Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Monday, May 30, 2005

Used Cars

I've been on a quest, of sorts. It's finally warm up here in Alaska, and lovely out. That can't last long - winter will be back. So, the semi-eternal gathering of firewood has to start soon. Which is okay, since Alaska is lousy with wood. I know that there's a certain contingent in the world that says cutting wood is an evil way to heat my house. That would leave oil heating, which that same group would say is worse. So, instead of bowing to their peer pressure and freezing to death, I'll go with wood.

I've only one problem. I've got no way to haul the stuff. So, unless I cut my driveway down (pictured above) I've got to go somewhere else to get wood.

I've been looking for a used pickup.

A used car makes sense to me for a couple of reasons, the most important being that it doesn't drop in value immediately after purchase like a new one does. Forget buying from a used car lot - I don't like the games - so I've been out looking for a used truck.

Used vehicles in Alaska are peculiar for several reasons:
  • all of them have dangly bits - cords to plug in with during -50F weather to keep the engine warm
  • most of them have cracked windows - thermal expansion presents from that same low temperature exposure
  • an eternal coating of mud - you're likely going off-road, perhaps daily
  • non-working bits, like my air conditioner
  • 2nd set of tires for winter driving
  • evidence of accident in back right corner from backing into whatever
  • tow hitch
  • remote start for sitting in your house and letting your car warm itself up
  • duct tape as a major structural member, somewhere
  • bumper stickers
    • Mining - The Family Farm of the North
    • Alaska Girls Kick Ass
    • Got Blackhawks?
    • Alaskan for Peace (the actual sticker said "Alaskans", buy I've only seen the one sticker
    • I don't dial 911, I dial .357
  • polywhatever tanks for hauling water
90% of the vehicles around are 4WD pickup trucks. When I talk with folks, it's implicitly assumed that I own one. 4WD vehicles are silly in Atlanta, mostly, and doubly silly in New York City or Beverly Hills. Here, you need a nightmarishly large 4WD vehicle just to:
  • carry your favorite guns around (you'd need a trailer for all of your guns)
  • get massive loads of stuff from Home Despot
  • carry water to your house
  • make sure you don't get stuck and freeze to death
Before I moved here, I drove smaller cars. My least fuel efficient car got like 25 miles per gallon (35,000 kilometers per liter). Here, I do have a big SUV, but, alas no pickup.

So, I'm looking for one. Probably not this one:

I'm not sure if that's the year or the price. It's about four miles from my house, but I'm not sure it would make it all that far.

Probably not this one, either:

Dang, I'd like this one, but the Mrs. would skin me if I brought it home. Plus I'm not sure that it would fit down the driveway.

Maybe I'll just get a trailer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say go for the one that looks like it was used in the filming of "Road Warrior". Once you explain that to your wife, she's sure to understand ...

4:19 AM  
Blogger Robbie said...

That blue "Road Warrior" rocks, who cares if the wife skins you, you've got the coolest ride in town!!

12:54 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Wow, that is your driveway? It would be a whole city to us Californians.

8:01 AM  
Blogger John said...

Heh heh. I am Humongous, lord of the Tundra!

11:02 AM  

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