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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know what you're thinking. The answer is yes, I'm at it again. My previous road trips of 2009 stirred something inside me and helped find me find myself. I found out that I have a real passion for this sort of thing and it helped define who I was. Not to be so high-strung and to enjoy the beauty in life. I found happiness, a high that I haven't been able to duplicate since. With the high gas prices last year, I only took a little roadtrip to Washington DC to see if that would satisfy my urge to drive. Nope. That's only a handful of hours away and hardly an accomplishment. Plus I lost all my pictures when my hard-drive failed. What I needed was to go someplace a handful of days away. To just drive all day long for a few weeks.

I wanted to go across the US again last year, even created a thread asking if anyone wanted to go. No takers. Well gas prices are still high this year. Figuring the prices won't be going back down to $2 per gallon anymore and I'm not getting any younger, I said screw it and started planning. Then packing. I knew what to bring, where to go, and what to do every day. This wasn't my first rodeo. I've got some money saved up and don't spend it. This seemed like a good opportunity to spend some of it doing what I love to do. Was I really going to do it again? You bet.

The same car was used, my trusty 1995 Jetta 2.0. I've gone through a couple of clusters in the time I've had the car, and this odometer shows 60,000 miles less than actual. It had over 195,000 miles on it when I left home. Surprisingly, it hasn't needed anything in the past few years. Is that a good sign, or would I just be driving a ticking time bomb?

For this thread I'll be taking a slightly different approach. I'd like to put you, the viewer, in the passenger seat for this ride. I want to make you feel like you're there. I want to explore your imagination. With a new camera, the pictures will be bigger and in higher resolution. We've advanced so much with the average computer and internet speed that I don't think anyone should have problems getting the pictures to show up in a timely manner. Also Photobucket sucks now, they reduce the resolution so much that the picture comes out looking like poop. No one wants to look at grainy pictures. So I'm giving flickr a try but of course they have limitations as to how many pictures you can upload per month so I'm not sure how long this thread will take to finish. Plus I haven't tested their bandwidth capacity yet. I'll see how it goes and react accordingly.

Also I'd like to make this thread more of a daily account with a lot more writing. I know that everyone on here is illiterate and can't read more than 6 words at a time, but give it a try. You don't have to look and read everything right away, save it for the weekend or an evening when you have some time off. Don't scroll quickly past the pictures- this isn't a race. They're not going anywhere. Look at each picture for a few seconds and imagine yourself there. This thread will be taking me a lot of time and effort to create, so I hope you can take some time to sit back, grab a couple beers, and enjoy the ride.

Day .5
Wed June 15

Had last-minute errands to run, then drove from NYC to PA and stayed with someone there. This way I have a chance to organize the car and get a head start in the morning. I'm not counting this as a day because 3hrs is not a far drive.

FDR Drive: Bye New York!

PA Turnpike:


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Day 1
Thurs June 16

Woke up at 4am and was driving by 4:30.

Drove straight through Pennsylvania. Rain was off and on all day.

Leftover pizza for lunch

More rain through Ohio

1 of 32 trips to the gas station

Faster than a speeding bullet

Here's Indiana. Central America is so boring with nothing to see

Got into Chicago at around 2pm CST. Already skipped a time zone. I would be stuck in traffic for the next hour and a half. Hate it! Especially when you've been going non-stop for so long, it sucks to just have to sit there.

The big black building is the Sears Tower

Got out of there and again, nothing to see in Wisconsin. The sunset was nice though.

The best thing about driving west is that you'll be driving off into the sunset. Driving off into the sunset- I love saying that.

Settled into a rest area for the night in western Wisconsin, knocking on Minnesota's door. 1,200 miles driven so far.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Day 2
Fri June 17

Woke up at 5am and was on the road by 5:30. That Wisconsin rest area was beautiful- nicely landscaped, new, and spotlessly clean. Wish all rest areas were like this.

Heavy fog in Minnesota

Got into Bloomington, MN at around 6:30 to see the Mall of America. The stores weren't open until 10am but I wasn't there to go shopping.

