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I'm going to have to buy a truck... not that it wasn't fun to get the rental filthy driving this...

This is from my trip this week to the Idaho Falls, ID area, where I will be moving in a couple weeks.

First, you drive along seeing pretty much nothing but this...

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Then you suddenly come to this...

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What's this? A road?

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Just to clarify...

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It gets better, you can drive up another road to the other side, or follow along the bottom of the ravine. :)

From the other side:

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Road along the bottom:

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The area I'll be living in is flat, but is right beside the foothills to the rockies. This was barely getting into rolling hills, not even the foothills, let alone the mountains. This road is on maps, is not marked as private or anything like that. The only other vehicle I saw on this road was a road grader that just seemed to be passing through.

Oh yeah, and the rental Impala afterward. Made it much easier to find in parking lots. lol

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Better yet, get a Saturn Ion rally car:

A) yuck

B) vehicle for these roads will need to meet one core requirement - ground clearance. 4 wheel drive preferred. I love my little efficient Saturns for driving on-road, because they meet pretty much every need I have on-road, but this opens a whole new set of vehicle requirements. What I didn't get a picture of is where the dirt road on the other side becomes two ruts with a raised grass strip down the middle, which required turning the Impala around. Thus: ground clearance #1. Going up & down one side I was on a sandy surface that the Impala made me a bit nervous on. Thus: 4wd preferable.

Or even better, a real really car. Wrangler Unlimited would look very at home there.

Actually, that would fit the bill very well, but at this point I am still sticking with my long-held belief that it would be incredibly silly for me to buy a brand new or even almost brand new vehicle. I don't mind fixing a problem or two occasionally, and the depreciation vehicles go through in the first few years of life could pay for new drivetrains, especially if the work is DIY. I may look at an unlimited sometime when they've been around for a while.

I actually will be looking at another vehicle when I get out there. Currently my wife & I have 3 cars: 2 '99 Saturn SCs (one SC1, one SC2 project car), and a '93 Buick LeSabre. The LeSabre isn't worth hauling across the country, so we're selling it here and will just have the two Saturn coupes out west. They'll do for most running around, but we have some other wants/needs, which would be nice to meet in one vehicle:

-hauling people that come to visit (most of our family/friends that will come to visit are on tight financials, so we'll be picking them up in Salt Lake City, about 2.5 hrs away). So, we need a vehicle that can haul 4+ people comfortably for several hours at a time. We probably wouldn't get any more than 2-3 visitors at a time, so more than 5 person seating probably isn't necessary.

-good on iffy roads like those above and much worse. Those above weren't too bad with the Impala, but like I said, there was worse, and I didn't like having to turn around. This means good ground clearance, and a preference toward 4wd/awd.

-hauling stuff including dirty stuff (a.k.a., a truck. Maybe an SUV with a good cargo liner). Also, good for camping.

-towing in case I want to get a trailer for the project car, or we get a boat, etc.

-don't mind abusing - shouldn't be a piece of crap I'd hate to be seen in, but shouldn't be so nice that I cringe driving it down a gravel/dirt/iffy road.

-affordable, a.k.a. used. We're looking to put money toward paying off student loans, and buying a house. Gotta be fairly cheap, or we'll just forgo some of the more fun vehicle wants, and rent/borrow a car occasionally for some of the needs.

So far, it seems that what takes care of most/all of these wants/needs is a crew cab truck, or at least a comfortable extended cab. I need to sit in the back of my dad's extended cab silverado again (forget what year, early '00's I think). I know it's comfortable, but I don't know if it's comfortable enough for longer rides, especially for someone in their 50s or 60s (parents, in-laws, etc). An SUV with good cargo space & a good cargo liner might do the trick as well, though a truck would still allow for more hauling capability (may want to haul stuff like stone, dirt, etc with fixing up a home once we buy one). I hate to think about covering the needs with more than one vehicle, because having 4 vehicles for 2 people seems silly.

*shrug* I'll have fun no matter what happens. :) Even if it just means taking my project car down these roads (it has plenty of paint damage anyway). Just limits where I can go, & how many I can take with...

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