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Back From My Trip Around The Us...holy Crap What A Long Drive Lol


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maryland and back to NY...

well upon my return from iraq, the US Army was kind enough to grant me 30 days of PAID leave from the Meghan and I loaded up our 2005 Toyota Matrix XR (4wd of course ;) ) and we embarked on our journey...

From our home at Fort Drum NY we drove 10 hours to Indianapolis IN starting at 0500 hrs on the 15th of dec. Along the way we encountered some HELLACIOUS lake effect snow in Ohio and indiana...never been more glad to have the 4wd on the matrix. We spent 2 days there, and from there we drove 15 hours to Fort Worth TX. We stayed with my folks, who have acquired a 2nd house on Eagle Mountain Lake. its gorgeous, but under heavy renovation as its been empty for 2 years and was built in 1974...and never updated. when i arrived there was paneling everywere (UGH!!!) and YELLOW countertops and linoleoum in the kitchen and bathrooms. YUCK!! So the days consisted of Remodeling a decrpeit house, and the nights consisted of drinking and spending time with family at the other house in a hot tub and heated pool. for those who are wondering, mom still has her 2006 Camry XLE and dad still has his 2002 F150 Limited. They also have 2 motorcycles now, a 2006 Honda Valkyrie and a 2006 Kawasaki Cruiser (not sure what model, but it resembles a harley and sounds GOOOOOOD). Dad took my wife and I fishing on his 2004 19' Tracker bassboat.

My Brother, Shawn, has been diligantly working to finish his 1996 Ford Ranger, its now Bagged and sitting on the ground, with the ability to raise and lower up to 10" still needs some work, but its his baby. He is also the proud owner of a 1984 Toyota truck (RN 84 i believe) with a 2 barrel 4 cyl and auto trans...i put a new rear trans seal in it and it runs like a dream...with 360K on the up, body drop...way to go shawn! Myself and all of LOC are proud of your accomplsihments. Shawn will also be getting married to Kalee in the future. no date set yet, but it will be after Shawns graduation from college.

after about 2 and a half weeks in Fort Worth, of seeing old friends and family both close and distant, we embarked on our journey home, which would take us to Willis TX to stay overnight with my grandmother, then Lake Charles Lousiana, to see my Great aunt and uncle. I also had to do some preventative maintenance on the matrix at this point, nothing major, but i was looking under the hood (checking fluids and whatnot) and i noticed our serpentine belt was frayed and cracking. I figured better to change it now then be stranded in the smokey or appalachian mountains on the way home. so i went to autozone and grabbed a belt and did some DIY in the driveway (never leave home on a cross country trip without a bag of at least basic tools...) We then surveyed the still ever present hurricane damage along the coast....and are still amazed that people still manage to get along there.

From there we embarked on a short 6 hour drive to Mobile AL to stay a few days with my Great was a good visit, but we couldnt stay long, my great grandmother is 81 and my great grandfather is 90 so niether of them can handle visitors for long. they still get around ok, but grandma needs her walker some of the time.

They are also the proud owners of an 06 Camry XLE that they purchased in august 2006. they are very pleased with it.

Then, Meghan and I got back in the matrix for the 22+ hour drive STRAIGHT back to NY. I drove 18 hrs and she drove the last 4...i was so tired i was putting us and those around us in danger. so i pulled over in PA and let her drive the rest of the way.

So yeah, that is why i have been MIA for the last 26 or so days. still got a few days left.

all in all i must say i am VERY impressed with toyota's reliability. and even with the 4wd and the automatic, i still averaged 350 miles on 11 gallons of around 33 mpg. thats pretty damned good. now if i could just figure out the lack of city mileage. LOL.

so its back to the daily grind for me on monday.

anyway, we had a blast and look forward to doing it again next year.

you will be seeing me here alot more now LOL, sorry i have been gone so long.

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Josh. Glad to hear your back and safe! Wow what a trip! I'm lost after the first paragraph lol.. Anyways I know it's always a blast to go on long trips like that. I remember back in 2005 when I flew into New York from CA, and from there we rented a car, and drove that car around the east coast ALL THE WAY back to Fresno,CA! It was one hell of a trip, and it was a very memorable and enjoyable one!

Well enjoy the rest of your vacation! :cheers:

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