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      10-16-2013, 10:32 PM   #1
RPiM5
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11 Days and 6,000 miles across North America: My F10 M5 Pilgrimage and Odyssey.

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Greetings friends, family, Bimmer Fanatics and ColdList

Thatís right everybody I am officially back. I have been able to post off and on over the last month on my iPhone but now I am posting this from my new Condo in Washington D.C. For those of you not in the know, I RPiM5, have travelled across the United States from San Diego to Washington D.C. because of a new job that I have recently been assigned to in the military. I am just starting to get settled in here, but I have my full suite of Audio/Visual computer equipment back up and running. So this means I can do photo and video editing again. Woohoo! Ok, letís get down to the fun stuff now!

Full disclosure up front, this is a looooong thread!!! If you want to get a quick epic synopsis of the entire trip then you can view my video first.



So, as many of you know, I decided to make this trip one worthy of a Bimmerpost Super Thread Write Up! And if I say so myself, I succeeded. Here is my basic flight plan with a few variations on how I actually travelled throughout the trip. Also travelling with me was my little travel buddy Bacon. Or as I like to call him Bacon Bit. Once again he brought me good luck throughout the entire journey. Not a single speeding ticket, flat tire, or random act of God happened to me in the whole 6,000 miles of driving!



Iím going to go through this day by day, so here we go!
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      10-16-2013, 10:33 PM   #2
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Moderators please use this picture as the cover if put on the front page. Thanks!

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      10-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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Day 1: Saturday, September 14th. San Diego, California -> Carmel Valley, California

I would like to start off by saying how important that this journey was for me. I have lived in San Diego for the past 7 years, stationed there with the Navy, and it has been everything I had hoped for and a little bit more and a little less at times. Leaving was not easy at all. I had sprouted roots after living there for so long. I left San Diego on the morning of the 14th, a Saturday. This was the morning that I had to say two final goodbyes. One goodbye was to my girlfriend. That morning, we parted ways and decided to live our own lives. We both decided that a long distance relationship was not going to work between us but it was still not easy for us, we cared about each other very much. The second goodbye I had to do was with San Diego itself. I hit the 5 at about 7am with very little traffic on the highway. I still had friends texting me if I was going to go to Cars and Coffee Irvine that morning, but I could reply to them with was a sadface text emoticon. My first stop was BMW of Santa Barbara to see my Client Advisor and good friend Jon Shafer. Unfortunately he could not make it in that morning, so I did what any BMW enthusiast would do, I raided the dealership refrigerator and grabbed all the bottled water that I could carry. Lol!



After I left the dealership my next stop was Carmel Valley, California. I would be staying the night at BarryB's house out in the country. I went through San Luis Obispo and took Highway 1 all the way up to Carmel Valley. BarryB and his wife were very welcoming and accomdating. I almost felt like I was staying at a Bed & Breakfast. Lol! Many Bimmerpost members have stayed there in the past, so it was nice to feel the ///M heritage while I was there. It was my first time driving up Highway 1, up the entire coast of California to Monterey. I have always wanted to do it, but I never had the opportunity. The drive up was so epic and scenic. I stopped several times to take pictures and take in the view. The highway was just amazing also when there was no traffic in front of you.

































Here's a picture of BarryB and his wife. These guys are the BEST!





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      10-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #4
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Day 2: Sunday, September 15th. Carmel Valley, California -> Fairfield, California

The next day, Barry and I woke up early, made breakfast, and then he took me to Laguna Seca. I followed him in his special track prepped supercharged E36 M3. That car is fast! Laguna Seca is amazing. There was a Speed Ventures private track day going on the day we were there. We saw tons of cars. After hanging out at Laguna Seca for a few hours, I hit the road and my next stop was Fairfield, California where I would be visiting a friend who just recently completed his VT3 build for his E60 M5, currently making about 700hp to the WHEEL on a dynojet! I had a brief stop in San Jose to have lunch with another good friend of mine before continuing on up to Fairfield. I took the long way from San Jose to Fairfield by way of the Golden Gate bridge. I've now driven both my E60 M5 and my F10 M5 across the Golden Gate bridge. Pretty special thing to do!











Yours truly. Some say the first word he ever spoke was Nurburgring.


















