Monday morning a week ago and I am very very tired. I have two tests awaiting me and I drive toward campus. The only problem is that the truck is driving like complete and total crap. It hardly makes it across an intersection and completely dies on me just before campus. i was pretty damn pissed, for other reasons, and this should have been a piece of cake. I know what needs to be done and so I do it. But again, I was pretty angry to begin the day off with.
I get the truck towed and into a garage and I take my tests. I think I do well… so far one of them is an A. I don’t get the truck back until Thursday before I must go and open the bar up for day shift. The mechanic tells me everthing that is going on, everything he’s done, what is this and what is what. The end result is that it runs, but still badly, a valve is burned, the bill is nearly $500, and if he was me he’d start looking for a trade in.
I drive the truck to work, then to class, and the next day I do indeed start looking for a trade in. I want to go fishing. I want to go out into the wilderness. I had to borrow a car to go on a long trip last year because I didn’t trust mine. I have weak credit and I would like to have a home in 2 years and start a business in 5. I need to work on my credit in order to do that.
So I shop around, I email some people, I look up stuff on the net. In the end I make a drive up to Portland on Saturday and talk to a dealer. After some talking and some sacrifices by me (and more to come), I drove away with a 1994 Ford Explorer. It felt completely alien to me. All of my cars, except for the sunbird, were loud and richety. When I borrow someone’s car it too feels loud and richety. This was, albiet 10 years old, quieter, with a much better engine, and clean. It felt nice and solid too! It has towing capacity as well… for when I eventually get a fishing boat (canoe? john boat?).
Driving back from Portland was much easier of a drive than before. Eliza was excited about the new ride.
This morning, before the super bowl, I took it out for a spin to the Willamette Pass. It went up the highway easy enough. I then drove around and looked at the water. I saw trucks backing boats out into the chilly January water. Fathers huddling their sons up around the trailers. Sandwiches and life vests, fishing poles and overalls. I had memories of being a kid and my dad taking me fishing, putting on the too big wading boots on me, the overalls that didn’t keep me as warm as I’d like, the smell of the water, the day when I moved into manhood because dad let me back the boat trailer into the water.
I put the truck in gear and drove off, stopping by a small country store to grab some coffee. Inside a full half of the store was dedicated to fishing poles, lures, tackle, camping and hunting supplies. On a cooler door were posted polaroids of guys with their catches.
The bug has started to bite me. I could feel the tug of the fishing line in my mind. Outside was a vehicle that would get me there.
The monthly payment is something that I’ve never experienced. I’ve always had junkers and such. This is a major payment for me. But is it worth it? I tell myself that the trooper wasn’t that bad… but I remember how many times we were broke down on the side of the road with an overheated engine. The small problems that are always cropping up. I think that with this payment, where I will have to make sacrifices in order to afford, will give me a better credit rating in the future, and that I have something reliable that I can pull a boat with (or a fold out camp trailer). I am going to make this worth it.