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    Thread: Ohio to San Diego in a new to me TDI

    1. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 08:52 AM #1
      Since I'm avoiding do actual work right now.... This is a road trip that I did over the winter holiday break.

      Back in November of 2019 my Fiesta 1.0T got in a fight with a deer and lost. Several weeks later (Nov 29th) I was finally able to pick up my 13 Golf TDI with 104k down in Nashville. I quickly got to work getting the windows tinted, installing wireless AA/CarPlay, and doing basic maintenance.




      Since I had 17 days off work with no plans, I figured I might as well throw the dog in the car and drive to see a friend out in California. I left Columbus on December 20th in a car that was still very new to me. 17 hours and 21 minutes, 1282 miles later I arrived at my hotel in Denver. Total time not moving was 19 minutes.




      After tucking doggo in for a nights rest



      It was time to head for Canyonlands National Park on day 2.

      Cisco, Utah:




      First stop was Mesa Arch and the other trailheads, as well as climbing to the top of Actec Butte.





      But what I really wanted to do was take the Golf down Potash road while I still had light. So I did. I only beached the car twice.










      On the way out of Moab the next day I stopped in Arches National Park.



      Followed by my next stop at Little Wild Horse Canyon and a ~12 mile hike.






      Last edited by landstuhltaylor; 07-12-2020 at 01:49 PM.

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    3. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 09:04 AM #2
      Gotta let everyone know you were there, Larb Hollow Overlook:



      Then another hike in the Grand Staircase area (Lower Calf Creek Falls).






      Followed by a quick stop in Bryce Canyon before a snowstorm hit.



      I arrived in Vegas on the 23rd and bummed around for a bit before checking out the Hoover Dam, then hitting the strip on Christmas Eve.





      On the 26th I packed up and headed out to Death Valley to camp for the night. Unfortunately it's the one time it rained so I ended up sleeping in the car instead of throwing up the tent. This also meant the sky was completely overcast the whole time I was there so no view of the stars. Getting up to Ubehebe Crater was made interesting by a few panic stops to avoid Dukes of Hazzarding the car over some washed out sections of roads.





      Then out the other side the next day throw another snowstorm. Father Crowley overlook otherwise known as Star Wars Canyon:



      Crossing the Sierras:






      This put me in Sacramento on the 27th where I stayed for two days to take a breather.
      Last edited by landstuhltaylor; 07-12-2020 at 01:38 PM.

    4. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 09:10 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by landstuhltaylor View Post
      Then out the other side the next day throw another snowstorm. Father Crowley overlook otherwise known as Star Wars Canyon:


      I spy with my little eye... a Womp Rat.


      That looks like a great trip and I've always wanted to see Bryce Canyon.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
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    5. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 09:32 AM #4
      Exploring downtown Sacramento:




      Then it was time to head up north to Jackson State Demonstration Forest to check out the redwoods on another long hike.



      The Golf drives surprisingly well on the Michelin winter tires, but apparently people get pissed off when you slide the rear on entry and don't want to travel at 10mph below the limit. Anyway, after the frustration of traffic I decided to let the doggo cool off in the ocean at Mendocino Headlands State Park. He has now swam in both the Pacific and the Atlantic.




      Then off to two nights in San Francisco. I was able to meet up with a coworker and her family who were also enjoying the holiday break. I also took doggo all over the city and let him check out the sea dogs at Pier 39.



      And once again I learned art is not something a have a huge appreciation for. The San Francisco Museum of Fine Art was interesting, but I don't feel the need to visit one more than every few years. Anyway, off to San Diego via highway 1. Somewhere south of Big Sur:



      Bobbing for his tennis ball in Cayucos:



      And another few days to explore San Diego. Unfortunately they did not have any fireworks on New Years this year, but it was stilll a good time to explore Balboa Park and check out the food.

      Last edited by landstuhltaylor; 07-12-2020 at 01:40 PM.

    6. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 09:37 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      I spy with my little eye... a Womp Rat.


      That looks like a great trip and I've always wanted to see Bryce Canyon.
      I really want to go back again on another trip. Most of the parks out there understandably severely restrict where dogs can go. I had to plan my route around that but we still managed to get in ~100 miles on foot during the whole trip. But there are a ton of places I want to see more of and some I had to skip completely.

    7. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 10:10 AM #6
      Back east again along the Mexican border. It's not an interesting drive and doggo agrees.



