Jeff and John 2018: What is This? A Car for Ants?

Day 12: May 5, 2018

Destination: Spokane, WA

End of Day Odometer: 179,242 km

Progress Map:

Today was an exciting day, and so we decided to start it off right with a high-quality breakfast. I picked up a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at a gas station last night along with a bottle of 2% milk. For some reason, finding 1% is much harder in the US than in Canada. Still, it’s an improvement from last time when I couldn’t find anything less than whole. The fridge was set to the perfect level of cold, and the cereal was seriously on point. Additionally, we had a couple of icy-cold glass-bottle Dr Peppers in that really finished the meal off right.

After breakfast we made our way over to Boise, ID and our oil change appointment at Peterson Toyota. I was hoping we’d be able to more or less be in and out, but was told it would be about one and a half hours to do the oil change. So we settled in for the wait, and walked across the street to grab some lunch at Jack in the Box. I always think I want to try Jack in the Box, but every time that I do (once every few years), I generally walk away more or less unimpressed. It always seems like such a good idea, ah well. All that said, the curly fries were on point, like maybe the best I’ve had; it doesn’t save the meal, but it was something.

Back at the dealership, I stopped in at the parts department to check if they had a few items I wanted for the Yaris. I ended up picking up an air filter, cabin air filter and spark plugs. I had wanted to replace the wiper inserts as well, but it seems they were out of stock. The spark plugs had recently been replaced, but they were not quite the exact ones that the engine calls for and so I wanted to swap them out.

A little over two hours after arriving, the car was finished. As someone who worked at a Toyota dealership for a long time, I always find the processes and procedures that other dealerships follow to be interesting. Now less so for ways to improve the dealer I work at, but more for personal curiosity. I had asked 2-3 times for just an oil change and even when dropping the car off, the advisor asked if I wanted the 5,000 mile service and I corrected him and said just an oil change. Still, a full service was performed, which wasn’t the end of the world, but likely a reason for us waiting so long. The interesting part about that was that they had recommendations, but didn’t actually ask if I wanted to do them before finishing up the car and kicking it out. I know it can be a pain to wait for an authorization, but it just seemed odd not to ask if we wanted a new air filter after telling us it was dirty.

Now that the dealership had done their part, I got the parts I had picked up installed. I considered trying to (finally) fix the front bumper under cover, but I figured if it’s made it this far, it’s probably not worth the hassle to try and fix in a dealership parking lot this far from home.

We were on our way! Equipped with fresh oil, filters, spark plugs and a bit of a vibration in the steering wheel from the rear tires that were now installed on the front. Looks like a tire balance is in order from the approximately 50% of tread we’ve worn off since the start of the trip. On the plus side, the new air filter and spark plugs combined to give us a noticeable amount of extra oomf (which isn’t much, but in the hamster-powered Yaris, it’s noticeable).

The section of road we did next was a drive I first did on the Supra trip in 2015, and it still holds the title of my favourite section of public road in North America. There are a few others that come close in California and Colorado, but for pure driving delight, it’s hard to beat the highway between La Grande, OR and Lewiston, ID. It was a much greener experience than in 2015 and we did it in the opposite direction, but it was just as great. Most if not all of the corners are banked and they flow so perfectly into one another. John drove the first downhill section this time (as I had accidentally driven the entire road without swapping out last time), and I drove the later portion. This is what the Yaris RS was built for, and it performed perfectly. There was no traffic, no gravel, temperatures were right, it just all came together into a perfect driving experience.

As a Canadian, I was excited to learn about our national chip, and I have wondered what All Dressed meant, thankfully this bag was able to satisfy all of my curiosities.

Apparently, I picked an awful time to take this road trip in relation to amusement and water parks opening. I really didn’t expect that, in Texas for example, these parks wouldn’t be year-round. The hours didn’t work out at all to stop anywhere along the entire trip, that is until tomorrow. As a child, the allure of the Silverwood commercials on Spokane/Coeur d’Alene channels that we got on cable was hard to ignore, but you couldn’t just go there, it was in another country. Well, here I am, mere minutes from Silverwood during their 30th anniversary. Admission tomorrow is a paltry $19 per person, a tiny price to pay to satisfy my inner child’s desire to know.

Day 13 Destination: Calgary, AB

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