2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Getting Started
September 18, 2012
Starting this road trip from our office would've made more sense. For one, Kurt and I were already meeting there. Second, the gas station that officially marked the beginning of the trip is just feet away. But, just about 2 miles away was this: The Santa Monica Pier. We didn't want to waste any time, but we also didn't think 4 miles would matter at all on top of a 120+ hour road trip.
Before that, though, we had some packing to do.
As I've mentioned before, the Jag's equipped with silly staggered-width Dunlop SP SPort MAXX summer tires sized 255/35ZR20 up front and 285/30ZR20 out back. Can't you just feel the compliance? Beyond that, however, we were very concerned about serious/multiple blowouts. We knew the roads would be paved, but we didn't know the quality of the roads. Were they nice, or were they, like Wilshire here in LA, bombed-out tire-killers? With gas stations up to 100 miles apart, we figured we would be, at any time, 1,500 miles from a Dunlop Sp Sport MAXX.
So we cheated a little bit and called Jaguar. They provided us with the car, after all, and figured they wouldn't mind providing us with a mounted backup tire to supplement the temporary that comes with the car. The rim doesn't match, but in a pinch, it would work.
We also decided, with a projected range of barely over 200 miles per tank, that we should have a spare gallon of gas. Just in case.
The tire, the Jerry can, my suitcase and Kurt's tripod took up all of the space in the trunk. Kurt's bags had to live in the backseat.
The Valentine One found a nice little home behind/above the rear-view mirror. Cables were wired down the passenger side and into the remote controller down on the power-port on the center console. The GoPro is capturing images for a stop-motion video. It's not as obtrusive as it looks.
Well, this is it. Zero miles on Trip B. No turning back now. Before we really get started, though, we had another point-of-interest to hit just to make this more extreme.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 3,893 miles