2,200 miles seems like a lot to most people. Eight days can also be a lot to most people, but when you combine eight days and 2,200 miles of all backroads with beautiful scenery, you stumble upon a group called Adventure Drives. This year I participated in AD 05. This excursion began from Vail, Colorado, and continued all the way to Napa, California. This is Adventure Drives fourth year in business. They started out relatively small but got quite a large following with their trip last year, which they called AD 04. Last year they did a trip through Europe. AD 04 started and ended in Munich, Germany. What made this route so iconic is that one of the most famous test drivers in the world tagged along on this trip. None other than Valentino Balboni himself attended most of AD 04. He also drove his limited edition Balboni Lamborghini Gallardo on this trip. Another reason why many people are attracted to this group is that of a man by the name of Rob Ferretti. If you don’t know him, you probably have seen some of his YouTube videos. Mainly the one titled, “Cops Chase Ford GT.” This video is over nine years old, but it has never lost the entertainment factor no matter how many times you watch it. It also has more than sixteen million views. Ferretti has also created an exotic rental car company called Gotham Dream Cars. Of course, no one can single-handedly create such a large company. Adventure Drives, along withGotham Dream Cars, was created with a couple of people. First off, you may not know his name, but you have definitely seen the work he has done. J.F. Musial co-founded TangentVector. This is a company that was created specifically for the automotive world. With this company, J.F. has overseen the production of many online video content from some of the most well-known manufacturers. Some of these companies are Ford, General Motors, Porsche, McLaren, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, and even Pirelli. He has helped these companies generate over 800 million views combined. J.F. has also co-founded The Drive. He didn’t stop there though. He continued on to create a very interesting and intriguing automotive movie. The chances are that you have also seen this movie. It is called “Apex: The Story of the Hypercar.” J.F. still continues to work with automotive manufacturers today by still photographing their cars. Most photos by Porsche North America are actually taken by him. Along with J.F., Ferretti has also brought on another partner. A man by the name of Shivam Parikh has also aided with the development and co-founded Adventure Drives and Gotham Dream Cars. Shivam started out working as a consultant to Mercedes-Benz North America in 2000. He helped Mercedes-Benz with their media production. He did such a great job on that, that he decided to carry on and create his own company called Visual Image Display. What his company basically does is he creates customer-facing technologies for very large brands. So, when you see those digital signs in the mall, that is what his company does. Along with these three comes the coordinator. Marina Gudovich has worked with Gotham Dream Cars for the past couple of years, and she is the one that ensures that all things are running smoothly. These four all combined to create one incredible team, and an excellent company. They spent a lot of time planning AD 05 this year, and it was nothing short of excellent. Vail, Colorado was up first. Most people who attended this trip shipped their cars from all over the country to Vail. Right off of the bat, you can tell this was going to be a great trip. There was such a large array of exotic cars that were special in their own way. The Hotel we stayed at was beautiful. What most people don’t realize is that most ski resort hotels for the winter, are actually beautiful in the summer. The hotel was called Hotel Talisa. It was absolutely gorgeous, and the scenery was next to none. Adventure Drives also offers this option where you can pay an extra $20 a night to get your car cleaned every night, and you could also pay another $20 a night for gas, along with whatever it costed them for the gas. Of course, these were both optional, but the $20 to get your car washed every night was well worth it. The only issue was, that there were some wildfires near the area that we were staying in near Colorado. Since most of the cars were cleaned the night before, ash from the nearby wildfires carried nearly 100 miles in the wind and stuck to the cars. Besides that, though, the cars were cleaned very thoroughly. Next up was Telluride. This city is nearly two miles above sea level. Denver is known as the mile-high city, but nobody gives Telluride any love at all. The drive from Vail to Telluride was very scenic. That meant that there were very beautiful views along the highway. Since Colorado is very mountainous, there is a lot of tunnels in Colorado, and of course, cars sound much better echoing in tunnels. One car in specific sounded the best was a Porsche 911 Turbo S. The Porsche went by