Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Bay Area California
Vehicle: 2006 SLK 280 Black
Other Toys: None
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
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Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Thanked 36 Times in 32 Posts
Made my way home yesterday, taking a different route. Instead of crossing the LA Basin, I headed north through San Bernardino to Antelope Valley and wandered across the high desert. Been a while since I was there.
My partner was traveling separately in his car ... he left Hemet a bit after me, so I waited for him in Palmdale, taking a rest stop and having a snack. Then we parted ways once more, as he wanted to see a solar power facility on the way and I had a friend to visit.
Of course, I pull into his driveway and he immediately laughs out loud, "Of course I knew that you would pull up in a FREEKIN' YELLOW MERCEDES!" Al and I are old moto buddies, we both drove Alfas and rode Ducatis together back in the day. He still has his favorite Ducati and Alfa Romeo in the garage, but they haven't been run in many years now. A most enjoyable visit: I hadn't seen Al in about 10 years so we had a good bit of catching up to do.
He really liked Die Gelbe Gefahr. He especially liked The Long Tale Of The Yet-To-Arrive New Catalytic Converter, and the delightful rusted out 1957 Chevy sound the old, damaged one makes when I start up the engine. It reminded him of acquiring parts for a 1982 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica in 1994. ]:-)
I swung northwards through Antelope Valley and enjoyed the severe high desert landscape. At one point I glanced at the ambient temperature gauge ... wow, 105 degrees! Baking out there. It was cool and comfortable in the SLK, no sign of heat distress in the engine bay at all. Hwy 138 out to Interstate 5, a moment's thought of running the backroads out to 101 and the coast but no: didn't want to spend the extra time. I settled back into a constant 75-80 mph cruise and the miles melted away.
The Yellow One didn't miss a beat the entire trip. The seat and interior space are so comfortable that after 550 miles of driving I hardly even felt tired, my back wasn't stiff, my legs weren't achey. Despite a very, very strong headwind all the way up the 5 and across Pacheco Pass, and that miserable stop-n-go traffic on the way down, I averaged 25.5 mpg for the round trip and the car was barely affected by the gusts of wind and bow wakes of tractor-trailers. Peak fuel mileage hit 27.9 mpg on one tank.
A most impressive little car. :-)
- addendum -
Forgot to mention one notable thing: along the way, I saw tons of BMWs, Mercedes, Jaguars, even Alfa Romeos, FIATs, and one or two Ferraris. But not a single other SLK! Where were all you folks?