Thursday, March 24, 2011

Don’t tell the morongomobile, but I am about to make a change.

Looking at this photo, I am sure you will agree that it is long overdue.
bigmorongocanyonhike 017

Got you!
bigmorongocynprsv082510 013

Above is an actual photo of my car, a 2002 Chrysler Concorde LXi, which
has served me well with the exception of the air conditioning system which
failed twice, and the automatic transmission which had to be replaced a few
months after I bought the car. Now after paying on this for almost 5 years, I
can see it is getting a little “long in the tooth” like its’ owner and I will be
getting something else, a vehicle more in tune with my interests, something
that I can ride desert dirt roads in and not feel like I am running the risk of
never being able to get back home.

I love the desert and it might be a good place to check out from the rat race,
but I am not ready to do so at this time. And that would be a good subject for a
future post any way.

A personal note folks. I could use a little advice here. There are a whole bunch
of vehicles to choose from. Here are the ones I have had an interest in. But
first let me say that I don’t plan on doing offroading at Johnson Valley, but I will
be driving on desert dirt roads, like power line roads(across Cima Dome and
over Forshay Pass for example) and old mining roads, or just any dirt road I see
that goes off endlessly in the desert vista toward the mountain range that looks to be 20 miles away.

And one day before I leave this planet, I would like to do the Mojave Road, at least from the river to the western end of the Mojave National Preserve.

So the vehicles I am considering so far are: Nissan Frontier or similar small truck, extended cab, and with room for the portly Morongobill, Toyota 4Runner,
Nissan Xterra, Jeep 4wd not the suv- the original, Ford Explorer, Suzuki Samurai or similar if available in the last 7 model years, and believe it or not
I have also been considering buying a cargo van such as the Chevrolet Express. I know from personal experience those high clearance vans have truck tires and as you no doubt have seen in some of my photography, they are
definitely at home on desert dirt roads!
archivecd16 118

Looking out from Globe Mine Road on the other side of the railroad tracks toward the Providence Mountains. I will be looking for something used, no older than 7 years. That is the oldest that my lender will approve. Also they will not fund Izusu loans or converted vans, or rv’s. Right now, I pay $247 a month and that is an amount that I am very comfortable with- but it may limit my options. I absolutely love the looks of the Range Rover but can not consider anything that gets 11 mpg city/14 highway as I am not rich. As a matter of fact, sometimes I can barely rub
2 nickels together.

(It is amazing how you can hit a button accidently and totally mess up your format, isn’t it?  Referring to the above paragraph running into the picture comment because I hit the wrong button, and no more undo command.)

Ideally I would like the vehicle to get 20+mpg on the highway and at least 17 in
town, with room to put my laptop and other junk in the front, and put camping
gear in the back, and a tow hitch to mount a bike rack.

That way I wouldn’t have to spend a fortune to get out to the desert and back,
and might even have change left over for a Big Dog and an Arnold Palmer Iced


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