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Welcome to our documentary cross country trip of 2009,
in our topless Factory Five Roadster (Cobra).

Latest update, June 17, 2009
12:30pm Aptos, CA

What started a few years ago as a thought and dream is finally here. We are driving our Factory Five Cobra, yeah I said it, across the United States this year. Our goal is to be at the annual open house at Factory Five June 13, 2009. We're leaving on Sunday May 31st and should be able to conquer the obsticles (hopefully not many) to arrive in time.

Along the way we have stops planned to see old and new friends and just have a good time. We're going topless too! Yep, no top, just a car cover and snapless toneau cover (thanks Phil and Kay) to keep the elements out. If that doesnít work, well, weíll just improvise.

We have a few designated stops along the way, but about half of the trip is open for us to do what we want or stop if we have to. Iíll be keeping up this page during the trip so I donít have to remember three weeks of data. My poor brain canít handle that much at one time. So, if youíre so inclined, youíre welcome to stop by periodically and see whatís going on with our trip. We'll be checking email so if you'd like to drop a line, do so here: weendoggy@aol.com or, you can email Jeanne at: jt81cruz@aol.com

Our first scheduled stop is in Kansas City to visit Richard Oben of North Race Cars. We met him in Las Vegas a few years back during the Factory Five Western Nationals. Being gear heads, we clicked right away. Also a very nice person and has great ideas for the cars. Heck, I've even spent some of my money with him. Our plan is to roll into town on Tuesday afternoon.

Day 1, Aptos, CA.

On the road at 4:30am Sunday morning and drove to Sacramento for a breakfast and gas stop. Weather so far, yeah, we've only driven 2 1/2 hours, is o.k. A little chilly and overcast but it looks better now. The drive over the Sierra's was beautiful. Sunny and cool but at least no rain. Rain, oh, that comes later.

Driving through Nevada was pleasant and nasty. In that order too. Everything was fine until Winnemucca, then the rain started. Not enough to ruin anything but still rain, or should I say scattered showers. We kept going and stopped in Elko for gas. Once back on the road it started looking very nasty, and it turned that way rather quickly. And then it happened.

Just when you thought everything was going o.k., boom! The engine started losing power, sputtering, coughing and anything else it could do. Oh yeah, this happened in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to go. I had to find somewhere to go in the middle of nowhere. I passed an overpass, stopped on the onramp, got the engine running enough to back it down the onramp (going the wrong way, but who cared) and under the overpass.

I started checking things and finally figured it might be the TFI module. I carry a spare so I installed it and it seemed to be better. I looked at the cap/rotor that I put on before the trip and it looked o.k. I didn't have a spare so it would have to do. Fuel pressure was good so I wasn't too worried about the fuel portion. I took the air cleaner off and found a bunch of water that got sucked, pushed and plowed in from the hood scoop so I cleaned that out and we were on our way. Believe me, I wasn't too optomistic for the next 30 miles until we got to Wendover and I said that's enough for the day.

Day 2, Wendover, NV.

After having the car problem the day before, I was leary to say the least. Not that I don't trust my work, but the fact that it may happen again and we're headed across the salt flats and it's 4:30am and there's nothing out there. Kinda' like the day before when I broke down in the middle of nothing between nothing and nothing. Oh well, off we go.

Car ran pretty good considering my lack of timing light and having the thought in my head of "what can happen now" but we moved on. It was a bit chilly too. And, dumb me didn't put my fleece pullover on. It wasn't too bad across the flats, but when we got to the Rockies, it got even cooler. I was actually a little cold. My legs were fine becaue I wear fleece and wind pants along with the heated seat. If I didn't have the heated seat, I would definately have to stop to layer up. However, the heater made up some of the difference.

Traffic at 7am in Salt Lake City is like any other big city. Busy and fast. Lucky for us, the big headache happened on the west bound traffic. It looked like a big rig got involved with something it shouldn't have and had traffic backed up for five miles. I'm thankful we were headed the other way.

