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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 05 Cruzing To New Jersey Day One Page 2

Cruzing to New Jersey: Day One

Automotive Traveler's Richard Truesdell is attempting to drive 3,000 miles from California to New Jersey with 75 gallons of gas. If you're calculating, that's 40 m.p.g. The car? Chevy's high-mileage Cruze Eco.

The day has gotten off to a slow start. I wanted to be on the road by 9:00 a.m., and here it is almost 11:00 and I'm just getting a bite to eat at the Breakfast Club of Menifee, where I typically eat at least twice a week. I'm having my usual, the one-one-one-one special (an egg, a slice of bacon, a sausage link, and a huge, fluffy pancake). This will tide me over until I reach Las Vegas, about four hours north.

Plans are flexible, so I'm not sweating the late start. I've already adjusted my schedule, with tonight's destination now St. George, Utah, rather than a Motel 6 in Cedar City. I'm traveling with Savannah, my golden retriever, and Motel 6 is one of the dog-friendliest chains around (no pet fee). As we left the house, she appeared a little concerned the house sitter's dog would get into her toy box. Still, she settled into the Cruze happily enough after we made it just a few blocks down the road.

No need to do the motel thing tonight though, since my friend Dick Pearson has offered me a place to stay in St. George. Pear-son's new-gen Hemi-powered 1949 Dodge Wayfarer is featured in the current issue of Auto Enthusiast. Before I arrive however, I'll be stopping in Vegas to view Art Goldstrom's extensive collection housed near the airport, some-thing Pearson arranged for me.

Although Savannah and I will be traveling alone, we've got plenty of electronic company in the car. Our Cruze Eco is outfitted with Escort' s Passport iQ combination radar/laser/red light/ speed camera detector with full-function integrated GPS navigation system. We'll also be using the trusty OnStar advisor to help us find the cheapest gas and dog-friendly accommodations along our 3,000-mile trip.

Our final destination in New Jersey? Schumacher Chevrolet in Little Falls, where owner Judy Schmacher-Tilton plans a welcome party next Wednesday. If I know Judy, she'll probably have a surprise planned for me.

Here is my planned itinerary, subject to change of course! Check back for additional posts as we head east.

Day 1--Los Angeles to St. George, Utah (400 miles)

Day 2--St George, Utah to Aurora, Colorado (660 miles)

Day 3--Aurora, Colorado to Sweet Springs, Missouri (600 miles)

Day 4--Sweet Springs, Missouri to Cleveland, Ohio (530 miles)

Day 5--Cleveland, Ohio to Little Falls, New Jersey (600 miles)

Day 6--Arrival at Schumacher Chevrolet

A video diary of my cross-country Cruze adventure will be posted on the Automotive Traveler Facebook page. I'm trying to get a handle on uploading videos via my Nexus One using the free Qik software I found on the Android Market.