home of Elvis Presley.
The modestly-sized mansion that was lavishly styled during the 1970s is surprisingly smaller than we had anticipated, but the jaw-dropping moment of the visit is the “trophy room” which displays all of The King’s gold and platinum records from floor to ceiling on every wall. It is a staggering tribute to the commercial success of Presley’s music. After pulling ourselves away and continuing on, we headed west once again towards the state of Arkansas.
The heat and humidity of this day and of yesterday starts to wear you down. Fast lane with the windows down definitely helps.
One thing that we thoroughly enjoyed was the call of the cicadas in the trees as we drove.
We must also point out that these are not the ordinary cicadas that buzz occasionally in forests of Ontario, where we are from, this is a constant near-roaring that would make a conversation difficult if you are within a few feet of these trees.
Thousands were buzzing at once in each tree and non-stop throughout the day. It was impressive as it was beautiful.
On a trip like this long drives seem to change your perception about distances. Once you get into the groove of being on the road with a clear purpose and destinations each day, the miles melt away, and a five-hour drive between attractions suddenly doesn’t seem all that far anymore. A late evening dinner took place in the small town of Alma, Arkansas where the two thirsty travellers were schooled in the concept of a dry county. “So you can’t buy beer anywhere?” nope.
So we settled for two waters on the rocks.
We’ll be leaving the Bible Belt tomorrow.
From the Road,
Mark and Kevin
Day 3: Sept. 10, Tulsa, Okla., to Roswell, New Mexico, 927 km in 9.5 hours
We managed an early start today in Tulsa, Okla. Yet another Honda Civic CRX owner, Bobby Ritter, met with us this morning and he showed us a good spot for breakfast.
The CRX online community has been following along in a big way and seem to be enjoying our tour quite a bit and some are now meeting up with us along our route as we pass through the larger cities. An added bonus to meeting these people is the fact that they know the areas and Bobby introduced us to a quite large blue whale that sits along a stretch of Route 66, which we have been fortunate enough to explore.
The blue whale was a gift from a man to his wife many years ago and has since become quite a roadside attraction. The legendary Route 66 goes back to the 1950’s, but has largely been replaced by the interstate highway system. Some stretches can still be found, but traveling along its former route is now nearly impossible.
We then continued on westward towards Oklahoma City to visit the memorial dedicated to the victims of the notorious 1995 bombing of a federal government building. The attack claimed 168 lives. The site features a pond with nearby statues of chairs representing each victim of that day. It’s a very touching and beautiful memorial. While in Oklahoma City we also met with Duall Inselman who recently purchased a Honda Civic CRX and wanted to meet with Mark and pick his brain about restoring it as it has seen much better days.
After the driveway consultation, we headed out on the road again where we soon crossed into Texas where the terrain changed drastically and has started to appear much more dry with scrub grass and red rocky soils. Interstate 40 which cuts through the northern section of Texas is a road that is dominated by transport trucks. They rule the road here. There is no question about that. American truckers remind us of that great 70’s TV show “B.J. and The Bear”, although we never did see any chimpanzees riding along. We did, however, get a few loud honks as we gestured out the window for them to blow their air horns as we sped by. If we had been 10-years-old, that would have been even more awesome.
We crossed the Texas border and into New Mexico later at night. We ran headlong into quite a severe rainstorm and due to any possibility of pulling over on the shoulder and waiting out the downpour, we were forced to keep going. The paved shoulders here are not even wide enough for our small Honda. We also had a transport truck ahead of us and one directly behind us. Stopping was not an option and we had to keep pace at 100 km/hr. Visibility was nearly nil along some stretches so we hugged close to the truck directly in front of us and had him lead the way for us. The following hour was harrowing as there were moments where we were completely blinded by rain, lost contact with the truck ahead of us, and were just waiting to veer off the road if we happened to come up onto a curve in the highway. Kevin thought to himself “This is it. This is where the trip ends in disaster and we are only three days into it!” We somehow stayed on the road. Heavy rain was the last thing that we expected. Isn’t New Mexico supposed to be a mostly desert landscape? Thankfully, lights appeared out of the night ahead and we arrived at Roswell, the famous town that has been linked to an alleged UFO crash nearby back in 1947. We didn’t see any aliens ourselves, but we did share a motel parking lot with a strange craft that also needed a safe port to wait out the storm.
From the Road,
Mark and Kevin
Day 4: Sept. 11, Roswell, N.M, to Bisbee Ariz., to Tucson, Ariz. – 900 km, 9 hours
Day 4 saw us up at 9 a.m. It didn’t look good as it was still raining hard from the night before when we had all our troubles with visibility. We were in Roswell, N.M., and all of this rain struck us as being odd as it’s a dry desert region. By the time we checked out and packed the CRX with our gear, the rain began to taper off and soon quit. We pulled out and continued the drive through the town of Roswell, where we suddenly encountered flash flooding due to the amount of rain that fell. Most of the streets in the town were underwater and we had a difficult time navigating through it. There were times while in Roswell that we had to leave the streets and navigate through store parking lots, which were raised up higher, to evade water that would have stranded us. Apparently the state of Colorado was also in the midst of suffering from one of the worst floods in a generation.
Thankfully our first stop of the day was nearby at the International UFO Museum & Research Center, which proved to be equal parts fascinating and entertaining. The research section of the building houses thousands of documents relating to the famous UFO crash of 1947 outside of Roswell.
Once back on the road (Interstate 10), we were faced with more rainstorms. We pulled over at one spot called Deer Creek and stood by the bridge over what is usually a dry creek bed. Today it was a raging river that even kayakers would probably avoid. There was a crew there from the local fibre optic utility company who were inspecting their lines running underneath the bridge and told us that this was the worst flash flooding of the past decade or more. While speaking with them and taking photos we thought it would be wise to park on the west side of the bridge as it was certainly taking a pounding from all of the rapids. We were heading west and didn’t want to be stuck on the wrong side if things went south with the bridge.
