For most people the current quarantine has been rather frustrating in some ways, nice in others. For me, I’ve had a lot of time to sit down and plan future trips that I can take once everything opens back up, and for this Colorado-based writer, that means visiting quite a few National Parks.
I figured I wasn’t the only one on staff who felt this way, so I wasn’t surprised when a few of my coworkers agreed to sit down on camera and discuss their post-quarantine car plans. Some include road trips in and out of state, some even include a trip north of the border. Watch the video above to see what our plans are for the rest of the year, and let us know what you have planned in the comments below.
- All right, guys. How's it going? This is the first time I've like been in a meeting with the three of you by ourselves since coronavirus started. How have you guys been?
- Hanging in there, man. Just, you know, day at a time. Got my collection of toilet paper, and just trying — trying to keep my head down, you know.
- Yeah, I was never super worried about the toilet paper. And there's so much here that I'd-- yeah. It would take a disaster for me to run through all my toilet paper.
- Yeah, I've been pretty good. Just keep myself busy working on the house, right now. So we just got our house, you know, last fall, so during this quarantine time, this is the perfect time to fix it up and paint everything.
- Yeah, I think all my trips outside of the house have been to Home Depot to just pick up stuff.
- Yeah, I've been looking for excuses to go drive the car someplace. It's, oh, I want to go take a walk in the park over here. Yeah, I guess it's-- it's time to break out the Porsche that I have in my driveway right now. So, yeah, we're — we're going to go do that.
Other than that, just kind of like working on my car too. I have a few cosmetic things, a few mechanical things here and there that I've been thinking with. So, yeah. Trying to keep busy.
- I am jealous of both, you Zac and Byron. Though Zac lately more than Byron because you've had a 911 and then two different Supras, I think, in the last, like, two weeks, which for-- I haven't-- I haven't gotten any cars since the — since this whole thing started. Hopefully, knock on wood, we'll get some here in June, and then I can start shooting. But yeah, I'm super jealous of what you've had in your driveway.
But I have taken this time to kind of plan out what I want to do once we can go places. I don't know. You guys probably, the reason you're here is because you've done the same. And I just want to hear what you guys have planned for after this whole COVID-19 kind of calms down? What are you going to do with your cars, and where you're going to go with them? And Bryon, we'll start with you.
- Well, I mean, I'm in a weird spot, because I moved to the Detroit area like six weeks before all this really started. So I was in the office with a couple of you for, you know, barely a month before they sent us all home. And I would just like to get out and kind of explore the area. You know, go up north, go to the UP.
I want to take a day trip to Canada just because I can, you know. Like, all these things are just completely locked out. And it — and it really drives home how weird it feels to be in a new place and not know anything about it, because I, like, I'm really limited in my ability to explore right now. So like, that's priority number one.
And I had all these plans for road trips for the summer that I don't know. I just kind of see them sort of like fading away. I was really hoping this was going to be the year I was going to get out to the Pacific Northwest and make a trip up to Canada from there. Go to Banff, which has been on my bucket list forever. Just, you know, get out, see some big mountains, see some volcanoes, do all that kind of stuff. And I'm hoping, fingers crossed, that maybe by the end of summer, things will loosen up enough maybe I can actually get some of that done.
- Yeah, Alex and I went to Banff in 2017 from Seattle in a Tacoma TRD Pro and a '98 Tacoma, and took mostly forestry roads there. Got lost a lot, but it was still — that was like — it's definitely one of the more memorable trips for me.
We only spent like two days in Banff, which I really — I mean, if you're going to go to Banff, you get to spend more than two days there. That was like such a tease, especially since the second day was just us packing up and leaving. But yeah, that sounds incredible. Highly, highly recommend going to the Pacific Northwest and then driving up to Banff if you can.
- Fingers crossed.
- Yeah, you'll love that up there. It is easily one of my favorite places I've ever been.
- I-- I kind of feel the same way. Like, I had all these plans for the summer. You know, I moved to Colorado two years ago now, and we did some exploring last year. Went to Telluride, and we did — we drove all the way to the Grand Canyon. Just kind of my wife and I living out of our car for a bit.
But this year, one of the last trips I took was to the Chicago Auto Show before all this went down. And the Weekender was unveiled there, the Mercedes Benz camper van, and I was super stoked to-- to check that out, and hopefully, drive one around. And I got in my mind this big idea that my wife and I, if we could get it for like a month, do like a long term-- like month long Mercedes Benz Weekender review. And I even put together a-- I basically just went on Google Maps, and set a radius of like 500 miles, and selected every national park within that radius for us to go to.
