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Discussion Starter #1
Well my big road trip got off to a weird, late start. Had visitors' trip postponed by the volcano in Iceland, then found out the day before I was going to leave that my great aunt in Albuquerque had passed away, so I scrapped plans to take a leisurely stroll down 101 towards LA then over the AZ and NM, and instead hightailed in to Albuquerque to get there in time for her memorial service.

1400 miles in 3 days, mostly boring interstate driving, cuz I didn't have the luxury of time. Out 84 to Boise, then down 15 to Provo, UT, then UT6 to 191 to 491 to 40. Confined my driving mostly to daylight hours, so I had time to eat, find a hotel, etc. after dark. Did get the time to take some good pics, whch I'll try to post if the forum decided I'm worthy yet :)


After the service I took whats called the High Road to Taos, NM, which is WELL worth a drive if you're ever in the area. Instead of heading all the way out 68 from Santa Fe/Espanola, turn off on 76, then follow that to 75 and 518 which will bring you back out to 68 just before you hit Taos. You drive up through the Carson National Forest up in the Pecos mountains, and it's a beautiful drive, lots of curves, not much traffic (even on Memorial Day Weekend). And stop at a little place called El Sanctuario de Chimayo in Chimayo just after you start off on 76. There's a cool little adobe church where the dirt is supposed to heal all kinds of illnesses, but is really picturesque. Las Trampas is a really old, small church a few towns up, but I passed it before noticing and didn't feel like turning back.

More as it happens. I'm winging it at this point, but will post more after a few more days adventure.
 

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Nice, any pics are worthy, there are no boring pics. Post away.
 

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Don - Founding Member #4
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:tu:Sounds like fun. I've never taken a trip where I didn't have to be there and back by a certain date. Leisurely trip, that's appealing. Be safe, enjoy, and keep us updated, don't forget the pics.
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK350
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Sounds like a great drive. Sorry to hear about great aunt. Photos would be great if you get the chance. Drive safe and enjoy your trip.

When you get back to Portland, send me a PM. Maybe we could meet up for coffee. Not many folks on the forum from our area.
 

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Thanks, all, technical difficulties with the photos, will sort when I have more time. Dave54, still not allowed to send PMs until I post more, but should be good by the time I'm back in town..
 

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Trying some images

Let me know if these work for y'all. Had to shrink them for the upload to work, but the error was cryptic.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks like my last post got stuck.

Will try again. From NM, hit Arizona and the Grand Canyon. Awesome, had never been. Words (and pictures) fail. BTW, 89 and 89A are GREAT drives to open up with the top down <g>. From there hit Phoenix to visit my aunt and uncle, then over to Vegas, baby! to visit a friend. Finally got out of the heat in LA last Tuesday, then flew home for a Russell Peters show. Back in CA now heading up PCH towards San Francisco. Will spend a few days in the bay area before heading up to Yosemite.

More great driving roads - Route 1 before Lompoc/Vandenberg AFB is gorgeous. I also missed a turnoff early in the day and ended up on CA-23 between 405 and 1 - OMG! That was a blast.

Debating whether to turn east from there or go home. Here's some more pics (hopefully come thru this time).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
BTW, averaging 27.5 MPG over 3500 miles. Had a couple of days with better than 30 MPG. Pleasantly surprised on that front. Are others with SLk350s getting that kind of mileage?
 

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BTW, averaging 27.5 MPG over 3500 miles. Had a couple of days with better than 30 MPG. Pleasantly surprised on that front. Are others with SLk350s getting that kind of mileage?
Yes, some even better, there is a thread regarding gas mileage somewhere.
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK350
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Sounds and looks like you are having a great time. Keep posting your photos and enjoy your trip.
 

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More Cali

Drove up the PCH and spent several days in SF before heading out east to visit family and friends. Off to Mammoth Lakes then gold rush country then Yosemite this week. After that not sure whether I'm heading east or heading home (though if the weather in Portland doesn't improve, I may continue to stay away <g>). More pics of PCH up near Big Sur and SF. The last one is the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose which is actually kinda fun for a tourist trap.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The Sierras and Mammoth Lakes

Some more pics. Drove the SLK up through Sonora Pass on CA-108 yesterday, which maxes out at 9624 feet with 25% grades!?!?! Didn't even sweat, God bless her, but damned glad I didn't have a stick. You could smell burning clutches and brakes on the cars coming the other way <g>. Did the Tioga Pass (CA-120) into Yosemite today which tops out at 9945 ft - and got SNOWED on in June! Surreal. Both roads are HIGHLY recommended, though only open summers and reasonably busy with tourists. But you won't care how slow you go because there is so much breathtaking scenery everywhere you look. Wow!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It is in fact Mono Lake - very cool place. Shame that it's known for those formations, which only exist above water because it has been drained so badly.
 

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Yosemite

Will post pics later - Yosemite was phenomenal, though not that fun to drive in:

a) Lots of construction, especially on 41.
b) deer, other critters everywhere, especially in mornings/evenings
c) Traffic, esp. RVs
d) Parking is limited
e) Lots of NPS trucks with radar around
f) Even if the coast is clear you have to stop every half a mile to gawk and take photos because it's so stunning <g>

Will definitely come back, in a rental :biglaugh:

I am definitely going to need new tires when this trip is over. Should hit 5000 miles tomorrow!

Also saw my first grizzly the other day. Some thoughts that went throughmy head on being in an open convertible near a bear:

a) I am at bear height
b) Suddenly, the 20 seconds it takes to close the roof seems WAAAAAY too long.
c) Oh, crap, do I have any food in here?!?1

:tazz:
 

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My first 'road trip' was home from purchasing the SLK in CO. It wasn't particularly comfortable for the first 500 miles until I re-thought my seating position. Since then, I am pleased with the SLK as a road car. The seating/driving comfort is considerably better than in my 2010 E350 and on par with my 2009 VW Jetta TDi.

I have Roadsterbags (fitted luggage set) and find that it makes a big difference in how much 'stuff' we can carry/load and unload easily. At closeout pricing, it is inexpensive and a good value, in my opinion.

great photos and data. Thinking of buying an SLK and wondered how the comfort was honestly on road trips ?
 
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