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¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
8/19/15 1:42 p.m.

Chicago

Chicago was fun. Masterchef has a Miata, which was a welcome change from the barge I'd spent a week driving, and we worked on his motorcycle, went karting, ate a ton of good food, all that normal "visiting a friend for the first time" stuff. I think I spent 4 days there? Then it was time for the Maverick to bring me home.

BONUS ROUND
I woke up at 4:30 AM- my alarm was set for 5 but I was anxious to get going and didn't sleep well. The plan for the day was an all out, 750 mile cannonball run back to my house in PA, and I was sure the car would make it, but I knew the lack of a stereo, open windows, and Richard Nixon were going to take their toll on me. Plus, the car didn't like going much over 70 for any sustained period, and there was an annoying steering vibration which came and went as it pleased.

The drive was pretty uneventful until I got to Ohio. Now, I HATE Ohio thanks to previous run-ins with their lovely State Patrol, and I know that, if I'm going to have trouble with the law, it's going to be here.

I pulled into a rest stop to take a piss, and when I came back out, there was definitely some serious Ohio happening. A white Charger had pulled up to block the Maverick, and when I got closer, I could see it said "Customs and Border Protection" on the side. ^Not the actual car, but I realize I have no pictures from this part of the trip.

Apparently he had decided the car warranted a closer look, and after running the plates, decided he needed to have a conversation with me. He explained how the car wasn't legally registered, how not OK that was, and how people like to traffic drugs along I-80- in turn, I explained the trip, how I had bought the car 10 days ago, and asked if I could take a picture of our cars together. He told me that wouldn't be a great idea.

At this point, I was asked if I would consent to a search of the car by their drug sniffing dog (doesn't that sound like a dog that's addicted to coke or something? Always thought it was a silly name). The implied deal was that, if the car was clean, I was free to go, but if I refused, it might be impounded. My concern, of course, was primarily that one of the previous owners might have left something fun in there, but I went with the search- rolling the dice was a better option than the car being impounded.

The car was clean! Suddenly, we were all friends, and as the Customs officer handed my documents back to me, he told me that he'd always wanted to do Route 66, but not in a car like mine. He then informed me that I was the craziest road tripper he's ever met- I took it as a complement, then got the berkeley out of Ohio.

Upon getting the berkeley out of Ohio, I piled on the speed. That Customs debacle had cost me over an hour, I was back in my home state, I was fairly certian I could spot police before getting in front of their radar guns, and running wide open barely had me passing anyone anyway. That lasted for about 45 minutes before I got the car hot enough that I had to pull over.

After the car cooled down, I resumed my 70 mph max pace. I made the exit off 80 onto 476, drove through the Lehigh tunnel, and was almost home. I started to understand how Masterchef was feeling when we hit Chicago: a trip always feels disconnected from reality. Normally, you go on vacation, you return home, and there's a distinct disconnect there- but I was driving this thing back into real life, the cheap car nearly twice my age that I bought 10 days ago on the other side of the country! It's a unique feeling, and one that I think everyone should experience at least once.

Pulling onto my home street I was nearly tearing up- it was actually going to make it! I pushed the car hard around the last few corners to my house, and entered the driveway with the tires squealing, locking them up in front of the garage. I couldn't believe I had made it, but this was my house, with my girlfriend standing at the front door, and this impossible yellow Maverick idling in the driveway.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
8/19/15 1:50 p.m.

FINISH HIM
So I had been home for a few days, and I have to say, I've never enjoyed just being at home so much in my life. Doing a trip like this really makes you appreciate your return to real life. But this wasn't done yet.

Seller said:

I'd drive it to New York tomorrow.

I said I'd test that. So I did.

As I drove through the tunnel, a funny thing happened. I was trying to record an extra bit for Masterchef's video, and just after I said "You know, this car could die the moment I get into New York, and still be 100% as advertised. I'd be OK with that." the misfire returned, stronger than ever, and my GoPro died. "Road Karma?"

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
8/19/15 2:10 p.m.

When I saw your buddy's photos on facebook (and noticed the Gopros everywhere), I was really hoping you'd do a write-up of the adventure, so I could live vicariously through it. Thanks much for not disappointing

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
8/19/15 2:14 p.m.

damn it if this doesnt inspire a guy to start looking at cool classics on craigslist out west

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
8/19/15 2:17 p.m.

In reply to edizzle89:

Buy the Maverick- drive it back!

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
8/19/15 2:24 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: In reply to edizzle89: Buy the Maverick- drive it back!

I may have to go that direction in my GT6. After all, the car did New York to Seattle to Virginia via Route 66 way back in 1975 and 1977 (respectively), with 2-year-old me riding shotgun ;) Would be really cool to see if it could do the same trip again.

Not sure I have your patience, or a friend who would want to join, lol.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
8/19/15 2:27 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

You may actually be the first person in history to describe me as "patient"

The GT6 would probably be fine. Bring spares!

bgkast
bgkast UberDork
8/19/15 2:37 p.m.

Moar!

Edit: guess I need to hit refresh moar.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
8/19/15 2:42 p.m.

In reply to bgkast:

What moar? It made it! I can do a wrap up or something I guess...

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/19/15 2:49 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: In reply to bgkast: What moar? It made it! I can do a wrap up or something I guess...

We're assuming the trip from NYC back home was uneventful?

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel HalfDork
8/19/15 2:53 p.m.