Coming over the pass was beautiful. Green hillsides, forested areas, ski runs and mountain tops everywhere. I liked the curvy sections as it winded it's way down the canyon.

We were starting to get hungry for breakfast so we stopped in a little town called Coalville for gas and something to eat. Well, we got gas. I asked the station manager where a good place to eat was, after telling him we're heading east. Coming through the main street of town I noticed not a lot was going on. I found out why. He said, "Evanston has a good breakfast". Huh, isn't that in Wyoming and we're still in Utah? He continued to tell me, "nothing opens up here unitl 11:00am". I said, "It's 8:30 in the morning and we're burnin' daylight". He laughed and so did I. O.K. then, gas and on to Evanston for breakfast.

Drove into Evanston and found a NAPA store and restocked my TFI module, cap and rotor for the remainder of the trip. Found a great place to eat breakfast called Bear Town. Very filling and great atmosphere with rustic log building design. It was originally the local outpost for the railroad and mining crews, back in the day. Yeah, I'm glad it's today!

Back on the road with full bellies we were feeling pretty good. Weather was questionable, but at least it wasn't raining...yet. No sooner did we feel confident, the skies starting raining on our parade. Not a lot, yet, but enough to make it dismal. Then on our way into Laramie, it started coming down more. We decided to push to Cheyenne and stay there because it didn't look that much worse up the road. It wasn't and I'm glad we drove the extra 45 minutes. We went to Outback for dinner and really didn't feel like eating much. I had some soup and wings and Jeanne had a salad. Stopped in the Home Depot there to get more towels and painters tape (it came in handy).

Day 3, Cheyenne, WY

We're in Cheyenne now and I'll update the next portion in a day or two. We went through more of the same today and a real good possiblility of doing the same tomorrow (Wednesday) when we try to get to Kansas City. We're going to leave around 4am so I'm off to bed. A dry one too!

Well things had to change and we didn't make the trip to Kansas City. I called Richard when I got up and told him the weather didn't look too good for that travel, plus the fact that it was still raining in Cheyenne at 4am, when we were to leave. He understood and said the afternoon there is suppose to get pelted. He said the southern Nebraska and northern Missouri areas got 5" of rain the previous night. We decided to stay put for awhile.

After having some breakfast, Jeanne and I pondered what to do. The rain was light and steady and it was a whopping 45deg so we said the heck with it and started packing. We loaded up the car becasue we didn't want to stay and do nothing all day and the weather for Cheyenne was more of the same for the next four days!

See, Jeanne giving a "thumbs up" for the start of the day. I think this picture is suppose to be viewed upside down.

Like the troopers we are, we were off around 10am headed east on I80. For us Califorinans or Kalifornians, we don't get to see this type of weather too often or never, whichever comes first. It rained for the next 150 miles to North Platte, Ne. We made a gas stop there and took another 1/2" of water out of Jeanne's footbox and about 1/4" out of mine. Yeah, you just can't stop the water from getting in. We had a shorter stop just 1/2 hour prior to the gas stop for the same thing. Where's my snorkle when I need it?

After wringing out about twenty soaked rag rotations, we got ready to go. This time, I taped up the door seams with some painters tape I bought the night before. I went down the leading edge and about six inches in from the edge of the windshield to the windshield post itself. Jeanne's door latch started acting up so I knew I'd have to deal with that later.

Hey guys and gals, do you want to see what it's like to drive one of these in the rain, check this out...rain drive. It's a small 20sec video, compliments of my GoPro Camera.

This is how you travel in the rain. This is true love and I'm damn lucky she wants to be with me!

On the road again and into the rain again. It seemed to lighten up just a bit, then come steady, then lighten up and then no rain for the next hour. Then, like some great plan, it just sputterd a few times and the last two hours of the drive, we were actually dry! I saw some blue sky too. Not much, but it was there.

