An American Road Trip

9:45:00 AM

Two Weeks, Four Wheels, and the Open Road

I spent the better part of two weeks in the new Fiat 500L on a mission to see some of the grandest monuments in America. Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Yellowstone National Park. Leaving from the Los Angeles area up Interstate 15 towards the vast openness that is Utah, I find the 500L is excellent on the highway the 1.4 liter engine is not going to win any drag races, but once you are up to highway speeds it settles and is smooth and quiet.

Roadside Attractions along I-15
This route will take me over the Rocky Mountains and to Denver Colorado where I will stop in and visit some friends and check in on my company's showroom. I headed south to Colorado Springs to meet up with a modeling friend of mine and we visited the Garden of the Gods, you can see those photos HERE. Heading north up the I-25 I see this little town called Nunn, and in it was Nunn Motor Company an old dealership still filled with all kinds of cool automotive treasure, sadly no one was around the city of Nunn to answer any questions about Nunn Motor Co.

Nunn Colorado

Pushing on across Wyoming headed towards South Dakota, the sunset was worth pulling over for to watch until the stars came out. The world is a lot quieter up here, you pass through small towns, every now and again, but for the most part it's just you and the open highway.

Sunset at the Wyoming/South Dakota State Line
Somewhere in Wyoming

Panoramic Roof is an amazing way to take in a road trip.

Roomy for it's size the 500L was built to road trip
The 500L's Available Navigation and Satellite Radio with Beats Premium Audio help the miles pass  
Until you get to the Black Hills of South Dakota it's pretty flat, thankfully this 500L has the preimum Beats sound system and satellite radio, which is key because radio station choices are limited in this part of the country. The built in navigation system also works great and keeps you informed of travel time and road conditions.

Crazy Horse Monument
All of my life I have wanted to see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument, both are worth the trip. After spending a night in Custer, I woke up early to hit the road and see the Monuments. The first stop was the Crazy Horse Monument, a carving so massive it is hard to believe until you see it in person. The museum at Crazy Horse is worth spending time in and gives you a look into the culture that is celebrated in this monument. It costs $11 per person or $28 per car load and the funds go towards the project, which is not financed by the government.

Mt. Rushmore
After spending the morning at Crazy Horse I packed back in the Fiat and headed to Mount Rushmore. The road that takes you to the monument is a canyon carver's dream. The 500L was fun in the corners for a car that is built to be sporty, but is not a sports car I feel it did pretty well. Mt. Rushmore is free but they charge $11 per car to park, however, that parking pass is good until the end of the calendar year. Mount Rushmore is all you expect it to be and I am glad I went to see it.

Leaving South Dakota
Headed toward Montana for a quick stop in Billings, it is hard to wrap my head around that the largest city in Montana has less than 110,000 people. But with my visit to Billings concluded I headed towards Yellowstone National Park. 

Big Sky Country
Yellowstone National Park
My first time ever visiting Yellowstone and I honestly can't wait to go back and spend some real time exploring it. Camping out of the 500L is perfect, I am not sure if I was in an official campsite but since no one bugged me I rolled my sleeping bag out and spent a night under the stars. 

Night Views
The next morning I would explore a but but I needed to start making my way back to California. Every bend of the road there is something breathtaking at Yellowstone, and I find myself stopping and taking pictures often. I am going to have to plan another adventure to Yellowstone and really explore it. 

Yellowstone
The scale of everything in Yellowstone is amazing
As I inch towards the Idaho state line darkness is falling, I am going to drive most of the night across the desolate I-15 that connects Salt Lake City to  Las Vegas, then on to California and home. While this trip would have been fun in any car, the 500L really did make the trip overall better. The panoramic glass roof let me take in more of the sites, the fuel economy was amazing averaging over 30 mpg across the trip, and it was comfortable and cool. It reminded me of  a scaled down version of old VW Bus, but with none of the drawbacks of an old car. The 500L is smooth, had tons of space, and had everything you could want in a road trip car or daily driver.

Yellowstone
I was not paid by Fiat for this post, all opinions are my own. Fiat did loan me the car from the press fleet for this trip.

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