When it comes to road trip adventures, 2022 was quite the year! From an amazing, 4,000-mile road trip across the eastern half of the United States, to a special drive through Shenandoah National Park to commemorate a major milestone, to numerous trips to the Adirondacks and the Jersey shore, to a winter exploration of New England, the year was filled with adventure. As 2022 ends and 2023 begins, I thought it would be fun to once again take inventory of where this blog has been, before setting our sights on future destinations.
As I have done in years past, first we will count down the top ten posts from the year, as chosen by which posts were the most viewed by our readers. Then, we’ll turn our attention to a quick status check of the two vehicles in our fleet, before looking toward some fun updates in the future.
The Top Ten Posts of 2022
2. Hidden Art
Beside all the amazing adventures and life changes, 2022 saw another important accomplishment: my 2012 Honda Accord crossed the 200,000 mile mark. Despite the temptation of Honda releasing a new Civic Si and Acura bringing back the Integra, my Accord coupe maintains a rock-solid hold on its place in my garage. It remains the best car purchase I have ever made – reliable, fun to drive, comfortable, and affordable to maintain.
The maintenance costs for my Accord ran to over $4,000 this past year, which might seem high. To be fair, however, $2,000 of that was routine maintenance – oil changes, brakes, spark plugs, and various other fluids and service. After 200,000 miles of service, though, the alternator and VTEC spool valve both gave up the ghost this year, adding to the repair costs. According to AAA, average maintenance costs for cars in the United States run to 8.9 cents per mile. My Accord is currently sitting at 8.4 cents per mile for maintenance. Given that my car is paid off and doesn’t require any pricy monthly check sent to the bank for a loan payment, I’d say it’s doing just fine.
Our Jeep Grand Cherokee remains a fantastic purchase. Its all wheel drive system tackles snowy roads and muddy mountain paths with aplomb. Its positively cavernous storage capacity easily swallows all of our cargo during our road trip adventures. And it still cleans up nicely for its mandatory glamour shoots.
What seemed like a pretty affordable year took a curveball high and inside when the check engine light illuminated in early December – a misfire was traced to a bad coil pack. With a lengthy trip to the Midwest planned for the Christmas holiday, we opted to replace all six coil packs and spark plugs proactively, essentially doubling the maintenance costs for the Jeep. Given how dependable the Jeep has been over the past five years of ownership, we had no problem forking out the money to keep it on the road.
Almost seven years ago when I began this blog, I had no expectations that it would be anything more than an experiment in sharing my road trip adventures. Maybe I’d become bored after a few months, and either walk away from online writing, or delete the blog entirely. Instead, it has become a valued hobby, as through 239 posts I have shared stories of my travels. In 2022, the blog reached over 10,000 unique visitors, and the blog has been viewed over 26,000 times! To my readers, thank you for continuing to stop by and read through the tales of my time on the road. Your continued interest motivates me to blog year after year. As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep the road trip stories coming.
‘Til next time.