So like, I'll just rattle them off here. It'll be ridiculous. It's like a 4-- roughly a 4,000 mile road trip. First, to Great Sand Dunes National Park, then to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, then Mesa Verde, and that's all still in Colorado. Then we go to Moab, of course, not really going to do any off roading in a Mercedes Weekender van, I don't think. You got Arches in Zion, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and then Great Basin, and then from there, I had to do two Google Maps links because they won't let you do 10 places at once.
From up there, drive up to Grand Teton in Yellowstone, then up to Glacier where I've been before and was phenomenal. And then over to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Figured, might as well check that. I've been there before, my wife has never been to North Dakota. Pretty unremarkable, but there is a national park there. So check that one off our list.
Then Devils Tower. Oh gosh. No, now we're-- oh, Badlands. What's this one? I'm getting so granular now. I don't even remember where they were. Oh, Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, and then back home to Rocky Mountain National Park. So that was like, I don't even know. 18 places. And it's this giant circle around basically Colorado. It is Colorado and Utah are the southern parts, and it goes all the way up to northern Montana, almost to Canada, basically.
- How many miles is this again?
- I think it's 3,700.
- Yeah, so the first part through Colorado and Utah is 1,300, and this isn't counting driving around in the parks, which would be adding a lot more. And then the rest is 2,400, which when I first started here, I think in the fall of 2013, I drove our long term Nissan Pathfinder from Detroit to Glacier National Park and back in a week, and that was 4,000 miles. So I know I could do it. I would just want-- I'd basically just live out of the van for like a month, And just find Wi-Fi, and try to actually like-- like work normal hours too, mostly normal hours, so that way it's not just like a crazy vacation, but--
- The way you have that organized is a lot actually how I did a full cross-country road trip right after I graduated college, like 2 and 1/2 years ago now. Basically just hit every single national park from Michigan, to Seattle, to down to-- to LA, and then back across the country, you know within a reason. You know, if it was like a one or two-hour drive out of the way, we would go to it. And now it is like one of the best ways, I think, you can traverse around this country. To just hit all the beautiful places that you can.
- I need to hear more about this trip. How long did this take you?
- It was just about a month.
- OK. What did you drive?
- I drove my 2001 Acura Integra GSR, which--
- Yeah, pretty weird road trip car, for sure. It's certainly no Mercedes Weekender as far as [INAUDIBLE] to live out of, but no. My girlfriend and I camped out of it, like, in every single national park that we stopped in. We camped. We didn't do Airbnbs, or hotels, or anything
- No way.
- Yeah, we had the thing just loaded to the gills. It's a hatchback. So there's-- there's a lot of room back there. And yeah. No, it was-- it was like, all right, we graduated.
We're going to go see everything that we want, you know, on a reasonable budget. But we didn't want to fly anywhere. Just wanted to drive the whole way. It was always a dream of mine to drive from Michigan all the way-- all the way to the Pacific and then back. So--
- Man, that is--
- I'm extremely jealous of this trip. That's something I wanted to do for a long time.
- Yeah, it's-- it's really tough to find the time, and that's why we did it right after graduation where neither of us have any responsibilities. We just got out there. We didn't accept a job right after graduation that we'd have to go to, and we just-- we just did it. So--
- That's awesome. Man, that makes my life week in the UP camping after graduation seem so pathetic.
That is incredible.
- The UP is fun. That's actually where we started. We went straight north up to the UP with Pictured Rock and across the Marquette. Yeah.
- Nice. I think that-- that segues nicely into [? Mahlberg's ?] plans.
- Yeah, so speaking of the UP, that is actually the place where I want to go for my road trip, is up to Pictured Rocks. Not a 13,000 mile trip, it's only 412. So a little less than [INAUDIBLE]. Round circle around Colorado, Wyoming area. But I've actually never been up to Pictured Rocks and neither has my wife. She's only been to the UP one time.
Actually, I think about two years ago, we had a road trip going up to Mackinac Island, and so we went up there, and when we were leaving Mackinac Island, we made a point just across the Mackinac Bridge just to say that she's finally, you know, been in the UP. And we drove up the-- I think it's the sunset highway, or something like that. I can't remember the actual name of that, but it was red at golden hour. We found this beach, and just kind of sat there with lawn chairs and watched the sunset, and then drove back across the Mackinac Bridge.
But Pictured Rocks, the plan is, I would like to go-- that's the final destination, but I want to go to Drummond Island first. And actually, that is only accessible through a ferry. So you drive up on the ferry, and then they ferry you over to Drummond Island. And I want to get a cabin up there and just stay there for a couple days. And then make our way up to Pictured Rocks.
