Log# 050704


I decide To buy a Jeep

First of all, I love my truck.  A lot.

It has been nothing if not pure fun.

The dings and nicks (not shown) were proud reminders of all the fun I had.  I bought this beautiful Dodge as a congratulations gift for passing the equivalent of a relationship kidney stone just to help me forget worse times.  I felt I deserved it too.  I walked into a Five Star Dodge dealership as it was being taken off the truck for delivery.  I bought it shrink wrapped and after four years of joy, I had just put the second stereo in it when I decided it was time to trade.  Prudent people wait for some eminent sign of mechanical problems but this truck held no hope of ever breaking down.  It did need a registration, inspection, brakes, tires and a new battery soon however.

It was a hard decision.  I love my truck.  I bought it when fuel was hovering at just over $1.00 a gallon, crude was between $20 and $24 a barrel.  I heard it called historically cheap fuel at the time.  Fuel is now at $2.16 a gallon, a barrel of crude is trading at $50 and my fuel economy was the same miserable 11 mpg.  Worse than that, the whole world was using fuel as quickly as I was and it was starting to affect my sleep.

The anxiety of it all woke me up one night.  What happened next can only be called sleep nerding.  I woke up the next day and found this on my computer screen:

I only vaguely remembered putting it together so it scared me quite a bit.  It is a graph of the cost of fuel since I bought the truck to now, projected out ten years.  Clearly I was experiencing some form of OPEC controlled anxiety.  At these prices for fuel it's no wonder they don't sell full sized trucks in France.

For two weeks I wrestled with my options.  I worried that the Dodge now had 60,000 miles on it and it would be falling apart when I needed it most.  I realized it would never make the trip to La Luna again.  I needed something that would get me to the ranch without spending more money on the trip than the ranch. 

I went to the local Ford dealership and drove the Ford Escape Hybrid which is a neat car - if you call big golf carts cars.  Then I discovered the batteries would need replacing bout the time I head to La Luna for real and I would be better off keeping the Dodge.  That's when I set my sights on a Jeep Liberty Diesel.  They are new this year with only 5,000 produced.  The engine is an Italian 4 cylinder diesel that gets twice the mileage I get in my truck but produces nearly the amount of torque as my truck.

It's kinda funny how a man's mind works.  Although I felt remorse over the realization that I would soon be loosing my old partner (2001 Dodge), I was also excited about trading it in for a younger model that would not spend my money so recklessly.  I didn't feel bad about it either.  I was into another when I saw my truck so it had no reason to think that this day would not come.  But this was a cold blow to the old wagon.  I started looking at pictures of Liberties on the internet like some kind of perv.  One site even had one of those 360 degree photo's that would let you inspect all sides inside and out.  I looked at that one a lot.

My fantasies got more and more particular.  Within days I had obsessed over what I thought was the perfect Liberty in the marketing brochures.  This jeep was a Light Kaki Renegade model. The Diesel option is only available on the Sport and Limited models so I went looking for a Sport version that I could get as close to the picture as possible.

I found one in Houston, another in San Antonio, another near Oklahoma city, and the closest options match and geographical distance was in New Braunfels at Bluebonnet Jeep

Now isn't that a coincidence.  It's summer.  Veronica is out of school.  We haven't done anything together all summer long.  July 4th is coming up next weekend.  I get vacation.  Jeep is announcing employee discount to everyone next Tuesday.  I haven't been to Schlitterbahn in years.

This all came together while sitting at the kitchen table.  Greg was there.  I tell Veronica that I'll take her to Schlitterbahn if she'll go with me to just "look" at the car.....  She bought it, and Greg agreed to go with us. 

We took off the next day, Sunday 050703 and made it to the park, registered at the resort, and had a bit of fun in the water.  Later on we got hungry and thirsty. We proceeded directly to the freeway where we found a Whataburger and a beer store.  It was like we were being guided there.  The Whataburger was located at the corner of a huge shopping strip next to the freeway. 

After we ate, I drove around the Whataburger looking for a convenient access to the road back, then like a veloceraptor named Bambi, it bit me.  Boom, right in front of me was Bluebonnet Jeep and a light kaki Liberty Sport was just in front of my face. Jimi Hendrix started to play the Star Spangled Banner in my head.  It wasn't until I spotted the rare CRD logo on the back that I realized it was what I had driven across Texas for.  It was exactly as I expected.  Waking up from a dream and having it come true is about how that went. 