Plans for maverick?

2015$ challenge since it was 1200?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
8/19/15 3:05 p.m.

A Wrap Up Or Something

After getting into NYC, I pulled into a parallel parking space, snapped the above picture, wrote "LA-CHI-NYC" on the bumper opposite our Route 66 tally, and changed the cylinder 2 spark plug one last time.

The trip back to my house was uneventful. The only other trip it has taken since getting to PA was to go out to dinner for a full recap of the adventure.

The Maverick runs better than the day we left LA, although it has a few new squeaks and rattles, and the steering definitely doesn't feel quite the same. The pull to the right under braking is gone though, and it actually tracks straighter in general.

Was it worth it? 100% yes. Sure, I could have spent this time and money on racing, or a more "worthy" vehicle, or a more traditional vacation, but the trip was a great experience. I got to see parts of the country I've never been to, I got to become familiar with a completely different sort of car than what I'm used to, and probably most importantly, I got to live a life so different from my normal day-to-day routine that coming back to it felt great.

On top of all that, it was actually easy The car held up great, there were fewer issues than I expected, and all in all, not only would I do it again, I would do it worse next time.

The Maverick's future is not with me. This was a car for a trip, I don't have any plans to do more with it. Mr. Regular has said he wants to drive it, so that might happen, but the $2015 Challenge, etc. are not part of the plan. Part of me does want to keep it, and I do have some attachment to it, but my vehicle situation is complicated enough as it is, and I think it may serve someone else better. If it were up to me, the car would keep roadtripping forever- each new owner using it for a trip and improving it along the way.

bluej
bluej SuperDork
8/19/15 3:15 p.m.
irish44j wrote:
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: In reply to edizzle89: Buy the Maverick- drive it back!

I may have to go that direction in my GT6. After all, the car did New York to Seattle to Virginia via Route 66 way back in 1975 and 1977 (respectively), with 2-year-old me riding shotgun ;) Would be really cool to see if it could do the same trip again.

Not sure I have your patience, or a friend who would want to join, lol.

raises hand

I sent a link to this thread to my best friend from HS who's also a car guy and suggested we do it next year.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
8/19/15 3:20 p.m.

Everyone should read this thread for two reasons.
1. This is how you buy a car. None of that silly dealer in town nonsense.
2. THIS is how you write a road trip report. Excellent, just excellent.

As a side note, I once worked in Shamrock for four months. I bought my kitchen table at an antique store there. Across from my motel was a junkyard with a guard donkey that would loose his mind when a severe storm was coming, he was more reliable than the tornado sirens. Other than that, berkeley Shamrock, if I ever drive 66 I'm going around it.

Burrito
Burrito Dork
8/19/15 3:24 p.m.

Absolutely wonderful! Thank you for letting us live vicariously through you.

Now, off to craigslist I go.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltraDork
8/19/15 3:40 p.m.

The best thread I've read this year. Thsnk you.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
8/19/15 4:09 p.m.

simply berkeleying wonderful!!!!! Thank you!

My 90 year old dad went to college in Washington State in the late 1940s... he lived in NJ... and drove it a few times. Not route 66... but back roads,(no interstates then) and sleeping in local jails... where the jailers wife made them breakfast before they left.....

again great trip and great fun!

Spinout007
Spinout007 UberDork
8/19/15 4:20 p.m.

Might have to try this trip next year. I've been debating it for years now, AND with SWMBO new teaching job, she has summers off.

Thank you!

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel HalfDork
8/19/15 4:38 p.m.

I had a buddy who bought a bmw 2002 for 400 dollars out of a farm in west virginia. Every summer he drove that bitch to Albuqurque NM from Clemson SC...

no cruise control, nothing over 65 I think he said...

Dude was nuts. Crazy Carl.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
8/19/15 5:55 p.m.
bluej wrote:
irish44j wrote:
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: In reply to edizzle89: Buy the Maverick- drive it back!

I may have to go that direction in my GT6. After all, the car did New York to Seattle to Virginia via Route 66 way back in 1975 and 1977 (respectively), with 2-year-old me riding shotgun ;) Would be really cool to see if it could do the same trip again.

Not sure I have your patience, or a friend who would want to join, lol.

raises hand

I sent a link to this thread to my best friend from HS who's also a car guy and suggested we do it next year.

lol, I should have known :)

Though IDK if we would do the GT6, becasue then we'd have to drive it there AND back.

I'm thinking more of finding a car we know we can keep running (hmm.....what could that be for me and you?) and know would be fun to drive. But I'm thinking doing one of the "adventure routes" like a lot of the dual-sport bike guys do (e.g. lots of mild off-road stuff) for part of the trip (rather than do the "boring" states like Oklahoma and Illinois), and then make it to Rt. 66 in the more interesting states ;). But some BFG all-terrains on it (we know they fit) and roll :)

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
8/19/15 5:56 p.m.

Wasn't there someone on here who did a cross-country trip on a dual-sport bike with a similar write-up?

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
8/19/15 6:17 p.m.

Excellent!

JohnInKansas
JohnInKansas Dork
8/19/15 6:34 p.m.

LOL @ Berkeley Kansas.

Great trip, great writeup.

fujioko
fujioko HalfDork
8/19/15 6:34 p.m.

Epic adventure!

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired Reader
8/19/15 8:28 p.m.

This thread delivers!

Thanks for the excellent write up. I have to do this. Soon

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