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Discussion Starter #1
How about sharing some of your favorite places to drive the MDX (for fun). We bought ours as a comfortable road car with lots of room that we could take down any road that interested us without worrying about whether we would get out in one piece. (We have had several sport sedans that were comfortable, but didn't have much room. And we sometimes took them down roads that we weren't at all sure they could handle.)

This past week we took Big Red on a road trip and pretty much let her pick the roads ;) . Here is what we found:
  • Natchez Trace (MS, AL, TN) - this 50 MPH scenic drive may be too tame for many of you :25: , since you can't really flex the 240 horses. However, it is rolling and beautiful. We like the slow speed, since we can see the flowers, trees, and animals we are passing. There are scenic/historical sites every 10-20 miles. Some of these are challenging "unimroved" roads. A couple in north Mississippi and Tennessee follow the 'old' trace (parallel to the 'new' trace) and are pretty much like they were 150 years ago. (The trace has several bike and horse trails, if you want to really get off-road.)
  • Williamson County (Franklin), Tennessee has lots of curvy, hilly 2 lane (and 1-1/2 lane) country roads. These are particularly fun with the Navi (I used my PDA with GPS). Interesting houses, scenery, and animals. (Lots of good shopping in the area, also.)
  • Oak Mountain State Park (Alabama) - less than 10 miles from Birmingham, this park includes a 4+ mile 'unimproved' road to the top of the mountain. It wasn't extremely narrow or challenging. We saw some 'regular' cars on it, but I wouldn't want to be on it in wet weather without AWD. Much of it is steep, and it is all twisty. We kept Big Red in 2nd gear with the VTM locked most of the time. At the top there are some pull outs (scenic overlooks) that look like Jeep ads (big rocks, very uneven, etc.). A good place to see what your MDX can do without too much risk. (Also good hiking trails and bird watching.)
I'll post some pictures of these roads later, but I would like to hear where you like to drive. We will be going to Texas (east and hill country) next week and are always looking for "MDX roads" to enjoy.

- Conrad
 

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Here's a List From Last Year

A great topic conradsmith and I hope we get some good ones. It was probably before your time but last summer we had the same topic and you will want to seethat string as well.
I'll stick by my nominee at that time (Monument Valley) but in the spirit of a new look I'm going to get some new roads together.
On the same topic, we discovered one terrific resource for long trips. Here is the entry from our trip notes:
One book we found particularly useful is "Crossing America - National Geographic's Guide to the Interstates" which is easy to find at most bookstores. It lists all the neat stuff and side trips along all of the major cross-country interstates. It has strip maps showing worthwhile stops within a easy drive of the Interstate. We used this book to find short tours to break up days of driving. You'll find a good variety of things here that you might otherwise miss. Using it as a starting point, you can usually find more detailed information online for places that catch your eye.
 

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Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona

The winding road that runs through Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona Arizona is gorgeous scenery and twisty enough to make a flatlander from coastal South Carolina appreciate that MDX sure-footed feel and nimble handling. On the right is a view of the winding road as seen on RoadRunner's navigation system. Actually, the display proved surprisingly useful in helping me anticipate hairpin curves ahead.
One problem here is that the traffic through here can be too heavy to let you really enjoy driving the road. Try to pick off times or seasons when you can have the road to yourself.
Meep Meep:2:
 

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Being that a spent a majority of my life (27 years) in Arizona, I must say that Oak Creek Canyon is buy far one of the most beautiful and temperate areas to visit/live. In fact I am planning to have one of retirement residences in Oak Creek.
 

