We love road trips and anytime we can get out of the office, get behind the wheel and hit the highways and byways of our beautiful country is a bonus. Recently my wife and I had the opportunity to put a 2011 Dodge Journey Mainstreet through its paces. We packed our bags and grabbed our 12-year old cat Elizabeth and headed from our home base in Detroit to the scenic Appalachian Mountains to visit Kin Folk. We logged over 1600 miles on the Journey during our four day romp through the majestic hills and valleys of Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.
Our weekend road trip had us heading south through Ohio and Kentucky and eventually into the mountains. We had all the creature comforts of home as the all-new refined interior was nicely equipped and made our nine-hour driving stints very pleasurable and relaxing. Even though there were only the two of us and a cat, some of us pack for our moods and always bring more clothes and stuff than we really need. Were glad the Journeys generous cabin space provided ample room for all our gear. The numerous storage bins came in handy for our munchies and sodas consumed during the trip. We dropped the third row seats and made a pet sanctuary for Elizabeth to stretch out her paws. She claimed this part of the interior as her own domain and was vocal about it.
Our Dodge Journey was well equipped and had the award winning 3.6L DOHC Variable Valve Timing (VVT) Pentastar® V6 under the hood. The little dynamo packed 283 hp and 260 lb-ft torque, enough grunt to easily handle the mountains while averaging almost 28 mpg. The six-speed automatic inherently knew exactly when to downshift when heading up the steep grades along our route. The standard four-wheel disc brakes reassured us that we wouldnt need to use the semi-truck emergency run-off ramps when coming down the other side of the mountains.
As on any road trip, tunes are important and the Journeys SIRUIS Satellite Radio® provided us a wide variety of music from Beethoven to ZZ Top. The I-Pod spent most of the time in the glove box as we surfed the hundreds of channels. My wife and I have similar but different tastes in music so I convinced her we needed to listen to Willies Roadhouse on channel 56. The old school country tunes of George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Merle Haggard would be appropriate while driving down yonder in the holler and seeing the coal trains lumbering down the tracks.
When we entered Tennessee, the panoramic view of the Cumberland Gap greeted us. We wondered what the earlier European settlers must have thought went they first laid eyes on the stunning lush green landscape. Along the way, we stopped at every opportunity to enjoy the views and read all the historical markers. While riding shotgun, I was constantly peering into barns and sheds looking for abandoned musclecars that may have been used by moonshiners back in the day.
The ride to Virginia is always a scenic one, but can sometimes be treacherous. With the more than capable 2011 Dodge Journey, we found our way with no problem.