Thursday, September 8, 2016

Week 6 Driving Lessons - Mountain Roads


Song:  Good Vibrations

Group:  The Beach Boys


Yesterday concluded Alex's 6th week of driving lessons.

Most of last week's lessons consisted of mountain road driving...
with emphasis on speed control and the use of turnouts.

Although my original intent was to have him drive all the way to the Lake Tahoe overlook...
it would have taken us too long on a daily basis.

Instead...
our turn around point was the Mt. Rose Pass Summit.

As it was...each lesson lasted 1.5 hours.



At the beginning of the week...
I had Alex go through his first car wash as a driver.


It was the first time he had to give up control of the car by shifting it into neutral...
and not touching the brakes or the steering.


When Alex was very small...
the first time he had gone through a car wash...
it had scared him.

His mother held him and he calmed down...
and we had made a game of it...
and he had, forever after, enjoyed going through them.




The rest of the photos are of yesterday's mountain drive.

He has learned all he can from this route...
so, in the future, I will have to pick other mountain routes from which to learn.







Alex used the turnouts well whenever cars backed up behind him.

He kept monitoring his mirrors and he pulled over without me having to say anything.



A short runway turnout.

Alex had practiced on long and short runway turnouts.



I had covered the usage of asphalt turnouts...
and I had told him that they were the only types he is to use.






This was our turn around point for Alex's 6th week's lessons.


Alex had just turned around...
and we are on our way back down.


Alex used his mountain gears appropriately...
and, as a result, he kept control of the car speed without excess usage of his brakes.





Alex did well in checking his 6 o'clock before attempting to merge after his turnouts.




Alex did very well in slowing before turns...
especially before 180 degree hairpin turns.



On the way home...
we stopped at the Apple store to look at iPads and new laptops.


Alex's iPad has a cracked screen...
and it has some performance issues.

We are thinking of getting Alex a new one for his birthday.

However, he insists that his is still good.


We also looked into some laptops.

When Alex graduates high school...
we will get him the latest Apple laptop for university use.

By then...
they will have much larger solid state 'drives'.


------------------


This weekend...
Alex will be driving a very winding mountain road to Virginia City.

While we are there...
we will take a tour through a different mining tunnel 
than the last one we had taken a few years ago.

We will also eat at a restaurant.

Part of driving is the planning of the road trip.

And so...
Alex will be planning this weekend's long drive.

He will have to pick the mining tunnel tour...
the restaurant, and any other attractions there...
ensure he is fueled up...
as well as review the routes there and back.

Although, by milage...
Virginia City is not so far away...
there is a very winding road which will need to be driven with extra care.

I have been preparing Alex for this drive all week.

In another few weeks...
Alex will be driving us a much longer distance
 up a very long and winding mountain road
to an alpine lake a few hours away.

-------


For week 7 of his driving lessons...
we are going back to highway merging.

I will have him try many different merging points during rush hour.


















2 comments:

  1. It probably doesn't seem all that long ago that Alex was afraid of car washes and now he is driving through them himself... does it make you feel like time is flying by?

    He has gotten great practice on mountain roads, something that those of us who grow up in the Midwest don't experience until we travel out to the mountains for the first time. Great that Alex doesn't seem intimidated by the hairpin turns.

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  2. I have mixed feelings about time passing so quickly. Although it does move fast, I also fully realize that I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to spend the amount of time with Alex that I have been able to. Yes, Alex does very well with mountain driving. His driving skills just keep increasing.

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