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      12-18-2020, 08:28 PM   #1
snowbimmer
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This thread is ridiculous. I get that. I tried to pare it down. I couldn't.

First off, I'm a huge fan of the travelogue posts that several members have posted here. Especially the European deliveries. They combine two of my favorite things: Pictures of BMWs and pictures of places I might have been or hope to get to. We all know what BMWs look like, yet everyone is always screaming for "more pics!" And, BMWs out in the wild....well, to me, that's just the best.

M2 poster bwhip in Idaho has been a special inspiration. His photos around the Wallowa Mountains in the spring of 2018 were my first encounter - they are just spectacular. A search of that forum brings you to many more of his trips. If you haven't found him, look him up. Just wow. He manages to put the car in all the photos. I wasn't quite able to do that.

Apologies up front if there are too many pictures (90, that's all they allow). I wanted to show the car, the roads and the surrounding scenery, sometimes managing to get all three in the same photo. You might have to actually click on a picture to get the whole thing because the portrait ones kinda get cropped. The trip was in late September 2019, but life gets in the way and after spending the last 8 covid months working on the yard and house I finally found the time to sort and edit the photos. A little background.......

I have been through many different 5 series, but the goal was always the M5. Wandering into this forum in early 2019 just about drove me nuts, because I had a 2018 G30 M550 and had put 36,000 miles on it in only two years. Imagine what fun an M5 would be. After 2 test drives of a base & a comp, I settled on a base model. I wanted Donington Grey, but had to drive 120 miles just to see a DG Comp in the flesh in June.

My fate was sealed - what a gorgeous car. I usually order new cars, but thought I just might be able to snag a deal on a 2019 and I hoped for a bigger discount to help absorb any extra costs getting out of my M550 lease a year early. The 2020's were just about to hit the US.

My local dealership had 10 M5s earlier in the year that just vanished. The other dealer then got a Donington Comp, but wouldn't budge off MSRP. So I headed to cars.com to see where they all were. cars.com showed 600 M5s in the US. Half were base models. My main specs were Donington, black wheels, Bowers & Wilkins, black leather and dark carbon trim. There were 2. One in Florida and the other in San Diego. I wasn't able to put a deal together thru my local dealer, but SD offered an impressive discount. So I flew down on a Sunday morning for 6 bucks using Alaska miles and drove it 1200 miles home. With lease incentives I ultimately got a tremendous deal off MSRP with a 36 mo 18,000 mile/yr lease, because I was intending to drive the crap out of this car. I can also get a $0.25/mile refund for every mile under 54,000 down to 45,000. I'm right at 22,500 after 18 months and Covid is telling me I won't hit 54,000. Oh,well.

Hot damn! It's mine. Giddyup.
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Day 2 - home and ready for break in service and black grilles after its first wash.
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Then off for Ceramic Pro and tints.
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By September it was time for a 3,500 mile road trip with the little woman to see the grand parks in Utah. (Just click out now if you don't have an hour to waste.) And after putting this together, I sadly realized there aren't enough car pics - only about 25. But, if you like rocks, you are in for a treat......................

[COLOR="Blue"]Phase 1 Map - Portland to Bryce Canyon National Park
[/COLOR]

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Day 1: Portland to Ontario, Oregon - 443 miles

Didn't really take pics, just wanted to get out of Oregon. I-5 to Salem, then east across central Oregon to Ontario. No freeways after Salem.

So. Many. Bugs. Had to get it washed.

Day 2: Ontario to Park City, UT - 450 miles

Peeled off I-84 at Biggs, ID and took US Hwy 30 toward the Snake River. Never take a freeway if you don't have to.

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Headed in to Twin Falls, ID and up to the Perrine Memorial Bridge. Lots of base jumpers here. They just run out to the middle of the bridge and jump off. Its 486 feet to the Snake River below. Someone said a guy died the week before because his chutes didn't open. Sad.
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Shoshone Falls is just upstream
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Park City is awesome. Only skiied here once back in the day.
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Day 3: Park City to Bryce Canyon National Park, UT - 260 miles

Took US Hwy 189 down the east side of the Wasatch range. Been hearing about Sundance, Robert Redford's ski/film festival retreat for years, so we turned in. Very nice.
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Then on to the Brigham Young University campus in Provo (we try to stop at all major colleges that we come across) and down US Hwy 89 toward Bryce. Very scenic two lane road meandering among mountains and ranches.