I was there to see this

They have a freakin' amusement park inside the mall!

Especially surprised to see a water ride. Imagine getting soaked and then still going shopping.

Look at the size of this thing. It swung back and forth

And this thing. It had 12 seats and swung back and forth on what looked to be a huge skateboard

A ferris wheel inside of a mall!

A roller coaster inside a mall! They had 3 in there, I believe.

This looked like a lot of fun. After being secured by a safety line, you would be walking on ropes and planks of wood where the higher you went, the more and more challenging it got. See on top how there's nothing to hold on to? Every level was more and more difficult to go across without falling.

Unfortunately, none of the rides were open yet since the stores weren't open. I did get to see them being tested by the staff though. And on the bright side, I had the place to myself!

The mall was 4 stories tall. I believe it has over 500 stores, much more than any other mall in the US. All the stores surrounded the amusement park. Here you can see the 4 floors:

Leaving the Minneapolis area, the graffiti on this truck had me LMAO

My impressions of Minnesota: uneventful, but looks to be a nice place and the roads were smooth. Wouldn't want to visit in the winter though.

Onto North Dakota. This was near Fargo, and I entered the wonderful 75mph speed limit part of the country. I have no idea why anyone would want to live here. But I saw on the History channel that it's a great place to work with lots of lucrative jobs.

So boring you need energy shots to stay awake

Road flooded

Energy shot kicking in. Time to fly!

More gas. I'm filling up 3 times a day in this part of the trip.

Made friends with a couple in a red Dodge headed to South Dakota. By friends, I mean we cruised together for hours. They stopped to get gas and I kept going. After I got gas, who else would be chugging along the highway but the red Dodge. We both laughed and gave each other a thumbs up.

Luxury 5-star accommodations in North Dakota. Oh you fancy huh?

Soldiering on. What surprised me the most was how desolate it was. This was I-94, a major interstate and there's no cars! No houses, no farms, and some of the interstate's exits were dirt roads leading over the hill to nowhere. There were times when I could see for miles ahead and behind me, and could see no other vehicles. Not even in the oncoming direction- pretty eerie.

Entering Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota

It reminded me of the Badlands in South Dakota, just not as grand. I'm still glad I went and saw it. The 37-mile loop took 2 hours. Lots of horses, hundreds of prairie dogs, and some buffalo. I had one prairie dog barking at me and every time he barked, his tail flickered. Very cute.

Crossing the Yellowstone River

Already in Montana at this point

These kids had me cracking up. They were both wearing 10-gallon hats, flying through Montana without a care in the world, and were messing with each other the whole time.

Montana sunset. Sorry about the bugs, I had just cleaned the windshield at the gas station 10 minutes ago.

One of the greatest things about these roadtrips is being able to see magnificent sunsets in many different places with memorable landscapes. That's one of the biggest drawbacks to living in a big city. You never get to see beautiful sunrises or sunsets unless you're high up in a skyscraper or on a high bridge. How can you wake up happy in the mornings? How can you go to sleep at peace with the world? I suppose every person's key to happiness differs but my key is to witness a nice sunset every once in a while.

Big sky country!

So far I've driven 2,000 miles and skipped two time zones.

That's all I have for now. I can't upload more onto flickr until the first of the next month, which is Monday. Lots of good stuff to come!

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the comments so far. :thumbup:

How are the pictures coming up? Are they clear for everyone? Are they bigger than the screen, or does everyone have auto-adjusting screens? I'm putting everything up at 1024 x 768, I hope that's not too big but it's coming up just fine for my widescreen monitor. Are they loading quickly?

After reading the 14k mile trip thread and thoroughly enjoying it, I've got a couple things to say.

1. Your writing style, correct grammar and punctuation, and ability to keep the story flowing is very refreshing. Most might just skim through the paragraphs, but there are some of us that do take the time to read what you write. Thank you sir :beer:

2. After a couple years since your last trip and with many rest area nights under your belt, how do you feel about safety with each sleep stop? I'd imagine feeling comfortable and safe before you go to sleep makes the nights easier, did the car arrangements not work out any of the nights? Your sleeping setup in the first thread was so impressive that I went out and laid my Golfs rear seats down and checked to see how I fit with my dog too. Not bad!

