The Tale of Two Trucks

2000 Chevy Blazer LS

Now that April has a job, we have a new set of challenges, especially regarding transportation. It’s not a major challenge, but there will be days when she travels, and sometimes that will turn into multiple days of being away from Springfield. Subsequently, we decided to get a second vehicle, and since we already have a nice car with good gas mileage, we decided to get something with more utility. After comparing trucks and SUVs, we decided on an SUV because it’s all enclosed and that will work better for transporting our dog. I bought a 2000 Blazer with very few miles on it that was in great shape. Hooray, right?

I don’t really like SUVs, and the Blazer wasn’t all that great to drive, but it worked well for taking Willow to the dog park, it got me to and from work, and I was beginning to get attached to it. I was going to try hauling some brush in it soon, and I was excited about it having a roof rack to tie things to. As you may have noticed, though, I’m using a lot of past tense there.

8 days after buying the Blazer, a fellow was driving up our street. I don’t have a picture of our street, sadly, but it’s a quiet residential area with big trees providing shade and a 30 mile per hour speed limit. There are lots of kids in the area, and while it frustrates me to see them playing in the road sometimes, they do and I subsequently drive pretty cautiously. Well, this fellow was doing about 50 miles per hour, while looking at his cell phone, and driving right on the edge of the street. His daughter (he had two of his daughters with him, one in the front and one in the back) screamed, which is the only reason he looked up to realize that this blue Blazer was parked right in front of him, and he swerved at the last moment. If not for that, they’d probably be dead.

That black car was theirs. Our Blazer was hit so hard, it went from parked to 26 miles per hour and traveled about 30 feet forward and up onto the neighbour’s lawn. You’ll see a bit more of the damage in the pictures below, but the fuel lines were pulled out, and the body shop declared that the frame was warped. The Blazer was totaled.

The people in the Toyota Corolla were hurt pretty bad, but they were all conscious and talking, so I hope they were OK in the end. They all got taken by ambulance on stretchers to the hospital, and the girl in the back seat had some head trauma due to not having a seat belt on. All-around, it was a bad time.

It took a few days to stop just feeling bad for the other people (and a bit disappointed for losing the Blazer, which I was just beginning to be OK with), and become kind of angry at the driver of the Corolla. What if he had hit a kid? What if we’d been in the vehicle? What if he’d hit someone else who couldn’t afford to deal with this?

Thankfully for us, while he didn’t have insurance, I have really comprehensive insurance through State Farm and everything was paid for. A week after buying the Blazer, it was gone and I started looking for something else.

I wasn’t going to find anything comparable, unfortunately. It had only 89,000 miles on it, was in really fantastic condition, had only had 1 owner previously, and I paid $4,800 for it. You just can’t beat that. But I found something at a sale at Reliable Chevrolet that, while significantly more expensive, is pretty good too. It has 99,000 miles, is a truck (which makes moving the dog harder, but moving other stuff easier), is newer, and is a lot more fun to drive. Unfortunately, it doesn’t suit my personality at all, and its gas mileage isn’t quite as good as the Blazer’s. But I got it for about $11,000 once everything was said and done, and that includes a 2 year almost-everything-is-covered-no-seriously-everything warranty.

I just feel weird driving it, is all.

2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Edition

The picture doesn’t really do it justice, because it is super-nice. Way nicer than anything I ever envisioned myself owning. But the best I was going to do for a used SUV was about $6-8000, and that was with 150-230,000 miles on the engine and transmission, which didn’t thrill me. This truck will last longer, and we’ll get a better value trading it in when that time comes.

Also, I fit in it, which is rare for me and regular cab trucks.

Anyways, I’ve had it almost a week now and it hasn’t been totaled yet. If we can make it through the weekend, it’ll be a new record. I’ve taken to parking it in the driveway, which is a hassle because we only have a single car garage–since I want to keep the Civic in the garage, it means we sometimes have to shuffle in and out to park the two vehicles–but worth it if it avoids another accident. The crazy/frustrating thing is that we’ve lived in our house for almost 4 years and this sort of thing hasn’t happened to anyone. It was a one-time freak accident that just happened to happen to us.

I guess God didn’t want us to have a Blazer? More likely it was just a thing that happened, not divine inspired at all, but it was certainly surreal. When we were trying to decide on whether or not to get the truck, we sat in the cab of it and prayed, and we felt peace. I felt like God was saying, “You’re worried about money. I’m not worried about money. It’ll be fine.”

If you see me driving this giant yellow thing around town, just try to not laugh at me, ok?

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