Monday, January 21, 2008

Life in Wyoming - Vehicles

I’ve been ask several times about my vehicle and when I’m going to get “a better one.” To that I would say “I like the one I have; thank you very much!
Once before I went shopping for my own vehicle, I bought a (then) year old 1993 Chevy S-10 Blazer, which I drove for ten years (during three different marriages – all mine). My Mom told me she knew I was with the right husband when I finally sold my Blazer. :D Now, I have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan. It is the first vehicle I picked out and got NEW. Just nine miles on it. Now, we just turned over 35,000. I LOVE it!

Never saw myself as driving a mini-van… until the ’05 Grand Caravan came out… sliding doors, on both sides. Rear hatch opens at the touch of a button. Fold-n-Go seats/storage areas. Even options for GPS and a ceiling mounted DVD player (which I didn’t take). And now, I’m REALLY appreciating my heated leather seats!

When I bought it, the dark red color and heated leather seats didn’t make a lot of sense. Two years later, in Wyoming, they make PERFECT sense! In Arizona, you want the lightest color of vehicle possible, because the darker the color, the more of the hot sun is absorbed (and the hotter it gets inside the vehicle). Even knowing about the darker color and heat issue, the dark red just made me smile. I really liked it. So I bought it. In Wyoming, you want a nice medium, well, DIRT color to hide the road grunge, but for safety, a dark, bright color is best. Let me show you an example:

These vehicles were all out my window the other morning… notice how difficult it is to see the snow on the others, but my van just POPS right out at you! That’s a good thing. When you are driving in snowy, low-visibility conditions, having a color you can see helps.

The heated leather seats, well, you’ve been reading my thermometer-related posts of late, you figure it out!

Oh. What’s that? You wonder about Four Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive? Well, I have Front Wheel Drive… and a shovel. Last week, I did find myself stuck in the parking lot of my storage unit… the incline with three inches of ice and nine inches of snow proved to be too much for James (my boys named our van after The Red Engine in the Thomas and Friends series). So, I used a plastic basket (because I’d neglected to purchase afore mentioned shovel at the store THE DAY BEFORE, so, last week, it was a plastic basket) to dig out nine-inches of snow over about twenty feet. Then, my dear hubby arrived on his white horse… I mean, in his white truck, and was able to just drive James right out. I guess I’m telling you about another story… one my back is still, ten days later, reminding me of… the story of how I learned to check the depth of snow before driving off the highway down a slope. Lesson learned.

Back to the “Drive” of my vehicle. My Aunt (who has lived here for thirty years) drives a 1995 (Red) Dodge Grand Caravan. My Cousin (born and raised here) drives a 2004 (Red) Dodge Grand Caravan. When I go to visit, people have trouble telling who’s headed into the neighborhood, since all three of our vehicles look (are) so similar! So, I feel like I’m in good company with my vehicular choice.

Basically, if the weather is “too bad” we just don’t go out. I’m lucky that way. I stay-at-home with (and am working toward Homeschooling) my two toddler boys. If the weather is bad, we just stay home. And. If we do happen to get stuck, we can always call for (flag down) help.

Now, I know there are a lot of barren roads… which is why my van is stocked with: blankets, extra jackets, emergency military food rations, water, an aluminum cup, and other emergency items. I do still want to go to a local authority and ask what else I should have in my vehicle (like I discovered it was good to have a shovel… didn’t know that before). But, I tell people where I’m going and am very cautious, so, basically, I have confidence in my ability to survive with my two sons.

While I was thinking about how everyone is asking about my van… I was observing local vehicles. Motorcycles… haven’t seen any. Not-A-One! Fuel-Efficiency, Green-Peace, Earth-Lovin’ Vehicles. They just aren’t here. What you DO see are: mid-size cars; ancient old tank-type cars; SUV’s; vans; and trucks. Lots and lots of trucks. It’s not just on the roads, but at the dealerships too.

Here’s the Dodge dealership:

The front of the HUGE Dodge building:

And the Chevy dealership:

And the Ford dealership:

Well… the Ford dealership happens to be right by my apartment, but it’s at a light, at a busy intersection, and I just haven’t seen fit to jump out and take a picture for you. But. I promise you; it’s more of the same. Lots and lots of trucks and, like, NO cars to be seen.

So. There you have it. Trucks and other gas-guzzling vehicles. That’s what you’ll see in Wyoming. Oh yeah, and if you are going to have a truck (and it seems like every household does), then, you are going to have a 4x4 truck… there just aren’t any 2x4’s to be seen.

Got it? Vehicles in Wyoming don’t seem to be “Earth Friendly”, but, they’ll haul you Near and Far through extremely cold temperatures. Besides, we here in Wyoming a good portion of gas and oil for the US is being produced… so, I guess they take it for granted that there’s a supply of the stuff. (You should be near the “GREASERS” at the laundry mat when a load is started with hot water! DEFINITLY another story, but grease and oil, they are in these parts a plenty!)

I think I’ve made my point (and then some). I love my van, James, and now I’m going to finish something I started (watching a movie or writing a pattern, I haven’t decided which).

Suzy :D


SuzyQSparkles said...

Becky said...
Okay, note to self don't ask Suzy about her van anymore! BTW you're going to have to stop calling Frank a toddler soon :)

11:02 PM

SuzyQSparkles said...

:) Heather said...
We had a bright Yellow Blazer when we lived in Flagstaff that we bought off a cop who said the same thing about needing a "bright" color to make it easier to find...
and Becky is right, Frank is "school age" and if you think about, Jack won't be a toddler much longer either, he is closer to "preschool age"! Amazing to think how fast they grow up!

9:43 AM