We were on our way again. Due to the dryness (not counting today, of course) the desert has a way of preserving old cars yet weathering them beautifully. We came across many old derelict trucks along the side of the road. We made a few stops to photograph these wonderful old vehicles, including a multi-coloured example near Glencoe, N.M.
Most flags were at half-mast today, and it soon dawned on us that it was the 9-11 anniversary today. After being on the road for a few days you tend to easily lose track of time and are never really sure what day it actually is.
Later in the afternoon we once again found ourselves caught in monsoon-like rain. At one point, we had to hug the car close to the median to get by the flash floods that were now spilling out across the interstate highway and threatening to cut us off. We hoped that we had a clear path ahead or things could have gotten dicey for us once again. We fortunately headed into higher country soon after and we got through a small mountain range. Prior to arriving at the town of Las Cruces, N.M., the skies cleared and bright sun was with us for the remainder of the day. With the sun out it didn’t take long for the desert to quickly dry up and an earthy soil smell hung in the air for many miles.
The creeks that were filled with water were now empty once again and all that could be seen was mud. Ben, a young Spanish resident of the town that we met at a gas station remarked that “The rain brings life”. He’s also a Honda CRX owner and was attracted to our car. He and Mark discussed the finer points of refurbishing these vehicles for a while.
At about 45 minutes outside of Las Cruces, we had our first introduction to U.S. Border Patrol agents. These guys are deadly serious and even more intimidating than state troopers. We were now approximately 150 km or so straight north of the Mexican border in the area known as The Border Lands. We were forced to pull into a border patrol checkpoint, which seems to work the same way as the truck weigh scale inspection areas on the 400 series highways around Toronto. Here, you hand over your passport and get drilled with questions the same as if you were trying to cross a border. We were still nearly 150 km away from Mexico at this point. They don’t fool around with their southern border. Their marked SUV’s are everywhere and they always seemed to be driving at twice the posted speed limit. Stay out of their way is our best advice.
At this point in our trip we were truly isolated and in the middle of nowhere. Along this stretch of road we would drive for some time before encountering any cars at all. And they usually turned out to be border patrol agents.
We passed through a small village called Rodeo. Not much going on here. As we left the area, Mark said “look in the mirror” which showed a police SUV rushing up behind us very quickly. As Mark began to start pulling over, we passed a small sign that said that we were now crossing into Arizona. The officer behind us quickly slammed on his brakes and with dust flying, did a quick U-turn at the sign and let us go. It seems we evaded a ticket for something. It was almost like we outran the police to the border like in the Smokey and the Bandit, or Cannonball Run movies. Ok, not really, but almost. It’s not like we intended to beat him to the state line. What did he want with us? Speeding? We didn’t think that we were going over the limit much, although we would later discover that we had a headlight out as another officer in Arizona pulled us over for it and then let us go with a warning after hearing our travel stories and what we were up to down there. He seemed to like the idea of our journey.
When we were within about 30 km of the Mexican border we crossed paths with the Border Patrol once again. There were three trucks parked off the road and up on a hill. One of the vehicles had a tall mast with cameras and motion sensing equipment and were facing a wide expanse of land in a valley below them. They were there to try and detect illegal migrants from Mexico as they made their way on foot through the harsh desert at night as they made their way deeper into America.
By about 8pm we arrived at our southernmost stop on our long journey: Bisbee Arizona, which lies just a few miles north of the Mexican border. It’s a beautiful tourist town not unlike Banff. It is filled with restaurants, artist galleries, antique shops, and many old cars, trucks, and motorcycles. A quirky and interesting place that we would love to visit for a much longer period of time someday. We had our dinner there which consisted of very good Mexican food.
After eating we headed out for the final leg of the day’s journey which took us to Tucson, Ariz., about 160 km away. Sadly, there were no UFO’s parked in the motel lot tonight.
From The Road,
Mark and Kevin
Day 5: Sept 12, Tucson, Ariz., to Las Vegas, 670 km and 7 hours
This morning we left Tucson, Ariz., and drove a short distance across town to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum which houses a very large assortment of fighter planes and bombers from America’s military past. These included Kevin’s favourites, the B-24 Liberator and B-29 Superfortress, which flew countless missions during the Second World War. Mark was especially interested in the SR-71 Blackbird which was one of the fastest planes ever made and could reach speeds of Mach 3.4, which is just over 2,500 mph.
After prying Mark away from the Blackbird, we eventually made it back out onto the road and continued west on Interstate 10 towards Phoenix, which we would cross through on our way to our eventual final destination for the day, Las Vegas, Nev.
This was by far the hottest day yet. As soon as we left Tucson, the temperature climbed to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C). The Honda CRX that we are driving is from 1985 and has no air conditioner, so it quickly became pretty unbearable in that little car. It ran very well though. We had moments of being stuck in afternoon commuter traffic in Phoenix and it handled it well. The gauge rose a little higher than we had liked, but after turning on the cabin heater to full blast, it acted like a second radiator to help combat any possibility of the engine overheating. We pulled into a gas station on the far edge on Phoenix and after poking around the engine and checking the oil, we soon discovered what may have caused the temperature gauge to rise: Locust and grasshopper guts and body parts had covered the radiator and worked its way into it. We suddenly remembered that the previous day in New Mexico and Arizona we had travelled along roads in the desert that had been covered with these huge insects. They almost scored their revenge on us for running them over, but luckily we scraped them off the rad in time, which actually helped and brought the engine temperature down.
It got so hot that when Kevin was off the road at a roadside stop and a short distance into the desert on foot, one of his cameras had quit working. It wasn’t looking good. We needed to get out of there quickly before additional problems cropped up which could possibly end our trip and strand us way out in the middle of nowhere.
