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** this article is to complement greatscot's picture on the <a href="/">home page</a> **.

(greatscot) This impromtu road trip started at the moment my daughter called from Salt Lake City saying she was going into labor. We couldn't find any flights out of Fresno at the last moment, so we quickly packed and drove north to Sacramento to get on the I-80 Interstate to Salt Lake City. Leaving Sacramento we had light rain, but then heading up the Sierra's we got into some snow and highway warnings alerted drivers that they should not proceed without carrying chains. We had none, and I recalled all the "posts" from the acuramdx.org members on the topic of chains and cables.


Getting up in elevation, the snow became more intense. It seemed like the only other drivers on the road were truckers, and they were going full bore. At about 1a.m. we reached Donner Pass and the snow was coming down in true blinding fashion. However, the MDX performed extremely well, wide and solid as it is, we never lost traction on the snowy surface of the road. There were moments when we had to slow down to 40mph, but only because of limited visibility, not because the vehicle was limited.


Crossing over Donner Pass Summit (7,200ft.) felt like a major victory. I have never experienced more confidence in a car in such conditions as I did at that time. During the descent, the MDX handled the increased speed and road curves very well on the snowy, wet road surface. After refueling in Reno, we were on our way without any further inclement weather.


The point of this whole trip was to get to SLC before this baby arrived, and shortly after getting to my daughter's house, we were headed to the hospital. I guess you could call my white MDX "The Stork." She delivered a beautiful 8lb. baby girl. After all the usual fanfare of such a blessed family event, I spent the next two days playing Grandad to the wee one, then had to head back home.


The return trip was lonelier as I was on my own, leaving my wife (wow, I just realized I'm married to a Granny!) with our daughter and her husband, and their new wee girl. I stopped at the Bonneville Salt Flats to shoot a couple of MDX pictures to share with the acuramdx.org members. The trip was pretty much uneventful until climbing the Sierras. Light snow was falling as I drove up, and then reaching the summit of Donner Pass I saw a Starlight Silver MDX with skis on top. I was curious to know if it was a fellow acuramdx.org member, but as I couldn't quite get up to see, I never found out. As it was during the day, the traffic was a lot heavier than it was on my previous journey. Then at the State Agricultural Checkpoint, I saw that good looking SS MDX with skis again, but they were in another check lane and were gone before you could say MDX.


The weather during the descent grew increasingly worse. The snow became heavier, making the road surface very wet and slushy. People were slowing down quite a bit. I was able to pass a lot of cars, and yes also some "other brand" SUV's. In fact, while passing a Toyota Sequoia, the driver looked absolutely terrified with having to deal with the conditions. Again, I was very pleased at how the MDX handled the driving conditions.


South of Sacramento on state highway 99, at Turlock, the heavy traffic slowed almost to a complete stop due to a sudden downpour of hail in a lightening storm. In fact, some people were pulling off to the side of the road because they obviously didn't feel it was safe to continue in these conditions. Because people were stopping in the middle of the highway, I, and others were forced to weave our path forward. The hail was about pea size, and my main concern was whether I would get permanent paint damage. That's the only drawback to the MDX, if you're not careful you can become vain and lose any humility you need to retain to remind you of life's important events, like new babies.


This hailstorm was very strange, it seemed to be only on the highway as to my left and to my right the weather appeared to be very clear and sunny. Eventually, as I looked in my mirrors, I could see cars lining up behind me, using my MDX as a guide on the road through the hail. By driving south far enough, I eventually came out from under the storm and arrived home safely.


The only mistake I believe I made was that when I arrived home I was so tired I never washed the MDX right away. I went to work the next day and after getting home I cleaned off the mud, sand (from the Caltrans road maintenance) and dirt. Because I waited so long to clean the MDX, it was very difficult to get it back to my appearance standards.


Overall, I am extremely pleased with my decision to own an MDX. Before buying an SUV, "crossover", or minivan, I would strongly recommend the MDX to anyone.

greatscot.
 

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Nice~~~

One quick question!! How many miles each way? and How Long did it take? :D
 

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Re: New Grandad

Originally posted by greatscot
The point of this whole trip was to get to SLC before this baby arrived, and shortly after getting to my daughter's house, we were headed to the hospital. I guess you could call my white MDX "The Stork." She delivered a beautiful 8lb. baby girl. After all the usual fanfare of such a blessed family event, I spent the next two days playing Grandad to the wee one, then had to head back home.
Conratulations for the things that matter most:cool:
 

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Congratulations Grandpa! Glad to hear everything turned out ok - the birth and the driving!!:D
 

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Congratulations on the new addition, greatscot... seems good things happen in bunches!...
 

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Congrats greatscot on being a grandad! You have some serious stones traveling the donner pass in a snowstorm! I was out west a few years back in the summer and the pass scared the c**p out of me! That was in a lifted old style blazer though. Be well and enjoy one of lifes greatest blessings, a new kid without all the work!
 

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That story was a 'great read' -- thanks! And congrats on the new born!
 

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Hi GreatScot:

___You made it :6: Congrats on the new addition to your family and for making the front page in the process!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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JTM said:
Nice~~~

One quick question!! How many miles each way? and How Long did it take? :D
Hi JTM,
This trip is approx. 840 miles door to door and took about 14 hours. I prefer the northern route (Clovis to Sacramento, then on to SLC on I-80) as it is less tavelled than the southern (via Las Vegas) route.
 

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Thanks all for the compliments.
I'm sure you all would have, or someday will, do a similar trip, who knows what lies ahead of you in life? Believe me, that Donner Pass is a place you need to be careful in bad weather. But I was serious when I said I was more confident driving the X in those conditions than I have been in other vehicles. Those of you who drive in snow know what I mean.
Thanks again!
 

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Great story greatscot, and congrats on the newborn. I hope you can see "the wee one" a little more often without the blizzard.
 

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Great story & congratulations should be published in ACURA magazine-U ought to submit Being a grandad is great-as u may note I too have a TW and my youngest grandson -5yrs likes to tease me with "Your car has birddo on it-which he immediate follows with a comment to his twin sister-"come Laura we are going in the"truck"
 

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Hey GreatScot - congratulations on making the home page - and on that new arrival as well!

I couldn't have displaced by a nicer guy!! :D:D:D
 

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Concratulations on the grandchild. That is truly a great experience. I lived in Truckee (near Donner Pass) for a few years (actually met my wife and got married there as well), and they get some super snow falls. It was not uncommon to get a 3-4 foot snowstorm in the winter overnight. It is a beautifull place to visit (13 miles from Lake Tahoe)in the summer or wintertime.
 
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