Thursday, April 30, 2015

End of an Era

*Sidenote to start* Rachel pointed out a couple weeks ago that my car was 2 shades of gray (hey at least it's not 50). I had never noticed that. I think in the above photo though you can see it pretty good. Maybe the shades just developed over time.

So I get home from my mission in October 2002 and my mom is helping me get a car. I'm at Bountiful Mazda basically ready to sign the paperwork on a Protege. I had wanted a single cab pickup kind of like what I had in high school (still love the Mighty Max!). My mom said I had to get a sedan for when I got married and started having kids. so we had turned away from the pickup and over to the Protege.  The only problem: I didn't have a job yet. I didn't feel comfortable pulling the trigger on a car without a job. So we waited a bit. I found a Civic (ironically for sale up in Bountiful again) in the paper a few days later (right after I had found a job at Neighborhood Grant Network). 64k miles, $10k, for sale by owner. I had always loved my step-dad Kim's Civic. I took it on the weekend all the time in high school so I could fit more friends instead of just my single cab pickup. We pulled the trigger. That was November of 2002. 12 1/2 years later, I finally decided (via the influence of a persistent wife) that it was time to move on.

There is a certain pride that starts building when you cross big mileage thresholds. After 200k miles I really started feeling like I had a winner. 250k? NBD! I was still about a year away from 300k, only 286k when I sold it yesterday but I'm confident this car will still be rolling deep into 300k territory.

I have a lot of memories in that car. Basically anybody that knows me as an adult has probably taken a ride in that car. Some of the key memories include:

- Nielsen Custard Classic- I was new at KPMG in early 2008 and the team on the Mrs. Fields audit sent me out to get some Custard from Nielsen's up in Holladay. They didn't give me any cup holders or any lids. Nielsens is like on 39th south and Mrs. Fields offices were at the 6200 South office centers. It wasn't a quick drive. By the time I got back custard of like 5 different flavors had melted all over my gear shift, seats, and cupholders. It took YEARS for me to stop finding little custard stains.

-Cannon Sharpie. Cannon was probably 2-3. On a summer day I was working in the garage and he was playing in the car (windows open). I kept peeking at him and I could only see his head. I kept thinking "He's having fun down on the floor or something!". He had found a Sharpie in my glove box and was drawing all over the seats, steering wheel, armrests, everything.  I scrubbed off what I could on the steering wheel but the marker on the seats just had to wear off over time. On the backseat just last week as I cleaned it up for sale I could still see a couple sharpie marks.

-Bend Adventure. Against Rachel's wishes I wanted to drive the Civic to Bend, Oregon in 2012 for my CPA training. It was about a 10 hour drive to the middle of Oregon. On the way in there was a sign that read something like "150 Miles Until Next Gas". We enjoyed our week in Bend at the training and did some fun hikes to waterfalls. On the way back toward Boise I passed a sign that said something like "200 Miles Until Next Gas". Wait, what? I must have missed a turn on one of those state roads. We were in the middle of nowhere for about 2 hours. No Cell service, no cars passing us in either direction. Lucky I had a full tank of gas :). Rachel wasn't pleased but we just ended up taking the scenic route back to Boise :).

-Tri Cities Trips. When I worked at KPMG from July-October I had to travel up to tri cities Washington basically weekly. Sometimes I'd drive and get the mileage reimbursement (if it was cheaper than a flight, which it usually was, I was allowed to do that). Those were 10-12 hour drives. I would always go to the library and get a couple books on tape since I could knock out listening to an entire book on one leg. I'd stop in Burley, Idaho and in Ontario, Oregon. I had tried everything to make the trip with just one gas/restroom stop. Basically impossible. So with 2 stops required regardless those both worked out as 2 roughly even stops along the way.

-St George Christmas Snow Adventure! Rachel and I went down with her parents to St. George after Christmas one year early in our marriage and stayed a few days. On the way home was a crazy snow storm! All types of Suburbans and other SUV's sliding off the freeway. We drove slow and steady and the Civ held up great! When I finally got to Nephi I stopped at a gas station and my wheel wells were full of snow right up to scraping against the spinning wheels as I drove.

Thousands of miles and thousands of days of commutes. To Provo, Salt Lake, Park City, back to Provo. Unreal. It's been a great car and I'm sad to see it go. On to the next adventure.