Last gas stop was Grand Island, NE. Not sure how grand it was beacuse we never saw the island. Nor did I see the city. I drove past it and had to back track five miles to get gas. Well, I really didn't need gas but I like to make sure I have a full tank. We decided to push on another hour to Lincoln, NE where we'll stay the night.

Day 4, Lincoln, NE

We both finally had a good night sleep. We wanted to get on the road around 8am today and make the drive to Elgin, IL. The weather was sunny with a few clouds and very cool. We ate breakfast, packed up and headed out. The drive was acutally pleasant except for the wet carpet. I had to put everything in the trunk that had a chance of absorbing water. So, the basic things were in the cockpit with us in zip lock bags. Yep, Jeanne thought of those. At least the items in the trunk were dry, otherwise, it would be one bitch of a trip.

All day was sunny and clear. Traffic got a little busy at times through Des Moines, IA and some major interchanges, but all I had to do was put the go pedal down and make room.

The Garmin has been a lifesaver. I always love looking at maps and putting the picture in my brain. However, with all the changes in this trip, finding gas and hotels, I'm thankful Brian at AA Auto Collison let me borrow his for the trip. He's getting a nice suprise when I get home.

Once we crossed the Mississippi River, I80 was closed and we got re-routed on I280 and back to I80. If I didn't have the little Garmin the reprogram my route, I'd be off the road trying figure another way to Elgin, IL. The detour cost us and extra 20 minutes, but all in all, it was a great drive. However, with a day like this...

...who cares!

I started thinking about how poorly the car was running while driving on Peace Road between 34 and 90 in IL, and thought how strange when plugs looked good, cap and rotor got cleaned out and I was going to reload the TwEECer file on Thursday and then it hit me. I started turning my TwEECer swtich and noticed it wasn't in the spot where it should be. Damn, two days of rough running and all because it wasn't on the correct spot. Who worked on this thing anyway? Oh, it was me. Dumb butt! I'll be testing the car out tomorrow when we do laundry on our clothes and car, but for now, it seems to behave much better.

We checked into the Marriott in Elgin at 5:34pm. That number pops up for us all the time and we just laugh. Walked, down to Bennigans for dinner and then it's off to bed after I finish this for a well rested three days.

One final thought today. We're averaging 22+ MPG so far and we're in Elgin, IL. 77mph@2200rpm in 5th gear. Can't be much better unless my goof on the TwEECer makes a difference. We'll just have to wait and see.

Day 5-7, Elgin, IL

Arriving in Elgin a day early allowed us to compose ourselves and get dry. We took the time to clean our clothes and wash the four days of gunk off the car. The car didn't look as bad as I expected but did have quite a bit of road grime on the wheels and sides of the car. I vacuum'd what I could of the remaining water in the footboxes and while shopping for supplies, picked up some Shamwow's to soak up the rest. Jeanne was doing our laundry and when I returned, helped her finish up and then head back to the hotel.

Before wash...

After wash...

We took a drive through the area (West Dundee) and took in some liesurely sunny weather.
The local neighborhood in Elgin. Just look how nice it is now. Winter looks completely different.

We stopped by the office of the company that produces the software for our maintenance tracking system at work Fleetsoft to say hi and introduce myself in person. We've been using their software for 10 years and they are as nice in person as they are on the phone.

left - right: Front Row, Teri, Julie, Chris; Back Row, Allan, Dave, Kurt

Oh, as a side note, after leaving the office, I put a rag in the trunk and when I stood up, my back went into spasms. It hurt like hell and the first thing I thought was how in the heck am I going to get home. A lot of Advil and rest, stretching, etc. has made it a little better, but I won't be sure for a few days. To top it off, Jeanne broke part of a crown that night at dinner. If we didn't have any bad luck, we sure have it now. :)

We met the owner Kurt and his wife Christa several years ago on a trip they made to California. It was like meeting a friend you haven't seen in years. The same held true this time as we plan on spending time with them and seeing the sites of Chicago on Saturday. Friday evening we went to their daughters dance recital in downtown Elgin. It was a family affair and we met parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters, nieces and everyone else. We didn't feel out of place and they made us feel like we were part of the family too.

