This adventurous trip started at 3am to catch a flight at 515am to San Antonio. It was certainly early but was fortunate to have a coworker that didn’t mind dropping me off at the airport. The reasoning for the trip: a car caught my eye which led to a good discussion with the owner: a 2006 Mercedes C55. An interesting, small sedan with a musical 5.5L V8 and pleasantly large brakes. It’s a favorite.
The flight from SLC to Denver had some turbulence but was pretty smooth getting to the first stop.
Denver airport was a pretty good experience. Had a breakfast quesadilla and then boarded the plane for the final leg to San Antonio. A note about the Denver Airport: the layout was appealing and the old aircrafts on display was simply fantastic.
Coffee update: at this point I’ve yet to have coffee. The issue was either being in a rush or long lines. Only one shop was open at SLC airport but the line was extremely long. When I arrived at the Denver Airport I was more hungry than really needing coffee. So I had breakfast instead. Next stop will involve coffee and lunch while picking up the C55.
So coffee was infact being offered on the flight from Denver to San Antonio. Nothing was offered on the first flight, thanks to turbulence. So despite this cup of coffee being terrible, it was coffee non the less.
So I get picked up by the owner of the car in an Audi Q7. Honestly it was quite nice, as I never rode in one. The owner was very friendly and had some awesome stories. I was looking forward to these stories actually.
We get to the shop and checkout out the C55 as well as a few other cars that were in the warehouse. I learned quite a bit about a few land rovers (lr3 and lr4). It’s amazing to see how the value of even the lr3 has gone up significantly in the last few years.
The car at first look seemed pretty clean. The front and rear bumpers had some sun fade, the original windshield has a good size crack, paint needs correction. The wheels need to be refinished, interior is missing a few small pieces, leathers needs significant cleaning, the car also has little service history but Car Fax states it is a clean title.
After finalizing the deal on the car, it was defiantly lunch time. I asked the secretary what was the best Indian Restaurant in the area: India Oven was the prompt response. They have a 4.5 star review on Google and over 900 reviews. The drive time was only 15 minutes from the car shop. Impressions: the food was simply fantastic. This was a buffet, so I tried nearly everything. I never had this interesting tomato soup, which was also amazing.
So while being so close by to Austin, I decided to go have dinner with some family since it had been a while since we all caught up. The drive down was pretty short, around an hour with a good amount of traffic and one accident. I found a hotel about 15 minutes away from family at Austin Southpark. A note about this hotel: my experience for the one night stay (which also happen to be non-reservation), was a good one. I did glance at the Google Reviews as this place did only get 3 stars but decided to give them a try anyway. Personally I will give them 4 stars for good customer service overall, a clean reception area, hall ways and room.
A note on how the C55 drove while heading to Austin: spirited. The car is quite easy to drive, it handles well, certainly feels much lighter vs the other two AMG cars I have either owned or currently own. Brakes feel great, even though they do need to be replaced. Acceleration is pretty awesome, it has quite a bit of low end torque coupled with a responsive transmission. The sound of the 5.5L motor sounds simply fantastic.
As usual it was great to catch up with family. My sister and brother in law decided to take me to a local favorite: Maudie’s Milagro. The wait time for this favorite was about 35 minutes. As you wait you can certainly run in and grab a beer at the bar (recommended). I’m certainly not use to this option, as I’m from Utah.
After sleeping in I experienced Austin traffic at 8:30am the following morning – good news is that it at least never was at a stand still. The traffic thinned out once I was at the edge of the city and beyond.
The range on the car wasn’t bad at about 340 miles per tank. I was filling up at around half tank empty as I really either needed to stop by gas station to stretch or grab food / snacks. I can’t say that the drivers seat is super comfy on a 20 hour drive.
Most of the drive home was pretty uneventful, which is probably a good thing. As I was driving north in and around the Lubbock Texas area I saw the most windmills in any one area ever in my life. The amount was staggering: miles and miles of windmills as far as the eye can see in all directions. It was absolutely wild. I tried to get a few pictures of this.
During a road trip you always have some event that you wish you had video or pictures of. Here was my event: this happened just as I was passing the edge of where the windmill farm was. The road went from gradual S-Curves to a long straight section. A cross-wind blowing from the East was blowing tumble weeds across the highway. In the distance to my right I saw a massive dark brown tumble weed bouncing towards the highway. I really didn’t think anything of it until it was getting closer, a lot closer. This was when I started to realize of the size as well as its real possibility of hitting me. I would guess the size was about half of the C55. As I was in a near collision, I swerve to the right (onto the shoulder) getting around the tumble weed. I look in my rear view mirror at the one and only car behind me and see that they also nearly hit it. That was a first time encountering such a huge tumble weed on the highway.
Here are more pictures of the drive home. The route was pretty scenic, mostly cordial drivers on the road, pretty sunset and sunrise. This was actually the longest single drive I’ve done solo. Also the C55 may be luxurious but it certainly isn’t a nice place to take a nap in. Another odd issue during the very late night, early morning parts of the drive: gas stations aren’t open.
It was such a good feeling to finally cross back into Utah. Southern Utah is such a beautiful place to see and of course drive through.
Overall it was a fun trip. Was able to catch up with family, get a good deal on a wonderful AMG car and see some of the scenic country. I need to do this more often.