: Epic road trip in my 6MT V wagon...with pics



neuronbob
06-10-13, 09:50 PM
I have never been to the Grand Canyon and started planning for the trip with my favorite +1 (aka wife) and my 7-year-old son a few months ago. The idea was to drive to the Grand Canyon in two days, then take the back roads through Four Corners and the mountains of Colorado to visit my parents in Colorado Springs. The trip was, in part, a birthday present for my son.

It was an epic road trip in a modern version of Clark Griswold's Wagon Queen Family Truckster, my CTS-V stick wagon. We started out in Cleveland immediately after my son's 1st grade promotion ceremony.

Start of day 2, in St. Louis. We had to stop early there because just as we were entering town, there were three tornados. This is the same front that caused major tornados in Oklahoma City. We passed through OKC on I-40 later in the day and witnessed tornado damage where the El Reno tornado crossed I-40.
http://imageshack.us/a/img507/6163/img0348copy.jpg

Rest stop on I-44 in Missouri
http://imageshack.us/a/img542/8738/img0350ei.jpg

The Cadillac at the Cadillac Ranch
http://imageshack.us/a/img845/4646/img0359vf.jpg

The cars. Too bad we didn't have spray paint.
http://imageshack.us/a/img827/6112/img0363kf.jpg

Closeup of the great sign right outside the Cadillac Ranch.
http://imageshack.us/a/img62/4263/img0371q.jpg

Start of Day 3, Albuquerque.
http://imageshack.us/a/img543/8049/img0372rf.jpg
http://imageshack.us/a/img163/6015/img0373zl.jpg

Meteor Crater, Arizona. You can see where the dirt raised up at the impact site.
http://imageshack.us/a/img28/1852/img0376vp.jpg

V at the Meteor Crater Visitor Center.
http://imageshack.us/a/img443/1064/img0400zt.jpg

Same day, entering the Grand Canyon National Park. Just so you know, it's $25 a car and the permit lasts a week.
http://imageshack.us/a/img507/475/img0401u.jpg

Day 4, at our hotel in Tusayan, the tiny town just outside the GCNP front gates.
http://imageshack.us/a/img850/3889/img0466ax.jpg

Sunrise on the Desert Drive at the Grand Canyon.
http://imageshack.us/a/img4/4872/img0474sh.jpg

Tuba City, AZ, in the Navajo Nation.
http://imageshack.us/a/img194/6046/img0493ce.jpg

Four Corners Monument, also in the Navajo Nation. With modern techniques, the monument is about 1800 feet away from where it should be, but it is exactly where it is supposed to be with the techniques used in the 19th Century.
http://imageshack.us/a/img842/8586/img0495sb.jpg

V wagon at Four Corners. The actual monument is hidden by Native American vendor stands, and you have to walk by them to get to the monument.
http://imageshack.us/a/img341/787/img0498ou.jpg

neuronbob
06-10-13, 09:51 PM
Navajo frybread. Tastes pretty good!
http://imageshack.us/a/img600/6462/img0510z.jpg

U.S. 160 in southwest Colorado, approaching the western Rockies. Much fun driving in the twisties of U.S. 160, including Wolf Creek Pass, ensued.
http://imageshack.us/a/img191/9343/img0516pqn.jpg

South Fork, CO. A nice, small place.....and the place where Clark Griswold and family camped out in National Lampoon's Vacation (1983). I would say that I have a vastly better Wagon Queen Family Truckster. :) Unlike Clark, I actually received my sports wagon.
http://imageshack.us/a/img4/2584/img0519zg.jpg

We proceeded to CO 112 in Del Norte to connect with U.S. 285 north through the San Luis Valley, to join U.S. 50 in Salida. U.S. 50 is another great, twisty road.

