2013 Cadillac ATS: Nevada City Road Trip, Part 2
July 16, 2013
On day two of my holiday weekend road trip to Nevada City, California in our 2013 Cadillac ATS, it sat parked while we climbed into a Toyota Highlander Hybrid instead. The Caddy likely would've faced a few issues towing my father's boat.
We spent a day exploring the local historical landmarks, then hooked up the 1950's Dunphy and headed to Scott's Flat Lake. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the vintage boat started once it was on the water. Back at home, we discussed the possibility of a fuel leak on the boat while we grilled corn and ate tacos.
The next morning, Independence Day was upon us so we headed out to the local parade. I'm used to big city activities, but this was a nice change. Local thrift stores, family-owned restaurants, and vintage fire trucks made it feel like a truly American experience.
After the parade, we took some air-conditioned shelter for lunch then headed to Empire Mine State Park. The park is home to what was once one of the largest gold mines in the country. We explored the original owner's mansion, mine workshops and the main drift of the mile-deep mine. I found a few automotive relics as well.
Finally, when it was time for the local fireworks show, we piled in to the Cadillac ATS and headed for the woods. While I'm only 5-feet-9-inches tall, my brother and father are both six-feet tall, and our family friend Larry is 6' 5". I was curious to see how the seating would work out. Larry bumped his head getting in to the back of the ATS, but he insisted that was his own fault and there was plenty of headroom. I still think he was being a little too kind.
The adaptive headlights in the ATS were amazing on the mountain roads and helped me spot at least one deer that I made sure to avoid. I've been critical of this kind of technology in the past (citing slow change of direction in headlights and weak output on many factory-equipped HID headlights), but with crisp light output and clear cutoff lines, these headlights are fantastic. Around the mountain bends, the ATS felt planted and smooth and inspired plenty of confidence.
As the sun set, we celebrated America's birthday at the county fair, hit a milestone in the ATS (more on that later) and headed home with the 450-mile return journey on tomorrow morning's horizon. The Cadillac ATS had definitely started to grow on me by this point.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 10,009 miles