I got some P-Car love for ColdList too!

















Random Z4M I spotted.




Random shot of hot San Jose, California chicks! Lol!





My friend Tony came to meet me with his E60 M5 for lunch!
















If any of you have ever seen the movie Pacific Rim this summer, you will get this. Lol!










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      10-16-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
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Day 3: Monday, September 16th. Fairfield, California -> Portland, Oregon

This was one of the longest days of driving of the entire trip. Especially because I only got on I-5 once I got into Oregon. I ventured all the way up to the Avenue of the Giants where all of the redwoods are. This area is also the location where they filmed the Return of the Jedi. The trees were a sight to behold, truly remarkable. I then drove the rest of the way up California along the 101, until I got up to Cresent City. It took forever but I got to see some amazing things, including some incredible roads. After Cresent City, I made my way inland via the 199 and when I reached Grants Pass in Oregon I got on I-5 and took that the rest of the way up to Portland. Both Oregon and Portland are quite beautiful and I could see my self wanting to stay there longer to visit. I visited a friend in Portland that night and she took me to the best lounge that Portland has to offer, the view was grand but I was exhausted from driving nearly 14 hours that day. Lol!



Morning fog over Napa Valley.




The vineyards of Napa Valley.





Random E90 M3 I spotted.
























































































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      10-16-2013, 10:35 PM   #6
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Day 4: Tuesday, September 17th. Portland, Oregon -> Seattle, Washington.


Tuesday morning, I awoke as early as I could so that I could do as much sight seeing before reaching Seattle. I left Portland and proceeded on Oregon Highway 26 until I reached the 103 and made it to the tiny village of Jewell Oregon. I then went Westbound on the Oregon route 202 and took that all the way up to Astoria, Oregon. The 202 was in a word, EPIC! An amazing forest road that was about 40 miles long. No one was on it, and I mean no one! When I finally reached Astoria, it was raining there and it was the first rain that my M5 was about to see throughout the entire trip. When I got to Astoria, I made a quick stop at the Goonies House. Goonies never say die, by the way, and after I did the Truffle Shuffle I left Astoria via Oregon Highway 30 Eastbound.

I took Highway 30 until I reached Longview, Washington. I crossed the river, got gas and then got on the I-5 Southbound. Yes backwards, the opposite direction to Seattle. Lol! I did this because my next stop was Mount Saint Helens! When I got to the small town of Woodland, Washington I got off the highway and went Eastbound on route 503. The 503 was also amazing. I got some great shots with Yale Lake in the background. The 503 also has some of the coolest forest roads I have ever seen! I made my way East on the 503 until I got to NF-25 and took that north all the way to Mount St. Helens. I made a detour half way up NF-25 onto NF-99 to get to a scenic view of Mount St. Helens. These roads are just insane by the way. Nobody on them when I went up there too! After discovering that the top of Mount St. Helens was obscured by clouds I then went back on my way up to Highway 12 and then pretty much took Route 7 all the way up to Seattle. Just before I reached Seattle I ran into an Audi RS4. Let's just say I gave him a reason to remember me. Lol! I met another friend of mine in Seattle and had dinner with her, afterwhich I checked into my hotel at the Marriott on the Bay and was greeted by bellboys and valets who where drooling in awe of my straightpiped F10 M5. I revved it up a couple of times right at the front entrance and they all went crazy like teenage girls at a Justin Beiber concert. Lol! Seattle seemed awesome but I honestly did get a chance to explore the city since I did so much sight seeing all day on the way up.

























































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      10-16-2013, 10:37 PM   #7
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Day 5: Wednesday, September 18th. Seattle, Washington -> Yellowstone National Park


Got up at the crack of dawn once again and got a few things done in Seattle before leaving. When I got to Seattle the day before, I discovered that I lost two of my special Nurburgring Valve Stem Caps for my tires. I think I lost them somewhere in Oregon, probably owing to the fact that I was driving quite spiritedly on the 202. I made it a point to not drive the rest of the trip without valve step caps so I went over to BMW of Seattle real quick and bought some ///M valve stem caps to get me through the trip. Once again, I had people checking out my M5 asking me about my exhaust. Lol! After the dealership, I got my M5 washed real quick and then hit the road. I hit heavy rain a few hours later. Doh!

