Jamie’s Truck

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We bought a new truck this weekend, for hauling Jamie to trailheads, going on dump runs, and all the other fun stuff you can do with a truck.  It’s a 2010 Toyota Tacoma TRD, and I love it – it has the smoothest and quietest ride of any 4WD vehicle I’ve ever owned, and it has so many cool features that I’ve barely scratched the surface in learning about it.  In fact, I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time with the user manual tonight.

1999 Ford Ranger I had been driving a 1999 Ford Ranger (right) since early 2004, when I bought from a wholesaler at the auto auction in Spokane (DAA Northwest, where I was working at the time).  It was a great truck, but it was very simple and basic; it didn’t even have power windows or locks, for example.  And it had really gotten rough in recent years.  The gas gauge didn’t work, but I didn’t think it was worth $300 to fix it; there was a 2-foot long crack in the windshield, but I didn’t want to spend money on fixing that either; the tires were badly worn, but … you get the idea.  It was still running OK, but was slowly crumbling and I just couldn’t stand to put more money into it.

Then we got Jamie this year, and getting a new truck became more urgent because he’s growing so fast.  He can still sit on Megan’s lap, sort of, but the old Ranger had an extended cab with just a small space behind the front seats, and no seat for him to lay down on back there.  No sled dog should have to live like that, right?

We ordered the new truck a few weeks ago from Parker Toyota in beautiful Couer d’Alene, Idaho.  And this weekend, we went over to pick it up.  I took a few photos, of course, and some favorites are on Flickr here.

Here’s Jamie greeting Bob Chandler, the sales manager who worked with us on the deal:

Jamie and Bob at Parker Toyota

Bob was awesome.  He made the whole process so simple and hassle-free that we drove away Saturday afternoon feeling like we had forgotten to do something important.  It was just too easy.  If you’re in the Pacific Northwest and looking for a truck, or a Toyota of any kind, check out Parker Toyota.  They’ve been in the Couer d’Alene area for a long time, and I first knew them as a favorite customer of the auto auction over in Spokane when I worked there.  Sure, it’s a bit of a drive from the Seattle area, but it’s a great excuse to stay at the Couer d’Alene resort!

Here are a few photos from the ride home …

driving home in Jamie's new truck

This morning, I had to be in the office pretty early but I was really excited to be driving so it was no big deal.  It’s been a while since I felt that way about a car … decades, frankly.

pulling into the parking garage at Microsoft

This weekend we’ll take it on its inaugural hiking trip.  I’m going to have to do some research to find a hike with a really lousy road to the trailhead, so that we can check out the offroad performance.  But first, time to go home and read the owner’s manual.  I may get a bit lost and take the long way …

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