U.S. 50. I have a short video that I'll add to the thread when it's ready. U.S. 50 follows the Arkansas River until just about at the Royal Gorge, just outside Canon City, where the river turns southerly.
http://imageshack.us/a/img824/3599/img0520te.jpg

Spent several days with my parents in Colorado Springs. While there, we went up Pike's Peak on the train. We had relatives coming with us, so we chose not to drive up. Would have been another great drive in the V wagon, though....
http://imageshack.us/a/img593/8326/img0525yw.jpg
Top of Pike's Peak. Colorado Springs is nearly a mile below the peak.
http://imageshack.us/a/img841/8630/img0559q.jpg

After a few days in the Springs, we drove home, for the most part on I-70. Trip was uneventful other than that I-70 was shut down in east of downtown KCMO on a Friday afternoon. Let's just say....whoever the moron was who planned that closure, without adequate detour signs for out-of-towners, should be fired. Thankfully, driving through the Alphabet Loop of downtown KCMO was easier than usual.

Last few pics are from Marshall, IL, just a few miles west of the IN border, on the way back.
http://imageshack.us/a/img16/3986/img0600kc.jpg

Bugapocolapse.
http://imageshack.us/a/img248/5247/img0602ml.jpg

My son taking pix of said bugs.
http://imageshack.us/a/img818/4997/img0603wl.jpg

What an epic road trip. I could not have used a better car for it. The V wagon is an awesome interstate cruiser, and at the same time ready for twisty mountain road action. The best part is that after all the road trips I've taken with my son, he's been in 24 states already, a well-seasoned American traveler.

At EVERY gas stop, someone commented on the color, that the car is a Cadi wagon, and for those car guys intrepid enough to come close, they found the stick shift amazing to behold. Watching peoples' reactions was almost as good as driving the car.

My trip by the numbers:

4176.3 miles total driven; my wagon is now over 10k miles total, in six months of ownership. I guess I won't be taking it to Barrett-Jackson after all. :)

Best fuel economy: 20.1 mpg on one tank in the mountains of Colorado. This tank included my transit of Wolf Creek Pass. Note that EPA highway mileage is 19. Yeah. I think my engine is pretty much broken in now.

Most miles in a tank: 314.5, between western New Mexico and the Grand Canyon.

Gallons of gas burned on the round trip: 228.508, equivalent to 7.25 fluid barrels. Don't scratch my car, environmentalists, my son has already done that twice with his bike! :)

I am considering another epic road trip next year, to Yellowstone via Mount Rushmore and Devil's Tower.

Blakester
06-10-13, 10:20 PM
I envy your trip!

MacBuster
06-10-13, 10:29 PM
That car looks amazing.

I think I'd take it over my Black Diamond.

SilverrV
06-10-13, 11:50 PM
im jealous. that looks like a great time.

1997BlackETC
06-11-13, 02:16 AM
Sounds like a fun trip Bob, you now have more miles than me, lol, remember how for so long you had next to no miles while I was cranking up the miles on mine driving all over Fla?. I've still got 8500 miles as my car is in storage for the summer but will be enjoyed when I get back to Fla. I think storing it for the summer was a good move as the darn roads around R.I are so bumpy you really can't enjoy a car like the V and I did not want to put tons of miles on the car driving it back and forth from Fla to R.I. When I drive my Opulent Blue Jetta Wagon I just pretend it has a extra 416 hp :)

spearfish25
06-11-13, 09:02 AM
Great trip. The V would be awesome for a Yellowstone adventure. We need an auxiliary fuel tank option.

tinman
06-11-13, 09:21 AM
What a great writeup! Almost felt like we were right there with you. Of course, that would have made your V a little crowded, but thanks for the pix and captions.

m5biemer
06-11-13, 09:29 AM
Thanks for sharing, sounds like an awesome trip! Glad you were able to stay out of the tornados, that would have been pretty freaky to be in the middle of that mess.

thebigjimsho
06-11-13, 09:33 AM
Sounds like a fun trip Bob, you now have more miles than me, lol, remember how for so long you had next to no miles while I was cranking up the miles on mine driving all over Fla?. I've still got 8500 miles as my car is in storage for the summer but will be enjoyed when I get back to Fla. I think storing it for the summer was a good move as the darn roads around R.I are so bumpy you really can't enjoy a car like the V and I did not want to put tons of miles on the car driving it back and forth from Fla to R.I. When I drive my Opulent Blue Jetta Wagon I just pretend it has a extra 416 hp :)

Yeah, I'd be flying down 146 in the V. I'd see the Welcome to Rhode Island signs and turn around and go home.

