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I gave up my CRV last week…it was an emotional moment. And so I wrote a letter to my former car…followed by a photo tribute:

Hey buddy,

I hope that you’re being treated well. I have to believe that you’re being reconditioned and re-equipped to give another owner as much joy as you brought me. You’re probably pretty salty that I traded you in…it’s OK, you should be. But I just couldn’t afford to keep you around anymore, I mean I know you couldn’t help your brakes, but they were grinding loud enough to draw nasty looks from pedestrians. And your paint was more of a rust polka dot than that original maroon you were born with. And somehow we survived two straight DC summers together without air conditioning.

Despite all that I’m really gonna miss you little buddy. I’m sorry I couldn’t take you past that 200,000 mile threshold. But we came mighty close!

So close to 200,000 miles. But alas fate would intervene.
So close to 200,000 miles. But alas fate would intervene.

And think about all of those amazing moments along the way. You’re pretty much the only good thing that’s ever come out of Texas.

Remember that time when we drove to a place called Racetrack?? I know…you thought it was gonna be a good time to burn rubber, but really it was dozens of miles of dirt roads to a hidden gem in Death Valley.

A stop by Teakettle Junction after a couple hours of dirt track
A stop by Teakettle Junction after a couple hours of dirt track

And then there was that other time when we raced F-15 Eagles in the Panamint Valley. We stopped and I took out my video camera and left it on top of you before speeding off again. Let’s just say that video camera didn’t last as long as you 🙁 But we got our own personal flyover and got to watch some sweet Top Gun maneuvering.

Speaking of California, remember that time we drove THROUGH a tree!?!? Yeah, that was pretty rad.

Nothing like driving through a tree
Nothing like driving through a tree

And of course you will never forget all those drives on the 10 between Phoenix and Anaheim, we were always rocking out in the desert, and all those times we stopped to rest at Joshua Tree.

And if you remember Joshua Tree…then you definitely remember Coachella…or maybe you don’t…sorry about those weekends :/CRV and Coachella Sombrero

Think about all the landmarks we drove over together: the Hoover Dam, the Vegas Strip, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel. We must have crossed over the Continental Divide 50 times.

Driving into the Rockies
Driving into the Rockies

And how about all those cross country trips!? Like the one time that we almost got struck by lighting in White Sands.

This is where we almost got struck by lightning
This is where we almost got struck by lightning

And then there was that time when we drove through a blizzard in Ohio (I’m really sorry for making you drive in Ohio so much). And then there was that time when I took a secret road trip to ask Lauren’s dad if I could marry her, that was a lot of driving for you…but you pulled through like a champ.

And a good car/man relationship would never be cemented without escaping a potential shooting…like that one time we drove down the wrong dirt path in Tennessee and that guy came out with a shotgun. Shoulda known. Corn don’t grow at all on Rocky Top…that’s why they get their corn from a jar.

Unbelievable catfish outside  Oklahoma City
Unbelievable catfish outside Oklahoma City

I think my favorite trip was that time we drove from New York to LA by way of Canada. Remember how they didn’t want to let us into Ontario because I had all my stuff packed into you…they thought we were going to run away and live off maple syrup and beaver pelts. But really we were just on our way to surprise Lauren in Toronto. And then we took a tour down Route 66! That’s something every car should do, but few get a chance to.

Driving along the flatlands of  Central Illinois
Driving along the flatlands of Central Illinois

And then of course there was that massive sandstorm outside of Grand Junction, Colorado…you’ve been through your fair share of haboobs so you knew exactly what to do.

About to drive right into a sandstorm outside of Grand Junction, Colorado
About to drive right into a sandstorm outside of Grand Junction, Colorado

And how about all those nights you kept me safe when I took a few z’s after a marathon session of driving?

Camping in the Ozarks
Camping in the Ozarks

Let me just say I’m so sorry for making you deal with that dreadful work commute from NW DC to Lanham. That’s the worst drive in the world during rush hour, but you handled it with nary a whimper.

Never look into the sun!
Never look into the sun!

As a matter of fact you never once left me hanging. Not in the middle of the desert or the middle of the mountains or the middle of the city. You were always there for me to turn on with a twist of the key. Sometimes I left you alone for months at a time while I was on the road in a motorcoach….but you never minded, you never got jealous and you were always ready to start up on a new adventure. All said and done we conquered just about every continental United State, a dozen or so national parks, countless cities and forays across international boundaries to our north and south.

I’ll miss you…I already do.

Kris

Just a little bit of snow
Just a little bit of snow
Parked on the side of the road
Parked on the side of the road
Parked at the trailhead for Telescope Peak
Parked at the trailhead for Telescope Peak
On a drive through Sequoia National Park
On a drive through Sequoia National Park
A look through the sunroof at some pretty tall trees
A look through the sunroof at some pretty tall trees
Moments before trading her in...
Moments before trading her in…
Our last minute with the old friend
Our last minute with the old friend
About to descend into Death Valley National Park
About to descend into Death Valley National Park
Driving through the Amish lands of Lancaster County
Driving through the Amish lands of Lancaster County
Just hanging out on a Pennsylvania roadside
Just hanging out on a Pennsylvania roadside
IMG_0477
Parked along one of the overlooks
Parked along one of the overlooks
Taking a drive on the Apache Trail in Arizona
Taking a drive on the Apache Trail in Arizona
A stop by Teakettle Junction after a couple hours of dirt track
A stop by Teakettle Junction after a couple hours of dirt track
Saguaro CRV
A look out on the Sonoran Desert
A look out on the Sonoran Desert
Enjoying the sunset
Enjoying the sunset
Taking shots at the airplane graveyard in Tucson
Taking shots at the airplane graveyard in Tucson
Parked in the middle of nowhere
Parked in the middle of nowhere
Cruising down the 10 in AZ
Cruising down the 10 in AZ

 

Tags : ArizonaCaliforniacampingCRVDCHondaNevadaPennsylvaniaroadtripVirginia
Kris Ankarlo

The author Kris Ankarlo

3 Comments

  1. OK now I’m crying!!!!!!!!!!!!! Send this to Honda and maybe you will get a commercial!
    I have plenty of memories in that ol’ car before you even got HER!
    MoM 🙂

  2. Kristopher, if you only knew half of the story about how we decided to buy that car! Maybe we’ll share the secret–someday.

    Your other siblings took turns in it, one pulled out the radio, another filled it with more trash than a landfill and it was rear-ended at least twice PLUS mom ran over a complete tire at 65mph–which originally killed the A/C. But of all the people who should have had that car it was me, err, I mean YOU! You took care of that CRV like it was a little kid or a brand new puppy. I know with DC traffic it would have taken another month for the odometer to hit 200,000 but she tried–oh, how she tried! Hurry up and marry Lauren so you can have a bunch of kids to take care of–mom wants to be a grandma. I am of course far too young for titles with “Grand” as its prefix…

    Great piece!

    dad

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