Since we felt we were now on friendly terms with Robert Redford, it only made sense to stop at Butch Cassidy's boyhood home further on down Hwy 89.
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Eventually it's a left turn onto Utah Hwy 12 and the landscape radically changes. You enter the Colorado Plateau, which covers parts of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona and the ground turns rusty orange. I told my wife that there will be no let up in in what we will be seeing over the next 7 days. (She has no idea. I did, but was still blown away at every turn).
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We hit Bryce Canyon National Park in the late afternoon. The sky was blue, it was 70 degrees and the light was perfect. Nothing can prepare you for this:
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Day 4: Bryce Canyon - 75 miles

You can drive into Bryce Canyon National Park and spend an entire day driving 30 miles to the end of the road at Rainbow Point and then backtrack and stop at all the viewpoints (there are many) and hike along several trails. Had meatloaf for lunch in the old Bryce Canyon Lodge and then went back to several viewpoints for the second time. The landscape and colors are so different than any other national park, making it very unique and special. The spikey things are called hoodoos.
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[COLOR="Green"]Phase 2 - Utah Grand Circle of Parks[/COLOR]

Route is clockwise from Bryce
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Day 5: Bryce Canyon to Moab, UT - 270 miles

The drive from Bryce to Moab was one of the most enjoyable days I've ever spent in a car. Utah Hwy 12 is not to be missed. It's western terminus starts at Hwy 89 west of Bryce and ends 124 miles later in Torrey, UT at the junction of Utah Hwy 24. It passes through some of the most remote, diverse and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. Magnificent mountain ranges, high alpine forests and dry rocky boulder fields that seem to go on forever. Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is nearly 2 million acres of some of the wildest land in the US.

Imagine this on a horse!!!
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The road climbs as high as 9,600 feet and the Larb Hollow Overlook at 9,200 feet (below) has vistas for 50 miles.
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After Hwy 12 terminates in Torrey, you head east on Utah Hwy 24 toward Capitol Reef National Park. Hwy 24 ups its game and the views actually become even more stunning. Its nothing but spectacular rocks. Mile after mile.
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At 11 miles you can turn into Capitol Reef National Park. A scenic drive will take you out and back among stunning vistas and rock formations. The color palette will not disappoint.
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Leaving Capitol Reef you head east to Hanksville and then a breathtakingly dry stretch of Hwy 24 northeast until you reach I-70. 35 miles only and then you head south on US Hwy 191 toward Moab. Traffic noticeably increases as Moab is an extremely popular destination jumping off point for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, off road vehicling and white water rafting.

Pulled into Arches National Park around 4 PM and got spectacular light on the sandstone fins. Didn't see any arches that day. Didn't care. These were astonishing.
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Day 6: Arches and Canyonlands National Parks - 160 miles

Arches NP is just a few miles north of Moab. It is insanely popular. The good news is that it is very spread out and there are many, many sandstone towers and arches to look at or hike to. September is awesome, weatherwise. I can't imagine July or August when it can get over 100 degrees. A friend just returned from a September trailer trip. She said they had to close the park entrance at 10am because of the crowds.

Been killing lots of bugs. Man....really, really need a wash. It's killing me.
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Balanced Rock. You can walk all the way around it.
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The Windows area very popular with inadequate parking. This is the North Window.
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Sometimes you feel the walls closing in (heading to Sand Dune Arch)
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Sand Dune Arch
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More rocks
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Canyonlands National Park is just up the road a few more miles and on the west side of the highway from Arches. Headed there after lunch. The park is a vast wilderness high in the center of the Colorado Plateau. You climb to 6,000 feet to a plateau before you reach the Island in the Sky Visitor Center after 23 miles. On the way in, you pass Dead Horse Point State Park, famous for where Thelma & Louise met their demise.

