We old farts wax rhapsodic about Panthers (can we be any more delusional?) and other totally average automobiles.
My 2012 Impreza is a totally average car. The only thing that makes it anything more is that it can make it up my driveway in the wintertime. But the dude is also a cruiser. It has no problem dealing with western US speed limits. Utah and Idaho have set a limit of 75 mph on Interstates which is defacto 84 mph. This will soon change, at least in Utah, to 80 mph on certain sections of Interstates 15, 80, and 84. On an all day drive, being able to cruise another 5 mph makes a difference.
Anyhow, Suzie and I had to make a trek from Salt Lake City to Goldendale, Washington (680 miles)- to observe/celebrate our one and only grandchild, Riley Paul Martin’s (RPM’s) first birthday. Not a bad one-day ride, including a leisurely lunch at the historic Geiser Hotel in Baker City, Oregon. Just make sure you have a good book on CD to keep things from getting soporific.
One of Riley’s birthday presents was his first horseback ride. Riley’s mother, Lacey, has been riding since she was four years old. She would saddle up her horse in the morning and set out to explore the hills surrounding her family’s home. Her only instructions were to be home by dinnertime. Riley and Lacey are shown atop Shiner, Lacey’s horse.
My guess is that Riley will become an accomplished horseman long before he learns to drive a car; or out west, a truck. You don’t need a license to ride a horse.
Riley’s grandfather on his mother’s side is Karl, a large animal vet and a rodeo fan. He generally makes the Calgary Stampede and the Pendelton Round Up on an annual basis. No charge, he tends to his friends’ mounts pro bono.
Generally Lacey boards Shiner in Goldendale during the winter, but once spring springs, Lacey tows Shiner back to Prosser, WA for the summer.
For this, Lacey uses her 2007 Chevy Silverado which she bought new. Standard issue 5.4 liter V8, crew cab and all that. A very comfortable and quiet ride, but not particularly abstemious when it comes to fuel. Both my son and Lacey are schoolteachers with a daily round trip of 60 miles each to their respective schools. They drive in different directions. Up until recently Lacey has driven her Silverado on a daily basis and has racked up about 120,000 mi (193,000 km) on the clock. Quinn, our son, has driven his 2004 Pontiac Bonneville 3.8 V6, also a very comfortable cruiser, now with about 200,000 mi (322,000 km). Quinn and Lacey plan to drive the Bonneville until the wheels fall off, and today it is Lacey’s daily driver. It gets about 27 mpg on the daily commute, about the same as my Subaru with a two liter engine.
Quinn and Lacey recently bought a 2013 Ford Escape with the 1.6 liter Ecoboost turbo which is now Quinn’s daily driver. Very quiet and capable and gets about the same mileage as my Impreza.
Shown with the Escape is Karl’s “old” truck, a one ton Silverado with the DuraMax diesel. The bed is filled with a tank for some sort of liquid for squirting horses and cattle, in itself quite a load.
Thankfully my son and his wife have no illusions about owning pickups. They are heavy, and since Lacey teaches physics, she understands why these things suck fuel at the rate that they do. Washington state along the Columbia River gorge has numerous mountain passes in which all wheel drive comes can be handy, but excess avoirdupois ain’t. So far they are very happy with their Escape.
Karl also has a second one ton Chevy pickup, also with the DuraMax diesel. It’s his “daily driver”. Don’t ask. Why one would need a second truck that gets one or two mpg more than the other is beyond me. Come on, these things go for over 50G! I could outfit my entire household with little Subarus for less than one of these leviathans.
But wait! There’s more! Karl also owns a 1969 GMC pickup with a 350 and a 4-speed, his “classic” collectible, a vehicle that neither Quinn nor Klockau will ever drive, as both of them are lacking in the ability to push down on a third pedal without stalling the engine or destroying the clutch or transmission. Lacey has no trouble driving “Greenie” as the GMC is affectionally known. She’s a western woman. My son comes from the east. But from all the soccer practices and games I drove him to, double-clutching both upshifts and downshifts in the Uber Rabbit, you think he would have learned what shifting was all about. I’m a failed father.
But the larger question is, will Riley care about cars and pickups, or become a rodeo star? Or better yet, a large animal vet.