      But the view does get much better once you get to Sedona



      Meteor crater in the morning, then off to the Grand Canyon and ~8 miles of hiking on the incredibly icy ridge, followed by Horsehoe Bend the next morning:






      On the way back I hit Monument Valley:



      And then the Moki Dugway:





      For the return I wound my way back through Moab which was now covered in snow and had a totally different look:

      https://i.imgur.com/q3FZMsr.mp4

      Same hill in Cisco as the pictures before:



      Then on to Colorado Springs. Instead of taking the same direct shot I decided to stop in Lake of the Ozarks. There's really nothing to see there, and other than some good driving roads there was nothing good about it. Doggo sharing his thoughts on the matter:



      And some crappy old castle thing that is a 500ft paved "hike" that has like 8 rest areas for the miserably fat people of the area.



      Worn out at the end:



      The last stop was also a mistake. What would be an awesome hiking trail in southern Indiana was instead ruined by logjams of people.

      Anyway, over 17 days I totalled 122 hours 15 minutes of driving, 7265 miles (9058 miles in 39 days of ownership to that point), 182 gallons of diesel and nearly 1500 pictures. The TDI never gave me a single issue other than damage to the grill from ice on a truck in Flagstaff.



      Now with the longer this quarantine nonsense goes on I get more tempted to hit Alaska.
      Last edited by landstuhltaylor; 07-12-2020 at 01:47 PM.

    8. Senior Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      04-14-2020 10:22 AM #7
      Awesome road trip! Many places I've been, a few I haven't, but this is the combo of nostalgia & adventure & dog I needed today

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      04-14-2020 10:36 AM #8
      Road trip with dog.

      I've been to just about all these spots, I wish I could've steered you towards the Ozark National Forest instead of Lake of the Ozarks. Totally different feel and some of the burliest hiking in the lower 48 instead of paved walking trails.

      I digress. Seeing people absolutely send it in their VDubs on this forum reminds me of my MkVI days, when I had a two-door GTI and it was my only vehicle so I made it work. I also took it to Moab, Zion, all over California, etc. and never actually had a problem save for a couple of sketchy drives in deep snow in a lowered GTI.

      I've certainly become more partial to trucks over the years, but something about putting a GTI on chunkier tires and seeing where it will take you still tugs at my heartstrings all the time. Not to mention at my wallet and inner driver.

      Thank you for sharing this with us and for giving your pup (did we ever get a name?!) the life he deserves.

      My dog, Hank, and I have bugged out to Alaska. I highly recommend it, though I'd wait until the world is in a better place. You want to be able to enjoy the bizarre and endearing communities up that way.

    10. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 10:51 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by johntesi View Post
      Road trip with dog.

      I've been to just about all these spots, I wish I could've steered you towards the Ozark National Forest instead of Lake of the Ozarks. Totally different feel and some of the burliest hiking in the lower 48 instead of paved walking trails.

      I digress. Seeing people absolutely send it in their VDubs on this forum reminds me of my MkVI days, when I had a two-door GTI and it was my only vehicle so I made it work. I also took it to Moab, Zion, all over California, etc. and never actually had a problem save for a couple of sketchy drives in deep snow in a lowered GTI.

      I've certainly become more partial to trucks over the years, but something about putting a GTI on chunkier tires and seeing where it will take you still tugs at my heartstrings all the time. Not to mention at my wallet and inner driver.

      Thank you for sharing this with us and for giving your pup (did we ever get a name?!) the life he deserves.

      My dog, Hank, and I have bugged out to Alaska. I highly recommend it, though I'd wait until the world is in a better place. You want to be able to enjoy the bizarre and endearing communities up that way.
      Definitely had to burn some rubber and reach waaaaaaaaaay back in the slammed toolbox to get the car over this stuff.



      Doggo is Noah, who as best I can tell is a 7 year old pit/collie mix. He still has a 12' vertical into a tree and will outrun any greyhound that isn't moving at 90%+ pace. After these 10+ mile hikes he still wants to sprint after a tennis ball for an hour. The bright side is then he is dead to the world on the transits and is perfectly happy being in a car for 8+ hours.

      And if this trip has told me anything, it's that the Ozarks are just a day trip away. I knew I wouldn't get to see anything in real detail, but now I have a much better idea of where those deeper dives should be. I'm not too upset about the Death Valley weather either as once this all calms down I will be back there for hot weather testing during the summer anyway.
      Last edited by landstuhltaylor; 04-14-2020 at 11:04 AM.

