This is Part Two of our Epic and somewhat foolish MHCC Road Trip Blog and you can find Part One Here
After the race we headed to our hotel in Reno, NV – a short four-hour jaunt from Thunderhill. We were surprisingly alert despite lack of sleep and still pretty soaked from the 20 hours of rain during the race. While we could have saved a little time on the way to Reno by taking the interstate, we decided to once again take the road less traveled. We spent more time cruising some great mountain roads with more amazing views. After arriving in Reno, we immediately went to our hotel room to clean up as we hadn’t really had access to running water in 30+ hours. Refreshed, we decided to see what Reno had to offer by way of food since we hadn’t really had anything of substance since breakfast at 6 am. We found a casino with a steakhouse, but alas, the wait was over an hour so we ’settled’ for a habachi grill with all you can eat sushi. It was absolutely fantastic. Full of fish and rice, we headed back to the hotel and were asleep by 8:30.
Day five we woke up very rested and quickly hit the road, since we had such a long haul ahead of us. Reno to Casper, WY is roughly 929 miles and even in a boring (but comfortable) daily driver that is a long day. Once we hit Utah we made a point to stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats for photos and did a little daydreaming about taking the Mazda out for a run. We finally hit our last mountain range on the trip heading to Park City and the Mazda did really well cruising up the steep grades. Once we crossed over in the Wyoming the temperature was dropping and the wind was getting bad – in fact, I-80 was shut down in certain areas due to the 65+ mph winds. Fortunately, it was after we would need to turn off to make our way to I-25. We finally made it to Casper for the night after 13+ hours of problem-free driving. We were exhausted, but looking forward to the final leg of our journey in the morning.
Day 6 was our last day of this epic road trip, and we were ready to hit the road early as we wanted to make a stop or two for photos on the way back to Minnesota. In the morning light we noticed there was a restaurant near our hotel that had some Looney Toon character statutes around it so we took a picture or two before we headed out of Casper. Once we hit the South Dakota state line we headed straight to Mount Rushmore National Monument for some photos. After grabbing photos at Rushmore and walking around a bit we headed out to our next stop. If you have ever been anywhere along I-90 you can probably guess where our final detour would be – Wall Drug, a business that probably has more billboards than any other company around. Once we were done at Wall Drug we hit the road, and with a couple of gas stops (the truck doesn’t have the best range) we made to the Minnesota state line and welcomed the Mazda to its new home. We finally arrived the Dojo around 11p. We tucked the Mazda REPU in with 32 of its new friends.
Adam and I both had a great time! It was a lot of work to drive what ended up being 3200 miles but we made memories that will last a lifetime. The Mazda wasn’t problem free but for a 40 year old truck it certainly wasn’t bad. As we set off from Seattle we said “after this trip we’re going to either love this truck or hate it” and the verdict is 100% LOVE IT!!! It was a long, bouncy trip but we would both do it again in a heartbeat. We are excited to have the truck around and we have some projects planned for improvements over the winter – more on that later…
We kept track of some stats from the trip:
Fuel Economy: roughly 12 mpg
Fuel Stops: 15
Josh – 10
Thumbs Up Received: 12
Parts Stores visited: 8
Fuel Filters replaced: 5
Taylor Swift songs played: 1
States visited: 8
Pillow bought to sit on: 2
Number of people that thought we were crazy for driving it back to MN: Everyone
Adam put together this video showing our journey and you can get a better look at the fantastic roads we drove on along the way.