Last night my trusty 2002 Hyundai Elantra reached a major milestone as the odometer turned to 150,000 miles.
This car and I have been through a lot, and all those miles include one trip to Florida, countless trips to Dallas and a whole three years of 50-mile daily commutes to Conway for work. But most of those miles were racked up while driving down bumpy Arkansas dirt roads while out taking pictures. In all the hikes I've been on, the Hyundai has always been there at the end, patiently awaiting my return.
Of course I haven't been too kind to the car. On one photo trip to Petit Jean Mountain, we got stuck in a nasty hail storm (the Hyundai is covered with tiny dents to prove it). The back end of the car has a larger dent that I added, when I accidentally backed into another car in a parking lot. I damaged one of the axles earlier this year on a treacherous dirt road around Richland Creek, and the glass in the sunroof mysteriously shattered for no apparent reason a few months ago. The fun result of that was I got to cruise around town with a garbage bag duct tapped to the roof while I waited to hear back from my insurance company.
But hopefully the car will last for awhile, since I can't really afford a new car payment. Best of luck to you, Hyundai Elantra!
I took this shot in May of 2006, when I hit 100,000 miles. Guess all those trips to Falling Water Falls and Collins Creek do indeed add up.
But looking back, I'm kind of sad that I hadn't bothered to get more shots of my car, the great hiking buddy. Here is one taken next to Haw Creek Falls:
And one from a snowy and foggy dirt road in the Ozarks:
And one more from a foggy day atop Mt. Nebo:
I guess as a present for it sticking around so long I should take it for a nice wash, wax and detailing. Or maybe actually just clean it out for once.