The dealership was closed that Sunday. A family was stopping to look at the cars.  That other car opened its doors and people were checking out the inventory. 

I immediately licked the drivers door handle without even thinking about it.  I think I saw this in a Saturn commercial and it worked to ward off other customers.  It happened purely as a reflex reaction, I was unaware of my action so I wasn't even embarrassed.  I didn't taste anything but I felt a sudden flush of something powerful.  Bambi became dopamine.  All neurotransmitters aligned in addiction.  First time I felt something like that was after my first cigarette so I was afraid too.

I pretended I was fine, and although I don't think I showed much shame I should have had more respect.  I did THAT, right in front of my Dodge.  We are talking tongue action here people. Then I got back in my old, dependable ride and asked it to carry me back to the resort where it remained parked, alone, in a strange parking lot, all night long.  

That night was uncomfortable.  The park is great, had a fun time.  The rooms, beds, and bathrooms are tiny.  Veronica and Greg gave the place a little To Wong Foo   Meanwhile my head was wandering all over space and time thinking about future trails I would enjoy.

The next day, Greg and Veronica bolted  to the park.  Peace out.

Greg is too boring to make his own babies.  I could tell he would appreciate the opportunity to spend time with mine and she certainly had enough of me by that time (all I could do was talk about the Jeep we saw that night).  I climbed back in the Ram for the last time. 

As always the Dodge delivered me without any complaints.  I arrived at the dealership as it was opening.  The first person I talked to gave me the keys for a test drive.  The drive was superfluous, bombastic, redundant.  I had already made up my mind before my head hit the pillow yesterday.

So let's make a deal.  Tomorrow starts the much rumored employee discount program for Chrysler, Jeep.  Today I can get an extra grand on my trade in today, not sure about tomorrow.  I also get fleet rates on new vehicle purchases from my employment today.  I already had trade in offers on my truck from Dallas and Bluebonnet was offering more. 

The question was today or tomorrow.  Wait on the employee discount or take the grand on my truck.  In the end it was an obtuse question.  I was going to buy it right then and there, deny anyone else the opportunity to take my Jeep, and enjoy the rush of instant gratification. 

Bluebonnet had the much needed Renegade roof light bar so that had to be added.  The paperwork was nearly instant.  Bluebonnet leant me a car so I could join Veronica.  It was time to go have more fun and count the hours until I could pick it up.

Veronica and Greg have a ton of pictures they have not coughed up.  This link will remain available until they give me something they prefer. hehehe.

I'm to pick up the Jeep at 6pm.  I couldn't wait past 5 and left the park early thinking that if I drove real slow it wouldn't be a long wait.  I got to the dealership and paced.  6pm passed by and the light bar was still in work.  Finally, released from the garage, it was time for a fill up of Bio-diesel and a washing.  I get my Jeep at almost 8pm and transfer the remaining contents of my glove box into the new tray.  I left the dealership in too great a hurry as if the Dodge was watching this treason.

Late, I returned to the park nearly at closing with the sun setting.  I parked the Jeep right in front of the exit door and waited for Greg and Veronica. 

Their first ride in the car was done in wet bottoms!  Things were just as they should be.

I had allocated Tuesday to make the purchase and I was suddenly given a whole day with nothing to do in the Texas hill country in a new Jeep.

I did have to return to the dealership to sign something that didn't get done the day before first thing in the morning.  They also gave me a cigarette lighter and told me the new rebate program would have made the deal cost $700 more that day rather than the day I bought it.  New Braunfels was starting to feel a little like Las Vegas and I was cleaning up.

We went back to the park and did that for a while.  Veronica was starting to prune after three days of pool time.  We chose to go to Wonder World.  We took the railroad.  We went off road for a while.  Then we rode home. 

On the way home one car tried to T-bone the new car but missed us.  I felt safe even then. 

Independence Day 050704 Is when I got my Liberty.  I can't wait to see what this new freedom will bring.

I decided to write this because lot's of Jeep people keep diaries, and my first Jeep, like the new baby it is will get all the attention it deserves.  These Jeep Chronicles are a log of activities regarding the care and maintenance of people in the car and a record of goals accomplished with it.  Let's hope they are all good.


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