Up on the plateau
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How would you like to sqeeze by on the outside of this road?
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Hey! There goes a Jeep! At least he would be on the inside. Jesus, Joseph and Mary.....
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From the Visitor Center its 12 miles to the end of the road. The viewpoints all just drop away 1500 feet straight down. Mesa Arch is about a 3/4 mile hike in. Amazing.
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Green River Overlook. So dry. So desolate.
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Back to Moab for dinner and a very deserved car wash. It took lots of quarters.

Day 7: Moab, UT to Page, UT - 275 miles

This was one of the days I was most looking forward to. About to see things I have only seen in movies or magazines my whole life. Heading south on US Hwy 191 it doesn't take long before you drive past the Wilson Arch - just sitting there on the side of the road.
A freebie.
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You pass another entrance to The Needles area of Canyonlands. A long way in - perfect for another trip. South of Bluff we headed west on US Hwy 163 for one of the most iconic (IMHO) stretches of road in the US. This is movie country, where hundreds of Westerns were made.
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And, then, there it is. A simply magnificent vista that I've been seeing pictures of since I was little. It also happens to be where Forrest Gump gave up on his run across America. It's now called Forest Gump Point.
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And then, just a few miles further is Monument Valley. Many, many cowboy movies filmed in here. John Wayne anyone? Clint Eastwood also filmed some memorable scenes here for the Eiger Sanction.
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There is a gravel road that runs about 23 miles to John Ford point, but I really had no desire to take a brand new M5 there. At least not this trip.
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From Monument Valley it's just 125 miles to Page, UT. Page is here because of Glen Canyon Dam and all the scenic wonders that Lake Powell has to offer. Only had time for the visitor center and movie at the dam.

Glen Canyon Dam Bridge - they had to build it first, otherwise it was a 200 mile drive just to get to the other side of the river during construction.
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Glen Canyon Dam - 710 feet high, concrete arch construction
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Day 8: Page, UT to Zion National Park - 245 miles

Man. What a day this was. Right out of the gate on US Hwy 89 is Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River. Kind of a long dry hike over a sandy hill to get to the viewpoint, but worth it.
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Bitter Springs is the turn off to run back north on US Hwy 89A to head to the Grand Canyon. But just a few miles in, the road crosses the Colorado at Marble Canyon.
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You cruise under the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument for about 25 miles - a wide dry plain below a massive escarpment. You can just make out the road in the center of the photo. We came from the far horizon.
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Then you climb up into the hills and head south on Utah Hwy 67 at Jacob Lake. You travel 45 miles through spectacular forests and grassy plains and reach the end of the road at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
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Had lunch at the lodge peering through a giant window that overlooked the canyon.
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A view of the vastness
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Leaving the North Rim
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Got back on the road again toward Kanab, UT after a couple hours of exploring and 95 miles later we turn west on Utah Hwy 9 off of Hwy 89 at Mt. Caramel Junction, heading to Zion National Park. The landscape dramatically changes again at the East Entrance. You know you are now heading into some truly hallowed lands. You literally don't know where to look and there is virtually no place to park and take in the views.

So you just drive, hoping for a little sliver of shoulder to pull off and grab a picture.

Checkerboard Mesa
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Around every corner is something new and fantastic.
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Eventualy you drive into the Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel (1.1 miles through the rock) and then you pop out into the really cool stuff.
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The Tunnel has several windows for light and ventilation.
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Feeling small - might need to click these pics
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Decamped to Springdale for the night. Springdale is a nice little town just south of the main Zion entrance. Tons of restaurants and lodgings. There is a free shuttle system that runs several miles up and down the main drag.

Day 9: Zion National Park - Zero Miles

Hopped the shuttle to the north end of town. Zion is car-free from March to November, so you get on a second shuttle that travels up and down a 12 mile route with many places to get on and off. Not ideal if you want to randomly stop and see something, which is virtually ALL THE TIME because Zion is stunning! I really needed to spend more time hiking here in my youth.

