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cmcgregor Reader
12/17/15 6:02 p.m.

After asking you all what we should do for vacation in a previous thread, the wife and I have decided that ADVENTURE is in order.

To that end, we're flying from Boston to Raleigh, NC to buy a 23 year old car with 200k on it, then driving it 3000 miles down and up the East Coast.

While everyone I've told this plan thinks we've finally lost it, I know the enablers here will be all for the trip.


If that looks familiar, it's because it was purchased through this very board. People also thought I was crazy for sending a certified check through the mail for a car I've never seen nor driven, but I digress...


Yep, we're picking up the car, then driving down to a New Year's Day wedding in Florida (who does that?), then making a big loop back home. 13 days, ~3300 miles, in a Miata. It's a good thing we like each other. Hopefully by the end of this we still do.

So I ask you, GRM - what tools should I buy when I get to the car?

chiodos HalfDork
12/17/15 6:08 p.m.

Is marker 10 the corvette museum in bowling green? If not, you should try to make it there. Looks like a whole mess load of fun, expecially in a miata

Edit as for tools, 10mm, 12, maybe 13 and 14mm too, big adjustable wrench and stubby flathead, a Philips and all the normal roadside repair tools, fixaflat, whatever

cmcgregor Reader
12/17/15 6:17 p.m.

In reply to chiodos:

The route is a rough draft, but yes, it is the Corvette museum. The best part is, my wife has done all of the route work herself so far. I knew I married her for a reason.

I do have a Miata already, and I can't think of any oddball tools I've needed in my ownership thus far. I'm hoping everything goes off without a hitch - and preparing for bad things to happen is usually the best way to ensure they don't, the way my luck typically goes.

mazdeuce PowerDork
12/17/15 6:30 p.m.

It's a Miata, how hard can it be?
Have fun, take pictures, share them with us.

mndsm MegaDork
12/17/15 6:36 p.m.

I flew and drove 1100 miles in a 400$ corolla purchased via this board. I drove it 20k in a year, changed the oil some. Then i swapped the front pads, packed all my E36 M3, and moved to florida in it, another 1500mile grind. Pack a cell phone, and caffeine.

Toyman01 MegaDork
12/17/15 7:07 p.m.

Sounds like a lot of fun. As was said above, take lots of pictures, post a trip report.

Gearheadotaku PowerDork
12/17/15 7:31 p.m.

Adjust your route in TN. Cut east to Knoxville, then south on US129. Lots of great Miata roads from there to Atlanta. Then west to rejoin your previous route.

Enyar Dork
12/17/15 8:10 p.m.

I just did a similar trip in April when I bought my car (also sight unseen, check in the mail). We drove from Newport to Philly. Philly to Charleston. Charleston to Tampa.

Enjoy the ride! we had a blast and I will be doing this from here on out when I buy new cars.

Tyler H
Tyler H SuperDork
12/18/15 6:35 a.m.

Before turning north, you might want to swing back down the 'forgotten coast,' through Appalachicola (awesome oysters,) Port St Joe (climb the light house,) and Panama City (St. Andrews State Park is a nice place for a beach day.) When you hit Montgomery or Birmingham, you need to stop at Dreamland BBQ and make sure you head over to Barber Motorsports Park and check out the museum.

I think this is an awesome plan. 3500 miles, shoulder-to-shoulder, will cement the foundation of any marriage...or not...either way, you'll know for sure.

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
12/18/15 7:03 a.m.

Following. :-) Wife and I just finished a trip out to Arizona in her 15 year old, 170,000 mile GMC Jimmy- about 2300 miles, with our 18 month old daughter. Take lots of pictures, document everything- it will be fun to look back and read about your trip next year or in 5 years or whenever.

Also, if you have car trouble in Maryland, PM me, I may be able to assist. There's a sticky on the forums of folks all over the US who can help, as a matter of fact. It may come in very helpful.

Break a leg!

octavious HalfDork
12/18/15 7:16 a.m.

Yep, swing through Knoxville and hit all the back roads to the ATL. And if you need anything in around Knox I've me a shout.

cmcgregor Reader
12/18/15 8:18 a.m.

Thanks everyone! I've been inspired by all of the excellent recent road trip threads to give this a shot. I've never been very good about keeping threads updated, but I've figured out a good way to upload pictures directly from my phone and GRM fortunately has a pretty decent mobile site.