By 4:30 p.m., we were starting to gain elevation near Wickenburg, Ariz., and the air was starting cool, even if only a few degrees. By 5:15 p.m., the sun was starting to get lower in the sky and life on the road was bearable once again. We soon came across a vast forest of Joshua trees growing in the desert amongst the many tall cactus plants, which were sometimes strange in shape but beautiful.
By 7 p.m. the sun was starting to set and the Arizona desert was already starting to get quite cool. The temperature swings between day and night here is very drastic. Roasting during the day and then freezing at night.
We arrived at one of our designated stops, the iconic Hoover Dam at 8 p.m. and were quickly met by police. Apparently, at night there is very limited access to the dam. You are not allowed to stop your car on top of the dam or get out and walk along it on foot. The roadblocks and guard stations that were set up for this appeared to be very temporary and may be attributed to yesterday being the 9-11 anniversary. We didn’t bother asking them for obvious reasons. These guys always look angry. The only option left to us in regards to viewing the dam was a couple of parking spots off to the sides which afforded us a fairly decent view of the upstream side. As it was dark we had to be creative in shooting it, so Mark set up his tripod and we each had a camera flash in our hands and walked around setting off the flashes multiple times in different directions during the long exposure shots. I’m sure the police on the other side were wondering what in the world we were up to. One cruiser had actually come up the hill and had driven by us slowly to keep an eye on us. There weren’t many people at all there at the time, although we did have company when a strange little desert animal called a ringtail (which is part of the raccoon family) decided to investigate us as well. It has a long striped tail and looks a lot like a small ring-tailed lemur. It kept an eye on us and came around where we were working on its nightly search for food. Very cute.
After getting the shot that we were looking for, we left Hoover Dam at 9:15 p.m. and headed to Las Vegas, our westernmost stop on our journey. After being in the some of the remotest parts of desert country in Arizona and New Mexico, suddenly coming face to face with the bright lights of Las Vegas was a shock for our eyes. Upon disembarking and walking the famous strip, Kevin’s first thought was, “what a ridiculous city.” Mark describes it as walking into the ‘Cantina’ bar scene of Star Wars and finding yourself amongst a wide array of strange people of every size, shape, and description. It’s an open air street party with not too many rules, it seems. It also appeared that the vast majority of the thousands of people walking around were from various parts of Europe. Forget all of the lights and extravagance; it’s a people-watcher’s dream.
Looking forward to hitting the road in the morning and reaching the Grand Canyon and Utah. Las Vegas was too much “civilization” for us.
From the Road,
Mark and Kevin.
Day 6: Sept. 13, Las Vegas to Moab – 869 km 8.5 hours
Shortly after leaving Las Vegas this morning, we entered the driest looking desert area that we had encountered so far. There weren’t even any cacti, just a few crispy looking shrubs dotting the landscape. The heat continued, and passing signs for places named “Valley of Fire” didn’t reassure us very much.
We discovered that it’s kind of true that a dry heat is a little more bearable than the humidity that we endure in Ontario, but no one ever said anything about heads swelling. Our hats didn’t fit very well for the past few days in the desert. Weird.
The desert outside of Las Vegas is a very busy place it seems, as fighter jets fly manoeuvres above us in the sky, chasing each other around in what looks to be training flights.
Once we left the state of Nevada and began to get into higher elevations in Utah, the temperature cooled so quickly that we had to put jeans on and jackets. The geography changes quite drastically and vegetation returns. The air was filled with the strong smell of cedar as we approached Cedar City, Utah. Go figure.
We pulled over for gas at Cedar City and were immediately approached by a woman named Renee Epelmaier and her husband Bob, who asked if we could help her and her husband. Their Indian motorcycle (with over 240,000 miles on it) had broken spokes and they could no longer continue their journey. We struggled to help them lift their huge motorcycle up a ramp and into a cube van that they had to rent to take their bike home. A lot of things can happen on the road that could end anyone’s journey. We were more than happy to help as it could very easily be us in that same situation.
Utah is a truly beautiful state with mixtures of desert, rolling pasture land, mountains, and canyons. The only major stop that we had planned for this day was at Bryce Canyon. It is breath-taking standing on the top of the mountain there and looking down over the side at the thousands of bright orange and red hoodoo rock formations. It is otherworldly to say the least. We managed to spend quite a bit of time there and shot many photos before the sun set.
After leaving Bryce Canyon at 9:30 p.m., we had a daunting journey ahead of us. We needed to cover more than 400 km to reach our final destination of Moab, Utah where we would lay our heads for the night. We were in for a real challenge. What lay ahead for us were treacherous winding hairpin turns, 6 degree descents from the mountains, and transport trucks who had the same battle amongst us in our little two-seater sports car. We also had to accomplish this during a lightning storm with intermittent rain. Mark really put on a show of his driving skills and seemed unfazed while driving in these conditions. Kevin was a little nervous, but knew he was in good hands as Mark has been driving this type of car for years and knows very well it’s strengths and limitations when it matters. Great job!
We arrived unscathed in Moab at around 1:20 a.m. where we met an older man running the hotel front desk whose name was Karen and was dressed like Klinger from M.A.S.H. This doesn’t appear to be a very conservative town. We look forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring.
From The Road,
Mark and Kevin
Day 7: Sept 14, Moab, Utah to Page, Ariz. - 908 km 11.5 hours
Moab, Utah, where we spent the night, is an adventure town it seems. The streets are lined with jeeps, dune buggies and Hummers, which are plastered with the local red mud. This is also a place where you can book white water rafting and kayak tours in the rivers among the canyons that stretch out for miles around.