I got on the 90 East and went through the mountains East of Seattle. They were quite spectacular I must say. After crossing the Columbia River, things got very flat and the scenery was very nice. I stopped in Spokane for lunch, ate some bad BBQ, and then got back on the road. I entered Idaho, made the mistake of stopping at a gas station to use the restroom (weird people I tell ya), and then about an hour later was tailed by an unmarked Idaho State Trooper, who ended up not lighting me up. Must have been my Marine Corps license plate frame. Lol! After my short stint throught Idaho I entered Montana, and they don't call it Big Sky Country for nothing. Montana was one of the most breathtaking states I have ever been in. I stayed on the 90 East until reaching the 287. By this time it was nightfall and there is NOTHING out on the 287. I just kept thinking to myself, if I breakdown or whatever out here, I'm totally F'd! Lol! Half way down the 287 there is a small town called Ennis. When I reached Ennis, I had to check my iPhone5 to see what year it was. I felt like I was in Back to Future Part 3, when I saw, real, no kidding Cowbody Saloons, with horses and cowboys looking at my M5 like it was an alien spaceship. I swear I was in 1885. After I left Ennis, I vowed to destroy the M5 as time travel is just too dangerous.

When I got close to West Yellowstone, I stopped at Hegben Lake because what I witnessed was one of those moments that define our entire life. There was the biggest full moon I had ever seen and a rain/snow storm was moving through the area that night. Temperatures were down near 32 degrees F, and I stopped right on the side of the Lake, not a single soul was around me for maybe 100 miles it seemed. I was at one with nature, at one with the M5, and at peace with myself. Truly a life changing moment. Deep down I felt that hardly any Americans would get to expererience this. I tried to capture it in one of the pictures below but I didn't use my tri-pod, you just had to be there. It was so cold night in West Yellowstone, temps got below freezing. I was worried if the M5 might start in the morning, thankfull it did, but I almost needed an ice scraper.









































































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      10-16-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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Day 6: Thursday, September 19th. Yellowstone National Park, WY -> Rapid City, South Dakota


I left freezing West Yellowstone promptly at 8am and paid my fee to get into Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone in my opinion is one of those places that every American needs to see. It's just awesome and the park is so huge! I saw lots of wild Buffalo, Old Faithful, and that rain/snow storm that hit the night before, I got to see snow for the first time this year! The road on the East end leading into Yellowstone is epic as well. I did do some spirited driving on it as well, but I also ended up getting lost at one point. This was my BMW Navigations only FAIL for the entire trip. It had me going on a road, which on the map said was paved, but at one point the road turned to completely unpaved!!! So I had to back track several miles and find another way around. Granted I was taking all these crazy back roads in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, still I guess I got to see parts of Wyoming that no one else has seen I'm sure. Lol!

Somehow I got back to I-90 and was able to escape the Black Hole that is Wyoming. I wasn't far into South Dakota when I got pulled over for slightly speeding through a construction zone. This South Dakota State Trooper was about to give me a ticket for 4mph over the speed limit, but quickly ascertained that I was in the military just passing through and that I was tired. He let me off with a warning after only talking to me for about 30 seconds. My encounter with this South Dakota Trooper also left me pondering how old I really was, for the State Trooper couldn't have been more than I'd say a solid 26 years old. Lol!

I finally reached Rapid City and I had planned it so I was going to stay there for two nights so I could get some rest at the half way point of my trip. Good thing too, because I needed it. I was EXHAUSTED by this point in the trip, and I don't mean RPi Straighpiped GTM exhaust either. Although the exhaust system did contribute to my fatigue as well I'm sure.


Oh yeah and I almost hit a Buffalo while driving through Yellowstone too! Those things really roam free there! LOL!














































































































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      10-16-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
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On Friday the 20th, I just relaxed in Rapid City. I washed the M5 really well. I drove down to visit Mt. Rushmore and explored Ellsworth AFB a bit before going to bed early. Ellsworth AFB is where I was staying while I was there and it is also where the Air Force has some of it's B-1 Bomber squadrons. I took a few pictures for effect. I always felt that the M5 had most in common with a B-1 Bomber. It's one of the only strategic bombers ever designed to travel at supersonic speeds. I'm sure B-1 Pilot here on the forum can elaborate. Haha!
















