I'm still in the process of doing a little writeup on our central Oregon vacation last week, but in the meantime, some news.
I bought a car.
Last Tuesday we had 40mph sustained winds and it was about 25 degrees outside when I walked the mile to the train station on my way to work and I finally got sick of it. On days when my wife works, she takes the car in the morning and I'm stuck walking. I don't normally mind it if it's nice out, but it often isn't. This is an area of pretty extreme weather. Yeah, it gets colder in some places, it's rainier in some places, it's windier in some places, but honestly, the mix you get here is pretty unique. We have tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, thunderstorms, pretty much every weather phenomenon that exists. And it's rare to find a calm, still day - unless it also happens to be about 105 degrees out with 90% humidity. Then the air doesn't move.
Anyway, so I bought this:
Yeah, it's an SUV. So sue me. You know? I get pretty annoyed with the green movement sometimes. It's not that I don't support the ideals. I actually work for a company that's promoting "green" pretty heavily, but you know where we work? In a giant black monolith of glass and steel in the middle of the most congested, polluted city in the country. I hate the hypocrisy. So please - unless you're out living in the woods in a log cabin, save it. Those who live in glass houses etc. etc.
I did get the 6 cylinder model, at least. I could have gotten an 8. The 6 has plenty enough power.
I wanted an SUV because at the moment, I have no way to carry the large quantities of lumber around that my various home improvement projects require. The PT Cruiser's great, and it can carry a surprising amount of stuff, but it's still basically a compact car. I really needed a pickup truck, but I've gotta draw the line somewhere. I did also want a 4X4, because while the PT's pretty good in the snow, there are definitely days here when better traction and some larger tires and higher ground clearance are in order. I mean, the weather was the main reason I wanted another vehicle in the first place. So I may as well get a vehicle made for all-weather conditions.
I also just like the first-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. I've always wanted one. They started rounding things out and softening the lines in 1999, and of course now the current Daimler-designed models look like a total suburb-mobile. The first-gen Grand Cherokees were real Jeeps.
This one had one owner, and I've got all the service receipts, so I know exactly what's been done to it. It came with a six month warranty too. It's got 137,000 miles - which for these things is pretty low. (I see them pretty regularly for sale with 180k or more - there's one near me right now at 240k.) Anyway, we only drive our current single car about 4,000 miles per year, so split that now. We really don't drive much. Just back and forth to the train station, and to our local stores. We take mass transit for everything else. I could probably get 10 more years out of this SUV before it dies... though I doubt I'll keep it that long.
It was cheap, too. Don't think I'm rich. We can barely afford to be a two-car family. The only way we managed it was by looking for an old beater. But I think it's in pretty good shape for a beater.
It's still at the dealer getting a few little things fixed, then inspected, plates, registration, etc. I'll be picking it up on Saturday. Starting next week, no more walking up hills both ways in the snow to get to work!