We departed Moab this morning for a short drive to a few destinations a few miles from town, the first of which was the famous Mesa Arch. On the way there we stopped multiple times as there is just so much stunning geography in every direction that you look. The rocky cliffs are wind-worn into strange shapes and are usually topped with precarious looking boulders that are bigger than houses. There were times when we were driving below these giant rocks that we actually felt a little nervous. After all, we were now in Wile E. Coyote’s domain, and he could be lurking behind any one of those boulders and be in the middle of trying to force the rock down on us with some sort of Acme constructed lever. But as always, he would probably fail miserably and end up the victim of his own mischief, so we were reassured by that. We drove on.
At one particular stop, we went to a cliff edge to photograph far off scenery, when we ran into a fellow shooter, Gerald Pisarzowski, from Toronto. Small world. He was pretty serious about his craft and was there with his vintage large format film camera.
We finally managed to get to Mesa Arch at around 1 p.m. It’s a very cool sight, but much smaller than we had imagined. It faced a wide expanse of slashed earth off in the distance that comprised of a nearly unimaginable number of canyons, hoodoos, and cliff faces. It became clear that the attraction is not really about the arch itself, but what you can see through it. Late season tourists swarmed around it like ants.
The next destination on our agenda this day was the iconic buttes of Monument Valley, which lay a few hours’ drive away. But first we would have to endure more bad weather. It seems we can never finally rid ourselves of rain on this journey. We even ran through hail that covered the road fairly thick like snow. After about an hour the skies cleared where we were, but we were not through with the drama yet as we crossed paths with a boulder on the road. Luckily, it was in the other lane of this two-lane highway (Highway 191). We flashed our headlights to warn of the danger. Hopefully no one had been injured by that. That was quite a dangerous moment and you have to keep a constant eye out for rocks while traveling through these areas. It had likely been dislodged by the rain and flash flood water that had undermined it that day.
At the town of Bluff, Utah, we stopped for food and shot an amazing looking rock formation called the “Navajo Twins”. While there, Mark managed to capture some great shots of a couple of old abandoned vehicles that he loves to stumble upon. We are now deep in the territory of the Navajo nation in southern Utah.
Around dinner time we passed by a collection of buttes in an area aptly named the Valley of the Gods, which runs along Highway 163.
After a long drive we arrived at Monument Valley at 7:30 pm. We would have had perfect lighting for shooting these massive remains of mountain cores, but the sun was blocked by a thunderhead that rumbled and threw down bolts of lightning at regular intervals. We have been very lucky with arriving at places at just the right time of day to get the best possible photos, but this time we were mostly thwarted. Mark has the knack of usually teasing something beautiful out of a seemingly unimpressive scene, and this time he was again successful.
We didn’t stick around long after that as we needed to get to our destination for the night: Page, Ariz. It wasn’t terribly far but with us being surrounded by ominous skies, we knew we had to quickly get ourselves there so as to avoid the night-time rains storms that we have had to fight through lately.
We decided to make a quick stop for gas before embarking on our 90-minute run to Page. At the filling station we met a small pack of stray dogs that seemed friendly, but were very timid when they tried to get close to us. These guys were feral. What they were looking for is a free meal and they came right up to the pump to see if we could accommodate them. Mark had run into these same dogs on a previous trip to this same area. Feeling sorry for these cute pups (there were four of them, each of differing breeds), Mark bought a package of beef jerky and Kevin fed that to his new little buddies (equal portions for each, of course). They seemed to appreciate our generous gesture.
Once on the road, we knew we had to hurry to try to escape the oncoming rain. We made great time and seemed pretty lucky for most of the trip as there were actually two different storms a short distance away on either side of us the whole way. We didn’t get into any rain and we seemed to be traveling through a very narrow alley of clear sky. Luck with the weather was finally with us it seemed. About 10 km north of our hotel stop at Page, it appeared that our new found luck was about to soon run out. Straight ahead of us loomed a giant thunderstorm that was angrily sending forks of lightning in all directions. What an incredible show. And it seemed like it was starting to slide by us. We hadn’t had any rain yet so we decided to pull over and set up our cameras to capture this amazing display. What unfolded was better than we could ever imagine. We captured several images of lightning bolts lighting up the rain showers below the cloud, and the moon that was behind us lit up the desert and a large butte nearby that reminded us of Ayers Rock in Australia. Getting some beautiful lightning images was near the top of Kevin’s bucket list and he managed to scratch that off this evening, and to be able to do that in a desert was even more gratifying. It was a night of such enjoyable photography that neither of us will ever forget it. We then continued the short drive that we had left and made it into Page without experiencing a drop of rain. Mission accomplished.
From The Road,
Mark and Kevin
Day 8: Sept 15 - Page, Ariz., to Flagstaff, 350 km, 4 hours
Today’s schedule was a little lighter. After seven-straight days of running the roads from morning to midnight we needed a bit of a break. You have to remember that we are doing this road trip in a small two-seater car. There’s not much elbow room and little space for storing our clothing and necessities. Our cameras are jammed under our legs, or within reach behind us in the hatch, ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.
We have known each other and have been friends for years through our freelancing for the Barrie Examiner. When putting two people in such cramped quarters all day and half the night each day, you would think that we would be fighting like an old married couple after just a few days, but that just hasn’t been the case.
Sure, there is some grouchiness from time to time, but that’s just a release that is needed. We’ve also learned a few things about each other that we didn’t know, such as Kevin’s very picky eating habits: No spicy food. Hates tomatoes and onions. Picking the right place to stop and eat can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s working so far. With Mark, any little noise in the car that doesn’t belong drives him crazy. Take zippers on our bags for example. They needed to be taped down so they didn’t click against anything or rattle. On one of the days, Mark got out of the car and went to the back hatch and opened it up to shift around a rattling piece of equipment. This was at a stop light that was starting to turn green and with cars behind us. It bugs him that much. We’ve found that we get along very well, which is as important as having a car that runs well (which we definitely have) or a travel itinerary that is well thought out ahead of time.