You're a wuss...

Chrispy
06-11-13, 09:35 AM
Looks like an awesome trip! Love the Griswold reference :)

Trapspeed
06-11-13, 11:29 AM
Those pictures and that story will trump the Barrett-Jackson any day. Great stuff! Happy you enjoyed it and stayed ahead of that mess in OK.

1997BlackETC
06-11-13, 11:43 AM
No, I just want to keep my V in good shape and keep the miles down. I don't want to be racking up the miles driving it back and forth to Fla or worse yet trucking it back and forth and paying big bucks and having it get damaged that way. I think somebody is a little bit jealous here :) I've sensed that in many of your posts, your just pissed because you no longer have a V nor can afford another one because you made the wrong career moves or whatever.


Yeah, I'd be flying down 146 in the V. I'd see the Welcome to Rhode Island signs and turn around and go home.

You're a wuss...

thebigjimsho
06-11-13, 01:44 PM
No, I just want to keep my V in good shape and keep the miles down. I don't want to be racking up the miles driving it back and forth to Fla or worse yet trucking it back and forth and paying big bucks and having it get damaged that way. I think somebody is a little bit jealous here :) I've sensed that in many of your posts, your just pissed because you no longer have a V nor can afford another one because you made the wrong career moves or whatever.



I haven't changed since the day you came here. I've been mocking your opinion of Rhode Island roads much longer than the month I've been without my V.

Would I rather have my V? Sure. Am I jealous? Maybe once you've owned a V for nearly a decade, too, then maybe I'll be. Until then, no.

I just find your repeated posts on saving money amusing as you buy extra Colorado trucks, diesel wagons, dream homes in FL and RI and your replacement Vs. Over and over again.

odla
06-11-13, 02:11 PM
great trip! Good pics.

pat2t2f
06-11-13, 02:21 PM
Amazing pics and trip. Your son is a lucky boy.

thebigjimsho
06-11-13, 02:51 PM
Amazing pics and trip. Your son is a lucky boy.

I did a trip with my grandparents in their motorhome when I was 8. That trip should still be memorable, even for a youngin'.

Xaqtly
06-11-13, 03:33 PM
Great trip. I've been through a bugocalypse too, it was pretty ugly. Driving around the country, that's the way to take a family vacation, especially if you have a Vagon.

dennych
06-11-13, 04:43 PM
nice pics. Hope to have the time to do that one day

Gman1023
06-11-13, 07:14 PM
Awesome trip! I'm very envious; having driven coast to coast and back once all I really want to do is to do it again and spend more time seeing more things.

Kyle_B
06-11-13, 11:03 PM
Enjoyed stories & pix, thanks!

neuronbob
06-11-13, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the comments, all.


Sounds like a fun trip Bob, you now have more miles than me, lol, remember how for so long you had next to no miles while I was cranking up the miles on mine driving all over Fla?.

LOL! Now mine is the beater. The wagon is estivating for a little while after its excellent service on this long trip and my S2000 is going to be driven a lot more this summer. Even so, I will be driving the wagon on a regular basis. I didn't buy it to be a garage queen, after all! :)


Great trip. The V would be awesome for a Yellowstone adventure. We need an auxiliary fuel tank option. Hell yeah to both. I plotted out the trip on I-90 already. Mount Rushmore, then Devils Tower, then Yellowstone. Imagine how much further I could travel with an aux tank....could fit it under the rear cover of the wagon's cargo space. At least I got to meet people at the gas stops given how often I had to gas up, LOL!


Thanks for sharing, sounds like an awesome trip! Glad you were able to stay out of the tornados, that would have been pretty freaky to be in the middle of that mess.

