For the millionth time Yukon and I are looking at buying a new car. Old Betsy, 1992 Ford Explorer, is rapidly approaching the end of her lifetime of usefulness. Or so we think.
No airbags, outdated restraint systems, noisy springs and a windshield that looks like it survived a roadside assault all add up to one sorry-looking vehicle. Besides that, I can't fit more than three passengers at one time.
Shopping for new cars in this time of greeness and fuel economy is not easy. We are torn between wanting a fuel efficient, small-carbon-footprint vehicle and a bazonga-SUV that can haul kids, dogs, the canoe and a cooler full of fish.
I drive Yukon nuts with articles I have cut out of the paper and saved from the internet, one day praising the car that can last for 200,000 miles and still be used safely, and the next touting a new, remade model that is better on mileage and the environment.
Trouble hits when we start actually shopping. In Alaska, car prices are sometimes $5,000 more than Outside. Shipping costs put us over the proverbial oil barrel, and many people decide it just isn't worth it. $55,000 for a car? I could buy a cabin for that much. Or a horse and buggy, which is not sounding too bad at this point.