Our first stop of the day was the much-photographed Antelope Canyon. It lies in the heart of the Navajo nation in Arizona, just outside of the town of Page. It’s set fairly far from the road over difficult terrain, so we hopped into the back of a large pickup that was well outfitted for off-road travel. Our little CRX would have been no match for this little adventure. We set off on a dry riverbed and bounced along over sand for a few miles until we reached the opening in a cliff wall. Brian, our Navajo guide, led us through a very narrow passageway deep inside the sandstone rock where water had carved strange curves throughout it. The light that fights its way in through openings in the ceiling show off the many hues of orange that makes up this type of rock. It is nature’s artwork. According to Brian, just two weeks ago there was a flash flood that sent a torrent of water through here and filled it up to a point 15 feet high at the narrowest end. Mark and I paused for a moment after hearing this. Weren’t we in the middle of some of the worst flooding in the region for many years? We put this out of our mind. These knowledgeable guides must know what they are doing.
We spent about an hour inside the earth, which was nice and cool after being in the heat of the desert this morning. We left the canyon at 1:30 pm and after a bit of confusing driving due to America’s habit of not signing roads very well, we were on our way to Horseshoe Bend, which is a giant curve in the Colorado River. Apparently, this spot is the site with the most suicides in all of Arizona each year. The cliff that we stood on that overlooked this bend in the river seemed to be a mile high, but that could be just an exaggerated estimate purely out of a fear of heights as Kevin slowly inched his way out to the unprotected edge to “get the shot” that Mark insisted that was needed. It isn’t a good photo unless you have all of the river in the photo. After Kevin “got the shot” he decided to pull back and chase lizards around amongst the bushes for the remainder of the visit. Mark’s chasing consisted of following tourists around and putting them in his landscape photos, as that’s what good photojournalism requires. Sometimes this doesn’t go over too well, though. On one occasion today, a boyfriend of a young lady that was in the perfect spot at the time when Mark shot an image took offence to his attention towards her. Soon after, his girlfriend confronted Mark and insisted that he delete the photos of her. It was a great photo, but it seems that you can’t please everyone all of the time. In Mark’s defence, it was purely professional and for the sake of art.
Most people rarely take the time to look down wherever they are. As an avid insect photographer, Kevin is always inspecting the ground wherever he goes. While in the desert at Horseshoe Bend, he pointed out to Mark the large numbers of caterpillars that were all around. It seemed to us that we were in the middle of a great caterpillar migration. They were all heading in one direction and they must have numbered in the millions all over this area. There is this romantic image in many travellers’ minds as they imagine the west with its great herds of antelope crossing the scrub land of the desert. We witnessed caterpillars.
The next and final attraction that we had on our list today is one of the great family vacation stops in America: The Grand Canyon. We arrived there at the best time of day, which is about one hour before sunset. It is a vast area that stretches as far as the eye can see. The reason that sunsets look so great here is the layering of the cliffs and ridges that stretch out along the horizon line in many shades of colour and shadowing. We enjoyed this stop as photographers, but after walking back to the car, we were in agreement that Bryce Canyon in Utah was far more beautiful and interesting. We just left you Utah and we miss you already.
We stopped for the night in Flagstaff, Arizona, had a great meal and retired early for a change. We deserved the break. Starting tomorrow we begin to leave the west behind and venture east to begin our long journey home. It will take us until September 20th to get back, but we are by no means finished with visiting some amazing places.
From The Road,
Kevin and Mark
Day 9: Sept. 16 – Flagstaff to Albuquerque, 610 km, 6 hours
Last night we stayed in Flagstaff, Ariz. This morning we found out that a section of the highway that we travelled on yesterday from Page has been closed due to landslides. Luck was with us there. Before we packed up the car we checked for flash flood warnings on government websites. There was a major warning for a section of New Mexico around Roswell, which lies immediately south of Colorado where all of the devastating flooding has occurred over the past few days. It sounds like the water is flowing south now. It’s been quite a tragedy. We have to stay alert and be vigilant. We can’t take any chances at this point.
We had an early start to today and we made our way down to Sedona, Ariz., which is straight south of Flagstaff. Prior to the trip we heard from people who raved about this town. We needed to investigate this. We discovered it to be a lot like Banff, Alta. It is very touristy and geared towards people with money. It also seems like a staging area for hiking tours and off-roading. We weren’t really feeling it here and we decided not to stick around too long. We were looking for something more. Something real. As we made our way back to the car we stopped dead in our tracks. It was like we had to rub our eyes and make sure that what we were actually seeing was really there. It was a real live old west gunslinger! And by the way, Sedona is known for being the site of more than 75 old west films that starred John Wayne and others. We had to talk to this guy. It turns out his name is “Doc”, and he isn’t just some guy dressed up for the tourists, it’s his life. He told us his story while coolly puffing away on a cigarette, the smoke enveloping his rough and weathered face. We also could not help but see his right hand resting on his pistol in its holster on his hip. It’s also the real deal: an old Remington. It was looking like the town of Sedona was going to be a disappointment for us, but meeting “Doc” made our day here.
To us, the real attraction is not Sedona but the road that you have to take to get there. Highway 89A in this particular area boasts countless tight curves around cliffs faces with sheer drops on the other side of the road. It’s also a very steep grade. It is rated as one of the top ten drives in all of the USA. We can believe it. We had so much fun we drove it twice.
We began our journey east today on Interstate 40 and will continue to be driving in that direction until we reach home on the 20th of September.