We drove into St. Louis just as they were evacuating the ballpark there because of a tornado warning. We got hit with hail....thank goodness I found an underpass to pull over in, fast. No dents on the wagon. It was at that point that I decided not to travel further, especially with wife and child in tow, and found a hotel to stay in overnight.


What a great writeup! Almost felt like we were right there with you. Of course, that would have made your V a little crowded, but thanks for the pix and captions.

LOL, thanks!


Looks like an awesome trip! Love the Griswold reference :)

I'm glad I'm not the only old guy who got the 30-year-old references.


Those pictures and that story will trump the Barrett-Jackson any day. Great stuff! Happy you enjoyed it and stayed ahead of that mess in OK.

Well, I didn't buy the wagon to look at. :) Enjoying every second in the car.


Amazing pics and trip. Your son is a lucky boy.

Thanks. He is already talking about going back when he's tall enough to ride the mules into the Grand Canyon.

thebigjimsho
06-12-13, 09:04 AM
When I bought my '04 V and did a cross country trip within 2 months, much of what you did, we did. In one day we did the Badlands, Wall Drug, Mt Rushmore and Devils Tower. I even got a pic of the V in front of the V ranch...

1997BlackETC
06-12-13, 03:24 PM
When I bought my '04 V and did a cross country trip within 2 months, much of what you did, we did. In one day we did the Badlands, Wall Drug, Mt Rushmore and Devils Tower. I even got a pic of the V in front of the V ranch...

Hopefully you will get back to those times where you can do something like this again. Life has it's up's and down's. At one point it seems like we are doing great and then everything reverses and then back to doing great again.

thebigjimsho
06-12-13, 06:25 PM
Hopefully you will get back to those times where you can do something like this again. Life has it's up's and down's. At one point it seems like we are doing great and then everything reverses and then back to doing great again.

Thank you. I have been doing other things besides work. And my life is very good. Just V-less, for now...

hulksdaddy
06-12-13, 11:41 PM
Great pics Bob. Enjoy that car, and enjoy your son. They grow so fast.

:cheers:

hakalugi
06-13-13, 12:06 AM
great trip and thanks for sharing your pics.

interesting thought, an aux fuel tank... hmmmm.

dcc8203
06-13-13, 07:32 AM
Great pics and thanks for sharing.

Jinx
06-13-13, 10:48 AM
That's no Wagon Queen Family Truckster!

"I distinctly ordered the Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon with the CB and the optional Rallye Fun Pack."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTaTitRENDM

My hat's off to you, sir, for setting a fine example and using the wagon as it should be used. The journey makes your car more valuable, auction houses be damned. Kudos too for continuing the American tradition of the family road trip. May you take many more together. Thanks for sharing a few photos. My favorite is the Grand Canyon sunrise shot.

Did the bug guts leave any permanent marks on your clear bra?

Did you ever have any pangs of range anxiety?

neuronbob
06-13-13, 11:24 PM
Great pics Bob. Enjoy that car, and enjoy your son. They grow so fast.

:cheers:

It was "yesterday" when I drove him home from the hospital after his birth. You are absolutely correct.


That's no Wagon Queen Family Truckster!

"I distinctly ordered the Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon with the CB and the optional Rallye Fun Pack."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTaTitRENDM

My hat's off to you, sir, for setting a fine example and using the wagon as it should be used. The journey makes your car more valuable, auction houses be damned. Kudos too for continuing the American tradition of the family road trip. May you take many more together. Thanks for sharing a few photos. My favorite is the Grand Canyon sunrise shot.

Did the bug guts leave any permanent marks on your clear bra?

Did you ever have any pangs of range anxiety?

AWESOME link and thank you for sharing it. :thumbsup:

I cleaned the bugs off at a spray wash at each major (staying more than 24 hours) stop, so no permanent markage on the clear bra so far.

sublime1996525
06-13-13, 11:39 PM
Looks like a fun trip!