It's also very, very crowded......

No car pics today

Dry waterfall
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Along the Virgin River
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Court of the Patriarchs
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More
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Alpenglow
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Day 10: Zion NP to Ely, NV - 320 Miles

Headed west to catch I-15 north and ran up to the Kolb Canyons entrance to North Zion. A very scenic 5 mile road takes you past several overlooks. It was mid-morning and the light was fabulous.
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Back to I-15 and up to Cedar City. Grabbed some Subway sammiches, turned east on Utah Hwy 14 and headed to Cedar Breaks National Monument. More stunning scenery, as Cedar Breaks is a poor man's Bryce Canyon, with similar hoodoos and color. The elevation of the rim is over 10,000 feet.
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Nice spot for a Subway lunch. Not a soul around.
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Aspens are my all-time favorites
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Then it's back down to I-15 and up to Beaver, UT. West onto Utah Hwy 21 takes you through some of the most desolate and lonely land in the country. The stunning beauty of the last seven days is ripped away to a landscape of flat, dry valley floors followed by short climbs over mountain ranges, then back down to another flat, dry valley floor. Over and over and over. Wash, rinse, repeat. I absolutely loved it. There were virtually no cars in either direction and straight stretches that were 20 miles without a turn. Cresting a summit would unfold the road in front to the horizon, as it disappeared up into another mountain pass.

I was able to nab a personal land speed record that had been set in my 1993 Mazda MX6 on the way to Sun Valley 26 years ago, although I held it here for only 5 seconds.

Looking back to the last range, fifteen miles in arrears.
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As we headed toward US Hwy 50 (which Life Magazine called the Lonliest Highway in America in 1986) we passed the entrance to Great Basin National Park. Although it was late in the day, we turned in, of course. 20 miles later we were at 10,000 feet looking up to Wheeler Peak at over 13,000 feet. The aspens and the fall colors were well worth it
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[COLOR="Purple"]Phase 3 - Coming Home[/COLOR]

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Day 11: Ely, NV to Winnemucca, NV - 272 miles

Mostly dry and desolate, again. No stops for sightseeing. No pictures. No attractions.

Day 12: Winnemucca, NV to Redmond, Oregon - 387 miles


Got nabbed by a state trooper from 2 miles away south of Burns junction. Going 81 in a 65. "Why were you driving so fast?" As if he has to ask. Shit.


Day 13: Redmond, OR to Portland, OR - 188 miles

Leisurely drive home. The Santiam Pass over the Cascades on Hwy 22 is a favorite drive. Lots of color in September as the leaves change.


Some Final Thoughts:

I've driven nearly 900,000 miles in my life. This 3,500 miles was absolutely some of the best. We try to take at least one 2,500 mile road trip a year and several daily trips of 250 to 300 miles are quite common. However, this car and that scenery and having my wife beside me in her customary seat, turned this trip into an unbelievable memory. The car perfomed flawlessly. It's a great cruiser, canyon carver and an absolute brute when you want it to be.

My goal is to some day step out of my car in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It'll take 4,000 miles to get there and a different 4,000 miles to get home. That's a month on the road at only 300 miles/day. Can't wait.

Congratulations if you made it this far. Way to hang in there. And, again, I'm sorry. But it couldn't be helped. At least a quarter of the pics had an M5 in them. So, there's that. I left out 85% of the rest of the pictures (700). But, you got all the ones of the car.

Last edited by snowbimmer; 12-30-2020 at 05:38 PM..
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      12-18-2020, 09:00 PM   #2
josec70
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Amazing! Thx for sharing!
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      12-18-2020, 09:21 PM   #3
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Wow, amazing trip.