Not far along we stopped at an amazing place. About six miles south of I-40 lies and enormous meteor crater. It is said to be the best preserved one in the world. It is approximately 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft.) in diameter and 170 metres (570 ft) deep. The meteor that caused this crater was around 50 metres across and struck the earth at more than 28,000 mph. This catastrophic event occurred 50,000 years ago. While there, you can even see and touch the largest piece of the nickel-iron meteorite, which is about the size of a suitcase. Scratch another entry off of Kevin’s bucket list.
For fans of The Eagles song “Take It Easy”, we passed by Winslow, Ariz., and unfortunately it really wasn’t such a fine sight to see. Sad but true.
Another thing that is sad but true is the state of the Navajo nation here. It takes up a large part of Arizona and also stretches into Utah and New Mexico. These people are poor. Dirt poor. It is astonishing to see their squalid living conditions which are usually made up of old abandoned looking trailers, wood shacks and the like. The issue of the well-being of first nations people has been a topic of discussion in Canada recently, and there is no doubt that these wonderful cultures are continuing to be left by the wayside south of the border here in America also. It’s so very sad and shameful.
We tried to visit the Petrified Forest National Park along I-40, but after spending the 10 dollars and driving though it for 10 minutes, we realized that the park map showed that the only sections with the famous mineralized rock logs (which are 200 million years old) are found at the far end of the park 45 minutes away, with a 45 minute return trip back to the highway that we needed to continue on to. There was no time for this. We would be setting ourselves way behind schedule. So with Mark’s charm we managed to get our 10 bucks back and hit the road again. We were sad to miss out on that one, but you can’t win ‘em all.
We crossed the Continental Divide at 8:30 p.m. It lies west of Albuquerque, NM. This is the spot that determines where water flows. On one side it flows to the Pacific Ocean and on the other it will ultimately flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
We arrived in Albuquerque at 10:30 p.m. and spent the night.
From The Road,
Kevin and Mark
Day 10: Sept 17 - Albuquerque to Dodge, 763 km, 7 hours
We left Albuquerque this morning.
Our first stop today was to be the Sandia Peak Tramway, which takes you to the ridge of the Sandia Mountains and overlooks the city of Albuquerque. Tuesday is their maintenance day. No go. Alas, we struck out again.
Our only other planned sop today was to be the Bandelier National Monument outside of Los Alamos. This park in New Mexico houses the ruins of Pueblo villages dating back to 1,150 AD. We pulled into the visitor centre only to find that the roads into the park had severe damage due to flash flooding caused by the rains and flooding in Colorado. This was not to be our day.
We had no choice but to hit the road. We had a very long drive all the way to Kansas today and could ill afford to be looking around for sites to visit.
There wasn’t a lot of hope for today at all until we passed by the Santa Fe National Cemetery. It is beautiful and sprawling. The site serves an estimated 200,000 veterans in the State of New Mexico and over 1,400 burials are conducted every year. It reminded Kevin a lot of the Second World War cemetery in Normandy, France in its design.
One of the headstones that we came across on our short visit was that of a private named Jose Valdez, who died on Feb. 17th, 1945. On Jan. 25, 1945, Valdez was on patrol near a railway station near Rosenkranz, France, when they ran headlong into a German counterattack. Valdez fired on a tank that was bearing down on them with his rifle, which made the tank withdraw. After Valdez killed three enemy soldiers in a firefight, the Germans ordered a full attack with many men. Valdez covered the members of his patrol when the platoon leader ordered their withdrawal. Jose protected his fellow troops as they fled to safety. He was wounded and dragged himself back to the American lines, but unfortunately he died three weeks later from the wounds that he had suffered while saving the men alongside him. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honour, America’s highest military medal for bravery in combat.
After we had discovered that the Pueblo ruins were closed, we remembered that the town of Los Alamos was the home of many scientists during the Second World War. it was here that they came up with the design for the first atomic bombs which were used to help end the war with Japan in 1945. We needed to find something related to this. We soon found ourselves standing in Robert Oppenheimer’s back yard, when he was stationed here. He was charged with coordinating the research teams in the town and also at the Trinity test site which was 200 miles away. Trinity was in a remote part of the desert where the first atomic bomb was tested. It was called “The Gadget”. The nearby museum holds some impressive artifacts from that era.
We once again hit the road and headed east to try and get to Dodge City, the famous western town in Kansas. It wasn’t very long before there was a drastic change in the geography and we were surrounded by flat prairie lands. It was through here that we had hit a milestone of 8,000 km. We still had around 3,000 km to go. The road was starting to wear us down now, but we had to try and stay focused and safe along a stretch of two lane blacktop that was laid out in front of us as straight as an arrow to the far away horizon.
After a few hours we passed a hunched figure moving along the right shoulder of the road on foot. The sun was beginning to set. Kevin shook his head and said “did you just see that?”. We were in the middle of nowhere in a sea of flat grassland without a town for many miles and very few cars on the highway. A sign above the man seemed to shout “LOVE LIFE”. We made a quick U-turn and drove back well ahead of the man who continued to trudge along as if we were never even there. When we had the car parked safely on the shoulder and in his path, we waited and shot photos of him coming towards us. He looked very serious and marched with determination. When he finally reached us he cracked a smile and held out his hand. His name is Steve Fugate. He’s 67 years old and he is walking across America (in a zigzag fashion so that he covers all of the lower 48 states, in fact). He had just covered 24 miles and said that he was ready to call it a day. He would pitch his tent in the ditch area at the side of the road before the sun finally set. Why was he doing this? Steve was more than happy to open up and share his story. He lost his 26-year-old son to suicide and a daughter to an accidental overdose. Since that time he has walked across America six times and has logged over 53,000 km. His website proclaims that he is “inspired to share the love he would otherwise be sharing with his children with the people he meets, many of whom are deeply distressed either at a loss or are considering giving it all up.” He has carried the “LOVE LIFE” sign in an effort to “mend the broken heart while still beating”.
