21 October 2005

New Car (aka Big Purchase No. 1)

Living in Boston for 10 years with only a single car between us was never a problem. Corinne would walk to work, and you could always take the T to go any place in the city you wanted.

Out here, things are different.

Now that we've been living here for over a year, it has become clear that continuing with only a single 12+ year old car is perhaps not the best idea. While we do work at the same place, and thus commute together, if anything were to happen to the Civic we would be in trouble. When we added to that the fact that it doesn't handle the unimproved roads that you often take when heading to trailheads, and that it doesn't do particularly well on ice- or snow-covered roads that are prevalent in the higher elevations around here, and it became clear that it was time to look for a second car.


  • All-wheel drive. If we are ever going to learn to snowboard on Mt Hood (and we are - eventually...), we'll need a car that can climb the mountain without any praying involved.
  • Higher gound clearance. For those "unimproved" roads.
  • More storage space. Over the years, packing the Civic for long trips has become an art form; but maybe we should be spending our creative energies in other places.
  • Back seat comfort. 'Nuff said.
  • Reasonable fuel economy. ..and that's not just because of high gas prices!
  • Reliable. There's no point in getting a new car if it is almost as likely to have problems as your old one.

We test drove the Ford Escape Hybrid, which they happened to have at the local Ford dealer. But it seemed cheap inside, and we couldn't justify paying the high price for a Ford. Next we looked at the Subaru Forrester, but it was kinda small inside, particularly in the back seat. We considered the recently-released Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but we couldn't spend 6 months (or more) on the waiting list for it. There was a used, good condition Volvo Cross-Country wagon available locally, but we decided it screamed "kids" a bit too loudly. The Nissan Murano was next on the list, based on driving in it as a passenger with some coworkers. The Murano was definitely in the running, and made it to the final two, but was a bit on the luxurious side (which is sometimes hard for us to justify.)

In the end, we remained a Honda family with our new 2006 Honda CR-V. We love it!

Here we are testing the "off-road" capability in the alfalfa fields.

- Mike (& Corinne)

01 October 2005

Month of the Turkeys

But wait, you say, Thanksgiving is in November, not October. Yes, but we're talking about WILD turkeys. And not the kind from a bottle, either.

We first saw them on September 30. 8 wild turkeys, wandering through our fields looking for food. We saw them off and on for the next 3.5 weeks, then they disappeared. I guess they just moved on to greener pastures.

Wild turkeys, walking single-file down our driveway. We saw 8 total - and there was clearly a leader, though we couldn't tell if it was a tom.

The neighbors cat, Anna, deciding if she could take one down. In the end, she decided against it. I think that was a wise choice.

We hope they come back and visit us again next year!

- Mike (& Corinne)