Thanksgiving Drive to California and the Musical Road

As our Thanksgiving holiday approached us this year, my Grandpa invited me to join him and some family and friends in California. His words, “Wanna break in your new car and come out to Cali?” As you can imagine, I jumped at the opportunity. This is the first trip I took with the TL. And it’s a fairly big one slammed into less than a week.

But before I got started, I wanted some insurance. Nothing from State Farm or Allstate, but in the form of a 3M clear-bra. With the front end being in such mint condition, I wanted to keep it that way by adding a pre-cut 3M bra to keep all the little stones and other debris from marring the paint. I also managed to get the headlights done as part of the deal. After I dropped off the car, I got a call from the shop owner who was wondering if I wanted to have the windows tinted as well. He knocked $50 off the price of what the tinting would otherwise cost. I told him, “Go for it!” So now the TL sits with a fresh 3M clear-bra and 35% window tint. I chose 35% since I felt 20 would be too dark on a black car. Here’s when I picked it up after the 3M additions.

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My friend Jouhl took me to pick up my car and I was able to get a few pix of the Altima Coupe and my TL together.

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Jouhl also got his windows tinted by this shop when he bought the Altima.

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As you may have noticed in the above photos, our weather wasn’t very southern New Mexico-like. Overcast and quite chilly for mid-November. The next day, I woke up to a light layer of snow outside! A rarity for our area and especially this time of year. Check out my front tree…it hadn’t even lost its leaves yet. Since I was to leave on my trip in a few days, I decided to utilize the Pathfinder and not let the TL get dirty.

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The destination for the trip was Coalinga, CA, where I’d meet the family for Thanksgiving. The rest was going to consist of a few side stops and overall, long enough to where this will have to be shared in a couple of different posts. The entire trip is as follows:

  • Las Cruces to Blythe, CA
  • Blythe, CA to Kettleman City/Coalinga, CA
  • Coalinga, CA to Kingman, AZ and then back to Las Cruces.

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Estimated Total distance/time: 2,032 miles/32 hours.
Here’s the TL before she took me on this long trip to the west. Her home turf. (Since it was originally from LA)

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West bound I go toward Phoenix, AZ. As always, gotta stop and let Border Patrol make sure I’m legal.

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The drive down I-10 was nice and steady with clear skies.

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I throughly enjoyed many of the TL’s amenities along the way. Many amenities I’ve never been exposed to before in a car. Most of which, the bluetooth audio capacity where all I have to do is turn on my iPhone’s blutooth and let the system do the rest to play the music and take calls. I never have to take it out of my pocket. I’m still trying to master the Navigation system and other creature comforts the TL offers. Some things I feel Acura made a tad more complicated than should have been, though.

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Several hours on the road and not much changes on the way.

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As I rolled through Phoenix, I came upon some bumper-to-bumper traffic which gave me some time to give family a call on the TL’s Bluetooth system.

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Several hours later around 10 p.m., I nestled down in the Clarion Inn in Blythe, CA.

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As the TL “ticked” itself cool, I was inside to checking in.

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Next morning, I hit the road fairly early. Part of the fun of coming to California is seeing many different cars that very rarely set foot in New Mexico. Prime example is this Ferrari 460 Spyder I followed in Indio, CA. The exhaust note was glorious to listen to!

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I filled up in Santa Clarita and found that the TL isn’t half bad at gas consumption.

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I calculated a 28 MPG of mostly freeway driving of 70-80(ish) MPH.

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As I turned to go towards Lancaster, CA, I hit the 26,000 mark!

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For some reason, I’ve always enjoyed the straight back roads of California.

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I arrived in Lancaster, CA, fairly late in the day just before sunset. I purposely made this side stop to see and drive on the “Civic Musical Road.” This was on my list of things to see in 2013 and I was delighted to find it wasn’t too far off my beaten path. The Civic Musical Road was constructed back in 2008 for a Civic commercial. It was created by cutting grooves across a lane that were strategically placed to produce musical notes as the tires roll over at a steady speed of 55mph. The notes were to mimic the finale of the “William Tell Overture.” Sadly, the section of road was paved over shortly after the commercial was complete due to nearby residents complaining about the noise. The City of Lancaster recreated a section of the road on Avenue “G” where it resides now. Here’s the video of the project from Honda:


As you can imagine, I just HAD to check it out in person. I exited for Avenue “G” off Highway 14.

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As I exited the highway, I made a left turn and arrived at the location.

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The guys from Top Gear have also been on this road back in Series 19, Episode 2.

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I parked on the side and got out to take some close up photos.
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Here you can see the special grooves that were cut.

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And here’s the TL about ready to try it out for the first time.

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Let’s see how she sounds!

After that nice little stop, I headed straight for Coalinga where my destination was. First night I met with my Grandpa and his friend, Delia. Then the next day we had surrounded ourselves with good company and great food!

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Here we are visiting after a great dinner.

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Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Part 2 is to come…

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4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Drive to California and the Musical Road

  1. tysonhugie says:

    Haha, loved the part about the TL “ticking itself cool.” I’m sure it enjoyed the highway jaunt! What a great trip you had. Your grandpa and his travels are an inspiration – I’d love to meet him someday, but for now it’s neat to meet him ‘virtually’ through your blog posts & pictures. Sorry to see that Phoenix traffic was less than optimal – must’ve been a timing issue. And lastly, I can’t even begin to tell you how jealous I am about the fact that you visited the Musical Road. I’ve obsessed over that since I learned of it a couple years ago. Were you going exactly 55 mph when you filmed it? I might try driving it multiple times at different speeds to compare the results, haha.

    • pawela says:

      Tyson, glad you enjoyed the post! It would be cool to plan a drive sometime in the future where my grandpa could join us. He loves the open road as much as we do! Glad you liked the Musical Road and I missed that in your 2014 list of places to see. I also want to get up to Big Bear Lake sometime soon. Yes, I did do a steady 55 mph when I went over it. i actually set the cruise so I could focus on filming. I was tempted to see how it would sound at 90mph. LOL. When you go, you totally should go at different speeds!

  2. […] Musical Road – Lancaster, California […]

  3. […] in Japan, Singing Road‘s “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in South Korea and the Civic Musical Road‘s “William Tell Overture” I visited in Lancaster, […]

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