We left Steve behind us and were struck by the sight of him as he walked without complaint directly into a beautiful orange prairie sunset. We agreed that we now had no reason to complain about the little things on this trip that were agitating us; meaningless things like being uncomfortable on a long drive, and the like. This man was walking far more than we were ever driving on our trip. It was hard to believe. After crossing paths with Mr. Fugate, we found that we had a little more energy and excitement about crossing a huge country such as America, which lifted our spirits even higher than they already were as the 10th day of our own personal journey came to a close. This day’s theme seemed to be all about heroes and reliving the surprising and by chance meetings today kept us wide awake as we finally pulled into Dodge at 2 a.m. in the morning. This was our best day.
From the Road,
Mark and Kevin.
Day 11: Sept 18 – Dodge to Hannibal, 876 km, 8.5 hours
Wind seems to be the order of the day. Pulling out of the motel parking lot we were already attacked by a huge tumbleweed. Those are actually real? Time to get outta Dodge. Literally.
On the way out of Dodge City, Kan., we noticed that there was an impressive looking tourist stop called the Boot Hill Museum. As we parked and walked across the lot, there were two police officers, Sheriff Roads and Sheriff Frenzels from Texas. We struck up a conversation and they mentioned that they were in Dodge to pick up a prisoner. The first people we meet in Dodge City are two sheriffs picking up a prisoner? You just can’t make this stuff up.
After shaking our heads and laughing about that chance meeting, we entered the museum yard that consisted of an old main street that had replica stores, a bank, and a saloon from the 1880’s. The saloon suited us just fine. We walked in to find a piano player hammering away an old western tune and a tough looking bartender, Brad Smalley. As he eyed us up, the two strangers that weren’t from around here, we decided not to mess with him too much and made our way through the rest of the buildings, one which held an impressive collection of authentic sheriff’s badges, rifles, pistols, and much more. There was a 19th century general store, doctor’s office, and bank. Beyond this street sat the original jail with its two cells, which are very small and uncomfortable. We didn’t see the prisoner that the two Texans were looking for. Must be in a more modern facility.
While we were again inside the museum a very loud horn began sounding from somewhere nearby and lasted for a few minutes. It was very unnerving, so we made our way outside and asked a maintenance man working nearby what was going on. Every Wednesday at noon the town sets off their tornado warning system to ensure that it works. It certainly got our attention.
After we left the museum we made our way to Highway 56 and headed east again towards home, a few days away. People usually equate Kansas with cornfields, but it looks like the state is ahead of others with very large wind farms that stretch out as far as the horizon and contain 150 or 200 windmills in each area where they are set up. This particular wind farm was near the small town of Spearville. It made obvious sense to us with the near hurricane force winds that were experiencing today.
About an hour into the trip we began to be concerned with the rising engine temperature once again. It was around 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside today, but that should not have caused the increase. We pulled over at Kinsley, Kan., and discovered that the radiator was once again jammed with insects. This time it was hundreds of moths that we must have collided with during our long night-time run to Dodge City last night. Mark cleared out as much as he could and wired up the fan to run all the time to help mitigate any further rise in temperature. Worked like a charm.
With only a few days to go on this journey, we were starting to get anxious with the desire to keep making good headway on our daily runs east to get home. The last days of any long journey are always the longest and hardest psychologically. We’ve been on the road for 11 days straight now, driving from morning to midnight nearly every day. It certainly begins to wear on you.
This afternoon after our stops we had a seven-hour drive awaiting us. We managed to blast our way across the rest of Kansas and almost all the way through Missouri before stopping at midnight at the city of Hannibal. The drive went well and trouble free. Falling asleep is the greatest danger at night. It helps when great conversation consumes us, which makes the time and miles fly by. It can be difficult to drive on the prairies in a straight line for hours with little in the way of geographical features to look at or focus on ahead of us. It’s just the horizon. Although we did have a near full moon tonight, so the driving was a little less dark as we passed by endless corn fields and small desperate looking towns that give off the feel that they are wilting and drying up like the fields that surround them. We have one more of these long runs tomorrow, this time through Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, with some interesting stops mixed in, then it’s the final race to Barrie on Friday.
From The Road,
Kevin and Mark
Day 12: Sept 19 – Hannibal to Toledo, 866 km, 8.5 hours
Woke up in Hannibal, Mo., this morning and went looking for breakfast at a real small town diner for a change. We were in luck and sat ourselves down at the Mark Twain Diner which is situated not far from the Mississippi River and directly beside the boyhood home of iconic American writer Mark Twain. It was a real treat to be able to sit down and eat a great homemade meal. We enjoyed the food immensely as we sat listening to the daily gossip being bantered around by the senior citizen regulars that surrounded us.
After eating, we spent quite a bit of time exploring the home and artifacts of Mark Twain, which was fascinating, but the real treat for us was an exhibit currently running at a museum down the street. It was a fine display of original Norman Rockwell paintings and sketches that related to the Mark Twain stories. Rockwell illustrated some of Twain’s books. Normal Rockwell is a master at lighting and even more talented when it comes to the many human emotions and expressions that he adds to his subjects.
We crossed the Mississippi River at 11:15 this morning.
We also had a long drive to tackle to get to our next stop today, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the home of the Indy 500 and the most famous car race in America. We estimated that it would be about 490 km away. Partway into the trip we realized that there would be a time change and we would be losing an hour. This wasn’t good news, as that would put us at Indianapolis, Indiana at around 4:30 p.m. It closes at 5 p.m.. We knew that we had to stay at the high end of the acceptable speed limit, avoid state troopers, and not stop anywhere during our run. There would be no food or bathroom breaks and no getting gas. We would have enough to get there.
