2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to New York, Day 2
April 11, 2013
After a really long day and night behind the wheel of our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, I've arrived late at my motel in Salida, Colorado, a beautiful little mountain town at the bottom of the Monarch Pass.
Also, for those who have expressed misgivings about the wisdom of parking a 991-generation Porsche 911 at a Super 8: I've stayed in a fair amount of Super 8s over the years, and this one might be the best. It's freshly renovated, and my room is very tidy and decorated with photographs of the local mountains. I'd stay here again.
As predicted, I oversleep and miss breakfast. It's a sunny morning and much of the snow in the lot has melted, though honestly, I don't see how, as it's not even 20 degrees when I step outside. The motel is right there on U.S. 50 (or Rainbow Boulevard within the town limits), so after refueling I just continue east. The highest mountains are behind me, but there's still plenty of alpine scenery and it turns out the highway runs parallel to the meandering Arkansas River all the way until the latter empties into a reservoir in Pueblo.
The plows cleared most of U.S. 50 overnight, and the few remaining slippery spots are no big deal for our Porsche, thanks to its Pirelli snow tires. The ride is also quite respectable (not exactly compliant, but tolerably comfortable) for a sports car with the 19-inch wheel/tire package. If I bought a 911 and still lived in Southern California, I'd special-order a car with the 19s rather than buying one with 20s right off the lot. I'm older now. Ride quality matters to me.
Actually, it really matters to me today, because yesterday's long haul has sapped my strength and I'm really dragging by the time I buy my first cup of coffee. Also, it takes an eternity to get out of Colorado. Instead of following Interstate 25 back to I-70, I take it only to U.S. 24, which meets up with 70 closer to the Kansas state line. This route is quicker, says the nav system, but I don't think it knows about all the traffic lights and state troopers on U.S. 24. And the road isn't even that pretty.
Finally, I'm back on I-70 hoping to make it to St. Louis for the night. The exit for Flagler, Colorado, promises a Subway, but strangely, it's not right off the highway. I motor about a half-mile up an unplowed road, passing a closed '50s-themed diner and an abandoned liquor store before finding the Subway next to an open liquor store. Without those snow tires, this would have been a much dicier journey.
I eat my six-inch tuna on honey oat in solitude. It's 3 o'clock and whatever constitutes a lunchtime rush in Flagler has long since passed. I realize St. Louis just isn't a realistic goal for the day and decide to stop in Kansas City (on the Missouri side) instead.
Kansas always drives bigger than it looks, though, and I finally hit the wall in Topeka. I'm tired, somewhat ill, and apparently in such bad shape that not even a drive in a Porsche 911 can make it better. I check into a Courtyard Marriott just before midnight (central time). And I'm embarrassed to say that due to my infirmity, the Porsche and I will make our home here for the next 36 hours. I won't be on time to the 2013 New York Auto Show. What will editor in chief Scott Oldham say?
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 5,066 miles