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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have a favorite drive or trip you would like to share with others? I have a couple but want some time to compose them on a word processior. I will even throw in a couple photos when I can.

It doesn't have to be anything dramatic just something that you enjoyed doing in your Compass.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
One of my favorite drives involves Natchez Trace Parkway. It has it's northern terminus just a few miles from my home.



The southern end is in Natchez, Mississippi. This is a very historic road and parts of the old trail are still visible. In fact there is a couple of miles of the original trail in a local park that I frequently hike. When on this trail I imagine that I am transported back to the 1800's and am going home after having walked over 400 miles from Natchez to Nashville. People from the upper Ohio would float down the Ohio river to the Mississippi to take their crops to market. They would then walk back up through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee to get home to Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

Anyway the 444 mile drive is very scenic. It is not unusual to pass trail riders on horseback and bicycle. The two lane roadway is very smooth with limited access.
Motorcyclists enjoy all the curves at the northern end. You have to watch out for large herds of deer and turkeys. At the halfway point in Tupelo MS is a little house not far off the Trace where Elvis Presley was born.

I have made this drive several times usually for pleasure. However several years ago I had business in Jackson Mississippi. I was only a few miles outside of Jackson when the storm hit. It started as a sudden drop in temperature; rain was coming down heaver and harder. Suddenly the rain turned to hail and visibility dropped to about 5 feet in front of the hood of the car. The radio was not much help as they were giving warnings by names of counties not by communities or towns.

Tornados were ripping through Jackson and the surrounding areas. Hail and wind made forward progress almost impossible. I was expecting the pine trees to come crashing down at any time. I kept moving slowly about five miles an hour in the hopes of finding an overpass to park under. I also thought that by moving forward if a tree did fall it might slide over the car before the smaller branches gave way and crushed the car. I was also afraid of being rear ended.

Well no trees fell on me or across the road. However there was about 5 inches of hail on the road, There were cars moving somewhere in front of me cause there were narrow tracks where hail had been pushed out of the way. Remember this is the deep south where the temperature should have been in the 90's. To defog the windows inside I set the air conditioner on heat and recirculate to dry out the air inside the car before it could fog over and freeze inside the car. By running it on air with a heat setting it dried out the inside of the car and defogged the windows much better than a heat setting on defrost.

One thing I did not expect was the smell. The hail was mixed with pine needles so that the ground was not white but dark green and white. If you filled a blender with ice and fresh pine needles and blended them to a pulp then put them in the car with you; you have a idea of the smell. Just multiply by ten. Christmas trees always trigger a memory of the storm.


In spite of this Natchez Trace still remains one of my favorite drives.

Lew
 

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I will get back on the road soon..................to recover that is .... :)
 

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Trust me I will...............probably will start to hit some balls this week.............
 

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The Green Mts, Vermont 108 - Through the Notch.

Anyone have a favorite drive or trip you would like to share with others? I have a couple but want some time to compose them on a word processior. I will even throw in a couple photos when I can.

It doesn't have to be anything dramatic just something that you enjoyed doing in your Compass.
An all-time favourite of mine is Vt.108 . . . runs south from Quebec HW.237, Canada border crossing at Frelighsburg down to Vt.100, just south of Stowe, Vt. Either direction the drive is spectacular, but I prefer it from the Canada side going south to Stowe. The drive from the border to the southern terminus is 45 miles (73km)
Once going throught the interogation by the American Customs Gestapo and being made to feel like some kind of terrorist . . . the drive runs through bucolic Vermont farmland, you can wave to the cows, more cows then people in Vermont, that's a fact.
Through the towns of Franklin, Enosburg Falls, by Jeffersonville the road begins to gain elevation, climbing through the Smugglers Notch ski area then through the Mount Mansfield State Forest.
Between Stowe and Jeffersonville, there is a section of road which cuts through Mt. Mansfield. This is "The Notch Pass".
The road is very steep and turning, making impossible to plow in the winter. Not much more then one lane wide in the tightest corners, making passing oncoming cars very tight.
Tractor-trailers are barred from this section, and large straight trucks, buses and RVs are strongly encouraged to find other routes year-round.
Along the road in the state forest, there are small parking areas where rock climbing and hiking are popular as well as pic-nic spots.
Along the route there are many wonderful stops of interest and and incredable varity in scenery with Stowe, of course a destination on it's own.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Trip to northern Georgia

First shot is outside of an old pipe and manhole manufacturing plant that is abandoned just off the interstate in Chattanooga. Wanted the contrast between old and new.



Along the Ocoee river in southeast TN.


The Old Sautee Store has been around over 130 years. Amazingly the inside is part museum and part danish modern. If you are ever in the area (you can find directions on their web site) stop in to sample some of their cheese. Just bring a cooler as you will take a wheel of it home with you.


View from the mountains.