We were making great time, but as we drew close to the city it looked like we may not have enough gas after all. It suddenly became a race against the fuel gauge. When we were within 25 km of the destination we started to get pretty nervous. The arm on the gauge had been at E for empty for the last 5 km. Mark has pushed it very close in the past, but even he was not completely convinced that we could make it. We pressed on. If we stopped for gas we would risk not having enough time to visit the museum at the Speedway. That would be a shame after running so hard for almost 500 km just to get there. Mark loves a challenge, Kevin not so much. We counted down the mileage and hoped that we could actually make it. Our hearts sank as we missed the exit that we needed to take to end the trip, as the GPS incorrectly showed that it was not the one that we had to use. We were finished for sure now. After taking the next exit, looping back around, getting off on the correct exit, and struggling to find the actual museum entrance at the track, we finally made it. As luck would have it, there was a gas station across the street from the Motor Speedway, so we wouldn’t have to walk to find fuel to be able to leave town. A close call. Too close.
We still had about 25 minutes of available time to use at the racing museum before it closed. When we pulled into the entrance for the place it took us under the grandstands of the race track, then under the racetrack itself and spat us out above ground in the middle area with the asphalt track surrounding us. A very impressive looking place. We hurriedly moved throughout the exhibits on display which showed off countless racing trophies from the past century. The best part was all of the race cars from every era all the way back to the early 1900’s. It was a priceless collection of auto racing history. We were still shooting photos as the place was empty of visitors and they were turning out the lights. Winning races is all about timing and taking risks to get to the finish line. We actually made it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it was a photo finish after our 520 km race.
After filling up on our way out of town we hit the road for the second leg of our journey this day, the last long driving day of our 13-day adventure. Almost four hours later and a few more minor GPS glitches, we pulled into Toledo, Ohio, for the night.
Friday we arrive home. We miss our families.
From The Road,
Kevin and Mark
Day 13: Sept 20 - Toledo to Barrie, 527 km, 5 hours
After exhausting drives over the past few days we decided to sleep in a bit before embarking on the final day of our 13-day journey. Home was approximately six hours away.
At 11 a.m. we bid Toledo goodbye and continued on. As we worked our way north towards Detroit the condition of the roads that we were taking took a turn for the worse. We had gotten used to the remarkably smooth and well maintained roads throughout all of the southern states.
They were a pleasure to drive on, especially when in a small sports car in which we were only about four inches or so off the ground. Evading bumps and potholes is mandatory if you are to survive a trip like this one across an entire country. We were now in the northern states which are exposed to the harsh elements of winter and its freezing and thawing that destroys asphalt.
We bumped and bounced along all the way to the Canadian border and exited the United States of America at 1:14 p.m., after a few mandatory questions by border officials. Not much to declare, just a toy doll for Mark’s daughter and a Corvette book for his son.
We had made it!
After a determined drive to get to our homes in time for dinner, we racked up 10,880.8 kilometres over 13 days going from Barrie to Nashville, across to Las Vegas, winding our way through the desert states, then back to Barrie. It was a tiring but extremely rewarding trip where the people we met were just as fascinating as the scenery we drove through.
We worked very hard at documenting all of our journey and tried to get to as many interesting places as we could. We obviously could not have done it if it wasn’t for the dependable little workhorse of a car that we had.
We did all of this in Mark’s 1985 Honda Civic CRX. It’s a two-seater sports car that just wouldn’t quit, whether it was fighting through traffic in a Phoenix rush-hour with temperatures soaring to 100 degrees or more (we had no air conditioning), climbing mountains to over 9,000 feet, or taking on the interstate highways for 12 hours straight. It was the third member of our team and its most valuable. The car only used up one quart of oil. Mother nature threw everything it had at us short of a Midwestern tornado. We faced heavy rains, flash flooding, high winds, hail, locusts, and even a boulder that lay in the road.
As for mileage, our best day saw us get up to 38.6 miles-per-gallon, while the worst day was a very respectable 34.3. We spent approximately $780 on fuel over the duration.
Our only complaint about the little CRX is that it really needs a bath. After ploughing through locusts and grasshoppers in the desert along with countless moths at night everywhere else, the front end looks awful. Each time that we parked the car it attracted a swarm of hornets that picked away at the bug guts and body parts plastered across the front end like it was a buffet.
Overall, we were not very surprised by the beauty of the scenery that we saw. We knew that it was going to be awe inspiring. However, what was surprising was how friendly and outgoing everyone was wherever we encountered them. Canadians are known to be nice people, but most of the Americans throughout our journey that we met could sure teach Ontarians a lesson on how to greet visitors and make them feel welcome. Strangers in our everyday lives here at home seem to be walking around with a wall up in front of them and generally do not acknowledge others. In America, we felt welcome in virtually every situation that we found ourselves in.
The only way to finish this entry is to thank our families for allowing us to embark on this trip, and to our friends for rooting us on throughout our adventure. It kept us going. Special thanks also go to High Crest Automotive in Barrie where Matt Radman gave the Honda CRX a thorough once-over and a clean bill of health prior to beginning the journey.
Thanks for following along.
Comfortably at home,
Mark and Kevin
The Nuts and Bolts
- 1985 Honda CRX Si (sport injected)
- 170 hp (Japanese spec B16A )
- Tuned suspension and upgraded brakes
- The vehicle has been fitted with several camera mounts. It was recently featured in Motor Trend Classic Magazine: www.motortrend.com/classic/wallpaper/1008_1985_honda_crx_si_wallpaper_gallery/ and in Honda Tuning Magazine: www.hondatuningmagazine.com/features/htup_1203_1985_honda_crx_si/
- Two digital single lens reflex systems with multiple flash units along with remote triggers.
- Maps and GPS
- Two GoPro cameras
- Assorted brackets and hardware
- Two-way radios
- Two LED lights
- Two mono pods
- Multiple i-Pods