Last Sunday, Dan drove up Glendora Mountain Road to Mount Baldy and took the above picture. The road follows a ridgeline in the San Gabriel Mountains on the north side of the LA basin, which Dan described as a twisting surreal experience. Looking at it on Google maps, I can believe that. I asked him if he drove his Ford Focus and he said yes. I was concerned, because his car is almost as long in the tooth as Anne’s is. He said that it didn’t like the steep up hills, but did fine on the twisting curves. It can be a dangerous road to drive, at least for some people. The cops tend to treat all moving violations as arresting offenses on this road.
I drove Anne’s car to work today and it has way more problems than just battery problems. Something in the drivetrain is slipping. I couldn’t tell if it was the clutch or the transmission. It has a manual. Either way it felt expensive. It was difficult getting the car up to highway speeds. The other problem that her car has is that its suspension is shot. Hitting a pothole at highway speeds is a jolting experience, but it started fine both times. We’ll get it into the shop tomorrow and then wait to see what they say. As if you couldn’t tell from reading this paragraph, I’m already considering a replacement vehicle, maybe a Tesla. 😉
I read an NBC News article this morning that stated that most Americans can no longer afford to buy a new car. It went on to lament the demise of mom and apple pie next. I guess that’s why used car prices are so high these days. We already have a car payment with the Prius, so we don’t really need another one. On the other hand, we’ll be paying off the house next month and that will free up a little cash. One of my buddies at work was egging me on to buy another Prius and become a two Prius household. I told him that we had gone to the gardens last Sunday and there I glimpsed the future of green transportation. The garden has designated electric vehicle (EV Car) parking spaces, along with a free charging station. After seeing that setup, I felt so brown, as I slunk back to my hybrid that I had stashed at the far end of the parking lot.
Rounding out this “Car Talk” blog post, one of Dan’s friends, Emily Francisco, wrote a long piece updating her personal history over the last few years. Dan was mentioned in dispatches in it. In the summer of 2011, Emily and Dan drove cross-country together, in Emily’s car. It had sported quite the turban on that trip. The car broke down in New Mexico, delaying them enough to miss the horrific Joplin, MO tornado just up the road. If they had traveled on uninterrupted, they would have likely been passing through Joplin at the fateful hour. Check out the pictures of the car and its white turban.