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.
The 375-mile drive to Ontario was also a test to see how well the car would perform. Captain Ron stated it best when he said, “Well if anything’s going to happen it’s going to happen out there.”
Welcome back! I followed you from day 1 and now that you’re back, we’re heading out. But, we are all located on the east coast now so maybe our paths have a better chance of crossing. Safe travels across the country – road trips are my absolute favorite.
Hi Patti, hopefully we can meet up with you guys at some point. What are your plans for mid-February? 😉
Michelle C says
Sounds like a great idea! We like to keep a good mix of international travel and home-country exploration as well. Hope you get a chance to see some National Parks on your way! (By the way, PDX is our home base!)
Hi Michelle, we had no idea you are based in Portland. Maybe the next time we visit we can all grab a beverage. We will be taking the southern route across the US and hoping to see some cool stuff along the way. Perhaps the largest ball of twine 🙂
you are welcome in Temecula if you head this far south (near San Diego) before heading east. family of 3 and two dogs that are planning our own big adventure.. Have a great trip!
Thanks for the invite, but we are not heading through California this trip. Where are you going to on your big adventure?
We are a couple years off but road trip around America/Canada then south to the tip of Argentina. After that, who knows? 🙂
Hope you are watching the weather forecasts, and hole up for a few days if necessary to miss the huge snowstorm set to hit the northeast today (Monday) and Tuesday.
Yes, that is going to be a massive storm. Portland, Maine currently has a blizzard warning and they say they will have snow accumulations of 18″-24″. We are taking our time visiting with family and we won’t arrive in Portland until mid-February. So hopefully it will be clear when we arrive.
John Greene says
It would be great to take time out to travel around the country. I had a similar Audi awhile back and they are reliable cars, even when the mileage is high.