9 months - 15.000 miles - 22 states
1.200 gallons of super unleaded fuel - mostly small back-roads

After I had bought the car at the end of august 2002, Thomas and I at first just went on short test drives
around town. We wanted to get an idea of the over-all technical condition of the car before heading out on a big
highway cruise. To be save, I also took the car to a local garage and had a 32-point check-up done.
As a result, the mechanic was absolutely stunned by the car's condition (more about that in the features
section). After I few more trips to Omaha and other places in Nebraska, fall-break emerged pretty quick -
it was time for our first road-trip!

the fall-break trip: 10 days - 2.500 miles
states: NE-CO-WY-SD-NE

In early october, we got off our classes at the university for a couple of days and Thomas and I quickly found people
who were willing to join us for the cruise. My boy Thomas and I took front seat and left the passenger back-row
for our our chickas: Susan (Scottland), Kirsty (Wales) and Aylin (Germany).

left to right: Thomas, Kirsty, myself, Susan, Luke and Neela (didn't join us)

When we started in Lincoln, none of us really knew what places we wanted to drive to. We were just pretty sure that we
wanted to spent the first night in Denver. We ended up extending the trip "a little". After one day of sight-seeing in the mile-high
city, we headed out into the rockies and ended up driving over a 4.000 meters high independence pass. Luckily, the snow
was just at the sides of the road in those late october days - we were rolling on summer-profile tires.

Just after sunset, we reached Aspen, Colorado, and started looking for a place to spent the night at.
Directly in the city-center, we then found a cheap hostel that even offered a sauna! After checking into our
rooms, we left the hostel to explore aspen at night. A local resident told us to beware the bears that come into
town out of the woods at night. As bad as we wanted to see one, we were not lucky that night. The next morning, we
climbed up the hills a little and bought some souveniers, but quickly hit the road again. Our plan was to drive from
Aspen all the way to the Black Hills in South Dakota on that day - an eleven hour drive. We had to get going...

After a long drive with many hours in which we didn't meet a single car or person, we arrived in Casper, a little
town right by the black hills. It was right on Casper's main street that night, when I got my first ticket from a
bored local cop for doing a u-turn on a dead street. Damn pigs! The next day turned out to be desasterous. During
the night, South Dakota recieved it's first snow of that fall. Ten centimeters of the slipery stuff covered all streets.
Due to our summer tires we had to cancel the trip up to the presidents monument and had to come up with
a safe and not too slippery way home. It took us 13 hours to drive back to Lincoln that day...

Click here to read about the next trips....