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  1. I just wanted to make sure everyone who was looking for more unique photography of the 2019 Silverado saw my photography from last week's media launch of the truck. Link to full album below... A Few Of My Favorites The Entire Album of 57 Photos
  2. Only two days prior we landed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Chevrolet was launching the sixth generation Camaro in a genuinely unique way. Over six weeks and with the help of around 150 drivers, the brand was going to complete the ultimate road trip, touching all lower-48 states in the US. Chevrolet was out to Find New Roads, through a Find New Roads Trip. We just so happened to be two of the lucky 150 that the company asked to take part in the journey. Starting in Detroit, two groups of Camaro would wind their way through the United States. Nashville, Boston, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, and San Francisco were just a few of the destinations along a route that would finish in Los Angeles. We joined Chevrolet along the longest of the 18 stages in the drive, from Minneapolis to Salt Lake over the course of three days. The path before us stretched a minimum of 1,229.8 miles if we took the quickest route through South Dakota and Wyoming. But we had no intention of going to South Dakota or Wyoming. In fact, while other participants tried to persuade us they couldn’t wait to see the long stretches of grass and plains, visit Mount Rushmore, or even cruise up to Yellowstone on a Northern route, we had another idea. We wanted to plunge south and drive over the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Specifically, the Eisenhower Tunnel at the Continental Divide. To do that, we had to go through Denver. First, we needed a car. Even on the morning of Day One, we had no idea what type of Camaro we’d drive to Salt Lake in. It could be one of four combinations mixing V6 and V8, manual and automatic. Of course, a V8 manual was our first choice, but let’s be frankly honest; we were just crazy happy to be driving any 2016 Camaro. We had flown into Minneapolis the night before and it was spitting snow. Our leg’s group of a dozen drivers and navigators assembled to eat breakfast. Someone, only half jokingly, asked if the cars had snow tires on them. They did not. After breakfast our group was gathered for a safety meeting. Chevrolet explained any speeding tickets would be on us and there were no restrictions other than returning the cars on Day Three in Salt Lake. Basically, as long as we didn’t leave the country and returned it on time, we could drive our Camaro to any place and any distance we wanted. We would book our hotel rooms for the next two nights through OnStar on the fly once we got on the road. The uncertainty of what we would experience over the next few days was overwhelming. It was a very open ended proposition. Finally the moment for everyone to draw keys arrived. Chevrolet tags with vehicle descriptions were dropped in a hat. The real keys were downstairs in the cars, already warming up for us. Josh took his luck at pulling a key tag for us. Those who chose before us steadily smiled as they declared they would drive a Camaro SS. Pretty quickly I was sure we would be driving a 3.6L V6. Josh’s hand fumbled in the hat, pulling up a Chevrolet keychain. As he read at the tag his smile paused. I was concerned. “Camaro…...automatic……..red…...SS”, he slowly read to me. His smile returned. At that instant we knew this was going to be a fun trip. We grabbed our bags and headed to the elevator. Our plan was to put in most of our miles on day one. After all, Nebraska and Iowa, while lovely and friendly places, are not exactly the landscape choice one might a dream to drive a perfected modern muscle car like the 2016 Camaro. It took us over six hours alone to cross Nebraska. It’s quite possible we saw more windmills and cows than other cars along the way. But if there was ever a car to be stuck behind the wheel during a mindless multi-hour straight line highway speed blitz, it had to be the SS we were behind the wheel of. We cut a path through the middle of Nebraska and Colorado at a brisk 85 MPH, although it felt much slower. It was only two hours outside of Minneapolis, nearing De Moines when we settled down and the enormousness of the drive ahead took hold in our mind. We took time to investigate the futuristic vehicle we were hurtling along the highway in. The next generation Camaro we were driving wasn’t even on sale yet , so driving one on the highway got a lot of attention. We would find that anywhere we drove this Camaro, people would do almost anything to get a photo of it. As we and the other drivers around us checked the sixth-gen out it was obvious how much Chevrolet had changed this iconic muscle car. Now based on the same platform as the Cadillac ATS, the all new Camaro is visually smaller and physically lighter. While unmistakably a Camaro the 2016 looks futuristic, almost too good to be true. As a production vehicle it is arguably more stunning than the famous 5th-generation concept car that re-birthed the Camaro just a dozen years ago. Inside the car is just as modern. A huge digital dash cluster adorned our uplevel SS. An 8-inch MyLink system kept us connected