Were you not concerned about not having a spare tire for this trip? I'm debating a 1200 mile trip (one-way) and am concerned about a spare.
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      12-18-2020, 09:36 PM   #4
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I thought there was a word count on this forum....j/k awesome pics man. I'd love to be able to take a long trip anywhere away from NY lol
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      12-18-2020, 10:12 PM   #5
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I'd Reddit award this if I could
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      12-18-2020, 10:36 PM   #6
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Spectacular!
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      12-18-2020, 10:58 PM   #7
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I havenít traveled much, in the USA or out of it, but your travelogue inspires me to get off my butt. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I have the M5 I love to drive and all the time in the world, I should be doing what you did. Great pictures and concise narrations of the what and where for them. What a lovely record to have for you and your wife to revisit as the years go by.
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      12-18-2020, 11:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GranitM5 View Post
I thought there was a word count on this forum....j/k awesome pics man. I'd love to be able to take a long trip anywhere away from NY lol
Ha! I did find out there is a picture limit - 90. I had a hundred ready to load. That's why there aren't any over the last 3 days.

All the main fun was already had by then, anyway.
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      12-18-2020, 11:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellbmb View Post
Wow, amazing trip.

Were you not concerned about not having a spare tire for this trip? I'm debating a 1200 mile trip (one-way) and am concerned about a spare.
The car comes with a can of whoop-ass tire inflator and a ton of instructions. I also brought 2 cans of tire inflator, food, a cooler and a gallon of water. Tires were nearly new.

Gotta live your life. I figured I could satelite up-link to BMW if there was a problem.

Oddly enough, I ran over 2 screws a week apart in the same tire this summer - - - in town. Each time lost a little air, but no problems.
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      12-18-2020, 11:13 PM   #10
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I did Euro delivery of my M5 and your trip looks to be just as fun. What beautiful photography in this thread and your Donnington M5 stands out.
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      12-18-2020, 11:15 PM   #11
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Thanks for the writeup and amazing pictures! Inspirational!!
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      12-19-2020, 12:04 AM   #12
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Awesome. Enjoyed every word and pic.

All the best
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      12-19-2020, 01:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Used2be View Post
I haven’t traveled much, in the USA or out of it, but your travelogue inspires me to get off my butt. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I have the M5 I love to drive and all the time in the world, I should be doing what you did. Great pictures and concise narrations of the what and where for them. What a lovely record to have for you and your wife to revisit as the years go by.
Thank you. After COVID, grab google maps and Trip Advisor and get to it. I've started to map out future trips and dumped them in a file. When it's time to go, I'll grab Trip 3 or Trip 5 and start making reservations.
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      12-19-2020, 01:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Greer View Post
I did Euro delivery of my M5 and your trip looks to be just as fun. What beautiful photography in this thread and your Donnington M5 stands out.
You and your car were one of my inspirations. Donington, for the win.
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      12-19-2020, 02:29 AM   #15
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I'd Reddit award this if I could
Thx......you're too kind. Just doing what we all like to do.
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      12-19-2020, 05:23 AM   #16
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Great thread, thanks for sharing. Iíve driven parts of these routes over the years. I imagine gas stations were few and far between in some areas?
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      12-19-2020, 06:29 AM   #17
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Wow! Great pics on this thread
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      12-19-2020, 06:39 AM   #18
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Great thread, thanks for sharing. I've driven parts of these routes over the years. I imagine gas stations were few and far between in some areas?
Plenty of stations. My longest day was 450 miles and I can get close to 500 miles on a tank, depending on how much the speed limit may, or may not, have been exceeded.
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      12-19-2020, 08:19 AM   #19
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Spectacular sights, beautiful land. Thanks for sharing.
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      12-19-2020, 09:09 AM   #20
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Sorry to hear about the trooper, did you end up maxing the Mph in this trip? I was able to get only 131mph on my way to Mount Katahdin in Maine.
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      12-19-2020, 11:25 AM   #21
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Stunning pictures; brings back memories from our cross country trip this summer in our new 750 (Chicago to San Diego). Were supposed to do the European Delivery in April, instead took delivery at our local dealer and did that trip instead.Highly recommended, and Utah alone was worth it.
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      12-19-2020, 09:39 PM   #22
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Wow. This was amazing. Someday i hope to do this. I better do it before i can't. Thank you for taking the time to share this, we have no scenery here in Florida.
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