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Painted Desert

Another short but spectacular road in Arizona is through the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. It's only a 40 minute drive if you drove straight through .... but you'd have to be blind to do that. Bring LOTS of film and/or digital media of your choice because the view is breath-taking.
At the end be sure to drive on to Winslow Arizona so you can be "Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona, what a fine place to be". Nearly 30 years after the Eagles made standin’ on a corner here a lifelong goal for their fans, the town has removed all doubt about which corner you should be looking for. And if you are really lucky, you may even see "a flatbed Ford/Slowin’ down to take a look at me."
If you have time, be sure to stay at the historic La Posada Hotel, the last of the great Fred Harvey/ Santa Fe Railroad Hotels. Then get up early the next day and head off to the Grand Canyon - my next nominee.
Meep Meep
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As it happens we traveled both of the Arizona roads several years ago ('95 I think) in our '93 Mazda 626. We were in the midst of a snow storm in Oak Creek canyon (the only other people we saw were also from Mississippi!) and just after a snow storm at the Painted Desert (we had to wait 4 hours at the south entrance for them to clear the roads). I'm sure we would have felt much more confident on those slick roads in our MDX. Hopefully we will get out there and try them again. Thanks for reminding me.

- Conrad
 

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Gold Camp Road - Colorado Springs

Gold Camp Road is actually the old roadbed of a narrow gauge railroad (emphasis on NARROW )that used to service the gold mines in the mountains above Colorado Springs, Colorado. Like most railroad right-of-ways there are no guard rails or shoulders so a skid could find you back in Colorado Springs WAAAAAAAAAAAY sooner than you planned:eek: via MDX Airlines. In icy weather, it certainly gave this flatlander from the SC coast a serious pucker factor - and a great appreciation for RoadRunner's sure-footed feel. It also offers spectacular views overlooking the city of Colorado Springs. At the upper end, you will find terrific ghost towns and some excellent off-road trails. If you're in the area and need a little adrenalin in your life, give it a try.
Meep Meep:2:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Gold Camp Road - Colorado Springs

roadrunner said:
Gold Camp Road is actually the old roadbed of a narrow gauge railroad (emphasis on NARROW )that used to service the gold mines in the mountains above Colorado Springs, Colorado. Like most railroad right-of-ways there are no guard rails or shoulders so a skid could find you back in Colorado Springs WAAAAAAAAAAAY sooner than you planned:eek: via MDX Airlines. In icy weather, it certainly gave this flatlander from the SC coast a serious pucker factor - and a great appreciation for RoadRunner's sure-footed feel. It also offers spectacular views overlooking the city of Colorado Springs. At the upper end, you will find terrific ghost towns and some excellent off-road trails. If you're in the area and need a little adrenalin in your life, give it a try.
Meep Meep:2:
Wow! That's another road that we traveled in a family sedan many years ago (1977 in a '75 MB 240). I saw a big rock on the roadway and decided to stradle it--bad mistake. It jammed against the oid pan and did $$$ worth of damage. This is exactly the kind of road we got Big Red for. They are great fun to drive on, but, even though they aren't 'off road' there is a non-trivial risk in doing it in a 'regular' car.

Thanks for reminding me about this one. We have got to get Big Red out west so she can get a work out on roads like Gold Camp.

- Conrad
 

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Way Fun!

Yea Gold Camp is odd in that it really has a pretty good surface, dirt but smooth and yet I found it a lot more exciting than the off-road trails I had just spent the day on. The biggest danger there was banging up the car - on Gold Camp though there were some spots where you definately didn't want to loose traction or the dents in the car would be the least of your problems:rolleyes:
Meep Meep
 

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New York State/Long Island

Cross Island between the Southern State and the Throggs neck bridge. A good run. The Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway if you don't get a speeding ticket. The Long Island Expressway out of the Midtown tunnel to the Van Wick Expressway. Whitestone Expressway between the Whitestone Bridge and the Grand Central Parkway. I can't forget the Belt Parkway and the Van Wick Expressway. When I refer to these road's it's preferrably 11:00 P.M. thru 6:00 A.M. Other times there is just to much traffic. New York is loaded with cars and trucks during the other hours. At night you can have some fun on these roads beware of the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway that one is very dangerious for police great for speed!!!:eek:
 
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