- Is that the place where all the wolves get stuck because they crossover in the winter when there's ice, and then the ice melts, and then there's just like a bunch of wolves there?
- Yeah. Yeah, same with a bunch of "mooses." The plural of that.
- Moose. Yeah.
- Yeah, moose.
- "Meese," right? Like, goose, geese, moose, "meese." Yeah.
- Yeah, it's beautiful up there. And it's really tiny. I mean, I went up there when I was younger, and I had my motorcycle up there. You can go and back and forth from the island within, I don't know, maybe 30 minutes, if that.
- Yeah, it's-- there's really not much to travel around in that, but it's secluded too. I want to do that in my Focus ST. I actually want to get-- I was hoping to have my new exhaust put on. I want to get the poor performance cap black exhaust on that. So it'll sound good while we're driving up there, but it won't be extremely loud.
- Forward performances is good for that, I think. You'll get a nice tone on it really on it, but hopefully, it's-- it's still tuned to be nice on the highway. I think that's probably a good way to go.
- Yeah, I think so too. It says it only gets real loud when you hit about five grand on European, but highway speeds, you're not going to-- you know, it's not going to be drony and be annoying.
- And you're not going to scare any moose when you're driving slowly around Drummond Island.
- No. Yeah, exactly. That way you can creep up and see them in their natural habitat.
- Nice. Zac, what do you got planned?
- So I actually did a pretty huge road trip right before this whole stay at home quarantine thing ended. I drove down to New Orleans in February. So I got a bit on my road trip bug out of me then, but I'm already itching for another one, and it's probably going to be a camping one.
The destination for right now will be the Adirondacks in like, central, north central New York. So I'm thinking, go over there with my girlfriend. We also have a few friends that actually live in that area that we could visit. I actually went to Syracuse University. So I have-- I know lots of people in that central New York area, but yeah.
No, most likely, I mean, I think the best choice for that right now would be our long-term Subaru Forester, actually, but I-- there's some really great roads up there that also are tempting me to want to take our long-term Volvo S60. That would be fun. There's definitely not as much room for the camping gear, but I've already proved that you don't necessarily need a huge car to go camping for long distances in my Integra.
- Yeah, no kidding. Yeah, do it in the Integra, you'd be fine in anything. Plus those seats in the Volvo do lean back quite a bit. So you could possibly still sleep in those, depending on how easy you sleep.
- We would probably do tents. That [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah, we do that. And I mean, so I drove up there once before and there's a ton of hiking trails, a ton of places to pull off and just hang out.
It's really beautiful scenery, and I think that we would probably to spend a lot of time exploring nature. You know, it's-- the whole social distancing thing, you know, we would probably sort of continue that, you know, whenever we're able to go vacationing again. So it seems like the right kind of vacation and road trip for the times that we're in.
- Yeah, absolutely.
- Yeah, I don't think anything's going to get-- like, things will definitely normalize, but it's not going to be normal anytime soon. So anywhere that you can kind of get out and away from people, though I like getting out and away from people in general.
- So any time that could happen, definitely a bonus.
- That's good. Yeah, speaking of small cars. When we did our road trip to Mackinac Island, I was in my old Fiesta. 2014 Fiesta, it was a manual too, so that made it-- it did make it fun. But it was loaded, and actually, I think I had your bike rack on the back of that.
- That's right.
- --let me borrow that. On the highway, just to keep up with speeds, I had to leave it in like, fourth gear.
- Oh gosh. Oh gosh.
- Yeah, my entire gas mileage gone gone.
- With the Integra like going up the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and-- oh my god. No torque.
- Yeah, I--
- --third and fourth gear.
- I have a Crosstrek out here, and it's-- it's like-- the other day, I drove into the mountains to pick up a Subaru Outback that my buddy is borrowing from a friend. And it was like, I don't know, like an hour and a 1/2 drive. And he has to go through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which is around 11 or 12,000 feet, and man, that Crosstrek is just-- I'm in the right lane at 50 miles an hour, just like chugging along, because there was one time I tried to keep it at like 75, and by the time I got to the tunnel, it was just like, nope. That's not-- that's not happening. I had to pull over and wait for it to cool down.
So, yeah. I could-- I feel the pain there. All right, well, if you're watching this video on YouTube, make sure you hit subscribe, hit like. That will help us make more videos just like this. Hopefully, we can get out into some cars here soon, and make some videos, and some cars, fingers crossed there.
Also yeah, hit subscribe, hit, ring that bell, and thanks for watching. Tell us in the comments where you're planning on going on your road trip once everything is all back to normal. Thanks for watching.