2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit

Discussion in 'Events and Gatherings' started by xcel, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I had a small dinner at a Laramie, WY McDonald's - Filet-o-fish and medium fries, and just realized I am definitely in cowboy country. Look at what is in the reflection!

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    Wayne
     
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The 80 closure lasted for almost 9 hours so I was a bit behind schedule. After the opening around 05:00 am, near whiteout conditions for the first 50 miles, and temps of 12 to 16 degrees made for a miserable morning. With smoke beginning to billow into the dimly lit sky at dawn ahead, something was obviously amiss. About 20 miles west of Rawlins shows this poor truckers experience was a lot worse than mine. At least he was able to disconnect his rig in time. :(

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    Wayne
     
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    After refueling at a Shell along I-80 off exit 3 in Evanston, WY, another 10 Fuel Rewards cards found their way to patrons. The car is a mess as you can well iamgine. I am looking for a car wash now in fact!

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    As I closed in on the lower elevations of Utah, the sky cleared to a beautiful blue backdrop with temps climbing smartly.

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    Wayne
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A blast through Salt Lake City finds me stopped in Lake Point, UT where I am adding to my Grandsons McDonald's #Snoopy figures collection. I am still short 5 and have less than 1,000 miles to go to find those last 5. :D

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    While at that same McDonald's, I thought this was pretty cool too!


    Wayne
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Why road trip? Because you cannot see the "Tree of Utah" - I call "Ball Tree" - on I-80 between Salt Lake City and Wendover from 37,000 ft. :)

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    It - the surrounding salt bed - is a bit weird as the thin salt crust looks hard and dry but just a few mm below is a wet cement like salt mixture that is slick as oil on smooth cement.

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    The Tree of Utah was created and dedicated by artist Karl Momen in 1986. It has been said that Momen was moved to create the 87-foot-tall tree after having a vision of a tree while driving across the desolate Bonneville Salt Flats.

    The Tree of Utah, sometimes called the Tree of Life, is an 87-foot-tall sculpture located in the desolate Great Salt Lake Desert of Utah on the north side of Interstate 80, about 25 miles east of Wendover and midway between the former railroad communities of Arinosa and Barro. The sculpture, which is constructed mainly of concrete, consists of a squarish 'trunk' holding up six spheres that are coated with natural rock and minerals native to Utah. There are also several hollow sphere segments on the ground around the base. The sculpture currently has a fence surrounding the base to protect people from falling tiles.

    The Tree stands as a significant example of the finest practices in steel frame and pre-cast concrete construction. It is located adjacent to the westbound lane of Interstate 80 approximately 26 miles east of Wendover and 75 miles west of Salt Lake City as this highway cuts a dead-straight line across the white desert floor. Rising 83 feet above the salt flats the structure was built to withstand desert winds gusting at over 130 miles and hour, and earthquakes in the order of 7.5 on the Richter scale. It is estimated by the local Highway Patrol that two million cars travel past the tree annually and that five to seven cars an hour stop so occupants can study the Tree. Interstate 80 stretches for a hundred miles towards the border town of Wendover, cutting a dead-straight line across the white desert floor. This stretch of highway is also known as the “Wendover Death Strip” because the drive across the barren land is so monotonous motorists have been known to doze off and not make it to their destination.

    On a clear day the Tree is visible to travelers on the highway at a distance of 17 miles. Motorists first see the multicolored spheres, as though they are suspended by seemingly invisible means above the desert. In warm weather the trunk is lost in the convection currents of hot air rising from the blanched desert floor. Only the spheres shimmer mysteriously and silently in the arid atmosphere. On travelling nearer, the trunk becomes visible and the balls are elevated high above the surface, changing hue with the prevailing conditions of light and weather. The Tree has been referred to by some critics as the boldest piece of visual art to be conceived in this conservative state.

    Wayne
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Later on in the afternoon on I-80 westbound, NV came into view...

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    And early the following morning a bond was established between this uniquely decorated and road weary - read dirty - white automobile and the Sonoma Raceway security force as they bolted to the Raceways front entry to see what kind of raucous I was causing.

    My reply: "I am just snapping a few pics prior to the thousands of students arriving in a few weeks."

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    I wonder if Shell EcoMarathon organizers will hear about this late night rendezvous from the Raceways security staff? ;)

    Wayne
     
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Just as important, it took 2 IL, 1 IA, 1 NE, 2 UT, 2 NV, and 3 CA McDonald's visits to complete the 10 item Snoopy Happy Meal toy quest for my Grandson. The final 4 were picked up from a franchise in Buttonwillow, CA on the 5. If you want to know what Happy Meals are all about, just ask as I have had my fair share the past three days.

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    Wayne
     
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Eco

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    Arrived home safe and sound... And detailed after over 2,700 miles of higher speed highway soon afterwards.

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    Final segment: Shell refuel in Sacramento, CA to Sonoma Raceway, and back to Carlsbad, CA over the Grapevine and through LA's infamous stop and crawls on the 5/405/5.​

    Wayne
     
    TheStepChild likes this.

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