2012 Volkswagen Beetle: The Road to New Mexico
October 30, 2012
Well, I surprised myself and made it from Los Angeles to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in time for my 6 p.m. (Mountain Time) dinner meeting. I left the house just before 5 a.m. under a lovely full moon (sigh, yes, the same full moon that contributed to the horrific storm surge back East... if you're dealing with that right now, you have my sympathy), and a couple hours into the trip, it was still visible and the sun still wasn't up. Can you tell I'm not usually an early riser? Heh.
It took me 12 hours and 20 minutes to reach my hotel in Santa Fe (of course, that's actual driving time and doesn't include my fuel stops in Kingman and Gallup, my Del Taco stop in Flagstaff, my fruitless search for a Starbucks in Gallup or this photo stop). I know this because the time counter in the Beetle's trip computer is linked to the "Route" feature... resetting one resets the other, plus the average speed, I believe. The Route feature counts your miles and basically functions as your Trip B in a car that doesn't have the American-style A/B setup. Very useful on a trip like this.
So far, I'm liking the Beetle's ride quality with the new Continental tires. It's just a smidge more compliant than the GTI, and has been great on Interstate 40 through Arizona and New Mexico. There's a lot of repaving going on right now, so surface conditions have varied a lot, and the Beetle hits that road-trip sweet spot between control and comfort.
Thanks for all the suggestions on places to eat and possible routes. Regrettably, I won't be able to fit in everything, but I will be hitting a couple of them before I get home.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,782 miles