ONE LESS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION

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That’s a good selection of stickers you got there Ol’ Blue! 

After five years spent together, I signed over the title to my beloved 1985 Nissan Pickup. I won’t lie, I had to keep the emotion at bay and suppress any tears that may have wanted to free themselves.

My truck and I were an unlikely pair as it’s not everyday you’d see a girl who looks like me drive a rugged rig like Ol’ Blue was. But her worn cosmetic detail, lack of muffler and dodgy interior was more than made up for by her spirit. Ol’ Blue and I took many adventures together, traveling north into Washington, east into Oregon and South to the Sierra Nevada. We drove through bumper-deep snow on a mission to ski fresh powder. We hauled kayaks and rafts and a handful of folks despite being a 2-seater and having a short-bed.

We had some good times and we had some bad times. The worst of these times was when I was returning from work, driving down from Mount Hood towards the town of Sandy, Oregon. It was dark when the headlights flickered, the stereo faded and a moment later I was cruising at the steady speed of 55MPH in complete darkness when Ol’ Blue decided to call it a night. Stricken with panic, I was fortunate to bring the truck to a stop. At that point I hopped out, flagged down an approaching vehicle and after reaching town, I called AAA. They towed it to the mechanic who informed me that this potentially deadly incident was caused by none other than a loose battery cable.

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Castle Lake: One of the many snowy adventures while I lived in Mount Shasta.

Meanwhile, the best times were of course always alongside one of my girlfriends. I think the most memorable was when Heatha and I were driving up through the Shasta Forest on a quest to camp below snow-line with a big ol’ group of other ski-hounds. We were bopping along a bumpy 4X4 road with music a boom, when the shell of my truck bounced off into the woods. I will never forget the amount of laughter generated nor the look of the faces of our friends when they saw me drive up and ask, “Mary, what happened to your camper shell?”
“Well Bragg, it kind of fell off. But don’t worry, I’ll pick it up on the way back.”

The selling of Ol’ Blue marks a tangible step into the next chapter of my life. I’m headed to New Zealand at the end of the year with an open mind for the experiences that will unravel. You see, I don’t know where this next thru-hike will lead me and as a result I don’t want to be tied down to any commitments. I don’t want simple possessions to eat at me while I’m abroad. Instead, I’d rather see my possessions go to someone that can use them, and in the case of Ol’ Blue, I think I found the perfect person—or should I say they found me.

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This is the fella who bought my truck. I like to think he might pimp out Ol’ Blue like they do on that MTV show, “Pimp My Ride.”

The story goes like this: I was at my local oil shop when one of the mechanics said I needed new transmission fluid. Not wanting to pay $60 knowing I’d be selling it within the next month, I told him I’d pass on the job and that whoever was to buy it could do it themselves. The employee grew very interested with this information and asked for my number in case he wanted to buy it. An hour later I got a text from a man whom I thought was that employee, but it turned out to be his co-worker who had been below my truck changing the oil. He wanted the truck and after taking it out for a test spin, we agreed to meet a week later. I signed over the title, canceled my insurance, pocketed the $650 and handed over the keys. I told him when I got back from New Zealand that I’d call and see how Ol’ Blue was doing. He said no problem.

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Ol’ Blue was a good shuttle for hikers!

I’m going to miss Ol’ Blue. I’m going to miss being a part of the 85′ Nissan Pickup Club where total strangers exchange friendly headnods, light flickers and waves as we pass one another on the road. But it’ll be alright. Ol’ Blue has gone to a good home and I am now one step closer to my next goal: a 4 month thru-hike in New Zealand.

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