3. Do you have CC in your Jetta? If so, are you pretty much using it all the time while on the freeway? I noticed 80mph, about your average cruising speed? :laugh:

4. Good concept with putting the photos from the passenger perspective. Any chance we can see a map with the route planned?

Hopefully this gives some inspiration to go on a road trip of their own, I know your 09 trip sparked my interest. Anticipating the rest :thumbup:
1. Thank you! In this day of the text message and seeing how we're on an internet forum, people simply forget everything they've learned in English class and type the quickest way possible to get the point across. The trouble with that is sometimes no one wants to read it.

2. Didn't really care for the rest areas down south. They have police officers parked there at night and at first I thought that was a good thing until I started wondering why they needed them at all. But you go over and say hi to the officer, offer him a soda, tell him you'll be sleeping there for the night, and he keeps an eye out for you. For the most part, the rest areas are just fine and I didn't have any problems with them. If you don't like a certain area then move onto the next one. Sometimes it's a shthole and the next one is new and air-conditioned. I think it's because the state has only enough funding to modernize a handful of areas so they do every other one to spread it across the state's highways.

I'm not the only one doing it. Lots of people sleep in their cars when they get too tired to make it all the way home. Others are moving across the country with cars full of their belongings. I always parked the furthest away from the bathrooms and slept with a pocketknife visible and within reach. A good point that someone mentioned to me was this- I was a dude sleeping in my car on the side of the highway. Anyone who's shady enough to do that, people stay away from. That's what nyc subways taught me: be crazier than the next guy and you get your way. Even if you're a little scared, the trick is to look mad or crazy and no one messes with you.

3. Cruise control doesn't work. Didn't really miss it, I'm not a huge fan of it. Average cruising speed was around 80. I was trying to go as far as I could in a day without wasting too much gas. Throw in the occasional high-speed run in the middle of nowhere to get an adrenaline boost.

4. Not posting the route until the thread is finished. You're along for the ride, remember? :p

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
By the way, I'm already back. Came back earlier this month. I went where I went and did what I did; there's no changing that now.

What's your plan for minnesota? You should drive up duluth then hit the north shore of lake superior. The drive to grand marias is amazing and there's tons of state parks to stop at.
You already saw my plan for Minnesota- just the Mall of America. :laugh: Gotta keep going, lots of good stuff out there to see.


I wish there were more epic threads like this on here.
Me too. I like threads that tell a story.

did you take the toll road through indiana? that's about 40 minutes north of where i live in indiana. and yeah, it's an awful state to both live in and drive through.
Yep, I think so. Took I-80 back and forth. Indiana's not so bad. I liked Indianapolis last time I came through there. :thumbup:

in for this.

if for some odd reason you venture around my neck of the woods - holler.
Cut across the northern part of Idaho. Where's the pictures you were supposed to take when you moved there from MD?

It's cool that you take your time and see stuff.
I've done CT-Cali-CT, CT-Ottawa/Toronto (tons for school), and just recently CT-Colorado (-Utah-Colorado for a mini vacation). Same deal with people not committing to come along. Their loss!
You should see the mechanics who work on my car when I tell them what I'm about to do, haha. 'Til the wheels fall off.
Damn straight :thumbup:

I'm jealous!

These pictures remind me of my roadtrips. I did 2 big roadtrips and several small ones.
I'm guessing you were moving or for school? When you're moving to different parts of the country, it's great to use the trip to sightsee a little bit along the way. :thumbup:

all in all about how much did this trip run you? gas?lodging?
Well I took a lot of food with me. Crackers, tuna fish, canned food, granola bars, etc. Plus I didn't eat much. Or stay in too many motels. Grand total of everything including gas, food, lodging, excursions, souveniers, car washes, oil changes, tolls, absolutely everything was about $1650. Gas was a major part of the expenses, probably 75%. Just goes to show it's possible to do this on a very limited budget.

wow i love your road trip threads so cool and your writing is very easy and a pleasure to read.

im just wondering- when you switching to a TD/TDI? go about 1/3 extra milage and up here diesel is often cheaper
Thanks man. Believe it or not, I don't drive much. If I get another car it'll have a VR.

