A deer left a dent in it, above the wheel on the front quarter panel. Sometimes, the windows seize up and refuse to cooperate. And, the air conditioner doesn’t blow an arctic air mass.
But it’s no spring chicken. The ol’ Dodge Journey has now journeyed more than 100,000 miles. It just clicked over the milestone this weekend, following a two-day jaunt to Palm Springs.
A grocery-getter of a car, one that feels like it might need help getting up steep grades with its four-cylinder muscle, totally pulls her weight. She’s a she, obviously. Because she’s badass. And never disappoints.
Even when the chips are down, and she’s bleeding radiator fluid all over gas station concrete on the first leg of a multi-leg trip.
The Journey bounces back. And if she had a passport, the pages would be filling up.
She’s carried me through blizzard-like conditions, when I coaxed the defrost to kick in, in Salt Lake City. She’s ferried us to Idaho, where a few minutes of my life will never be forgotten as the moon moved in front of the sun. She’s worked like a horse to get us through the Rockies for a Spartan race we needed to make in Breckenridge.
She endured an ill-timed nail-to-the-tire on the way to Ventura, for what would be a magical adventure at Channel Islands National Park. And I say “endure” because I feel like the mechanic for a car is the human equivalent to the dentist for humans.
She has taken us camping to Sedona, taken us to the ocean countless times, carried us to lakes, and mountains and National Parks like Arches, Zion, Joshua Tree, Pinnacles and the Grand Canyon.
She carries our gear. Our snacks. Our kids. Our dogs. And our sense of adventure.
She has heard our dreams, because we use those miles to talk about what’s possible, what’s immediately ahead, and what’s way ahead. She’s rolled up alongside a massive elk on the side of the road, she’s stopped on a dime when we need to hop out to explore the Colorado River or photograph a cluster of deer in the woods. She’s seen sunsets and moon rises, and her back hatch has been the setting of a few pre-concert happy hours.
She tolerates our muddy sneakers after OCR races, our stinky feet after sweaty hikes, our smelly kids when they decide to rip on a road trip (with the windows up), our sticky and icky spills (read: slime and puke) and she is a champ on gas mileage.
And we so appreciate it. We appreciate it so much we even give her little pep talks after climbing a big hill, getting us back safely from a trip or tolerating another mishap.
Here’s to another 100,000 miles. We got this. Because, we have places to go. And we’d rather enjoy the journey.