Monday, September 26, 2011

Festiva Madness trip: Day 4

Another great day! Only a couple of hours in the car.
Spent most of the day touring the Creation Museum in Petersburg KY. The closest major center is Cincinnati and if you are anywhere close to there I would highly recommend a visit. We spent almost six hours at the museum and could probably have spent longer. Lots to see and the overall quality matches or exceeds the Royal Tyrell in Drumheller AB.

After our time there we drove down to Paris, the one in Kentucky not France! Drove about 20 miles off the interstate and it was worth it just for the drive! Beautiful two lane road with gorgeous homes and ranches on either side. We were expecting lots of white fence but most were either black or dark brown. Several older low stone fences too.

Bought gas for the lowest price so far on the trip... $3.229 a gallon ( 85.4 cents per litre!).

Fossil of a hungry fish.

Get ready to run!

Calgary Stampede here I come!

The men on a floating bridge.

This fossil is called the Burning Tree Mastodon... no not the guy on the right... the skeleton.

Sharon and me.... still smiling!

That is a banana tree... growing outside.. in Kentucky!

The camera timer works.

Ready for the next leg of the journey.

Rush hour traffic... just like Calgary's Deerfoot Trail except that it moves!

Beautiful Kentucky from the Interstate.

Even more beautiful Kentucky back road.

Welcome to Paris KY.

Doing the dishes.... hotel style.

Thank you to Gran and Grandad for the ice cream money! We hope it's OK that some of it didn't buy ice cream! Tomorrow brings a fort, a cave, three states, a district and another 800km (500 miles).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Festiva Madness trip Day 3

Arrived safely in Erlanger, Kentucky just after 5:00 pm local time today. We left Madison WI at about 7:30 this morning, local time, which means we were on the road eight and a half hours. It felt as though we were driving down hill for most of the day!

The day started out pretty wet but cleared up as we went along. Nice, sunny and warm here in northern Kentucky.

Some "trip so far" stats for you:

- traveled just over 3300km / just under 2000 miles
- total travel time so far is about 32 hours
- traveled through two provinces and six states, four of those today
- cheapest gas so far has been $3.299 per gallon in Speedway Indiana. That works out to only 87.3 cents per liter

Looking forward to tomorrow as we'll only be driving for a couple of hours... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Here are a few photos from today's leg...

Heavy rain with the wipers going full speed!
Welcome to Illinois
Our first toll booth... cost us a dollar.
Entering Indiana

At the Indiana welcome center.
You can't go through Indianapolis and not stop at THE speedway!
Corn and soy... we saw an awful lot of corn.

For the environmentally conscious.. lots of windmills along the way

Across the mighty Ohio River

Almost missed the sign...
Heading for a dip in the  pool now. Tomorrow brings a day at the museum and only 2 hours of driving. Forgot to mention last night a big thank you to the Hills for the use of their TomTom GPS... wouldn't have found last night's hotel without it!

I hope you're enjoying the blog!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Festivas where art thou?"

Or... Festiva Madness Day 2

Posting from our hotel just north of Madison Wisconsin. Another 1000km (600 miles) and 10 hours driving today. We've been blessed with great weather and no delays or surprises on the road.

Thanks to the Gerkes for the loan of the DVD player... those riding in the back seat really appreciate it!

A couple of things we are very thankful for on the car are the air conditioning and the sound deadener I installed in the past couple of weeks. I think it was well over 30ºC heading through Saskatchewan yesterday and we didn't really notice it until we stepped out of the car. The sound deadener has taken a lot of the "buzziness" out of the car... yes it still has its rattles but nowhere near as many as before.

 You may be wondering what this post's title is getting at... even if you aren't I'm going to tell you. In over 2400km, two provinces and three states we haven't seen one other Festiva!!! Maybe they're on their way to Raleigh!

Here's a couple of photos from the first couple of days....

Entering Saskatchewan!

Another border to cross!
Chicken Man.... Minnesota visitor center

Beautiful Wisconsin

Friday, September 23, 2011

Festiva Madness trip Day 1

Well, we made it safely to Bismarck ND! 1300 km (780 miles) in a total of 14 hours travel time. I don't have the fuel consumption figured out yet but can tell you the the most we paid for gas was $1.26.9 per liter (works out to $4.80 per US gallon) and the cheapest was $3.78 per US gallon just north of Minot ND> That works out to about 99.9cents per liter.

We left Calgary about an hour later than we wanted but still got to our hotel in time for E & I to go for a swim. The car ran great too in spite of discovering the new shock I installed to replace the one that was leaking was itself leaking. Ended up having to "adjust" the lip of the fender to stop the tire from rubbing.

Crossing the border was pretty straightforward but we all felt a little intimidated by the border guards! Funniest thing was the border guard asked me what I did for a living then he asked "Are you not good at your job or are you just saving money?"

Ended up doing all the driving today because Sharon turned her ankle while we were packing the car last night. She's doing much better today and should be fine by the time we get to Petersburg KY and the Creation Museum.

Tomorrow we head from Bismarck through Fargo ND, Minneapolis MN and end the day just north of Madison WI. Not quite as long as today and it will be all Interstate.

Festiva Madness

My favorite car from the C.A.F.E. era is the Ford Festiva. This car was engineered by Mazda, manufactured by Kia and sold in North America as a Ford. In other markets it was known as the Mazda 121 or the Kia Pride. I've owned my 1992 Festiva for almost ten years and have put well over 200,000km in that time. I've done numerous upgrades and improvements over the years.

On October 1st 2011 a large number of Festiva enthusiasts will be gathering in Raleigh, North Carolina for the fifth edition of Festiva Madness. We are heading there ourselves, hitting the road early on the morning of September 23rd.

Keep checking back as I hope to update every day or two of the trip there and back.


What's this Econobox Café all about?

Quite a number of smaller vehicles were introduced in the mid eighties to help meet the auto manufacturers Corporate Average Fuel Economy stats. Most of these were small, cheap and got 40+ miles per gallon. There are a surprising number of these cars still on the road today, still getting excellent gas mileage and some with almost a cult following. My hope is that over the next few months I can introduce these cars to you.