Before your read this you have to take in consideration that I love driving.
I will tell you why I did it, what are some pros and cons, what’s it like, how long it really takes and if it’s something you should consider doing.
By the way, the title is kind of a click bate but it’s not entirely a lie.
To be honest, when I was younger I may have watched a tiny bit of one episode of Larry King Live. Other than the fact that my English wasn’t as good as now (I was living in Israel at the time), I thought it was boring (no offense, Larry, if you somehow read this) because I didn’t care about politics or such. I just had different interests at the time. Since then, I never watched or listened to Larry King ever again.
Until May of 2018.
A good friend of mine resides in two cities at the moment (Los Angeles, California and Portland, Oregon) and so he needs to have a car in both locations in order to run errands, go for meetings and go out on trips when possible.
He always knew that eventually he’ll need to deliver one of his cars from Los Angeles to Portland and since he can’t really drive long hours and I love driving, I offered to drive it for him when the time comes.
Soon enough, it was time for him to get his car, Land Rover, to Portland. He inquired about delivery prices and you can imagine that it wasn’t cheap. Somewhere in the thousands.
He asked me if my offer still stands and so without even thinking, I immediately answered ”yes”. We setup a date, for me to arrive in Portland after he landed there. Wait, why didn’t he ride with you? You’re probably wondering. Very simple. He needed to be there to take care of things and I was busy those days.
Back in May, I went with that friend to a little photography adventure in California and our conversation lead to reintroducing me to Larry King (not in person). He told me how an amazing story teller Mr. King is and so on our way back we listened to a podcast where Larry told the story about his interview with Frank Sinatra. That was definitely a great story!
Here are a few photos from that trip:
Now, let’s start with, why I drove his Land Rover from Los Angeles all the way to Portland.
For me it was a no-brainer really. I didn’t do it for the money since I didn’t get paid (no complaints there, I didn’t ask for money). I did it for two main reasons. Helping a friend out and going on a photography adventure together.
Since I’m a landscape photographer (we both are) it hard to say no to a potential photography adventure, especially to places I haven’t visited yet.
I went to sleep at around 10:00pm the and my driving day started at about 2:00am the morning after. That’s when I woke up, since I wanted to be on the road no later than 3:00am. Th drive is about 14 hours and 47 minutes according to Google Maps or 13 days and 5 hours, in case you decide to walk there.
I wanted to get to Portland as early as possible to have time and visit the Portland Japanese Garden. A really amazing garden. You should go!
With only 4 hours of sleep I was behind the wheel, after the first gas stop, listening to music and having the time of my life. No restrictions, no one to answer to, no work, no rules (other than traffic laws) and no worries. Pure freedom.
Hmm… maybe that’s why I love driving so much.
Four hours of sleep didn’t mean I wasn’t responsible and too tired to drive. I know my body and I know it was more than enough of energy for me. Even when I arrived in Portland after 19 hours (you’ll know why) I wasn’t tired.
My friend sent me Larry’s audio book – My Remarkable Journey – so I started to listen to it. I had nothing better to do anyways. Other than driving of course. The audio book is about 9 hours in total. Now let me tell you, Larry’s voice and way of telling stories is just truly awesome. Only through his book I felt like I got to know him and respect him for who he is and what he does, unlike my younger self, who couldn’t care less.
My first real, planned, stop was a lake overlooking Mount Shasta, which is still in California, but about 9 hours and 42 minutes from Los Angeles. I got there after 10 and a half hours.
This leads us to…
Cons of Driving the Land Rover such a long distance
- If driven right and conservatively you can probably get away with 22 miles per gallon. Conservatively, meaning, without up hills and fast speeds. Since I was driving on a freeway it was really hard to maintain a speed that maintains good MPG. You just have to push that gas paddle you know? More so when there’s no one else on the road!
- Even though I was able to maintain a whooping 18.4MPG I stoped for gas at least six times. And I’m used to a Toyota Prius. Do the math. O yeah, my friend was happy about 18.4 because he usually gets 15MPG.
- This specific Land Rover has a sunroof and a roof rack. That combination makes for a pretty loud noise from the wind that flows between the two. That sound never stops! You can imagine that it can get annoying. Somehow, at the end, you sort of tune it out.
- Driving to Land Rover is fun but it’s not the most amazing driving machine when it comes to handling. It almost felt like I was between hovering and gripping the road at the same time which made making turns not feel as safe as lower cars. Also, that was pretty much the first time I drove such car. It’s definitely more enjoyable off road.
I eventually got to Lake Siskiyou. A location where you can see Mount Shasta towering behind the lake. A view that makes for a breathtaking photo, in the right conditions.
When I got to the location I wanted to photograph from, I had to stop at an entrance that makes you pay a day use. Although I don’t have problems with that, since I assume it helps maintaining the lake and surrounding, I couldn’t pay the fee. The craziest thing is that it only cost $1. Well… I didn’t have $1 and they only accepted cash! WTF!
I only wanted to get in for about 20 minutes to create a short video (the one below) but they insisted on that $1.
After smooth talking the lady she gave me a pass (which I gave back on the way out). I really was there for about 20 minutes. I’m a man of his words. As you saw in the video, the conditions did not make for a breathtaking photograph so I did not capture one.
I got out of Lake Siskiyou and got back on the road to Portland. Not before I stopped at a gas station of course.
The drive to Portland was smooth and nice, with slight traffic at some point but I was free again. Remember? Just me and the road ahead.
The thing about driving is that it’s one of the activities that help me come up with new ideas. All sorts of ideas, from new businesses and inventions to new feature films and TV shows. Yeah, you have no idea how many ideas I come up with. In fact I just came up with one right now!!
Pros of driving the Land Rover such a long distance
- The Land Rover is very comfortable, which helps a lot when driving for long hours. I didn’t feel any pain. Well, maybe just a tiny bit in the lower back, but nothing else really.
- A feature that I really loved (that helped me drive more efficiently) was the “Instant Fuel Consumption” because it helped me seeing when I’m using las gas and how etc. I don’t have that in my Prius. I wish I had!
- Since it’s a Land Rover, an off road vehicle, once I got to Portland, we could go on paths that weren’t available for us if we went with a regular car. One of the paths lead us to our tiny private campground where we struggled putting together our “simple” tents. More on that in a different post.
- Listening to Larry King’s audio book.
- I came up with a few new ideas (inventions and other business ideas).
As I mentioned before, the whole trip, from Los Angeles to Portland, took me about 19 hours in total. A trip that can take you 15 hours without stopping (but no one does that) or a couple days if you rest overnight. You almost have to love driving if you’re wiling to do such long trips.
At times, Larry’s book cracked me up, taught me new things and even made me care a tiny bit about politics (only the juicy parts I guess). I loved many of his stories but I think my favorites are the Mapo story, the ice-cream story and Frank Sinatra’s story.
You should check it out if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Below is link to his book and audio book (not an affiliate).
Larry King – My Remarkable Journey
Over all, it was a pretty awesome experience, driving a luxury off road vehicle such as Land Rover, from one state to another.
So, should you do it? Should you drive a luxury off road vehicle for 15 hours to help one of your friends save large sum of money when in return you get to spend great time with them, go on new adventures, create new memories, put together one tent in 30 minutes, capture breathtaking photos, exploring stunning waterfalls and potentially make a future sale of a print from that trip?
I’ll let you answer that 😉
Below are a few photos from the Portland trip. Enjoy!