Elgin has a lot of history and great buildings in the downtown area. A lot of infrastructure work is going on and I think this will invite business's back to the area.

Today, Saturday, we're getting a downtown tour of Chicago. The weather is going to be a little wet later (what's new) and the plan is to walk Michigan Avenue and take a Wandella Boat ride, have some lunch and just visit and have a relaxing day.

Sunday morning our plan is to brave the weather again and drive to Cleveland, OH for a couple of nights. We're going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday and then brave more weather on Tuesday as we head to the nations capital, Washington, DC.

Day 8-9, Cleveland, OH

We left Elgin, IL this mornig around 4:30am and there was no rain in sight. High clouds but nothing to stress about so off we went. Temperature was near 60deg so it wasn't too cold. We made good time and stopped to have breakfast at a Cracker Barrel in Elkhart, IN. Fuel, both us and the car again and we were moving on. Weather actually got better toward Toledo and on into Cleveland where we arrived around 1:30pm. Garmin saved my butt again when I missed the exit. Oh well.

Jeanne reading her Kindle along the way. This is how she passes time, along with listening to books on her Ipod.

Now for the not so good news. Both my back and Jeanne's hip have taken a beating. Whatever I did in Elgin putting a rag in the trunk has done a number on me. Stretching helps, but it does'nt go away. She's not doing too well and I'm only comfortable in the driver seat or sitting down. When I'm walking it hurts and I'm fearing the worse again. Resting will help so we're staying here until Tuesday when we leave for D.C. and be there until Friday when we leave for MA. We're hoping the rain showers stay at bay or so small it doesn't interfere with the drive days.

We're looking at flying home after the open house and having the car shipped so we'll be making plans Monday while in Cleveland. Neither of us feel bad about the ordeal, we just wish we felt better. btw: the car is not cramped and our seats are very comfortable. We've taken a lot of trips (none to this extreme) and love taking it on drives. As I said earlier, without the cruise control, this would've been a nightmare from a driver's point of view.

From our perspective the trip is not bad if you have no aches and pains, can stay dry, take more time than you think, expect the worse and wish for the best, don't pack a lot of things you think you'll need, stay out of harms way, and just have a good time. Most of these we have done, some didn't work out.

We're not done yet, so I'm sure there'll be more.

Before leaving Cleveland, we took in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Jeanne has a knack for finding kitties everywhere, so it was no suprise she spotted this guitar with a cat.

Inside the Cleveland Hard Rock Cafe

Day 9-11 Washington, DC

As you can see by this video Nation's Capitol, we arrived dry! The entire day from Cleveland to Wahsington, DC was pleasant and dry!

We left Cleveland at 4:19am just after a rain shower passed through. That had me worried so I checked the weather and saw it was a small cell that hit. Off we go. The valet bell hop couldn't believe everything on the hotel dolly would go in the car. He said, "You going to get all of this in that car?", well I did. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the cart filled before departing one of our stops. It's the last thing on your mind when you're already stressed about the weather for the day.

We stopped outside of Pittsburgh, PA for a breakfast stop and were off again. Luckily, the drive to DC was shorter than most of our days. Jeanne's hip and my back are really paying for this. If it wasn't for that and the weather issue, it would be much more relaxing for sure.

The remainder of the drive was fine unitl the PA Highway Patrol had everyone slow down. Evedently there was some shreaded tire that came off a truck and created a hazard. We rolled at 20mph for five miles while crews cleaned it up. I guess it took time to get them to the spot of the incident.

Just after that, we were back up to speed and the ignition shut off again! I thought we were going to have the same issue again as the first day (remember, I bought a backup TFI), but after a few incidents, it straightened out and was fine the rest of the way to DC.