with navigation, OnStar, and 4G WiFi. Heated and cooled seats meant our rump would never be uncomfortable. Thankfully, one thing Chevy didn’t downsize was the Camaro SS’s 6.2L V8 engine. While the same displacement, the LS3 has been replaced by the direct injected LT1. Now producing 455-horsepower, the leaner meaner Camaro now drives more akin to a Corvette than the previous generation. Light on its feet, powerful, and confident. It didn’t take long to understand we were driving an ultimate road trip car. We especially appreciated our SS’s magnetic ride and dual mode exhaust. While a quiet Camaro is a downright shame, so is a loud exhaust that drones and hurts your ears. Chevy has developed a system that can instantly change how loud and aggressive the Camaro’s exhaust note is depending on which driving mode you select. The same system drives the suspension’s magnetic ride shock absorbers. This allows Chevy to present a comfortable, quiet touring vehicle when the driver needs it and a loud, super handling performance car when the driver wants it. Up until 2016, this technology has only been available on the Corvette. Better yet, a driver can completely mix and match exhaust, suspension, and steering settings to their individual taste. Cruising through Nebraska knowing more exciting roads lie ahead, we enjoyed the Camaro in its softest and quietest Touring mode. In any other car, this would have been a brutal drive. No outside stimulation, nothing to see, and because of the distance between rest areas, you better have a close eye on your gas gauge at all times. In the Camaro, this drive was a mild inconvenience. Point and shoot, we steadily moved west towards our destination. After 900-some-odd miles behind the wheel, we pulled into downtown Denver 13 hours after we left Minneapolis. Finally, it was the end of Day One but at that moment it felt as if it had been a week. I looked back inside and handed the keys to the valet. Our trash, bags of snacks, fast food trash, and water bottles sparked memories of the places we had stopped along that day. We headed inside to sleep, too tired to clean out the car. It was dark and our eyes burned from focusing on the road all day. Only the ability to completely extinguish all interior lighting, aside from the heads-up display made things easier. Mile markers and dotted highway lines flashed in my peripheral vision, even as we walked into our hotel. As the sun rose on day two, our bodies were finding it hard to adjust. Leaving home in New Hampshire, we gained an hour when we landed in Minnesota. Somewhere in Nebraska on Day One we gained another hour. To make things worse, on day three we would gain another hour when we traveled to Vegas(to attend SEMA) and gain yet another hour when the clocks adjusted the evening we arrived in Sin City. A four-hour gain in four days isn’t too bad but combined with the amount of driving we were putting behind us, combined with the constant change in scenery, made for a pretty intense head-trip as we progressed along our way. None the less, after enjoying a good night’s rest, we walked through downtown Denver looking for breakfast on the morning of Day Two. We could barely see our target in the distance just beyond the city. Rising thousands of feet above us but obscured in clouds, the jagged and crisp edges of the Rockies. As you can imagine, those are exactly the roads one dreams about when behind the wheel of a Camaro SS. And the day ahead of us was going to be a fun jaunt west to somewhere around Vail for the night. We would explore the mountain roads that surrounded Colorado's famous ski area. That schedule would mean another leisurely drive on Day Three to the Salt Lake Airport. It was a pretty slick plan that would make the long drive on Day One entirely worth it. However, while eating breakfast at a local restaurant we started to check on our route’s conditions. We quickly realized we had a problem. Ice cold overcast weather in Denver equalled snow at altitude just to our west. It was bad. Our route along Interstate 70 was closed to all vehicles who did not have chains, snow tires, or four-wheel-drive. Our Camaro SS had a great many things, except for those. In late October on the day before Halloween, it was cutting it far too close to cross the continental divide with performance summer tires. This entire idea was looking misguided. A change in route now would be a major blow to the entire reason we visited Denver in the first place. Unfortunately, the snow to the west of us meant we had exactly two options. Choice one would take us north of the mountains to spend a night in Wyoming, This unfortunately, would be a huge bail on our original plans and the entire reason why we hauled ass across Nebraska on Day One. On the other hand, there was no way we were going west through Colorado, even later in the day when the snow was supposed to pick up in intensity. After a few minutes of mulling over our northern option while wearily eating breakfast we couldn’t bring ourselves to abandon our plans. A quick check of the weather for Day three confirmed we may have better luck in 24 hours. After some debate we picked option two. We agreed to stay another night in Denver and use the day to explore. That would set Day Three up to be another long day