    11. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 11:16 AM #10
      Definitely a cool road trip!

    12. Member adrew's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 11:27 AM #11
      Nice, I love Ubehebe Crater - it was totally deserted when we were out there awhile back, nice contrast to the rest of the park.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

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      04-14-2020 11:34 AM #12
      Sounded like a great trip. Thanks for sharing!

    14. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 11:41 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by johntesi View Post
      Road trip with dog.

      I've been to just about all these spots, I wish I could've steered you towards the Ozark National Forest instead of Lake of the Ozarks. Totally different feel and some of the burliest hiking in the lower 48 instead of paved walking trails.

      I digress. Seeing people absolutely send it in their VDubs on this forum reminds me of my MkVI days, when I had a two-door GTI and it was my only vehicle so I made it work. I also took it to Moab, Zion, all over California, etc. and never actually had a problem save for a couple of sketchy drives in deep snow in a lowered GTI.

      I've certainly become more partial to trucks over the years, but something about putting a GTI on chunkier tires and seeing where it will take you still tugs at my heartstrings all the time. Not to mention at my wallet and inner driver.

      Thank you for sharing this with us and for giving your pup (did we ever get a name?!) the life he deserves.

      My dog, Hank, and I have bugged out to Alaska. I highly recommend it, though I'd wait until the world is in a better place. You want to be able to enjoy the bizarre and endearing communities up that way.
      I'm going to have to contact you before I make any trips with my bud. I'm hoping we can do that next year. Nothing too crazy, but in a 50+ year old VW I think I'll keep it to things like chunks of Route 66 and whatnot.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    15. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 11:44 AM #14
      awesome trip and cute doggo

      looks like he's a fun travel buddy!

    16. Member Alpha-3's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 12:00 PM #15
      These photo-road trips from you guys are so cool! I love road trips, and I love it even more that you are taking your best friends along. Very cool seeing these pups act almost like people and enjoying the hell out of their experience.
      2014 CSG GTI

    17. 04-14-2020 12:07 PM #16
      Death Valley is one of my favorite places on Earth. It's cooler with a 4x4 though


      Also, I saw no mention of San Diego in the pics???

    18. Member kiznarsh's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 12:40 PM #17
      Awesome trip, thanks for sharing!

      I'm still blown away at driving for over 17 hours and only stopping for 19 minutes.

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      04-14-2020 01:06 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by landstuhltaylor View Post
      Definitely had to burn some rubber and reach waaaaaaaaaay back in the slammed toolbox to get the car over this stuff.


      Doggo is Noah, who as best I can tell is a 7 year old pit/collie mix. He still has a 12' vertical into a tree and will outrun any greyhound that isn't moving at 90%+ pace. After these 10+ mile hikes he still wants to sprint after a tennis ball for an hour. The bright side is then he is dead to the world on the transits and is perfectly happy being in a car for 8+ hours.

      And if this trip has told me anything, it's that the Ozarks are just a day trip away. I knew I wouldn't get to see anything in real detail, but now I have a much better idea of where those deeper dives should be. I'm not too upset about the Death Valley weather either as once this all calms down I will be back there for hot weather testing during the summer anyway.
      Haha, I've driven the Shafer Trail many times, but never in anything like a Golf. I know it's do-able but that requires a whole 'nother level of "send!"

      Noah is a lucky pup and I can tell is the perfect adventure partner for what you like to do. There's nothing better than seeing the world alongside your pup. Let me know if you ever have Ozarks questions. I lived out there for a while and spent a lot of time finding the best spots.

      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      I'm going to have to contact you before I make any trips with my bud. I'm hoping we can do that next year. Nothing too crazy, but in a 50+ year old VW I think I'll keep it to things like chunks of Route 66 and whatnot.
      Yes please! Weird roads, quirky cars, and best buds.

      L1060586 by John Montesi, on Flickr

      L1090962 by John Montesi, on Flickr

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      04-14-2020 01:32 PM #19
      Thank you for sharing Noah is awesome!

    21. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 01:33 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by fizay View Post
      Death Valley is one of my favorite places on Earth. It's cooler with a 4x4 though


      Also, I saw no mention of San Diego in the pics???
      Originally the whole idea of the trip was to meet up with a friend there but she had some last minute family issues. By the time I got there I was just mentally drained so I only took two pictures in my entire time there.