So, on top of weather, I'm thinking about how long it'll run now. Just what I need.

Arrival to the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, the valet guys were in awe of what we drove. One valet loved the car and actually gave me personal parking under the hotel to keep it in a safer spot until we could move it later. I acutally took him with me to show me where to park. While in the parking area, I did just a little pedal press to give him an idea. I wish I had my camera on his face, he loved it.

After checking in, we taxi'd to Union Station for a bite to eat. See here, we look like we're having fun...

My back was hurting walking so we decided to head back to the hotel. Big thunderstorm going on and Jeanne was amazed how much water was coming down and she didn't have her jacket or our umbrella. Doh! We only got a little damp getting into the cab. Both of us were ready for sleep, so out went the lights.

Wednesday morning, 6/10/2009.

Weather looks real nice for the day so we're off to view some sites. I think we're going to take the Trolley Tour because it allows us to get on/off at a bunch of spots. An easy way to sight see with limited time.

Wednesday evening, 6/10/2009.

After a long day and lots of walking, we decided to call it a day and get ready for tomorrow's activities. On a very sad note, we had planned to go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum today and heard about the shooting while waiting to go into Ford's Theatre. We only found out later that the security guard had died. Sometimes I really have to wonder about people.

My number one stop for the day was the Vietnam War Vetrans Memorial. It has a special place in my heart because my brother was one of 58k plus who lost their lives there. This is me with my brother, 13W56...

...and another with my reflection

Along with that were many stops along the way. I guess you can say you can't take enough pictures while here. I won't bore you with many but here are some of my favorites:

Union Station

United States Capitol

Jeanne and the squirrels

National World War II Memorial

My back is doing o.k. but not real good and Jeanne is doing her best as well, so we'll try to take it easier tomorrow. I know it's hard while here but we have other things to do and one is getting well.

So many things to see, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Old Post Office, Ford's Theatre...on and on. I haven't been here for 25yrs and Jeanne never has. I know we'll plan another trip in the future and spend more time in the area. We had a blast today and will do more on Thursday. Main goal is the Air and Space Museum!

Day 12, Thursday June 11th

We toured the city again today. It was suppose to rain so we got an early start and I headed over to the "Wall" again to say goodbye to my brother. I hope I don't wait so long to come back next time.

We took in the American History Museum and then had lunch at the Washington Hard Rock Cafe. Neither of us were feeling up to walking a lot so after lunch we toured on the trolley and went to the Air and Space Museum to end the day. Both of us are hurting pretty good and we felt it better to get the rest we needed for the trip to MA. the next day.

Day 13, Friday June 12th, Middleboro, MA

We made it! Yipee!

We left DC this mornign at 3:47am. Rain was coming down lightly at times and after watching the weather and noaa sites, I decided we better get going. We had light rain for awhile and then just heavy fog. You had good visibility, but a medium ceiling of clouds and occasionally a break here and there. Once we got to New Jersey, it all changed.

Jeanne all ready to go, in front of the L'Enfant Hotel, Washington, D.C.

We started getting a very light rain approaching the GWB in NY. Yeah, those who travel this are nuts! That includes us. It took us over an hour to travel 1.3 miles in the rain. Jeanne had the umbrella out and I guess people who saw us thought Californian's are crazy. At least it wasn't a downpour. That would've done us in.

This is what it was like for over an hour!

After crossing the bridge and getting through town (you couldn't see anything due to the fog), traffic picked up and we just wanted to get going. The entire drive up the 95 corridor was absolutely worthless for viewing because of the cloud cover. Even crossing the Delaware River, you could barely see 1/4 mile. The skyline in NYC, was nill.

We stopped outside Providence, RI for breakfast and then on to Middleboro and the Days Inn. If you ever go to Factory Five, you must stay here. You just see Rose and she'll take care of you. I told her about our trip and said I'd write about her so here it is Rose.

