Ever since I was a young boy growing up in San Diego, I wanted to drive the mountains and deserts of the southwestern United States in a two-seat convertible roadster. That opportunity presented itself when I purchased my 2008 Pontiac Solstice and my full retirement in 2012. My wife had retired in 2011. The year 2014, our 40th anniversary year provided the opportunity to make that travel.
The first agenda to planning this trip was to learn as much as possible about the route we were going to take. That meant searching for as much material as possible and what to expect using the us89society.org website.
The second chore required to making this trip happen was to plot my course using my Garmin GPS tied into my Garmin computer map plotting the exact course, and to use google map to be sure my route is taking us down the city streets that make up the US 89 route.
Once the preliminary planning was accomplished all that was left to do is plan what type of clothing to take. There is very little space in this Solstice so we had to pack judicilously. The gas tank for this car sits in the clamshell truck, therefore we used very specific luggage designed for the trunk of this car. There is minimum diver/passenger room in this car than the side-by-side cockpit of the Vietnam era A-6 bomber. In fact we hung our jackets over the back seats and attached hanger hooks to the backing behind the seats to hang a few more items, like clothing. There is very little outside viewing room especially with the top up. Getting out of the car is a “pain” because you have to “roll out” the car because it sits about six inches off the ground, but boy-o-boy is it fun to drive, especially when the turbo kicks in.
The night before we left there was a full moon as we packed. When we left the next day, we would make our first stop for the night near Beaumont, Tx. I didn’t know at the time of this travel, that we would be traveling within one mile of the cemetery where my great-grandmother is buried. Our first stop would be just west of Beaumont, TX on I-10 a distance of about 470 miles. Our next stop would be Canyon Lake (260 miles) where our son and his wife were living. We had planned to spend 2-3 days visiting with them.
Preparations (Click here).
BTW, the flamingo picture is my wife’s traveling flamingo. At some of the stops during the trip Pam would get out and want her photo taking with the flamingo picture. This traveling flamingo started with our granddaughter’s elementary school project for having a family member list places where the travel. . Our granddaughter wanted a flamingo picture with Pam when she was stationed in Afghanistan.
slide 1: Loading up the Pontiac Solsitce.
slide 2: Full moon the night before starting the trip
slide 3: Westbound on I-10 at the Alabama-Florida border
US_89 from the Mexican to Canadian Borders: Part 2 (Canyon Lake)