I’ve been wanting a new rig for quite some time, and few weeks ago, Robin and I finally made that happen. Check out my awesome new (to me) 2008 Toyota Highlander (pic below). I’ve creatively named her, “Highlander,” and yes, there can only be one.
Since 2013 I’ve been driving a nice little 2001 Honda Civic stick shift. It was the right car for our family at the time. It was also what we could afford. I needed reliable transportation that got good gas mileage and would get me back and forth to work with no hassle, and it definitely filled the bill. But as the years passed, I found the Civic to be a bit too small and too low to the ground. Getting in and out was a pain, as was scraping the front end practically every time I drove into or out of a parking lot. As a small four-door sedan, it also didn’t do much to help me achieve my goals of getting out on the North State’s trails more often to ride my mountain bike, hike, or ski.
Robin’s car—a Toyota Matrix hatchback—continues to be great around town. But we were recently reminded of its limitations on a very rainy drive over State Route 299 to Trinidad for a post Thanksgiving weekend mini getaway. The super sketchy hydroplaning on that trip, all-around unconfident handling in anything but nice dry conditions, no 4WD, smallness, and lack of long-trip comfort, made it clear to us both that it was time for a change.
Robin also needs to drive up to Mt. Shasta and Dunsmuir several times during the first half of 2019 to teach classes. A few years back we tried to make it to Mt. Shasta in the Matrix on what turned into a very snowy day. We made it as far as Dunsmuir before needing to turn around. So snow is a complete no-go in that car, but will be no problem in the new one.
When we found Highlander at the local Toyota dealer we decided to go for it and I’m so glad we did. I love my new car and I can’t wait to take it on a road-trip or two in 2019.
Highlander is causing strange changes in my behavior. I’ve taken to parking in the outskirts of parking lots—away from all other cars if possible—to minimize any potential door dings and dents. I’ve also been keeping her super clean inside and out. I even bought a nice little water-tight car trash bag that hangs on the rear of the passenger seat. I’ve never been like this about a car and it is a strange, new experience, that I'm super grateful to have.
Let's just hope that she's truly an Immortal.