Route suggestions are very welcome! One thing I don't want to do is spend this whole trip on the interstate - we've never been most of these places, individually or together, so actually seeing them would be nice. I also already have the on the road assist list thread bookmarked! Might come in handy.

Suggestions for what to pack or otherwise bring along are similarly encouraged. This will be by far the longest trip we've taken, as well as the longest vacation we've ever taken.

pinchvalve MegaDork
12/18/15 8:27 a.m.
I'm hoping everything goes off without a hitch -

A Miata might have a hitch if it has been autocrossed, people often tow a small tire trailer, but I don't think the lack of a hitch is cause for concern on this type of trip. Personally I think it will go off with or without a hitch.

pinchvalve MegaDork
12/18/15 8:29 a.m.

Oh, and you should consider a night at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. The wife will thank you, it's pretty cool just to walk around inside.

mazdeuce PowerDork
12/18/15 8:35 a.m.

You might already know this, but almost every hotel you stay at has a coin operated washer/dryer available. You really only need 2-3 days of clothes for any trip. My family of six brings about the same volume of clothes as a normal couple. This may or may not be important in a Miata.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
12/18/15 8:40 a.m.

To add onto what mazdeuce said, for road trips I tend to try to follow a rule of "underpack for the humans, overpack for the car" and bring more tools, fluids, spares etc. than I really should need. It's worked out well so far.

In other news, I absolutely LOVE that these "Adventure Threads" have become a thing.

RedGT Reader
12/18/15 8:50 a.m.

Awesome trip.

For god's sake you're in a Miata. I don't know what river crossing that is in NYC but being that far south I can tell you it's nothing pleasant. Go further up and then across the bear mountain, and enjoy one last dose of twisty roads before shooting across CT/MA to home.

Kylini HalfDork
12/18/15 8:52 a.m.

Do NA owners have to fear and respect the cam angle sensor like NB owners?

Hal SuperDork
12/18/15 4:53 p.m.
cmcgregor wrote: Route suggestions are very welcome! One thing I don't want to do is spend this whole trip on the interstate - we've never been most of these places, individually or together, so actually seeing them would be nice. I also already have the on the road assist list thread bookmarked! Might come in handy.

Unless you really want to go into DC I would put pin 21 in Gettysburg, PA. When you get off Skyline Drive you could take 522 north to 30 and then 30 east to Gettysburg. Nice roads and beautiful scenery. If you really want "Miata roads" go a little further west than 522 and run Rt 9 north.

admc58 Reader
12/20/15 11:40 a.m.

In Nashville you should check out the Lane Motor Museum...Lots of weird and odd. You should get the basement tour also.


Ranger50 PowerDork
12/20/15 11:56 a.m.

What are pins 17 and 18?

I will say takin I64 out of Lexington to WV sucks ass. BTDT. 2 hrs of misery.

cmcgregor Reader
12/21/15 10:17 a.m.

Pins 17 and 18 are just random waypoints - 17 is a state park, 18 is Charleston, WV.

We have a few "set" points, mostly due to family and therefore free places to stay

Those are Tampa FL, Montgomery AL, Roseland VA, Alexandria VA, and Philly. Good call on avoiding NYC, BTDT and have no intentions of dealing with it in a Miata. Alexandria is probably going to be annoying but my sister and her husband just bought a house there, so we're definitely stopping in to see them.

Thanks for the route suggestions!

It's looking like we're going to spend 2 days in Nashville. Opryland Hotel looks really cool and so does the Lane.

Kylini, what's the deal with the NB cam angle sensor?

admc58 Reader
12/21/15 2:36 p.m.


The Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville AL Where else can you see a real Saturn V rocket hanging from the ceiling...along with a ton of other cool space & NASA stuff.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
12/21/15 3:15 p.m.
admc58 wrote: In Nashville you should check out the Lane Motor Museum...Lots of weird and odd. You should get the basement tour also. http://www.lanemotormuseum.org/

Highly recommended

Ranger50 PowerDork
12/21/15 3:28 p.m.

just my opinion but take the mountain parkway off 64 to BFE and even though it's clearly "fast" the roads offer lots of turns and twists plus pretty decent scenery along the drive. From there head south on us23 until you hit pikeville. From there you can visit the sites in the area related to the hatfield and McCoy feud. Then it's a simple turn on to 119 to hit charleston. Wave as you go past my home!

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