Van Chronicles: The First Ding

My attitude to the first ding in a new car has really changed. I used to get a bit upset about it; now I rather welcome it. It means I no longer have to worry about that inevitable first ding in a new car. It’s rather liberating?

The ding is a bit hard to see, on the sloping upper roof below the missing clearance light, which was of course also part of the same interaction with a low-hanging maple branch deep in the woods in the Coast Range last Sunday.

We were taking the long, slow and very scenic way home via forest roads from a pair of superb hikes to Beaver Creek Falls (above),

and Sweet Creek Falls, which is a continuous series of falls over a mile long, culminating in the main large falls, which I did not shoot because I was scrambling over some rocks to get closer to it.

The exceptional snow and storms this winter resulted in thousands of trees down across the roads, and on the back roads, only the most intrusive portions have been cut back so far. many hiking trails are just getting cleared by chainsaw-toting volunteers. I was bopping down a gravel road and saw that appeared to be just a soft thin leafy branch sticking out. I was going too fast to make an abrupt maneuver, and I assumed it would just get brushed away. At the last moment I realized there was a much stouter branch hidden behind it. Kapow! I was afraid the solar panel might have been knocked off, but no, it was just the clearance light and a ding.

Given all the off-road adventures I’ve had in the Promaster so far, I’m a bit surprised it’s taken this long. Now, it’s off to the FCA dealer, a place I haven’t set foot in since the last time my ’92 Caravan needed another ABS pump under its lifetime warranty. That was in about 2005 or 2006.