Starting Point: Portland, Oregon
Ending Point: Portland, Maine
Vehicle: 2000 Audi A6 Avant Quattro (All wheel drive wagon)
Total Miles Driven: 375
Current Location: Ontario, Oregon
After spending 803 days traveling around the world we had the realization that we have seen more of the world than our own country. So, what better way to see the United States than through a cross-country road trip. Unfortunately, we lacked a vehicle and it was in the middle of winter, which is usually not the best time for going cross-country. Not daunted by a challenge, we set out to find a vehicle that could handle such a journey under harsh winter conditions and could hopefully get us to Portland, Maine safely. After looking at the available options, and with our limited budget, we purchased a high mileage 2000 Audi A6 Avant Quattro, which is a fancy German way of saying a plush and comfortable all-wheel-drive station wagon. It handles good, has studded tires, and our daughter loves the rear-heated seats.
While visiting New Zealand we rented a “cheap and cheerful” car. Cheap and cheerful was a category of cars that had high mileage (or kilometerage) and were slightly beat up, but mechanically sound. Our current car has been well loved and shows its age with 148,000 miles on the odometer, but seems to be mechanically sound. We have therefore decided to call our cross-country vehicle the “cheap and cheerful car.”
After spending a week visiting family and friends in Portland we loaded our bags into the cheap and cheerful car and started heading east. The first stop on our cross-country road trip was at my mom’s house in Ontario, Oregon. Two days before leaving Portland there had been a massive pileup on Interstate 84 caused by black ice which shutdown the freeway for the entire day. Fortunately, we had great weather the majority of the way and experienced no ice, snow, or pileups. The last 40 miles of the trip was through heavy fog at near freezing temperatures, which had the potential for making the roads icy. But with our studded tires it was not a problem.