Initially, my canned response when anyone complimented the Audi R8 I'm driving cross-country was "thanks, I wish it was mine." Now I'm just happy to say thanks. It saves time as everyone compliments the car.

We made our way up from Las Vegas yesterday all the way to the Great Salt Lake and, every time we stopped, someone jumped out to ask a question or pay a compliment.


First, at the valet stand. Then at the gas station. The very nice cashier at the Taco Time restaurant where I enjoyed my first ever Mexi Fries (a perk of traveling is finding fast food you can't get at home).

What's nice about the car and the burnished orange they're calling "Samoa" is that it looks exotic without being foreboding. I've seen people hesitate to walk up to Ferraris and Lamborghinis before, but the R8 seems to give off a pleasant aura that invites people to introduce themselves.


I've loved it. And speaking of a pleasant invites, thanks to Alex and Michael, two Jalopnik readers, for hanging out last night and sharing the state's curiously weak beers.

Also thanks to MaxPower13124 for suggesting we drive through Zion National Park. It's beautiful as you can see in the pictures above.


The Great Salt Lake was also impressive and I didn't mind the smell.