of driving but we frankly didn't care. We would give ourselves another chance at crossing the mountains tomorrow. With the keys to access 455-horsepower in our pocket, we headed back to the hotel with a smile on our faces and an expeditious feeling in our hearts. As we picked up the car from the hotel Valet, he asked where we were off to. “Estes Park” Josh explained, as the 6.2L V8 burbled to life. The entire hotel entrance couldn’t help but direct their gaze at our extremely red sports car as we pulled onto the street. “Is that the new Camaro?” we heard someone ask, but it was too late to answer with anything but a full throttle run to the next stoplight. Back in Minneapolis, Chevrolet had provided us with a list of places we could visit along our way to Salt Lake as we headed out on our trip. Teams had the entirely optional task of visiting one or all of these points of interest, checking into social media along the way for proof. With a route spanning five states, hitting more than one or two would be an impressive task, so we settled with hitting up just one and making it count. You see, the brand had also hidden a prize at one of these points of interest and we had a pretty good idea we knew which one. Our only hint was that visits to out of the way places would be rewarded. Luckily for us, already being far off the quickest route, the most remote location of interest was just around the corner. Our plan for Day Two was now to visit the Stanley Hotel. The ride north to our destination looked amazing on Google Maps. Twisty roads, mountain passes, and switchback turns were everything a car guy driving his dream car could want. Route 36 wound from Boulder to Estes Park, rising in elevation almost the entire way. After endless hours of highway driving we were ecstatic to finally sample the Camaro in a more appropriate way. We stopped for a photo as we drove through the highest point on our trip and the Mountain pass that looked over the picturesque town. The temperature was dropping and the skies darkened, but so far the weather held. The small upscale looking town dotted the mountain valley below us. After a selfie with our phones and some more shots with a DSLR, we moved on. The Stanley Hotel is famous as the original inspiration for Stephen King’s, ‘The Shining’. As we drove into town the city and the hotel seemed mingled together. It’s location, slightly above the rest of the town, made it impossible to miss even from far away. It creepily stood watch over the quaint town that surrounded it. Sadly for us, there was heavy road construction at the hotel’s entrance. We slowly poked around on dug up pavement, searching for a good place to get close to the hotel. All we needed to do was check in at the hotel on social media and we would complete Chevy’s requirements. A quick post to Facebook and instagram ensured we would be eligible should the hotel be the virtual “location” of any prizes. Not a minute after our social media check-ins were complete the weather started to abruptly turn. The local news had warned us that snow might move in at elevation at our location later in the afternoon but this was hours ahead of schedule. As the sleet bounced off the hood, we decided sticking too long was not a great idea. We wanted to drive around and see what Estes Park was all about but now we were just concerned with being able to leave. Even worse, we had to drive higher in elevation through a mountain pass to return to Denver. The weather we would experience would be worse before it got better. I cautiously turned the Camaro’s adaptive drive dial to “Snow/Ice”, instantly dulling the throttle response and increasing the traction/stability control. It gave us comfort knowing the car was fine tuned for this exact situation but not enough to stick around any longer than we had to. We cautiously drove over the mountain pass as sleet and rain changed back and forth. The Camaro never once lost its footing. With enough excitement for one trip behind us, we drove lower in elevation and below the bad weather as we entered Boulder. By this time it was nearly two in the afternoon and our stomachs ached from the excitement and our lack of lunch. We used our smartphones to search for food, finding an ultra-hipster burger joint; Lark Burger nearby and affordable.We would end up finding recycled wooden plates, wood decor, cardboard wrappers, and recyclable plastic cups. Oh, and downright amazing,cooked anyway you like, entirely organic burgers and fries. Seriously, check them out if you are ever in the area. Satisfied and full, we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the roads outside of Boulder on our way back to Denver. That evening we walked out to get dinner and see what a Friday night in Denver looked like. We stopped at the Yard House, known for an uncontested selection of beer with over 100 on tap. The overwhelming options of beer ironically resembled our trip. So much to see, so much to try, so much ground to cover, but with so little time to do it. On the morning of Day Three we nervously checked the weather. Could we make it over I-70? Would the roads be snow covered and restricted? Colorado’s excellent traffic camera network gave us a clean picture of the road ahead of us. The interstate leading out of Denver and