I went to wash the car again, this time it wasn't as dirty and just happened to be next to the diner were going for breakfast tomorrow so at least I won't get lost. I finished and got back to the hotel just in time for...yep, rain! I don't even have to do a dance to get it to rain.

Tomorrow should be fun. I hope to take lots of pictures, meet old and new friends and finally not stress over the weather and having to drive in it. That by far is more stressful than anything we encountered on this trip.

Day 14, June 13, Wareham, MA

We met the MA group at Dave's Diner for breakfast. I met Ron, Mark and Frank along with many others. After breakfast it was off to Factory Five for the open house. I must say, these guys drive like us west coasters, pedal down, but lots of fun.

Arriving at factory five we were directed to park and then just enjoyed the time. The weather was...ready for this...sunny and warm! We finally got to show our California appreciation by bringing the sun. As you can see, there were plenty of cars and people in attendance.

During the awards, we were honored with the Long Distance Award, which Dave Smith said had to be one of the worst weather trips. We can agree with that and more!

We toured the facility and then joined in the cruise to Plymouth, MA. We had no idea what was in store, but the drive was great. Nice weather and beautiful countryside lined our drive. We passed some cranberry bogs (no water) and lots of old homes.

We entered Plymouth under warm sunny skies and parked the cars. Everyone was pretty much on their own after this so we decided to head toward the restaurants near the water. Some knew exactly what they wanted and made a dash, well quick walk, to the water.

We lost sight of those who knew the area so we sorta joined another two, who just happened to be rookies as well. They are Rich and Peter who built FFR4805. We decided to hit the Cabby Shack for a bite to eat. We exhanged stories and had a great time. Thanks for lunch guys. When you and the wives come to CA, we'll treat!

Day 15, June 14, New Bedford, MA

We awoke to the pitter-patter sounds of rain drops once again. It was just a day ago the sun was out and maybe, just maybe, we'd be spared the precipitation one more day. Not to be true. However, it did let up enough by 11:00am for us to take the chance and drive to New Bedford to sightsee. At the recomendation of Ron, we took in the Whaling Museum and then had lunch at the only establishment open close by, Freestones City Grill. Good food and atmosphere, until the family with kids showed up, then it was a show.

Jeanne and me having lunch.

Afterwards we took a drive down to the tip of town and around some streets, then more streets and figured we better head back before it rains again. Lucky for us, it didn't and we took a very liesurely route back to Middleboro through a lot of rural countryside. Nice change from the interstates.

A look across the New Bedford inlet at those beautiful cumulus clouds!

Day 16, June 15, New Bedford, MA

Today we'll finish finalizing getting things ready for the car to be shipped back to CA. Do I feel bad about not driving, in a funny sort of way, yes. However, my back and Jeanne's hip are way more important than the ego to say "we did it round trip". We've both had a good time and if/when we do this again, I will say I'll trailer the car.

So many nice places to see and not enough time. I'd love to come back and drive some of roads around New England. I must say, it's a weather culture shock when you live on the central coast of CA. We don't get the occasional (although I heard it was exceptionally wet this year) showers you do. We have a beautiful area, but it's mostly sunny from May to November. If anyone wishes to visit CA. and you're in our area, be sure to contact us.

We'll be checking in with Factory Five again today to make final arrangements and I can't thank them enough for the help. I'm sure I could've come up with another plan and many here offered to take care of our car prior to shipping. I believe you'd all do just that. This community of owners is amazing!

FFR1812 at Factory Five Racing June 15, 2009

We checked in with Patti at Factory Five this morning to go over details for getting the car home. All we can say is "wow"! They told us not to worry about a thing. I contacted Stewart's for the transportation and let her know when they'd be back to pick up the car. Some things we needed to pack and some went in the car for the ride home. Dave Smith checked in and offered the use of his pickup to pack things and leave the car there. I wasn't expecting that and the offer was appreciated and accepted so we took a few boxes and tape with us back to the hotel to get things ready.

