The drive from central New Jersey to the heart of Adirondack State Park in New York is a six hour journey. Traveling on I-87, you fly through farmland, zip by the Catskill Mountains, bypass the state capital of Albany, and pass through the city of Utica, before turning northward to enter into the mountains. Nearly 330 miles of driving, almost entirely at highway speeds. It is a peaceful road trip, filled with fascinating views.
It is one thing to do this lengthy drive once a month, as my wife and I did this past summer. It is entirely another thing to drive up twice in one week! My wife, who is working remotely due to the pandemic, decided to spend time visiting a dear relative who lives in the Fulton Chain of Lakes region in the Adirondacks. My job, however, remains in-person, so I offered to chauffeur my wife up to the mountains, come back home, and then return again to pick her up the following weekend. All together, I drove nearly 1,400 miles in eight days. Whew!
Along the way, I managed to eat great food, see gorgeous views, climb a mountain, and survey the world from atop a one hundred-year old fire tower. And of course… I’d like to bring those adventures to you:
Trip 1: Saturday Up, Sunday Back
Trip 2: …and Back Again
In our most recent automotive update section, I have a continuation of the “high mileage tips and tricks” from the previous post, a report on my Honda Accord (spoiler alert: it is running well), an interview with a gentleman who has taken his 1992 Honda Civic to nearly 600,000 miles, and an update on a classic Acura.
High Mileage Advice, Part II
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to drive and maintain a car with high mileage?
Josh, 2015 Honda Accord LX with 440,000 miles
To answer your question, MAINTENANCE! Always be sure to have your car checked by either yourself, or someone knowledgable, such as a mechanic. Having a go-to person who knows your vehicle is a nice plus.
Don’t scrimp on replacing things once you first notice a problem.
Always pay attention to any kind of weird noises coming from anywhere in the car. Remain proactive to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
Bottom line: If you take care of the car, the car should take care of you.
The 600,000 Mile Civic
Recently, I was contacted by Ken, a Honda owner from Texas. Ken is the original owner of a 1992 Honda Civic VX hatchback with nearly 600,000 miles on it! The VX was the car for those seeking the ultimate in fuel efficiency in the early 90’s. At the time, the EPA rated this model of Civic at 48 city/55 highway. I asked Ken if I he would be willing to do a Q&A with me, and happily, he agreed!
Q: When and where did you get your car? What made you choose a 1992 Honda VX?
I bought my car in May of 1992 from Howdy Honda in Austin, Texas. I needed a car to drive while my 1969 Mustang was being restored in the shop. I wanted a Honda because I knew the resale value was good and I was only going to keep it for a couple of years. I chose the VX because it has 92 hp instead of the 70 that the LX, DX, and CX had. It also had cloth seats and ‘mag’ wheels instead of wheel covers. Finally, mpg ratings of 48/55 appealed to me.
Q: What’s been the biggest repair to date?
About 10 years ago I had a complete repaint as the car had some minor hail damage and a couple of dents in it that I wanted to fix. It had probably 400,00 miles at that point. At 489,000 I rebuilt the engine, transmission, and any suspension components, brakes, etc, that needed attention.
Q: What is your mileage at, currently?
Right now I have 595,200 miles on it.
Q: What do you do that puts so many miles on your vehicle?
I had an insurance agency for 35 years, so I spent a lot of time in the car going to appointments around central Texas. I also drove it around the country to track meets and other events.
Q: Have you done anything to modernize the interior (for instance, adding Bluetooth or XM radio), or is it basically still stock?
I have Sirius radio in it. I also added cruise control, intermittent wipers, and a few factor options such as the cargo cover, floor mats, higher center console with an armrest, tinted the windows, etc. It is still basically stock. It still has all of the original interior.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve with other drivers?
My biggest pet peeve is definitely the texting and talking on the phone. I hate having to hit my horn when the light turns green but the car in front of me doesn’t move, or having them drift into my lane because they are not paying attention.
Q: What’s your dream road trip?
I would love to drive to southern California, go north to Washington, then come back through the big sky country. I still have 2 daughters at home ages 13 and 16, so that will have to wait!
One Other Update
Nearly 1,400 miles in the span of two weekends is a considerable amount of driving, even for someone who enjoys life on the open road as much as I do. That said, two trips to the Adirondacks in a week was a lot of fun, filled with adventure, good food, and fun memories. Hopefully, these accounts of exploring upstate New York will convince you to drive up and visit… there is no bad time to see it!
Thanks, as always, for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead!