The month of April has been packed full of excitement, but I’m glad it’s coming to an end.
We’ll start with earlier this month, having to fly to Ft Worth Texas to renew my Heavy Equipment Certification. Corporate gave us the option to test out, but I waned to take the class they were offering because I felt confident that I would learn something new. I was not disappointed. I came away with some real good stuff. Which made the sacrifice of a weeks pay, along with the expense of a week of rental car, hotel and the flight back and forth. This was home for the week. Not horrible, but it was in need of some deep cleaning & attention. Unfortunately, it seems that every time I step foot in an airport, I get some kind of illness. This time around, I came back with the flu. So I was sick the entire following week. Which made playing catch up with my assignments from the week I was in Texas, extremely hard. I still, 2 weeks later, have a lingering cough.
But last Friday seemed like it was going to close the week on a high note & usher in the weekend full of fun & relaxation. Thursday morning I made my way out to the Idaho Falls area again where I had a couple assignments on that side of the state. I drove myself due to my driver was not available. This wasn’t a big deal. I kinda missed the TSX and was ready for a nice long stretch in her. She was parked in the garage all week while I was in Texas. But whats more, is Friday, I had to go to Salmon to see a deer hit. Readers of my blog know that the drive to Salmon is my favorite.
So Thursday night I stayed in a hotel in Idaho Falls & did some work, vs. driving the 4.5 hours home from Idaho Falls, Then getting up early to drive the 5.5 hours to Salmon.
Idaho Falls to Salmon is about 2.75 hours. So despite losing that drive time & all those miles, I was tired and doing it this way saved me about 7 hours and 15 minutes behind the wheel.
Friday I woke up to one of the most beautiful spring days so far. The route from Idaho Falls to Salmon is not the most scenic, but the weather more than made up for it. When I arrived in Salmon I saw a 2005 Lincoln Aviator. I’ve never seen one before & It’s mich like it’s big brother the Navigator. This one was in premium condition, much like my TSX, but no where near the mileage. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the Aviator was a total loss.
The drive home was scenic, and with the windows down due to the crisp 65 degree weather, I felt more connected to the outside. It was the first time I can think of that I wished the TSX was a convertible. My car ate up the turns on it’s original shocks like they still had a mere 50k miles on them. It was looking like today was going to make up for the crappy previous week and start the weekend right. There has been road construction on a stretch of hwy for quite some time now. The drive to Salmon is full of steep canyons and tall rock walls that occasionally release smaller rocks down it’s steep slopes and into the road. Sometimes on to the cars themselves. This one particular stretch is known for the worst of this offense & they have been trying to remedy it for what seems like quite some time. Because of this, the hwy is shut down for two, 2 hour periods. 10am-12pm & 1:30pm-3:30pm. I had just missed the second window by about 20 minutes.
No big deal, I wasn’t in a big hurry. I decided to check out some of the small stores in Clayton. If you recall, Clayton has a population of 7 & is a blink on the hwy. Unfortunately, all of the little stores were closed, seasonal (summer only) or only open weekends. Even the little Clayton museum was only open on the weekend. But there is this little side road that snakes back into the mountains, & I always wondered what was back there…What I found was a beautiful little canyon going back about 2-3 miles at the most. The road split & went into private property to the left & extremely rough, non maintained road to the right. I decided to stop for a little while & enjoy the scenery. Since I had time to kill, this was as good as place as any for a nap…I took an old leather jacket out of the trunk and threw it down. I was going to watch clouds, but there was not a cloud in the sky. I took the time to appreciate the mountainsides & scenery as I relaxed the 2 hour window away.
Now, it may seem like I’m milking this a bit, & honestly, I am. How could someone not want to try to recapture small moments like these, and unbeknownst to me at the time, it might be some of my last moments with my TSX.
The next 2 hours or so behind the wheel were just as enjoyable as the first half of the trek home. I noticed there were a lot more deer than usual out by the roads. Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer (Just jumped out in front of me)
Ray, A Drop of Golden Sun (In my eyes and I can’t see)
Me, A Name, I Call Myself (As I Strike a Rock in the Road & My Tire Blows Dragging me Into The Ditch Where Several Larger Rocks Await)
Far, A Long, Long Way to Run (Because Boise is Still an Hours Drive Away & I have No Cell Service)
Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread (Looking at the TSX afterwards thinking, I Don’t Know If I Can Mend This)
La, A Note to Follow So (The Blog may be Coming to an Untimely End)
Tea, A Drink With Jam & Bread (As I Wait for over a Half Hour for the First Car to Come by to Request Help)
& That Will Bring Us Back to Doe, Oh, Oh No…
Thanks to my Middle School chorus teacher, this is one of the first things that popped into my head as I sat in the passenger seat of a 2000 something Subaru belonging to the nice young lady that was willing to give me a ride back into town.
All of it is pretty accurate, except for the sun in my eyes part. I just needed something to fit. But the rest pretty much sums it up. About 10 miles or so North of Idaho City, coming around a bend, a deer jumped out in front of me on the left side of the road. Which normally wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s actually happened before & I was able to stop or swerve at least. But this time, the deer came out right where there were some rocks in the road in my lane. I had nowhere to go. I had gone back to clear the rocks while I was waiting, this pic is after I had moved about 80% of them. I also found the rock I made the initial impact with.It’s a little hard to see in this pic, but on the bottom left is where the impact to the wheel was made. The rock is about 5 inches thick sitting on it’s side. My theory is that once I hit this rock, the tire blew, which pulled me into the ditch where it’s much bigger brothers lay in wait for the ambush. The front end bounced up & down pretty severely as I ran over these larger rocks. It also broke the wheel apart. I saw the wheel come off going out & up to my right. (This all happened right next to a 20-30 ft rock wall. When I went back to clear debris, I couldn’t find the wheel or tire. It was gone. I think it may be sitting on the rock wall shelf 20-30ft up.) When the wheel came apart & off, it struck the cowl of the car hard enough to separate the apron from the cowl. You can see here the separation of the welds.The impact was also hard to enough to cause inertia damage to the roof, buckling it all around the sunroof area. I was too shook up to think to get a lot of pics from the scene. All I took were the pics of the stupid rocks. It didn’t even occur to me to take any others. All I could think at the time was that I’ve come so close. All those years, all those miles, to get here? Sitting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere all alone. It’s a good thing the deer left right away, as I’m afraid I may have strangled it.
So here it sits at a local body shop waiting it’s fate.True, it doesn’t look so bad in this picture. But the cowl and the roof are what worry me. It’s not that it can’t be repaired, anything can be. But will I be able to afford to fix her again? With an additional 40k miles on her from last time coupled with a salvage title, the insurance company was quick to wash it’s hands of it & total it again. And I don’t blame them at all. In fact, Sean at Allstate was great and sympathetic about it. Turns out he was an Acura guy of sorts as well owning a Vigor back in the day.
Here’s where I’m at & my options at this point…
I need a reliable car for work due to the places I go & the miles I drive. But I need to pay of the Princesses RDX before I can afford to get what I want. Which is about 2 years from now.
1) If I can afford to, do I rebuild her again? She starts right up & idles smooth as ever. I don’t think there’s even a broken motor mount. There’s no leaking fluids anywhere. It comes down to if there is any hidden damage I can’t see yet & how much it will cost to repair it all.
2) Buy another car in the $8-$10 thousand range that hopefully is reliable and that I don’t hate getting into every morning.
3) Buy a old 80’s-90’s Honda Civic/CRX for next to nothing & rebuild the drivetrain. I’d be able to do it for less than the $8-$10 grand. I only need it for a couple years until the RDX is paid off.
4) Really isn’t an option for me, & that’s to just suck it up and get a new ILX or TLX preferably. I might be able to swing the payment, but it would be awfully tight financially. I’m not one to put myself in that situation. The one thing I’ve learned looking at wrecked cars for a living & now wrecking mine for the second time, is to expect the unexpected. So no new car for now.
I’ll know for sure in the following week or so what will be the fate of my TSX & my quest for 500,000 miles. There are several reasons why achieving 500,000 miles or more on a car is such a rare & wonderful thing. I think of Irv Gordan & his old Volvo Coupe that he’s put about 3.5 million miles on since he bought it new. How great would it have been to be the Irv Gordan for Acura? Sadly, at this point, I’m just not seeing it.
Our cars & trucks are a big part of our every day lives. Taking us to work to make a living. Taking our kids to see their first movie on the big screen, or the ocean for the first time. Our vehicles help us to create our fondest memories. They open up the world to us by allowing us to cover great distances in comfort to see other parts of the country that would have been closed off to us with out them. Thanks to the engineers that design them, they keep us safe & protect us if the unexpected does happen.
So if anyone at Acura is reading, Thank you for my TSX. It’s been a pleasure to drive. It’s been reliable since day one. It breaks my heart thinking that my time with it is possibly over.
Carlos, it may be up to you now to carry the torch to 500k in your TSX. But you’ll have to plan a lot more road trips!
I will be posting at least one more time to let every body know what the outcome will be. I’ll leave you with a pic of the odometer I took earlier in the day on that fateful Friday. It’s not the final mile count, but it’s within a couple hundred miles.