Driving long distance with out the pressure of "getting there" is a good feeling.
You can really soak in the scenery. Nice pics Danny.

What music do you listen to ?

Absolutely. A little bit of everything. Hip-hop, rap, alternative, pop, rock, and house. Mostly techno remixes of popular songs when I get tired to wake me up. It's good to have variety.

Love it Danny. Excellent Thread.

Glad you're home safe. :thumbup:
^ THIS guy! He helped me out while I was on the road but I'll get to that later. :p

You must have an awesome, flexible job. Wish I could do something like this. Then again, my mk3 falls apart if you drive it more than 10 miles at a time. Great to see a clean, well maintained mk3 doing what it was meant for.
I'm working in the family business right now. Good thing about it is that I can say "Well pops, I'll see ya in a few weeks" hahaha. I get time off whenever I want, but then again so can he. I'd like to start doing something else though, and this trip was sort of my last hurrah before I go.

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
i think i saw you on 80 heading east in PA cant remember the date cuz i was pretty hungover from the night before. I do know what you mean by the whole driving thing. I drove from NC to Ohio for a wedding and then from Ohio to NJ. That whole drive was amazing it really lifted my spirits and after 35 days in 29 Palms CA i need something to help me relax and that was def it. great thread hope to see some more pics soon. :thumbup:
Hahaha that was you? Black GLX with Jersey plates? The date was Sunday July 3rd. I would have liked to cruise but why the heck were you going so slow? Your car is incredibly loud, I could hear it coming a mile away every time I stopped to take a leak. I took 2 pee brakes and still was ahead of you. :laugh: Took a picture of your car rolling, I'll post it up at the end of the thread. :thumbup:

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Discussion Starter · #61 · (Edited)
Day 3
Sat June 18

Woke up at 5:30am MST. The rest area had a sign that read "Stay on concrete paths. Rattlesnakes have been spotted in the area."

You better believe I stayed on the concrete path.

Chugging happily along again on I-90/94. Roadwork on the interstate had turned it into a gravel road. It's times like this I'm glad I don't have a nice car.

En route towards Yellowstone. I was happy to finally start seeing some nice scenery. Snow-capped mountains, winding roads and the sheer magnitude of the cliffs got my heart beating fast again.

Stopped off for gas and a touch-free car wash. The touch-free car was sucks when your car is really filthy and didn't get any of the brake dust off. Oh well. They have 85.5 octane gas in Montana :screwy: I went with 88 octane, which was 10 cents cheaper than 85.5 octane. Another :screwy:

Continuing on US212

I thought this US212 (the Beartooth Highway) would have been open by now but it was still closed due to snow. It was open the last time I came through a couple years ago and that was May. This was now June. Must've had more snowfall this past winter than ever before.

The top of Beartooth Pass 10,947 ft elevation

Funny to see people going skiing in June. The snow on the side of the road was about as high as my car.

After only getting to the Wyoming border, I had to turn around and go back to Montana, down the way I came up.

A major part of the road went from 5,200 ft to 8,000 ft in 12 mi. It wasn't an easy task for the underpowered little 2.0 with a full trunk- it was struggling the whole time.

Looking back now, I didn't really mind turning around because I didn't take too many good pictures on the way up. I took better pictures on the way down and got to see the same scenery again from a different angle.

Yeah buddy

Taking the long way to another entrance into Yellowstone. Time for lunch: peanut butter crackers

Abandoned mill

House on wheels. Speed limit on this road was 70mph. Where else will you find a back country road with 70mph speed limits?

