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On The Road With This olelongrooffan: Let’s Go To The Folkston Funnel, Shall We?

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So this olelongrooffan is certain my fellow Hoons are trying to figure out what this image of some random rail cars has anything to do with the happenings here in the Hooniverse. Well, as I hope my fellow Hoons have most likely figured out by now, this olelongrooffan ventures out on a regular basis to see if I can find some, what I think is, cool stuff to share with my fellow Hoons. So far, although with some exceptions, all seems to be good. Hope the same can be said today. So if my fellow Hoons don’t mind some longrooffan ramblings and the reason these rail cars are featured “above the fold” feel free to click on through.

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Weekend Edition: 2014 Turkey Rod Run Road Trip: And Out Of Naples

IMG_2644 So one of the perks of my new gig, one that was unknown to this olelongrooffan, is that after six months employment, I was awarded two weeks paid vacation. The caveat is that those days of vacation needed to be used by the end of the calendar year. As I run the customer service division of my company for the new home communities we have in the southwest part of the Sunshine State and the snow birds having been fleeing the northern part of this great country in droves to my part of this world, my skinny white butt has been spread pretty thin. However, last week during my performance evaluation (four exceptional and four outstanding, thank you very much) I was chatting it up with the British monarchy I work for (Charles, Diana and Henry) about my workload for Thanksgiving week and they all agreed that my taking off for this coming week would be a great idea and to have fun. Well as I had planning on spending Thanksgiving weekend at the Turkey Rod Run at the Daytona International Speedway, this olelongrooffan thought I would road trip it up there trying to avoid Eisenhower’s Interstate System. If my fellow Hoons are so inclined, click on through to ride along with me and see some of the sights I saw on Saturday. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Road Trip: Kinsley, Kansas – “Midway USA”

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In 1939, there were two concurrent World’s Fairs being held in the United States: the New York World’s Fair, and the Golden Gate International Exposition a continent away in San Francisco. That April, the cover of an issue of The Saturday Evening Post depicted two cars, each emblazoned with “World’s Fair or Bust,” passing each other in opposite directions under a fictional signpost marking the mid-point between the two cities. As it turns out, that imaginary signpost would have been located on U.S. Highway 50 just outside Kinsley, Kansas. The county seat of Edwards County has been promoting itself as “Midway, USA” ever since, but without managing to attract much national attention.

Fast forward three-quarters of a century. My close friend Rusty — an old co-worker and riding buddy of mine who relocated to Colorado years ago — suggested we get together for a motorcycle ride; the only problem is that he lives 620 miles west of me. I suggested that my wife and I should meet him halfway. A quick check of Google Maps indicated that the halfway point between his house in Pueblo and mine in Kansas City was within three miles of…Kinsley, Kansas. Even living less than 4-1/2 hours away, I had never heard of Kinsley. But once I learned of its long reputation as THE half-way point, kismet demanded we meet there. Not long after, under a cloudy June sky, we did.

What we found there was a quirky, threadworn small town whose acme had long passed without ever quite realizing its potential. But thanks to my equally quirky and optimistic traveling companions and the town’s genuinely sincere citizens, plus the great excuse for plenty of miles on sparsely populated rural roads, it was definitely worth the trip.

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Hoon On The Road: Over Some Rivers and Through the Woods

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When I first made my plans to drive up to Darrington, I wanted to take the scenic route. I read a few years ago about a road called the Mountain Loop Highway, and I’ve wanted to drive it since then. It’s called a loop because the full run will take you around the mountains and back, but most people are referring to the stretch of highway between Granite Falls and Darrington. I don’t spend much quality time with the Focus anymore, so for one weekend I parked the truck, grabbed my wife’s keys, and hopped in the first car I ever financed. What follows is a short review of our time together. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Drives over 8 San Francisco Bay Area Bridges in One Day

Jim Yu September 22, 2014 Hooniverse Goes To..., Road Trip

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As someone who likes to cross items off of lists, I have always wanted to drive over all eight San Francisco Bay Area bridges in one go. This “accomplishment” is relatively easy to do, but no one has ever gotten in their car to properly document the experience. This is where I come in. Make the jump to see how I spent one weekend morning. … Continue Reading

Goodwood 2014: Tales from Suite 825

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War correspondents have a fairly hard life. Not only is there the constant depression of narrowly missing that Pulitzer they’ve been striving for, together with not knowing which battle scarred nation they’ll be reporting on from one week to the next; there’s also a fair likelihood of being shot at.

This is an unlikely outcome when reporting on a civilised event like the Goodwood Festival of Speed; but there is still the rough to be taken with the smooth. Cushy hotel with en-suite and 24hr porterage? Dingy motel with stained sheets and a body in the pool? Nope. Not for me. Your humble Hooniverse field reporter brings his own shelter with him.

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Rental Car Review: 2014 Ford Fusion SE

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Last fall, I told you about my experience with the 2013 Chevy Cruze LTZ. We had rented it for a trip down the Oregon coast, and we enjoyed our time in the car; the EcoTec 4-cylinder handled my right-food requests well enough, and it rode like a sporty compact should. This past weekend, we made the same trip again, but in a 2014 Ford Fusion SE with the EcoBoost engine. How would the Ford measure up? Take the jump below to find out. … Continue Reading

Rest In Peace, Ash Turner – Memorial Cruise

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Photographer and friend of Hooniverse, Ash Turner, passed away last Sunday evening. Last fall, he worked with us for the ALMS and WEC race at the Circuit of the Americas and he was a massively friendly, passionate car enthusiast with a good eye in photowork. A few of the local car culture organizations are hosting memorial events in the upcoming weeks, and Hoons are invited to join. Details after the jump.

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A Hoon’s Journey to the First Mustang

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April 17th, 1964 is known officially as the birthday of the Ford Mustang and is a date that saw the launch of what is perhaps the most iconic vehicle ever made. 50 years ago today, Ford launched more than just a new car aimed at younger souls or those who just wished they were; they launched an entirely new class of car, a new automotive philosophy, and they helped launch one of the most exciting eras in automotive history that we still reminisce about today, even if not all of us were around for it.

So on today, the Mustang’s 50th birthday, allow me to reminisce a bit myself about when I got to see the beginnings of a legend, including the original 1962 Ford Mustang I concept, the first Mustang which Ford accidentally sold, and where they were all built. Along the way I also finally got to experience the legend from behind the wheel and fell in love with a car much in the same way as America did starting on this day 50 years ago.

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Ranking the Border Crossings Along the Pan-American Highway

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Background: Since 2007, I have been taking bus trips along the Pan-American Highway. I have done 12,000 miles of it so far, which is approximately 88% of the road that stretches from the Arctic Ocean to the tip of South America. I have two segments left. This summer, I will travel by van along the Dalton Highway from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Next year, I will finish with a bus trip from Lima, Peru, through Ecuador, to the frontier town of Turbo, Colombia (along the edge of the Darien Gap).

While I prepare for my Alaska trip, I thought I would share with you my experiences at the border crossings. Oftentimes, the border crossing is the most exciting, and dangerous, part of the journey. It certainly gives you insight about each country’s culture, governance, and character. 

I will rank the border crossings I used, from least to most “challenging”.

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