Little Truck, Big Life

Little Truck, Big Life
Little Gray: In it for the long haul.
Little Gray: In it for the long haul.

In 1998, I bought my little gray Mazda truck with a 150,000 miles on it for $1500. The gentleman I bought it from was a Delta Airlines pilot who used the truck to commute between his Seattle home and Portland base. All I had to know was he was a former Navy pilot with a meticulously maintained vintage MG in his garage, and I was sold. (I withheld the fact that I was an Air Force brat, just in case that was a deal-breaker.) While my budget was set ridiculously low, the stars had aligned and found me the perfect truck. It was now time to say goodbye to my Volvo station wagon, a vehicle more at home on a mechanic’s lift than on the road. We parted ways amicably and I never looked back.

Fast forward to 2014, and an odometer reading of 236,000 miles, and I must sadly report that the time has come to bid a fond farewell to the truck that never said die, well, at least until this month. Little Gray went out with a bang, a thrown rod in it’s final moments, producing enough smoke to conjure a genie and celebrate its last hurrah.

So join me in remembering the little truck that could–a friend ’til the end. Oh and it’s best not to mention this to Boz and Gracie, they are still in denial.

Boz and Little Gray were all about the dump runs.
Boz and Little Gray were all about the dump runs.
Little Gray reluctantly agreed to hauling manure, but only if I lined the bed with a tarp.
Manure runs were okay, too.

 

Boz and Gracie's favorite feature: lay-flat bucket seats.
Boz and Gracie’s favorite feature: lay-flat bucket seats.

 

Foreman Boz supervising an off-loading of cedar.
Boz supervising delivery of the goods.
Flower delivery beat manure-hauling any day.
Flower delivery beat manure-hauling any day.
For everything my truck was, snow-worthy was not one of them.
For everything my truck was, snow-worthy was not one of them.
Truth be told, Boz and I were beginning to outgrow the truck
Truth be told, Boz and I were beginning to outgrow Little Gray.

While Little Gray remains on the island with mechanic who may one day get her running, I found a successor worthy of her flower-delivering, manure-hauling, shotgun-riding, dump-running legacy: a 1992 Toyota 4×4 truck. There’s just one problem; a senior bulldog’s jumping range is no match for the lofty elevations of a monster truck wheel. So Boz and Gracie, a little patience please, I promise to build you a ramp.

Boz and Gracie as photographed by my friend Rondi Lightmark, who specializes in greeting cards featuring dogs and their trucks.
Boz and Gracie as photographed by my friend Rondi Lightmark, who specializes in greeting cards featuring dogs and their trucks.

Update…

The New Truck: Big Red

Gracie needs a springboard.
Gracie needs a springboard.
Big Red has a welcomed spot.
Big Red says, “Bring on the snow!”


21 thoughts on “Little Truck, Big Life”

    • Nicholas, SuperTruck 5000 and I just got back from town, where we were turning heads left and right. Yep, I think my machismo factor just went up a couple points based purely on the size of those tires and the KEXP bumper sticker. Pics to follow!

  • Tom,
    You had a good run with the Mazda!
    I have an old 1999 Lexus that I won’t give away……we drive it 5 miles a week, and it owes me nothing…….I love it and will wait for it to die on its own.
    Good luck with your new big boy red truck!
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Stacey

    • Thanks Stacey! Yep, the idea of a car payment gives me a headache. So funny, I’ve never owned a new car, and think it’s a strategy I’ll stick with. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beau. I need to hop over to your site to see what you’re cooking for T-day. Warm regards.

  • Ah, sad times. But–hopefully the “new” truck will give you many years of good use.

    We gave our Ford Sport Trac to my son 2 years ago–it had 250,000 miles on it. He’s put at least 50K more on it and it still runs perfect. I should have kept it a bit longer!

      • Commercial crabbers are going at it now although with 20 ft seas forecast for later in the week, I don’t envy them. For us recreational sort, Big Guy swears by July through to Labor Day Weekend; however, we do have a stash in the freezer along with about a 100 lbs of salmon so anytime you’re willing to make the trip, you’re more than welcome.

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you to Joan, and I’m with you, makes me a bit sad too, but I hope my mechanic is able to resurrect Little Gray as ‘new’ island truck well suited to country living.

  • Tom….so sad about your long lived truck! I have a 96 Ford Ranger (Mazda engine) now sitting at a proud 289K! and still going strong. Sure she has a few minor dents and knicks, but she is still ticking. Here is to hoping you will have the same great luck with your new red truck!

    • Eileen, Boz and Gracie loved that little gray truck, and are having a wee bit of difficulty with the new monster-high truck. In addition to having to be lifted in (ugh), the seats are split for the convenience of humans while ignoring the comfort of bulldogs.

    • Hi Sarah,
      The big plank seems to have landed in my front yard on sawhorses. I post some pics so you can see its many uses. And it was intrepid Boz walking (and piddling) the plank. 😉

  • It looks like Santa Tom got a new-to-him sleigh! And Mother Nature provided a layer of snow to test out the 4×4 in. Did you give it a try (notice I did not say “spin”)?
    We’ve had some good downpours today here in the SF Bay Area. Thanks for sharing the storm:-)

    • Hi Karen,
      Batten down the hatches, I believe the Bay Area will be sharing some of the big winds forecast for later today. I had a couple cottonwoods come down in our latest romp with the “Pineapple Express.” Oh and no spinning, so far!

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