      There is this one from Sacramento instead, basically what I did in San Diego too



      Quote Originally Posted by kiznarsh View Post
      Awesome trip, thanks for sharing!

      I'm still blown away at driving for over 17 hours and only stopping for 19 minutes.
      I've been driving to Lincoln Nebraska every year since 2015 for Solo Nationals. There is absolutely nothing worth seeing west of Lincoln, and I've already seen the stuff between Lincoln and Ohio. At that point my only motivation is to finish out the day and crack a beer as early as possible. I stopped twice with the second tank being 550 miles at a 79mph average. Typical road trip haul for me is stop, get the pump running, go in and order food, run to the bathroom while I wait, then grab the food, finish up fueling, and get back in the car. All the more time available to see cool stuff west of Denver.

      Quote Originally Posted by johntesi View Post
      Haha, I've driven the Shafer Trail many times, but never in anything like a Golf. I know it's do-able but that requires a whole 'nother level of "send!"

      Noah is a lucky pup and I can tell is the perfect adventure partner for what you like to do. There's nothing better than seeing the world alongside your pup. Let me know if you ever have Ozarks questions. I lived out there for a while and spent a lot of time finding the best spots.
      Will do! So I only had google maps and random trail info to judge that road. By the time I gotten down to the bottom of Shafer it was starting to get real dark, and I didn't like the idea of going up the road in a 2WD Golf on old winter tires and no light. Figured I was better off just pushing forward and worst case if I got stuck I would try the path up in the morning. Took ~3 hours total and had some moments, but it made it. There was still red sand/clay on the downpipe from that last month.

    22. Member Meroving1an's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 01:53 PM #21
      Bloody hell! Thanks for sharing this story.

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      04-14-2020 03:05 PM #22
      Cool pics. Utah is amazing.
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    24. Goes in two directions RAVatar's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 03:40 PM #23
      Hopefully one day, my dox and I can do a trip like this but he is far, far too untrustworthy to let walk around without a lead. He's still only a pup though, just turned six months a couple days ago. Your trip looks like a literal TON of fun. I don't think I have a storage place to put that much fun!

      Hell, even without the dog I've never just tossed my stuff in a car and driven across the country. Wish I had that kind of ambition because I have limited experience out west and I know it is far, far more interesting topography wise than the east is.

      I'm at least grateful Chuck enjoys cars and doesn't get car sick.
      Last edited by RAVatar; 04-14-2020 at 03:42 PM.
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    25. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 03:59 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by RAVatar View Post
      Hopefully one day, my dox and I can do a trip like this but he is far, far too untrustworthy to let walk around without a lead. He's still only a pup though, just turned six months a couple days ago. Your trip looks like a literal TON of fun. I don't think I have a storage place to put that much fun!

      Hell, even without the dog I've never just tossed my stuff in a car and driven across the country. Wish I had that kind of ambition because I have limited experience out west and I know it is far, far more interesting topography wise than the east is.

      I'm at least grateful Chuck enjoys cars and doesn't get car sick.
      Seems like it would be even more fun in a Ferrari

      Honestly the only places Noah was able to be off leash were the beaches and Little Horse Canyon. Well except maybe Cisco or other random stops because other than the mountains on the horizon there is literally nothing there. All of the other places he was required to be on a leash at all times. Luckily he is a stage 5 clinger and never goes too far, but give him the chance when he isn't tired and he will bounce around like he's living in a pinball machine. Leave the leash dangling off him and he will actually walk better than he does when I'm holding him though. Even at his age he still tries to rip my arm out despite the lead.

      But, I wouldn't recommend taking a dog that young on something this big anyway. They are still growing and shouldn't be overworked. Once they are fully grown you'll have a much better idea of what they can handle and you won't be risking physical injury either.
      Last edited by landstuhltaylor; 04-14-2020 at 04:04 PM.

    26. How do I resize a picture? Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      04-14-2020 04:39 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by kiznarsh View Post
      Awesome trip, thanks for sharing!

      I'm still blown away at driving for over 17 hours and only stopping for 19 minutes.
      It's really not so bad if you're careful about what you eat/drink. When I drive to/from NYC I only stop for fuel. I plan my stops at places which have decent food/restrooms/etc. My current car is good for 500 miles a tank, which is only ~6 hours between stops.

      17 hours, that's impressive. Such fuel economy.

      Thanks for posting OP!
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