Posts Tagged ‘Kia Sportage’


Out With the Old, In With the Older

October 12, 2009

This one is long, long overdue, but the thought didn’t occur to me until today, so, here it is.

Anyone who was reading when I was out and about last Fall will recall my home away from home, The Mighty Kia.  (Here’s a recap for those just joining us)

As I was starting my westward sojourn, I expressed more than a little trepidation about executing such a trip with such questionable transportation. Nine years old. Over 100K. Kia. Not an ideal choice of equipment for traversing a continent. My concerns were both totally unjustified and completely justified. They were unjustified in that despite some issues, the crazy thing did get me there and back.   But as it turns out, doing so was basically the car’s last full measure of devotion.  It got me back, but only just.   Before the trip, it was in pretty rough shape.  Afterwards, it was waddling on last tentacle.

The muffler had developed a hole and was being held on in large part with  a 99¢ U-bracket bought at an Idaho hardware store. The front bumper  was being held on with zip ties.  The four wheel drive stopped working at some point. It kind of smelled bad.  But most troublesomely, after wheezing and convulsing up and down mountain highways in Montana and British Columbia, not to mention getting stuck in the sand on a Northern California beach, the transmission was starting to slip badly.

This last was a major problem, because without four wheel drive and snow coming… Well.  Before long, I found myself with a car that was something decidedly less than mighty. After getting stuck in the snow several times, the transmission was burned up completely could only engage in reverse.  (This made for an interesting trip home that night.)So, with a car not worth fixing in one hand and extremely tight finances in the other, I did the only thing I could do.  I junked the car, opened up Firefox, sashayed over to Craigslist, set the max price to $500, clicked “Search”, and ended up with this:

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A Post for Posterity – The Mighty Kia

November 14, 2008

I’m using the WiFi at the Brownsburg Public Library (Up yours, Starbucks) outside of Indianapolis on what should be the last day of the trip.

I felt a need to document my living arrangements over the last month and a half before the trip comes to close. I stayed in a hotel one night, spent two collective weeks in hostels, and several people were kind enough to offer up their couches, but by and large, I’ve lived in and out of my car, aka The Mighty Kia, for the last six weeks.

Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home

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Day 18 – From Northern California to San Francisco

October 21, 2008

The shot was straight, the road was rather curvy. It turns out they weren’t redwoods, at least I don’t think so. Either way, they were suitably atmosphere-ide by fog:

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I heard a knock at the door. It was the inevitable, just dropping by like a ton of bricks.

October 12, 2008

Today could have gone better.

Right as I was coming into Vancouver, I was starting to hear a slight scrapping sound coming from one or both of my rear brakes. I thought to myself “Well, I’m going to have to get that fixed soon.” Being that the car was about to be sitting in a parking garage for a week, I wasn’t in a huge hurry. I figured I’d take care of it when I got back into the States.

Then, a few days ago, I ended up driving to check something out before the end of business, a slight scraping turned into a less than slight scraping, and I diverted to finding a service garage. I found one that gave free inspections (bonus) and made the earliest appointment I could, for 1:30 today.

Well, that slight scrape turned out to be the swan song for my entire rear brakes system and an stanch warning sign for my front. Long story short, it will cost a over $800 for me to get back on the road, and, because it’s Thanksgiving weekend up here, the work won’t get done until Tuesday, meaning I’m stuck in Vancouver until at least then.

This won’t derail the entire trip, but I will have to be much more careful and selective with my funds and driving from here on out. And if there are any other similar bumps, then I’ll almost certainly going to have to cut my losses and make an about face back East.

That’s it for now. I’ll try and make the most of my forcibly extended stay. There are worse places to be stuck than Vancouver.

Random Travel Thought:

I found it wryly amusing that everyone at the garage kept pronouncing “Sportage” like “Sport-ashj”, making it sound like some overly hip, urban yuppie wine.


Day 3 – From Gillete, WY to Yellowstone National Park

October 6, 2008

So the bulk of today was taken up by the approach to Yellowstone. On the map, it’s not all that far from Gillete to the park, but the map doesn’t tell you that most the road in question is winding, specked with speed limits in he 30’s, and full of distractions.

Some photos of said distractions:

Dayton, WY.  A bit different from Dayton, OH

Dayton, WY. A bit different from Dayton, OH

(Much more, including photos from Yellowstone, after the jump)

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Day 1 – Starting Point

September 30, 2008

Well, I’m just a few minutes from heading out the door. There’s not really much to say in this post except something puerile like “here I go”, so I’ll just keep this one short. I’m starting out in my neck of the woods and heading for my first stop in Milwaukee, where a friend of mine is graciously lending me the use of a couch, thus lessening the number of days I’m sleeping in my car. After that, it’s straight to Vancouver, with a few diversions anticipated along the way.

Of course, this is all assuming my 9 year old, 100K+ miles Kia Sportage (below) is actually up to this nonsense….

My Ride

She'll hold together. Maybe.

erm… Ye ha?