US Road Trip Travelog: 28th March 2005

Today is 'Rivera Day'. The old car hasn't looked clean outside since the snow of New Mexico (now with an added layer of dead bugs on top) and the inside is like a worrying day in early Pompeii given the thin layer of ash everywhere.

On Lincoln Boulevard there are plenty of car clean and valet places. The Riviera is noticeably more grubby than the SUV's and Mercedes in the queue, most of which looked pretty clean to me on their way in. Maybe the owners just wanted to sit for an hour and relax whilst watching others at work.

Riviera interior after a clean
Riviera interior after a clean.

$45 later and the outside has been washed and waxed and the inside cleaned, including a layer of leather preservative on the seats. It looks and smells fantastic - probably even better than when I first bought it.

Now the car looks the part (shame about the driver, though) we're off for a cruise up Sunset Boulevard. The initial part from the seafront is twisty and wooded with large houses hidden behind the trees. I resist the opportunity to buy a map to the homes of the stars - I'll just have to trust to luck and hope I run into Minnie Driver by chance.

Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard.

Further up and the exclusive shops come into view. Strangely enough, the car has been running really badly since its clean and I'm more worried about keeping it running than anything else. It seems to have cleared up since so I can only assume that something got into the gas tank or the air cleaner during the clean that it didn't like. And so I probably missed Minnie out shopping.

At the end of Sunset Boulevard the plan is to head up the Interstates a bit to near Pasadena and then find Highway 2 up through the hills to San Bernardino. This is another route recommended in my scenic driving book, but at the beginning are signs saying that the road is closed further on. This time I decide to believe the signs and turn around and back to the Interstate to get to San Bernardino.

Riviera on the ramp
Riviera on the ramp at the Goodyear Service Centre in San Bernardino.

Part two of 'Riviera Day' is getting the oil and filter changed - which is a bit overdue - and the underside bits 'lubed' (greased). After a bit of haggling I manage to get the car booked in for later that day. Like most places, once they see the car they want to have a look at it even if it means shuffling other cars around a bit. After finding and booking a motel it's off back to the Goodyear place and an hour later it's all done.

Time for some service for the driver, a steak and a few beers, then back to the Super 8 to listen to the sound of the Interstate 20 yards away for the rest of the evening.

US Road Trip Travelog: 29th March 2005 >