Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Irrational attachment to field vehicles

During the summer, we spend a heck of a lot of time in our trucks. Since they're used off road in some pretty rough conditions, we try not to take anything new out there. It sure won't be new when it gets back. You get to know their quirks, and they seem to take on a personality of their own.

Here is my favorite: Dumpy the Suburban. Our oldest vehicle, this wonderful piece of 1991 technology is surprisingly one of the more durable and dependable field trucks we own, even with 220,500 miles on it. Deer kill markings on the drivers side are a tribute to the hazards of remote country roads at night. Dumpy has taken me all over the west over the past 5 years, yet never left us stuck or stranded. It's received scratches on the hood from angry locals, blown out tires and has tried to crush somebody. The huge dent on the door is from a deer at 65mph. Don't ask how it managed to hit the side.

Dumpy needs encouragement going uphill, usually sung to the tune of Aqua's "Barbie Girl". It moans on start up and smokes a little. Then again so do most of our field crew members at one time or another. But luckily, it has seemed to survive the cash for clunkers program (or as we like to call it, the Dumpycaust) unlike many of its cousins. If you see it rolling slowly around, make sure there is a driver in it, and wave. I will miss it when it is gone.

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