Getting into Yellowstone. This would be my third trip here and do you know why I keep coming back? Every time you come, there's something different to see. You might see some wildlife you haven't seen before. Different geysers might erupt. Maybe you'll see something new. It's never exactly the same.

I was greeted by the ever-present buffalo. They look so peaceful and tame until you see one charging and that's when you're reminded of how fast and strong they are.

Buffalo in mirror might be closer than they appear

Reminder of the 1988 fire

Yellowstone Lake

This was mostly what I came for, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Last time I came for these pictures, the memory card messed up and the pictures were lost.

This was my unexpected highlight of the day. As I was leaving the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, I spotted a grizzly bear! Imagine that, getting to see a real grizzly in the wild.

The bear disappeared somewhere amongst the trees. Maybe went down to get a drink of water.

Now this is probably the best part of the story. Less than 3 weeks after these pictures were taken, a man was mauled by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone, right near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It could have been the same exact bear! Who knows?

Link to the article:

Moving on, geysers along the road

Herd of bison. A few drops of rain started coming down again.

Elk. Hard to tell from the picture but this guy was over 7 feet tall

I headed north into a rest area in Anaconda, MT for the night. This rest area was nice and brand new, complete with private bathrooms and you could have your own sink behind a locked door. I was able to take a mini-shower in that sink that would hold me over for a while. Got to wash the car at the rest area the next morning too with my own water jugs.

End of Day 3. Total mileage so far has been 2600 miles.

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Day 4
Sun June 19

Didn't see much today. Drove from Anaconda, MT, through Idaho, and into Washington state.

Missoula, Montana as seen from I-90

Lead car was a 1911 Rolls-Royce.

More rain through Idaho on I-90. It's rained part of every day so far into the trip. Tell me again why I keep washing the car? I was surprised how steep the grade was and how windy the interstate was. Parts were down to a 45mph limit through the national forest.

More gas, and a picture with Smokey. He ran out of beer and wasn't happy about it.

Lake Coeur d' Alene

In Spokane, I went to see Mt. Spokane State Park. There wasn't much to see since I could only go as high as 4300 feet and the rest was a private road for condos.

Along Hwy 2 in Washington towards Coulee City

Went though some small towns and going through one town, there was a state trooper who pulled a U-turn and started following me. I wasn't speeding. 30mph right on the nose. I didn't do anything wrong but he kept following me out of town. Then pulled me over. You'll never guess what for. No front plate. My car's registered in Pennsylvania which don't have front plates. And even if they did, it's not a law that can be enforced by the state of Washington. What a waste of my time and I didn't need to feel the stress of a traffic stop. He was very nice and professional though. Even gave me some tips as to where to park for the night.

Continuing on, more bad luck: This ass hole came out of nowhere and decided to commit suicide on my car. Hit the corner of the hood and then bounced off the windshield. Luckily no damage to the car. I think it was a pheasant.

Who knew parts of Washington state looked like this?

Approaching Coulee City

Grand Coulee Dam

The 25-mile long SR155 road along Banks Lake was spectacular, especially with the vibrant sunset. Too bad the pictures didn't capture the beauty of the drive.

Sun Lakes State Park. The shape of the landscape reminded me a lot of eastern Utah, only the colors were different. A large river had carved a large canyon and some sections looked like Canyonlands National Park.

Too bad I didn't have the opportunity to fully take it all in because what concerned me at the time was a sleeping location. I had planned on parking there, but each campsite cost $22. Way too expensive to sleep in my car. :screwy:

So I headed back to Banks Lake and parked at a pull-off area that was behind a guardrail and had my own private parking area. It was very peaceful with no one around for miles, very few cars passing at night and a handful of deer. After the sun set, the clear sky brought with it stars that I watched twinkle as I fell asleep. It was an excellent place to stop and best of all, free!


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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Well this was anticlimactic :laugh: the thread started, then the next thing ya know, it's "I'm home again."

Where's the rest of the itinerary and the pics man! :thumbup:
They're coming, they're coming. Uploaded a bunch more pictures today, now I just have to sit down and start putting it together.