the name of Team RedGutz. The owner of that car has a YouTube channel where the modified Turbo S destroys almost every car under the sun in a straight line. The Turbo S pumps out more than 700 horsepower and even shoots fire out of the exhaust. That was definitely a car that you wanted to hear in the tunnels. Once we arrived in Telluride, the nearly two-mile-high city literally and figuratively took your breath away. This hotel was among the nicest we stayed at, and the best part was the service that Adventure Drives delivers. They give you a radio to use for the day, and at the end of the day, when you get to the hotel, you hand them the radio and they hand you the room key. They told you the location of your room, and the best part was that your suitcases were already in the room. Everything was taken care of. Adventure Drives was very consistent with that at every hotel. Day three was Lake Powell, Arizona. Today we drove to the four corners. It is literally in the middle of nowhere. You’re driving out in the desert, and you stumble upon this little building with a sign that reads “Four Corners Monument.” To end this wonderful day, we all traveled to monument valley. Not many people know what this is, but it’s really a diamond in the rough. It is a national park where it showcases all of these naturally sculpted rocks. It is totally worth it to do the tour of the rocks. They are much better up close. Day four, however, was by far the best. Today we did two hikes. They were called hikes, but they really weren’t that long at all. First was Antelope Canyon. Not many people know what it is, but everyone has seen pictures of it. It was all sculpted by wind and water and is by far one of the most beautiful things on earth. After that was Horseshoe Bend. This is actually part of the Grand Canyon. It’s a sharp bend in a river. It’s much cooler than it sounds, trust me. Day five was the only day we actually had to choose between how we wanted to get to our destination. You could either go through Oatman, Arizona or go to Speed Vegas. Most people know Oatman better as Route 66. You could either choose from one or the other, but we were defiant. Along with another two cars, we created our own little group and left a half hour early in order to do both Route 66 and Speed Vegas. Route 66 was the nicest road I have ever been on. There are a ton of twist and turns combined with long straights and sheer drop-offs on one side. We also passed through a town that was crowded with donkeys. Some of them got a little too close to some of the cars also. Speed Vegas was nice, but the race track was very short. Route 66 was definitely the way to go. Day six was kind of a lazy day. We drove straight to a restaurant in Goldfield Nevada. The restaurant was very unorganized, which caused over half of the people on the trip to eat lunch down the street at another restaurant. The only issue was, Police officers were handing out tickets left and right. It didn’t matter what you were driving. In front of the restaurant, we were eating lunch at a police officer pulled over three people at different times one after another in the same spot. Day seven was the latest we slept in. Today we had to leave at 10:00 am, unlike the previous 8:00 am departure times. Today we were heading to Yosemite Valley. Sadly, California is also having some pretty bad wildfires right now so we couldn’t drive through the actual valley, but we still did have a lakeside picnic. The hotel we stayed at tonight was very nice, but they weren’t prepared at all. I ended up arriving at the hotel around 4:30 pm, which was a little bit later from the set arrival time. The only issue was, that everyone who arrived on time a half hour early was waiting outside of this hotel. Practically none of the rooms were ready. We ended up waiting until 6:20 pm when our room was ready, and then we had to leave at 7:00 pm for dinner. This hotel was huge though. My room was practically the size of a condo. It had two full room, which each had their own bathroom, a full living room, dining room, and kitchen. The last day was definitely the saddest. You have to say goodbye to all of these wonderful people you met over the past week. We ended the trip by traveling through the Redwood forest and up the Pacific Coast Highway to this wonderful restaurant that is situated right on the shore. The Blue Audi R8 that was shown in the pictures is actually the car that I took, and that picture was taken in the Redwood forest. Adventure Drives is the best group to travel with. They are so well organized, and every excursion is planned perfectly. I would just like to thank Rob Ferretti, J.F. Musial, Shivam Parikh, Marina Gudovich, and all of the other staff members. Without all of them this trip would not have been possible, and without the daring cameramen, most of these outstanding photos would have never been taken. Hopefully, I am able to join AD 06 next year. This year was a blast, and next year seems that much better.               

Adventure Drives AD 05