The old Impala with a trunkload of fishing paraphernalia was just no longer doing the trick. There were section lines I needed to drive down, minimum maintenance roads that needed explored and there was beginning to be smell emanating from the trunk that I feared was becoming permanent. The time had come to get a vehicle that was more in tune with my habit of standing in water and whipping a stick around. In other words, I needed a fishing truck.
I began my “search” in a way reminiscent of how I like to approach a stream. I sat, thought, ruminated, pondered, and excogitated. Once I had that out of the way, it became time to ask and answer some serious questions.
Would it make sense to trade in my car and get something new-ish? This is a more complex question than it first appears. First off, my 6 year old daughter loves that Impala like an old teddy bear. We have had some serious adventures in it and there are memories in every nook and cranny of that interior. Plus, it runs well despite having a lot of miles, making it hard to part with. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, if I had a truck as my only vehicle I may balk at particularly hard driving. Frankly, I was looking for something that would do the hard job, but that I could be fairly care-free with. Or careless. Or, some would say, reckless. In all reality I was looking for something that someone else had already beat up pretty good, so I wouldn’t feel too guilty about adding to the damage at the margins. I understand how little sense this makes. I mean, something that hasn’t suffered any abuse can take more punishment that something that has, but for some reason the first dent is far more painful to me than the third.
What type of vehicle did I want? The obvious answer is a pickup. I needed something with high clearance and 4 wheel drive. A nice (or more precisely not nice) used pickup would make the most sense. The problem is I didn’t want one. Pickups with the clearance I was looking for are pretty large. I feel awfully manly in a large pickup, but I wasn’t looking forward to parking the thing. I live in an apartment with limited parking and my space is pretty tight. Ok, that is all just a lame excuse. Did I mention I didn’t want one? I wanted something fun. This was supposed to be the vehicle I use as a way to go fishing. And, despite how serious we become about fishing, it is more closely related to what you did when you called and asked your friend’s mom if Tommy could come out and play than it is to any serious endeavor of humankind. So the vehicle is more like getting a skateboard than it is to getting a family car. It should do what you need it to as a vehicle, but it should also be, well…………awesome.
So now I own a 1999 Jeep Wrangler. Yeah I gave up alot of hauling room, and yeah it is louder on the highway than the cab of a new pickup, even with the hard top. And yes, Barbie did have a pink one with a purple roll bar as her Barbie car at one point. But hey, Patton rode around in one, and the freakin’ windshield lays down!!! I pulled up to a fast food window to order and the lady asked me, “Can you please turn off your vehicle so I can hear you order?” My daughter, in the backseat, patted the wheel well and said, “That’s just how beasty this sucker is.” That is all the endorsement I needed.