When you coming to miami? :laugh::beer:
Already went the past 2 Novembers in a row. I like Miami :thumbup:

Radar detectors are illegal are they not?
Only in Wash, DC and Virginia. And the eastern half of Canada. Legal in other 49 states, etc.

hey man, really funn stuff you got on here.You should have came across the boarder eh!

Love the pics thats the route I take when I go to bike week in sturgis
Do you drive or ride there? Can't imagine what the interstates look like in that part of the country around bike week.

great update man! incredible scenery. regarding the snow, they did have record amounts fall this year, and i had heard some skiing places were staying open until july 4th.
That's pretty nuts. :beer:

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Day 5
Mon June 20

Woke up along Banks Lake at around 8am. Starting to get lazy. Watched some of my footage of the trip so far, watched the cars go by, watched people fish in the lake, shaved, etc.

The sleeping situation, for those that haven't seen my other threads

The charging station. There's the GPS, radar, cell, and the refrigerator. Then a power inverter charging the DVD player, camera, video camera, and HD video camera. I couldn't blast the radio too loud because it would blow a fuse. Did end up blowing one fuse which I readily changed out while driving, didn't even stop. Good to keep some spares in the ashtray.

I've been hearing a clicking noise at low speeds coming from my front left wheel. So I also took the time to jack up that corner of the car, take the wheel off, and check everything out. Looks ok and I don't know what it could be. It might have always been clicked but I never paid any attention to it. Now that I'm so far from home, I listen for any and all signs of trouble. Put the wheel back on and headed north again.

North Cascades National Park

Made a friend

A couple friends actually

Stopped again to check out the left front wheel. The clicking is starting to bother me more and more. If I only knew what it was... :confused:

This marked 1/3 of the trip over. My first goal was to make it to Vancouver, and I did- NYC to Vancouver in 5 days.

The border agents asked me all sorts of strange questions. Where do I work, how am I paying for the trip, how much cash I have on me, how much cash I can get from an ATM, etc. I almost thought they were going to rob me. This was all none of their business.

Downtown Vancouver

Lots of modified Volkswagens in Vancouver.

My impressions of Vancouver: nice city. However, my expectations were very high since everyone has been telling me how extraordinary it is. How beautiful it is. How clean it is. I wasn't that impressed. Homeless people everywhere. Dirty streets. Businesses boarded up with plywood. Shady characters on the corners. I was planning on taking a tour of Hastings Street but with all the bums and crackheads crawling about, I didn't feel like walking around. I could see this sort of riff-raff without leaving home, why does everyone rave about this place?

Then again, I didn't see it in its natural state. I saw it on June 20th. Five days earlier on June 15th, the Stanley Cup riot destroyed downtown Vancouver. Stores were looted, cars set on fire, people stabbed, etc. Such stupidity over a stupid hockey game. :rolleyes:

Downtown Vancouver was better seen from a distance. This is the view as seen from Stanley Park.

Then headed back out of Canada. Don't get me wrong; some streets were nice, I did enjoy seeing the beautiful buildings, and the city had a great mountainous backdrop. But it was getting dark and I saw all I was going to see of Vancouver on this particular trip.

End of Day 5: 3,520 miles completed.

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Day 6
Tues June 21

Woke up in a rest area 40 miles south of the Canadian border. Washington and the entire northwest have some really nice rest areas filled with grass, trees, picnic areas, and decent restrooms.

Breakfast buffet

Happy to do the first full car wash- complete with interior cleaning and scrubbing the brake dust off the wheels with a toothbrush. If my car's dirty, I feel dirty. This felt so much better.

Got into Seattle

Hit a little traffic going into the city but luckily the Seattle Center was pretty deserted with only a handful of tourists this lovely Tuesday morning. Parking in the area was plentiful and easy to find.

The weather was cooperating today so I walked around the Space Needle area. Not that much to see unless you paid the $15 for the elevator ride but Seattle looks like a clean and peaceful place to live & work.