over most of Western Colorado was perfectly dry, except for the dozen or so miles surrounding the Continental Divide and Eisenhower Tunnel. That short stretch of highway was definitely covered in snow. It was still snowing. Peering over my laptop in the hotel room looking at traffic cameras, it sure looked like a gamble to drive a Camaro SS in that direction. Yesterday’s sleet was most likely tame in comparison to this. But the ace up our sleeve was that we grew up in New Hampshire driving a 1997 Camaro Z28 year round. A rear-wheel-drive sports car on snow didn’t particularly scare us. After all, the 97 didn’t even have traction control. When we confirmed that no restrictions were in place on I-70 west we packed up, jumped behind the wheel and drove up into the mountains. I-70 quickly rises in elevation as you leave Denver. Technically, at altitude, the SS should have lost a good chunk of it’s horsepower from lack of oxygen. We sure didn’t feel it. The all new 8-speed automatic feeds a river of torque to the pavement with the direct feeling of manual. Paddle selectors on the steering wheel and quick shifts under pressure meant we never once were disappointed selecting the automatic over a manual. Dialed to Track, the Camaro turns up the heat considerably. The steering tightens, the exhaust grows louder, and the car translates far more road surface feeling into the cabin. It’s never harsh and feels remarkably similar to the two-seat Corvette. The long sweeping roads leading up to the Eisenhower tunnel pitched and swerved. At 80 mph the transitions left and right were as good as it gets for an automotive enthusiast on a public US Interstate. This is what we had planned our trip around and it was worth it. However, as we progressed along father the threat of snow began to stare us down in the distance. Snow covered mountain tops inched closer and closer. In only a few short miles, snow banks on the side of the road became substantial. Flecks of snow began to fall and it only got worse the farther and higher we drove. Just as it seemed like we had made a terrible mistake, the Eisenhower Tunnel came into view. We had reached the highest point in our journey and the west/east dividing line for the Continental Divide. After a small respite from the weather we emerged on the other side of the tunnel. The snow was still blowing and roads were even worse. We cautiously slowed our pace even more and held our breath for the next few miles. As the snow slowly receded and the roads once again became dry, we gave ourselves a small high-five. Despite changing our plans we knew the snow had not beaten us. As the uncertainty drifted away, we turned our focus to our last destination. A half dozen hours ahead of us was Salt Lake City. As we settled in and enjoyed the curvy Interstate, the rest of our drive through Colorado was a blur. Hours later as we entered Utah, the larger mountain peaks started to drift into the rear view mirror. A wide expanse of desert plain and straight road once again opened up before us as we covered the last one hundred miles. It was yet another completely unique landscape that was breathtaking to look at. Just after 3pm we pulled up to the Salt Lake City International Airport. Our Camaro’s journey with us had sadly come to an end. 1,608 miles down since we left Minnesota, we were tired, excited, but definitely not ready to give our Camaro SS back. As we gathered our bags and made our way into the terminal, the stories we couldn’t wait to tell began to race through our heads. But we also felt relief and comfort. Not because our long travels were over but because the sixth generation Camaro was a better car than we had ever hoped it would be. This generation is not only the best Camaro ever made, but a better Camaro that we could have even expected. That will continue to make us smile as long as the memories of this amazing road trip will. UPDATE- WE WERE RIGHT Our bet to visit the Stanley Hotel was a winner. We were the only drivers from our leg to visit the Stanley and just as we thought, as the most remote point of interest along the route it was indeed the home to an awesome prize. For our efforts we were handsomely rewarded with two tickets to the 2016 Daytona 500. Even better, these tickets are not for us. The tickets are for one of you. So, it’s time to give one lucky GM-Trucks.com member free 2016 Daytona 500 tickets! We just shared our awesome Camaro road trip story with you. Now we want you to share your memorable road trip story that you took in your Camaro, Corvette, Silverado, Sierra, or other GM vehicle with us! Post your story and photos below and let us know why you want these tickets! We’ll pick our favorite story this Friday, December 4th at 3pm Eastern and announce the winner shortly after. The winner must provide their own transportation and lodging for the trip. These are grandstand tickets to the race only. Also, moderators and staff of GM-Trucks.com are not elidgable but encouraged to share their story. Share our Road Trip with your friends on Facebook, on other GM owners forums, and anywhere you think there are GM vehicle owners who might like a shot at free Daytona 500 Tickets. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures!
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