At my house today it hit about 110 degrees. In case you never had the opportunity to melt your face, let me extend the invitation. It won’t take long for the process to begin. If you are of a pasty genetic phenotype, consider it the microwave oven of climate zones. Keep a meat thermometer in your holster; it can come in handy to ensure you don’t exceed medium-well.
For such an experience you may wish to rush out and purchase what I can only imagine is a deeply discounted airfare to Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport. Had I been asked, I would have suggested the Phoenix Therma-Beast Airport, but alas the Chamber of Commerce never came knocking.
Like a restaurant with no customers, it’s possible the airlines will pay you to fly to the oven of America just to make it look like someone wants to actually travel there this time of year. The upside is that you can also score insanely inexpensive rooms at high end resorts right about now. Plus, with only a few exceptions you have the whole place to yourself. After all, someone has to scoop your melted face off of the sidewalk.
In case it has been lost on you, it’s hot in Phoenix, Arizona during the summer. While I feel sorta sorry for my house, I’m not feeling too bad about the temperatures because I’m not there, at least for another day or two. It didn’t get higher than 70 degrees for the last 2 days here in Missoula, Montana. Missoula is a lovely place to be this time of year, and I highly recommend it, particularly if you are of the outdoorsy bent and want to escape convective heat, or oppressive humidity, or both.
Yes, I’m talking about the weather. I hope you don’t have a problem with that, but you can surely take it up with my boss if you do. Meanwhile, here I sit watching Canada geese feeding off the bottom of the pond with their heads underwater and butts in the air. It’s cool, there’s a breeze, the internet and cell signal is very weak, and I’m content to tell you about it, and about the fact that it’s not 110 degrees right now.
Up in this part of the world, the pickup truck is the car of the realm. Sure there are plenty of SUV’s, Subarus, and even Audi’s. That is, things that have 4-wheel or all-wheel drive. None more prolific however, than the nearly ubiquitous pickup.
I’ve never rented a pickup truck from a car rental place before. Not only was it available, but it was the cheapest thing they had. So I got a Ford F150 with an ecoboost engine that’s giving me better milage than either of my much smaller cars. Good on you Ford. Thanks for that.
Surprisingly for a fellow such as myself who drives a sports car, I’m actually really liking driving the half-tonner around. I had a GM one-ton dually diesel a few years back with a long bed, and that thing was very difficult for me to drive around town. I had it so that I could mount a camper on it. When I got rid of the camper, I also got rid of the truck, because wasn’t driving it and I had nowhere to put the thing, other than on the side of my house where the rodents thoroughly enjoyed eating their way through the engine bay like a football player at a Chinese buffet.
The F150 handles pretty well for a vehicle of it’s size which is like a sedan from the 1970’s. There’s plenty of room to spread out and to keep your stuff too because of the rear folding seats. The one we rented is a 4×4 and strictly no-frills. It does have a wee 3×5” screen for the backup camera, which my wife failed to notice the existence of and came within inches of leaving her mark on an innocently but inconveniently parked sedan.
Being the analog guy, I appreciate the no-frills. If I was to buy another truck, it would be as frill-less as this one. It’s a truck, it should not try to be something that it’s not, in my opinion. It seems when they try to be something else, then you end up paying a lot of buck for the bang, if you’re catching my drift. This isn’t some high-class prostitute, it’s a workhorse. Sure, a comfortable driver’s seat is important, but beyond that, I don’t need too much out of a truck…other than payload capacity and four wheel drive for hauling a camper into the hinterlands.
So I’ll just keep it simple, thank you. Although I have to admit cruise control is nice. I like that feature for long road trips, such as the ones I just took which required 10+ hours of driving two days in a row. I could go totally analog and use a broomstick cut to just the right size to hold the pedal down, but I’m not that exacting in my carpentry skills and chances are I’d either be cruising at 15 or 90 mph. Let’s just say that would be a less-than-ideal solution.
There’s a few things I didn’t care for in the F150. One is how light the steering is: I like a little more feel, but it did make it easy to maneuver in tight areas, so it’s a matter of taste and usage. The other was the ergonomics of the controls on the steering wheel. The only one of which I used was for the cruise control. It was not laid out intuitively in any way. I like the GM trucks layout better. But other than that, I’m tempted to buy one…for the slide-in pop-up camper that will surely fill the bed if I do. Wait, did I say that out loud?
Speaking of simple and analog, get a load of this 1995 2-door F-150 Eddie Bauer Edition. Having a meager 60,000 miles on the odometer, this clean-title specimen comes with off-road suspension and tires, a sound system (of some sort), is said to run like new, and looks to be in fabulous condition. This is a clean titled, southern California vehicle ready to run you to the hills when it’s too hot to stay in the kitchen.
You can find this $8,500 red over tan F-150 HERE on craigslist. (meat thermometer not included).