Sold the Truck


The “$1200 OBO” on my high-mileage, low-frills 1996 GMC Suburban turned into $1000 cash yesterday. I probably could’ve gotten more, but I was glad to let it go.

Six years ago this behemoth was a hand-me-down from my Dad, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted it. I was mostly living on a sailboat in Emeryville at the time, and I’d been borrowing this already beatup vehicle to take to Burning Man every year for a few years already. My Dad used it for making occasional runs to the dump, and not much else by then. At about 12 miles to the gallon, it wasn’t inexpensive to use.

My hypermiling Honda Insight got about 65 miles to the gallon, by contrast. But that lovely little space shuttle looking car did not work so well for trips back and forth to Utah, which I was making more often by that time. And it was useless in any amount of snow, which is where this heavy 4×4 SUV was at it’s best. So I soon had one nimble little commuter for SF Bay Area traffic, and a decrepit but dependable big-asSUV for mountains and snow. I knew the truck well, as I’d driven it a lot over the years already. Pretty much ever since I could drive.

For many years previously, this was my Dad’s primary tour vehicle for his band. I’d guess at least 250,000 of the miles on this thing were put on between shows with 3-5 guys and a ton of equipment in the back. When I was roady-ing (which I’d started doing in high school, and did a lot more of in college), I got to drive back late at night after local shows. It had a memorable scratch or two from me learning to navigate narrow dark alleyways in reverse for load-in backstage.

I never expected to be driving it 25 years later. While parts of this truck kept breaking (the stereo, the A/C, the power locks, the driver side door, etc.), the dang thing just wouldn’t die.

The guy I sold it to yesterday bought it for exactly that reason. “I’m just gonna take it up the mountain and beat it up” he told me, while spitting his chewing tobacco. Perfect!

I had a minor panic wake me up last night when my subconscious realized that I could no longer fit everything I own in one vehicle and drive away. Waking up enough to think about it, this hasn’t been important to me for a long time anyhow.

This Suburban has been a great utility vehicle when I needed one. I’ve slept in it many times, taken on Rockies full of ice and snow with no need for chains, loaded it with impossible amounts of stuff in moves, strapped a huge fuzzy pink adult tricycle on top and taken it out to the Nevada desert, towed trailers and motorcycles, and parked it within inches of very tightly packed fancy cars in the city.

Now I bid it farewell, and set it free to roam the mountaintops in Utah as only a truck like this can.

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