The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

30 April 2003

Hit the road, Jack

You'd never know it by looking at suburban surface streets at 5:10 pm, but driving not the mindless Point-A-to-Point-B rote you look at every day, but actual, honest-to-Fangio driving is something of an art form.

I'm not sure that Chrysler's new The Art of Driving promotion, offering participants a chance to play epicure while they sample the newest vehicles, is quite the way to make this point, although pushing Celine Dion tickets might inspire people to drive at high speeds in the opposite direction.

On the other hand, Mazda's Rev It Up program, in which you get to prove your mettle in a specially-prepped Mazda6, may be too much for some people: it's a racing school, or at least as much of a racing school as can be squeezed into one day and a $39 fee. And I have to admire the FAQ, which starts with the simple question "What is the meaning of life?"

Life is all about variety, change, new experiences. To live your life to the fullest you need periodic adventures. You need to challenge yourself.

Which reminds me: World Tour '03 is coming up this July, and at the heart of it is about 4500 miles of driving, on the superslabs and through the twisties, in big cities and small towns and everything in between. Everyone should do this at least once; this will be my third time, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.

Posted at 8:01 AM to Driver's Seat

I agree. I'm still trying to decide where to road trip this year. My wife and the kids are driving back to New Jersey, but I won't be able to go with them.

I'm thinking either Kansas City or New Orleans... but it will be late July before I take anytime off and N.O. in July is a special kind of hell.

Posted by: Cam at 9:28 AM on 30 April 2003

Kansas City is my first stop, mainly because I'm picking up my daughter for the first week of the festivities. (She'll fly home from Hartford, and I'll continue threading my way southward.)

I don't even want to contemplate New Orleans in July. When I was in school, they taught us that relative humidity maxed out at 100 percent; five minutes in Orleans (or even Jefferson) Parish in July will attest to the contrary.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:06 AM on 30 April 2003

Which reminds me: if you haven't heard the song "The Art of Driving" by the Brit trio Black Box Recorder, you're truly missing out...a more haunting, tantalizing song you may never encounter.

Posted by: DavidMSC at 7:57 PM on 30 April 2003

Hey, Chaz, my daughter lives in KC, too. In fact, that's where I used to live before moving to Hawai'i (where a "road trip" involves driving in a large circle). Small world, eh?

Posted by: Venomous Kate at 1:22 AM on 1 May 2003

And my road trips involve driving in a large circle, unless I don't plan to go home. :)

I've always been fond of KC, but she seems bored with it. Maybe it's a generational thing.

Posted by: CGHill at 6:56 AM on 1 May 2003

I'm gonna do the Rev It Up thing tomorrow, I'll let you know how it was.

What is the World Tour? Sounds like fun, if'n I could talk the wife into letting me do it :)

Road trips planned this summer (so far) St. Louis for Memorial Day weekend, Dallas and San Antonio the third week of June. New Orleans in late July would definitely *not* be on my short list. That time of year is a good time to be in Portland, trust me.

Posted by: Wylie at 12:02 PM on 2 May 2003

The World Tour, over the past couple of years, has basically been a lap around a quarter of the country. I blogged during both, and you can read the results (see the World Tour entries under "Vital features").

Posted by: CGHill at 12:27 PM on 2 May 2003

Camping definitely camping... probably at Billy Creek or Robbers Cave

Posted by: alfredo stroessner at 6:58 PM on 14 May 2003