Monday, October 11, 2010

New Car, New States

This past Columbus Day Weekend was a 4 day weekend for us since it happened to fall on a weekend that Leni had Friday off from work.  And boy did we need that time!

We'd been talking lately of getting Leni a new (to us) car to serve as a daily driver.  We had a few needs to be met and we had been trying to find a vehicle that would meet them all.  Specifically, something that could comfortably hold people, something with better safety ratings than Leni's 4runner, and something that could tow.

The answer: a 1997 Toyota
(duh!) Landcruiser.  Also known as an FZJ-80.

We weren't really planning on getting this vehicle until next year but when one in really good condition popped up on craigslist at a STEAL of a price, it was foolish not to jump on it.  We called up the guy, asked all the right questions, and made the arrangements to buy it.

: Waking up in a state that borders Mexico and falling asleep in a state that borders Canada.

Early on Friday morning, we jumped in the car with the dogs and a cooler of food.  The destination: Boise, Idaho.  Fifteen to sixteen hours away.  A stretch for one driver, but doable with two.  

On this trek, we graced two states that Leni had never visited: Utah and Idaho.  I think I was more excited about this than was Leni.  Utah is AMAZING.  We have to go back there to spend more time someday.  Moab is beautiful and just outside of it, there are entrances to two national parks within a few minutes of each other.  There was also snow above 11,000 feet on the peaks looking down on Salt Lake City.

Got to the hotel at about 8:30 pm and had some dinner in the room.  Watched a movie in bed, and passed out.

: We brake for...nothing...yet

Tired but excited, we made our way to the designated meeting spot.  We met the seller and his wife - they were a delightful couple in their 50s or 60s who were sad to let their beloved car go but knew they didn't need it anymore.  Despite some brake issues, which we had been made aware of ahead of time, the car checked out, the guys did the paperwork, exchanged the money, and it was a done deal by 10am.

At 13 years old, let me introduce to you the newest car Leni has ever purchased:

The car was a good deal because, as I mentioned, it did need a little brake work.  While Leni got to work diagnosing this, Lucy and I were doing what we do best - laying in bed watching a movie:

Hotel rooms mean dogs on bed - a special treat NEVER afforded at home
Sierra is so well-behaved that she won't get on a bed, even when invited!
In the afternoon, while taking the car out on a test drive after Leni had done some things to the brakes, we visited a dog park and our labs saw the first dog they'd ever seen that was bigger then them - a great dane!  Then it was back to work on the brakes.  There was a late dinner break for Dominos.  Due to the recent Dominos TV commercials, I succumbed and tried their new pizza that they claim is better these days than it used to be.  I think it is better, but it still doesn't beat Papa John's!

: Invasion of the RVs

Of all things, I was most excited for the journey home.  Shorter days, the ability to stop more often to see things if we wanted, and the prospect of picking my own music since I was driving my car alone :) We were on the road with both vehicles by 7:30am and throughout the day, I got quite acquainted with the back of Leni's new car. Luckily, the landscape was changing:

At 5:30pm, we got to our campsite in Moab.  We had selected this particular camp ground because Leni knew some guys who had been there all weekend in their trucks wheelin'.  This was unlike any camping spot I'd ever seen.  Mostly because it catered mostly to RV types and less to tent types like us, although it did have a few spots for tents.  

RV people are really a breed of themselves.  Not bad people by any means, just very different.  In my world, tent people are more hard core.  They live simply and make due with what they have.  But in that campground, we were the bottom of the totem pole, sleeping in JUST a tent.  It it amazing the things some of these people had on their alloted camping space.  Some were clearly not passing through for a holiday weekend but rather full time residents.  Some of the permanent structures that they had erected were incredible:

A simple fence

A sodded dog run

A saloon?

A more serious fence with a "garage" entrance for a car
I couldn't complain about the view from our tent when I woke up this morning:

I did, however, have some complaining to do about the elongated toilet bowls with the normal, round toilet seats:

Unlike my normal personal rule, I donned white cotton socks in my Tevas in the morning:

Don't's okay....I'm in an RV park
Residency at this particular RV park came complete with free wifi.  I guess that is standard now but it seemed crazy to me and I'm proud to say that we did not partake in this amenity.  I did learn, however, that when the signal is bad, you can just drive to the Super 8 parking lot and use theirs.  The password, if you are ever in the area, is "adventure".

Favorite thing to see in the RV park?  A family watching Robin Williams' movie "RV" while in their RV. The sight of a guy trying to drive a rental RV around a corner was a very close second.

: Just get home

Thank God for Columbus, without whose holiday this trip never would have been made.

This day was filled mostly with the continuing view of the lay of the land around the Landcruiser:

Just outside Moab

Windshield getting dirtier - cool arch though!
Back in northern New Mexico
On a dirt road "short cut" about an hour from home.  Leni left me in the dust
By 4:15pm we were home and happy to be there!

Keep It Real!

P.S.  Los Alamos Trails Goal Update: 2.8 of 29.5 miles completed

1 comment:

  1. wow, what a trip. I didn't know you could drive so far just to pick up a car. I will be glad to see it and take a cruse around the back roads.