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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Cross-Country Car Turned 100,000 Miles

I had been waiting for the day to come for a long time but was not expecting it while driving to my second Albany Crossfit class. My 2008 Nissan Sentra turned 100k on Thursday evening on Route 787.

(Reached 100,000 miles)

I got my car in 2009 following an accident that left my parked Honda Accord SE T-boned out front of my parent's house in Troy. Immediately after that, I drove a rented Hyundai for a while - which was OK - then I bought a 1999 Honda Accord with 75,000 miles on it with the insurance money from the incident. Unfortunately, that car did not last very long and it taught me an unfortunate/expensive lesson that craigslist cars are not always what they seem.

Tainted by that experience, I asked around for references and found my way to a Clifton Park Enterprise rental business which also sells cars. I had heard both sides of the argument for buying a former rental - Sure, people don't always treat their rental cars well but, on the other hand, the company makes sure they're well maintained so their customers don't have any issues on the road.

(my car, photo taken at the University of Notre Dame)
I remember being a little disappointed they did not have any Hondas, since my 2000 Accord had served me well over the course of nearly 80,000 miles (from 87,000 when I got it at Rensselaer Honda to about 165,000 when it was somehow hit while it was parked on Pawling Avenue). That car - "Schnuckel Sr." - had given me a lot of memories including east coast road trips, and driving in a snow storm up through the Adirondack Mountains to my alma mater with a car load of friends. Above all, it was my first car and, to me, it was perfect.

I was skeptical of a Nissan. But, I have to admit, it's been great over the past 81,000 miles. I got Schnuckle Jr. when he - yes, he - had 19,000 miles. I thought I could go anywhere. And I have, mostly without issue.

My brother and a college friend did a cross country road trip going along I-90 to Montana, then headed south in Colorado and made our way over to California. On the way back, we took a southern route through AZ, NM, TX and eventually wound our way up the east coast. All in this car. There were no flat tires in the Badlands, or overheating in the middle of the Mojave. The worst that happened was a chip in the windshield somewhere between Reno and the coast of California. The car gave us the temperatures in each location - ranging from 32-degrees in Yellowstone to 114-degrees in Nevada.

Without "Schnuckle Jr." - now also named "RT", short for Road Trip - I would never have seen some amazing sights around our country. Giving proof, in my opinion, that there is much to see within our own borders which can supplement the wonders of the rest of the world.

Since I don't have children or pets, I get attached to my cars. Feel free to call me a crazy car lady. I love my car.

Below are some memories of the 2010 Road Trip with RT, my brother Adam and my friend Jess.

There were some beautiful sights...

(Chicago skyline)
 And some odd ones...
(Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minnesota)

(Corn Palace in South Dakota)

 And things that looked out of this world, let alone this country....
(Badlands National Park)

We learned a bit of history...and had fun.
(Mount Rushmore)
 And marked things off the bucket list.
(Devil's Tower, Wyoming)

(Yellowstone National Park bison)

(view of Grand Teton)

I'd like to be able to say, what happens on a road trip stays on a road trip.

But it's so much more fun to share.
(Arches National Park, Utah)

(Bell in Aspen made in our hometown)

 There are so many amazing things to see (ie - this huge Sequoia pine cone)
(Yosemite National Park)

And fun experiences to have, like doing a cross country trip or swimming in the Pacific and the Atlantic within a week of each other.
(Santa Cruz, a week later, on the way back, we were in Delaware and then home)

I have every intention to go on a cross country Canadian trip next, when I eventually get a new car - ya know, in a few years when "RT" finally goes into retirement.


Blogger Damion said...

It's truly amazing the endurance that our vehicles have at times. I love to travel myself, but I dread when the odometer reaches the 100k mark. I liken it to turning 40. We realize that we're older and not what we once were, but we are now seasoned. We have lived, made memories, and formed bonds that we'll remember the remainder of years.

Damion @ Jacky Jones Lincoln

March 31, 2016 at 12:25 AM 
Blogger Kourtney said...

Like you, my dad is skeptical of Nissan. He told me my car wouldn't make it through college because it was close to 100,000 miles. I loved her and called it Bertie because all cars older than 100,000 deserve names. My college memories and vacation scrapbooks are filled with my Nissan Maxima. Bertie died around 230,000 miles.

Kourtney @ Thomas Sales and Service Ford

April 14, 2016 at 9:59 PM 

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