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      10-16-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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Day 8: Saturday, September 21st. Rapid City, South Dakota -> Omaha, Nebraska

Since I went to bed early the night before I got up early the next morning. It paid off too because I went straight to the Badlands National Park and I was basically had the entire park to myself. There are some great roads within the park itself and the scenery is just unbelievable. After the park the rest of the drive down to Omaha Nebraska was uneventful. I stayed on Offutt AFB for the night and made it there within a decent amount of time that I wasn't real tired.



























































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      10-16-2013, 10:41 PM   #11
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Day 9: Sunday, September 22nd. Omaha, Nebraska -> Chicago, Illinois

This was one of the best days of the trip. I left Omaha and proceeded through the great state of Iowa. I ran into a dude in a CTS-V Coupe and showed him what Straightpipes on an F10 M5 sound like. Lol! When I got to Chicago I checked into my hotel at the Navy base up North. I had some business to attend to the next morning, but after I checked in, I went to downtown Chicago to meet up with Bimmerpost Forum Member Jump. He is quite the guy and showed me around town. Thanks to Jump I got to meet Sharpie12 and a few of the guys over from M5Board.com. Jump took me through some of the underground streets of Chicago, the same streets where they filmed some of the scenes from the Batman movies. It was EPIC! We then went to meet with Sharpie12 and the guys at a local bar downtown. We valeted our M5's up front and it was awesome. That night was a big football match between the Chicago Bears and some other forgotten team. I walked into the bar and asked, "who's winning the match?" and people looked at me like I was a Merman or something. Anyways, after the game we got a bite to eat at a local downtown Chicago eatery with all the guys and then went for yet another spirited drive, pretty much rampaging the streets of downtown Chicago. I remember at one point we had 3 F10 M5's and a Porsche 911 Turbo and we rolled past this random dude in an F13 M6 Coupe, bone stock and he was looking at us like we were the kids from the Fast and Furious movies with all of our exhausts. I was LOL'ing for a long time after that.

Anyways here's some CRAZY shots!





















































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      10-16-2013, 10:43 PM   #12
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Day 10: Monday, September 23rd. Chicago, Illinois -> Florence, Kentucky


Left the Navy base early once again and got outta Chi-town. The entire trip, I really didn't see a large police presence, that is until I entered Indiana! I literally lost count of how many, marked, unmarked, and crazy unmarked police cars I saw in Indiana. They even had a white Ford Pickup Truck as an unmarked police cruiser. Ridiculous!!!! Driving through Indiana was also the first time in over 5,000 miles of driving I got lasered as well. Good thing I had my laser jammers installed. They paid for themselves after that happened. Lol! Not too much else happened in Indiana, oh but Bacon Bit and I did stop at White Castle. It was Dave and Bacon Go To White Castle. After we stuffed our faces we drove all the way back to San Diego. Lol! No just kidding!

I ended up staying at an old College buddy's house for the last night on my trip. It was good seeing them again, I hadn't seen them in about 5 years.















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      10-16-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
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Day 11: Tuesday, September 24th. Florence, Kentucky -> Greensboro, North Carolina

Last day of the journey. I didn't want to travel through Virginia so I ended up going south to Knoxville, Tennessee and then cutting down into North Carolina through the Smokey mountains. It was good to see mountains again as the midwest was so very very flat. Nothing eventful happened, but I will say that Tennessee and North Carolina are almost as bad with their police as Indiana was. Police States I tell ya! Avoid if at all possible.

I ended the entire trip at my Parents house in Greensboro, North Carolina. I'm not from North Carolina and neither are my parents. They just happen to live there because of a job that my Dad took there a few years ago. While visiting my parents I did get a chance to meetup with a fellow M5 enthusiast and owner from Raliegh, NC. Nice guy and he really liked my exhaust!

The day after I arrived at my parents house I gave my M5 a complete and full detailing. I spent 7 hours cleaning it. I washed, claybar'd, waxed, and cleaned the leather interior a bit. My Mika was looking good as new and my Dad even let me park it in his garage next to his Audi A6!