Some of the streets reminded me of San Fransisco

From Seattle, the goal was to get to Olympic National Park so I could either take the long way driving down and around the Puget Sound, or I could take a ferry across it. The ferry would have cost $15 but it would have saved time, gas, traffic delays, and I could get to see something else for a change.

Guess what I did.

The car scraped going on and off, no matter what angle I took.

This was the first time my car was ever on a ferry. I could tell it was excited.

Some shots from aboard the top deck

You can see Mt. Rainier!

Stopped off at Port Gamble for a few pictures


Went to the Hurricane Ridge section of Olympic National Park. More steep elevations, the road went from close to sea level to 5200 feet at the top.

Glad I went- it provided a great view of the mountains, which reminded me of the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

On the way down, I decided to consult a few mk3 people regarding the clicking sound. I'm putting on a lot of highway miles and need to know if something's getting worse and if I should do something about it before I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere or worse yet, a wheel falls off. PKstrategy and Yeah Right! were a lot of help. I called Tom and based on what he said, we narrowed it down to the axle that only has 15k miles. I didn't deem it as a threat or as anything being wrong. It just liked to click once when giving a little gas and once when letting off the gas. Whatever. Didn't care after that. Good to know you can rely on the help of others. Thanks again for putting my mind at ease. :beer:

Driving around the most northwesters tip of the continental US, Highway 101.

Went looking for that sexy little vampire Alice Cullen

Didn't know they have beaches this far north

Driving through the HOH Rainforest section of Olympic National Park. It got really cold here, much different than the other sections of Washington. It was a big day for my car- a ferry and rainforest for the first time, both in the same day.


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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Day 7
Wed June 22

Woke up feeling rested after a long day yesterday. Not a lot of miles traveled, but I had driven all day on slower roads. Went for my first oil change. I meant to go to Mt Rainier but set the GPS to Mt. Saint Helen and didn't realize until it was too late. I had already passed it. Oh well, didn't really matter because all these mountains were starting to look alike. I was now headed to Johnston Ridge, the visitor's center closest to the volcano.


Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument

In 1980, the volcano erupted and the eruption blasted off the top of the mountain, sending lava and magma destroying the forest around it. What you see is the old dome surrounding the new mountaintop, which has pushed through during the last 30 years. You can also see the new glacier that has formed between the old crust surrounding the new dome through the constant melting and refreezing of snow.

With the fog rolling in, I took off and headed south towards Oregon.

Crossing into Portland. I was glad to finally move onto another state.

That's about it for now. End of day 7 with a total mileage of 4,170 miles

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Whenever I get my MK3 VR6 running I kinda planned on doing a USA roadtrip next summer. Maybe a MK3 cruise? Haha
Mk3 cannonball rally!
On a serious note, don't go in the summer. The heat will make you miserable, especially if you have leather seats.

It's nice to see some shots of the good ole PNW. My cabin on Lake Coeur d'Alene is one exit before the Sherman Ave. exit :laugh:
Nice area. :thumbup:

Incredible! Very inspiring! I've always wanted to do this, but have never really been in the position to do so. Awesome!!
And you can't now anyway- your car is too nice. :heart:

Too bad you didn't go across Snoqualmie Pass. The scenery change from west to east WA is one of the most phenomenal things I have ever seen.

Green green green EVERYWHERE on the west side, cross the pass, and nothing but beautiful barren red rocks, plateaus, and nothing in the way of you and the horizon.
I took the route through North Cascades NP. It would have been about the same scenery I'm guessing. I crossed the same mountain chain but at a different point. I see what you're saying though. Didn't know WA was so varied in scenery.

There's also I-15 between vegas and ....whatever that city in cali is. barstow? Nothing but straight road, plateaus, and ghost towns until you hit what I call 'advertisement alley'. There's a one mile stretch of really bright fancy neon advertisement banners on both sides of the road just before you hit vegas.
Been through there before. Lots of places in the Southwest are like that. :thumbup:

Another spectacular sight to see is following 70 through utah and seeing things like Eagle Canyon, and Ghost Rock.
Been there too, last time. :thumbup:

I forget if its also on i70, but theres quite a bit of freeway following the colorado river. thats a fantastic drive.
Actually wanted to take I-70 through Colorado because I've seen some video footage on a tekademics DVD before. I took a slower, more relaxed route. You'll see towards the end of the thread.

