Road Trip 2009 hits 4,000 miles in Glacier National Park

For the second straight thousand-mile milestone, Road Trip 2009 saw the odometer on the clean-diesel SUV hit zeroes at a world-class location.

This is where the odometer on the Audi Q7 TDI clean diesel SUV hit 4,000 miles. I was driving alongside Saint Mary Lake, in Montana's incredible Glacier National Park. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont.--I'm kind of awestruck. For four years I've been doing CNET Road Trip projects, and every time I've hit a new thousand-mile milestone, I've stopped, photographed the odometer and the surroundings, and then blogged about the spot.

In almost every case, that new set of zeroes on the odometer has come at some nondescript location. There have been a couple cases where it happened near something incredible, but I'll be honest: I've cheated a little bit and, say, driven back and forth across a parking lot to have the milestone happen when I was parked in front of a world-class view of the Grand Coulee Dam on Road Trip 2006.

The odometer rolls over to 0.0 miles, which in this case means the trip is now 4,000 miles old. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

But two times in a row now, at 3,000 miles on Road Trip 2009 and now, at 4,000 miles, I've hit the new thousand-mile mark legitimately in front of something outstanding.

A thousand miles ago it was Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. And now, the magic moment happened as I was tooling down the east side of Glacier National Park's famous Going-to-the-Sun Road alongside the incredible Saint Mary Lake. To be sure, I had to stop in the middle of the road--safely, of course--to take a couple of pictures. But it was truly the spot.

It's been a great six days since I hit 3,000 miles--and like at 2,000 miles, the odometer on the Q7 for some reason reset again to 0.0 miles instead of marking 2000.0.

What did I do in that time?

I went to Boise, Idaho, where I got a demonstration of some really cool digital projection technology from Micron that could some day be embedded in smartphones, and where I visited the World Center of Birds of Prey (a story on that will come later).

I also resolved five years of disappointment at not making it to a large grouping of hot springs in Idaho by going to some of them. I had a long, interesting visit to the U.S. Forest Service's Missoula, Mont.-based Smokejumpers center and the associated FireLab research center . And finally, I took a wonderful drive through a mysterious, foggy Glacier National Park.

And now it's on to 5,000 miles. As I've said many times before, I wonder where I'll be.

For the next two 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 Montana, Wyoming, 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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