Road Trip 2009 hits 2,000 miles near largest bombing range in U.S.

In the days since 1,000 miles, Road Trip 2009 has visited some of the most incredible scenery America has to offer--and learned about some of the most sobering military realities.

As Road Trip 2009 hit 2,000 miles, CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman found himself in Terra, Utah, on the way to the Utah Test & Training Center, also the home of the Dugway Proving Grounds. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

TERRA, Utah--It seems like Road Trip 2009 has still just started, but the odometer hit 2,000 miles as I was driving through this tiny hamlet.

Terra is near the entrance to the Dugway Proving Grounds, where I was on my way to visit the Air Force's 388th Range Squadron and its Utah Test & Training Center--the largest bombing range in the country,

Since I hit 1,000 miles just a few days ago, I've done quite a few things and, obviously, covered a lot of ground in the Audi Q7 TDI clean diesel SUV I'm road-testing. From Glenwood Springs, Colo., I head south, toward Moab, Utah, and its famous Arches National Park. I also did a very long drive down into Canyonlands National Park, as well as into southern Utah and its border with Arizona where I had my jaw dropped as I encountered the otherworldly Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. I put it all together in one convenient package for your viewing pleasure.

For some reason, the odometer rolled back to 0.0 instead of 2000.0 miles. Still, this was exactly as Road Trip 2009 hit 2,000 miles. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Later, I took a fantastic, meandering drive north toward the Great Salt Lake and ended up deep in Utah's northern desert, where I spent a day at Dugway learning how the U.S. Army works to protect against chemical and biological weapons .

After a night to digest that sobering reality, it was back to Dugway again. But before I could hit the gates--which were in sight--for my visit with the Air Force, the odometer rolled over. I always like to stop and commemorate the round number milestones, such as 1,000 miles and now, 2,000. Unfortunately, for reasons I don't yet understand but which I'm sure were fully preventable, the odometer reached 1999.9 miles and then reverted to 0.0. Still, 2,000 miles it's been. And while I'm exhausted, there are still many more miles and many more adventures to come.

This is the Audi Q7 TDI, a clean diesel vehicle, that Daniel Terdiman is road-testing on Road Trip 2009. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

For the next several weeks, Geek Gestalt will be on Road Trip 2009. After driving more than 12,000 miles in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Southeast over the last three years, I'll be writing about and photographing the best in technology, science, military, nature, aviation and more in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Colorado. If you have a suggestion for someplace to visit, drop me a line. And in the meantime, join the Road Trip 2009 Facebook page and follow my Twitter feed.

 

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