If you are ever in the Amarillo, TX area, stop by and eat a steak at the steakhouse there. forget the name, but you cant miss the banner. they have the 80oz challenge.
Yep, I know of it - The Big Texan Steak Ranch. I can't finish a 4.5 pound steak and the sides.

oh, and the drive down 40 between alberquerquie and barstow is pretty surreal. ghost towns everywhere.

but honestly, if youre going that way, take route 66.
Been though that way last time also. :laugh: Not much to see on Rt.66 and the roads are really choppy - not recommended for a lowered VW.

Great post by the way. I take it you've driving around a little also? :beer:

your sleeping idea with back seats in genius. ive only used it once but with the 4" memory foam pad i have it amazes me how comfy it is.
Yep, plus you have the rear parcel shelf to put your stuff on. First time I did that was camping at H2o a long time ago. Much more convenient and safer than a tent. :)

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18,725 Posts
Discussion Starter · #96 ·
Thanks again for the comments guys. Glad you're enjoying.

Feel free to share your roadtrip stories.

There's 58 pictures on this page already (approx 29MB) - hoping to add more when the thread gets to page 4 so keep the comments coming. Don't want too many pictures on one page to crash anyone's computer.


Love road trips, I actually just got back from one.

Grand Coulee has some sweet laser light shows at night! I'm from WA, and I miss it everyday. It offers everything as far as landscapes etc...I will be following this thread closely :p
Where'd you go?

Wish I knew about the laser show, would have definitely gone to that. I slept a handful of miles away.


come out thursday, punk.
or Dubnutz BBQ this Saturday.
These roadtrip threads are always both awesome and entertaining :thumbup:
And x2 on coming out on thursday or this weekend

Awesome. hey on the "clicking" issue, my car did the same thing, still does sometimes, and i still dont get how, but my left front brake pads were causing it, im guessing the caliper doesnt let off fully or something on that side. i have recently changed my front rotors/pads and the noise stopped. Now it doesnt do it unless i drive for long and it is really hot... so maybe it may have something to do with that if everything else looks to be in shape. Does the noise stop when you brake, or even when you brake harder than normal...
My driver's side brakes heat up a little more than the passenger side but figured it was because there's more weight on that corner. So that could be a possibility. Don't think so though because I could be coasting along, give it a touch of gas and hear a click. Then let off the gas again and hear another click. Seems like it clicks when power is applied. I'll try and see if it still does it when I'm on the brakes, thanks for the tip.

now im confused as hell
I have some for sale, he was giving me a free plug. Thanks Jim. ;)

If your ever near chicago hit me up. I'm always down for a road trip:thumbup:

Great threads OP, I enjoy them. I think it's time you bought a TDi Variant - I think it will suit your needs better, but I like your MK3 too - clean and simple, what suspension are you running?
That would be cool. Know of any for sale in the US? :p Thanks for the compliment. It's just a cupkit (haha do people know what that is anymore?)

Not low and don't care. :wave:

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18,725 Posts
Discussion Starter · #99 ·
I fukcs with LG6R.
It'd be nice to meet you one of these days. :p

it may have been you that did this a few years back. i remember talking about propping the laptop on the tray to watch movies. i have a tablet so swinging that screen around and aiming it down would be awesome :D

if we cruise to h2o we might stop for one night and ill probably just curl up with the lady in the back of the jetta. if we take her harlequin im sure there wont be as much room though :)
A golf is about a foot shorter, don't think you'll fit unless you're both 5 feet tall. If you take the rear seat bottoms out and sleep with your heads at the rear bumper, that might give you a few extra inches.

Yeah that was me. Here's the pic from last time:

Ok well I think we should do like a MK3 USA cruise. That'd be cool.
That's be pretty epic. :thumbup:
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