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      10-16-2013, 10:45 PM   #14
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Day 12: Sunday, September 29th. Greensboro, North Carolina -> Washington, D.C.

After spending a few relaxing days with my folks, it was time for me to make my way up to DC. I dreaded driving through Virginia, the Nazi state, but I decided that the best way through would be the fastest. So I made sure I had a 101% full fuel tank and drove straight from Greesnboro, NC to Washington D.C. taking I-85 and then I-95 on up. Luckily I didn't get harassed by any Virginia State Troopers and I did run with my Radar Detector, but man those VA State Troopers are like wolves. I saw them literally hiding in bushes trying to catch speeders. I didn't like it all. Next time I'm going to try some of the backroads I think.

Anyways when I got up to DC, I decided to visit the National Mall and take a few shots just to bring the trip full circle. Take it for what you will but I think the ending shots are quite nice.







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      10-16-2013, 10:51 PM   #15
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Closing thoughts...

This has to have been the longest, most gueling, most difficult, and yet most rewarding road trip I have ever done in my life. After this trip I have now been to and visited 45 of the 50 states. The only states I have left are Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Alaska. Getting to do this M5 was essential for me. Doing it in any other car would have meant the trip would have been much less special. I hit every kind of weather from 80's to freezing below 32 degrees, sunny and dry to downpouring rain and even snow! The M5 performed supberly. I used 1 bottle of oil at the beginning at 1 bottle at the end. I now have over 26,000 miles on my F10 M5 in only 14 months of ownership. I just got her back from a servicing at a local BMW dealership and had a whole bunch of maintenance things done, but overall my car is in great shape. The only things that took a beating was my fenders behind the front wheels and my hood. I have many new rock chips now and I am trying to decide what I want to do about it. I hit 170mph on one stretch of road and have driven some of the very best roads that this entire country has to offer in an F10 M5. I can say with confidence that the F10 M5 does not need the Competition Package, nor does it need Carbon Ceramic Brakes or better steering in my opinion. I think the car is perfect the way it is and adding the ZCP, the CCB's, and a refined steering rack is all good, because it makes the M5 just that much better. Truth be told I haven't been driving my M5 much lately since I've arrived here in DC. This city is just not conducive to a car that is probably capable of 200mph. I will keep it for as long as I can or want. At this point I feel, that I have driven the F10 M5 to 99% of it's full capability, the remaining 1% is to see how fast it can really go with the top speed limiter removed. I'll get there one day.
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      10-16-2013, 10:57 PM   #16
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What a great post, thanks for sharing!
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      10-17-2013, 01:20 AM   #17
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I know this is a forum for German cars, but after going through all those awesome photos, I can't help but feel proud to be American. Glad to finally read your coast-to-coast write up! Hope you have fun in DC and have great success with your new job!
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      10-17-2013, 02:15 AM   #18
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Great post and terrific photos. I've taken a number of road trips throughout the U.S.--only missing state is North Dakota--and I've thoroughly enjoyed all of them. This country is full of wonderful sights and terrific roads. You gain a solid appreciation for just how geographical diverse this country is. If anyone on here hasn't done a cross country road trip yet, then I strongly suggest it. Or at least do one throughout the Western U.S.
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      10-17-2013, 03:21 AM   #19
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Such a great thread , thanks for sharing , i enjoyed it while having breakfast
by the way did you experience any engine oil levels gone low ??
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      10-17-2013, 03:30 AM   #20
bm323
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Thanks for the great photos, enjoyed the synopsis and the beautiful shots
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      10-17-2013, 03:39 AM   #21
Simon H
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Thanks very much for sharing this trip RPi, it really does look like a trip of a lifetime. I would just love to do this. Ive never been to America, and your photos tug at my heart and soul strings. Could of done with having a look at a few more California girls maybe . Regards, SIMON.
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      10-17-2013, 04:07 AM   #22
6spdterror
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Beautiful write up!! I applaud you because you dont just leave her parked or garaged up, you actually use your F10 the way she was meant to be used!! I cant wait to do my 1st real road trip in mine.
Congrats and good luck in your new city....if youre ever in NYC let me know!
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