Lots of winding mountain roads. Great little restaurants all over. It seems my number one hobby is eating. Ate everything from bratwurst to artisan breads with imported cheese and local wines. One place had a Jamaican chef, I went conservative and had a black Angus burger with the best pom frits I have had in the U.S. washed down with a Belgian dark beer. Life is good.

My wife bought me a t-shirt at a store along the Appalachian Trail. It features a compass rose and states, "The journey is the destination"
Sums it up for me.
 

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First Road trip in the Compass!!!

I took my first (albeit short) road trip in the Compass this weekend. Drove an hour and a half to my Family's Cabin, and loved every minute of it. Loaded the family and gear into the Compass and headed east. We took I-80 through Parley's Canyon to see how it would handle the climb. I'm happy to say that we were able to do 70-75 mph almost all the way up to the summit. I would have been able to keep it that way, except for the knucklehead with the 1970's vintage RV who pulled out into my lane going 25 mph (in order to pass the semi going 24 mph). I had to break hard to avoid corn-holing his RV and couldn't get back over 60 mph before the summit.

Once there, we had a ball tooling around the dirt roads near the cabin. We were on everything from gravel to loose dirt and the Compass handled it all, even the stuff that looks more like a 2-track than a real road. There is one road in particluar that I wanted to try the Compass on. It's about a half mile long, steep grade, washed out road that gets most of its traffic from ATVs trying to climb it. I put the auto stick in 1st gear, engaged the 4WD, and let it climb. I kept the rpms at around 2k, and even with the stock tires, we made it all the way up without any problems. I was very impressed.

This weekend confirmed for me that the Compass is a versatile, capable vehicle, good both on and off the road. It's exaclty what I hoped!
 

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That's the ticket.
Great stuff. Good to hear positive road reports.
Glad you had a blast . . . I don't think any of us have been let down with the Compass performance and handling.
 

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That CVT with cruise control really gets with it on the freeway doesn't it! Thanks for your road trip report.
I was really surprised how well it climbed Parley's Canyon. I thought that it would bog down or run at high rpms every time it got steep, but it kept pretty steady, speed and rpm all the way up (until I got cut off that is). Way better than I expected!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I24 Monteagle Mountain

Between Nashville TN and Chattanooga is a little bump in the road called Monteagle Mountain.

It is the longest steepest grade of interstate you will encounter between Chicago and Miami. On my recent road trip I had the pleasure of passing over this mountain twice.

There are steeper roads out west but two things make Monteagle unique. The length of the grade and the fact you cannot see very far ahead because of the curves.

Large trucks have to come to a full stop at the top of the mountain when headed to Chattanooga. They are required to read about the grade ahead and will find out that there are not one but two runaway truck ramps. These ramps are deep pits filled with pea gravel. When a truck hits them they immediately sink up to their axles in the deep gravel. It is very expensive to have a large tow truck come to help remove them from the gravel. These ramps are at least 1000 feet long and have a very steep grade upward. Some truckers don't surive this stop the undercarages have been ripped out and in some cases the load shifts and come through the cab.

Another unusual feature of this section of interstate is that it has the widest median of any interstate in the US. At one point the eastbound lanes are a mile from the westbound lanes.


Johnny Cash even wrote a song about it.

Goin' down Monteagle Mountain on I-24
It's hell for a trucker when the devil's at your door
He'll tempt you and tell you come on let her roll
Cause the mountain wants your rig and trucker I want your soul

When I started down Monteagle the brakes just wouldn't hold
I knew I was in trouble and bout to lose control
The runaway ramp was waitin' I saw the warnin' sign
I said Lord help me make it have mercy on this soul of mine

Well I ploughed into that runaway ramp and I could feel that big truck groan
My life flashed right before my eyes and for a minute I thought I was gone
But when the smoke cleared I thanked God that I was still alive
Cause when there's a runaway on Monteagle some truckers don't survive

Goin' down Monteagle Mountain on I-24
It's hell for a trucker when the devil's at your door
He'll tempt you and tell you come on let her roll

Wish there was a photograph or two that could convey what driving this mountain is like, however no photo can do it justice.

The Compass handled this mountain with no problem whatsoever. In a test of the cruse control on the downhill sides I set it and kept my foot off the brakes. It held my set speed all the way down.

I have never owned a car that the cruse control could manage the engine speed so well I felt no need to touch the brakes at all on this mountain.

Couldn't stop grinning all the way into Chattanooga.
 

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Pictures says rb-designs........are you a web designer?
 

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I have only drove the compass on one road trip but loved every minute of it. It was just a short trip from Kansas City to Wentzville, MO. A town outside of St. Louis. Only took me about three and a half hours and not much too see on the way but it was fun in the new jeep.

This winter I plan on taking I-70 in the opposite direction and heading for the rockies. Can't wait to go through the snowy pass in the jeep for the first time. Snowboards and luggage packed up. Its gonna be an awesome time.
 

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it will come...........don't worry.............right now we are having a late summer.............mind you it rained most of it around the Province this summer.
 
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