Total state tally LA/XC-3: 24 (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware); last year, 26
Total state tally LA/XC-3 + LA/XC-2 + LA/XC-1 (combined): 35; additional states from LA/XC-1: Oklahoma, South Dakota; additional states from LA/XC-2: Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama
Mileage Comparison: LA/XC-3= 7,978; LA/XC-2 = 8,060; LA/XC-1 = 7,643
Westbound mileage: 3,251 (last year: 4,087)
L.A./West Coast mileage: 1,150 (last year: 620)
Eastbound mileage: 3,577 (last year: 3,353)
Best improvement to car set-up: L.L.Bean backpack cooler: More compact and easier to carry in-and-out of motels than bulky, hard cooler; easier to keep clean; compartments made it way simpler to keep track of stuff
Best tour guide: Mac W, showing me the in’s and out’s of Ohio State, including an impressive body of background info and Buckeye trivia
Current country song most likely to make you pound the steering wheel: Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck, by Kip Moore
Uh . . . Beagle Man, haven’t you been home for almost two weeks already? And isn’t Burying Hill Beach less than a mile-and-a-half from your house? And you’re still using that LA/XC-3 logo? Stretching it a bit, now, aren’t we?
Yeah, yeah, it’s true. I’m well aware that my number of followers, well up into the millions when I’m on the road, shrinks to the mere hundreds-of-thousands in the “off-season” — October through August. So, yes, I’m still trying to milk the”on the road” angle. But after all, I did drive to Vermont with Ricky this weekend. And I was in Montauk last week. And this is a road trip wrap-up post. Okay, I’ll stop using the logo. Next post.
So in the 11 days I’ve been back east, I’ve been using the Audi Q5 a good bit. Getting used to it. Haven’t bitten the bullet yet and looked at the owner’s manual, but have been fiddling around with the controls themselves. I gotta admit, this car is freakin’ great. It drives amazingly. Q5 — sounds kind of James Bond-ish. And even though there were times this year, in some of the muddy-pickup-trucks-only areas of Arizona and Nevada, that I was glad to be driving a nice, beat-up old 2001 Pathfinder, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna suck it up and go with the Q5 next year. If some Montana cowboy wants to give me grief, I’ll just tell him that Audis are made by Chevy.
Have already been scrawling down some destinations for LA/XC-4. Am strongly considering a northern route for my westward leg. Hoping to hit all the states I’ve never been to (other than Alaska): Wisconsin. North Dakota. Washington. Oregon. Here are some other spots on my extremely-preliminary itinerary, in no particular order: Kansas City. Ann Arbor. Tuscaloosa. New Orleans. Norman, Oklahoma — and Checotah. Red Rocks Amphtheatre, Colorado. The Dog Bar in Charlotte, NC. Wrigley Field. Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Idaho. Telluride. Taos. Glacier National Park, Montana. If you have any other ideas you think I should put in the hopper, you still have have 10 months to get them to me.
I’m also kind of hoping, maybe, for some “drop-in” guests for selected driving segments next year. My oldest son Matt has talked about joining me for bits and pieces. And Carol said she’s considering flying to, say, Denver, and sitting in for the western leg. We’ll see . . .
And finally: You might remember back in early September, when I was in St. Louis and took the Budweiser Brewery tour, I boasted that my son Matt writes the “superstitious” ads for Bud Light that appear on the NFL broadcasts — the ones with the “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work” tag line. They’ve been generating quite the buzz in Twitter Land, and they inspired me to deck out our den in CT on Monday — leading directly, I’m sure, to the Jets upset win over the Falcons. (My apologies, of course, to our very good Falcons friends in Atlanta.) But today, the same set-up didn’t work so well watching Jets vs. Steelers in Vermont. So I guess it’s back to the drawing board . . .
LOOK FOR A NEW BEAGLE MAN POST EVERY THURSDAY. OR PRETTY CLOSE TO THURSDAY. COULD BE WEDNESDAY. OR FRIDAY. LET’S NOT GET TOO OBSESSIVE HERE . . . OH, AND BTW, YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER