PaulZ’s 2001 Z3 Homecoming

It all started from my house in Annapolis Maryland and down with the DC area Z3 group to SC. After that I tagged along with the Tennessee group (Great beer, company and food. Thanks guys) on my way to Denver. At Denver I picked up my girlfriend at the airport to start the long roundabout drive to see this great country we live in.

This is the list of what I did:

* Grand Junction, CO (Hotel)

* Arches National Park, UT (tent camping)

* Mesa Verde NP, CO (camping)

* Grand Canyon NP, AZ (camping)

* Las Vegas, NV (Hotel)

* Zion NP, UT (Hotel on the 11th)

* Bryce Canyon NP, UT (camping)

* Salt Lake City, UT (Hotel)

* Jackson, WY (Hotel)

* Grand Teton NP, WY (camping)

* Yellowstone NP, WY (camping two nights)

* Badlands NP, SD (camping)

* Chicago, IL (friend’s house)

* Home on Sunday afternoon and spent the afternoon washing my very dirty car.

Some facts about my trip:

* 7,281 miles driven

* 29 mpg average (The performance driving at HC brought this way down!)

* 52 mph average speed

* 120 mph top speed (girlfriend would not let me go faster)

* Most speed traps in Ohio

* No V1 required (Never got ticket! And I was always speeding, well almost always)

* Only lost $120 in Vegas

* Was very close to wining a Z3! (I had 0 0 7 in a row but it was 1/2″ away from the Pay Line)

What I had in a Z3 trunk:

* Two 24 disk CD holders (I have the OEM 6 disk CD player)

* 2 1/2 person tent and tarp

* Two sleeping pads

* One sleeping bag (other one was behind passenger seat)

* Camping stove

* Two tanks of fuel

* Pots, pans, cups and plates

* Spices and other cooking stuff

* Food for over five days

* Three sets of shoes but only two sets in the trunk at one time (Hiking boots, Tevas, dress and I forgot she had to bring some running shoes so make that three sets in the trunk)

* Two rain jackets and two Fleece

* Two bath towels and one hand towel

* One large duffel bag and one backpack

* Clothing for two people for over a week each that included summer type for the hot desert, winter type for the COLD Mountains and a nice set for going out to dinner.

* Toiletries for each

* I almost forgot that wonderful backpack from Homecoming. (My girlfriend made me mail it home in Salt Lake City but we did use it)

Things in the front seat:

* Girlfriend

* Small cooler

* Small backpack with snacks

* Water bottle

* Camcorder, two cameras and film (I will post pics later)

Things behind seats:

* More food

* Extra hats

* Car cover

* Car washing stuff

* Sleeping bag

* Coffee mug

Worst thing that happened on the trip other than the 11th: Ran over a large rock! 20 miles from Jackson, WY it was raining and dark. I was behind a RV and a pickup truck in a one lane road. They of course just drive over the thing but I was not as lucky. On coming traffic prevented me from avoiding it so I had no choice but to drive over it. Not a good thing to hear as the big bang under the car and the many pieces of rock I saw in the rear view mirror as I drive on. With no place to pull over and the heavy rain I drive the 20 miles to town. I wanted to put the car on a lift to see if the car was damaged but I could not find a single gas station with a service center. I checked the oil and looked under the car. I saw a scratch in that bar before the axel but it all looked ok. Well after many looks under the car and repeated oil checking the car ran like a champ.