They had me put the car on the lift and said it'd be in good company. How could it not with all the other's just waiting to be a complete car. I know it'll be in good hands. Dave said the drags were happening and offered to run it there, I said, "the keys in it".

I had a nice conversation with Dave and thanks really is never enough to say for the kindness he offered. We are deeply appreciative for all the help, well wishes and generosity everyone here has shown or given us.

Jason, Jeanne, Glenn and Dave

Day 18, June 17, Aptos, CA

We arrived home yesterday afternoon around 3:00pm. The flight from Boston, MA to San Jose, CA was good and our departure was once again...in a light rain. I'm really sorry for all the New Englander's for the weather we brought along. Believe me, we didn't want that much either. As you can see, most of the weather across the country looked like this...

with a little break in Denver, CO where we had to change planes. Then much of the same until we got over CA.

Here's a little in flight video of what we flew over most of the day. Flight Home Just thinking that we drove under stuff like this for almost two weeks!

Getting our first view of the bay and where we live was nice. I think it's always nice to get home no matter where you're from.

My thoughts on the trip are many. I'll be asked if I'm glad I did it, and my response would be YES. Was I stupid for the attempt? No, I don't believe so. We actually did real good until the constant rain put a damper on our trip. If we didn't have any itinerary, the trip could've been much eaiser. We'd just have to layover more often. However, with the schedule I had to keep to some degree, we didn't have that luxury.

Outside of one minor breakdown (in a pouring downpour) we really didn't have any issues with the car, although the oil consumption was very high. The rings never did seat well and the engine used about 1qt. per 600 mile! So, out it comes this year after the season when I plan on a frame off re-do of FFR1812. It did do a few hick-ups a couple more times after the repair, but luckily we didn't have a breakdown. You can't take everything you think you'll need for repairs so I had to keep it to a minimum and just carried a TFI Module, fuses and some simple tools. If I do this again, I will tow the car with a trailer. I think I'll get the Serpent Express for the simple fact it can be enclosed and lightweight.

Things we would advise would be driving no more than two consecutive long days and stop for the third to rest and visit an area. I found after we left Elgin, IL, doing this made the trip much more enjoyable, especially on our aching bodies.

The weather just adds an additional stress factor that is constantly nagging you. There's not much you can do about it and that's the reason I suggest no deadlines if at all possible. If you do have deadlines or plans, you're at the mercy of the weather.

If you have a partner (in my case it was my wife), make sure they want to do this with you and not just because you want to. Having my wife want to go and deal with the issues we had made for a much nicer trip. In my eyes, she was the champion, not me. Was everything perfect, no. Did we have moments, yes. Both showed us how much we care about each other.

Jeanne entertained herself by reading her Kindle and listening to music or books on her Ipod. Besides keeping the car as dry as possible when it was raining, you need to keep busy as it can be boring just sitting and doing nothing.

Some things I wish we thought more about when they happened. Like the time we had an inch of water in the footbox or when trucks would pass us in the rain leaving huge rooster tails of moisture. However, when you're in it, taking pictures is probably the last thing on your mind. We laugh now, but it wasn't too funny then.

My back is still smarting and I'm very concerned about the outcome for sure. I hope it's not too bad.

As a side note, we drove over 3800 miles in 15 days, through 16 states and averaged 22mpg. I don't think that's too bad for a high performance car.

We'll wait a few weeks unitl Stewart Transport delivers the car back to CA. After that, we have a few outings left for this year and then we'll start planning for our next adventure.

...to be continued.

The car arrived back home on the 21st of July. It was great to see the car again and after looking it over, I decided not to do a complete overhaul this year. However, the engine/transmission is coming out and the engine will be gone through and the transmission is going from a T5 to a TKO500 midshift.

We still have one more outing in September to Lake Tahoe so after we get home, the work will begin.