Tuesday, 18 May 2010

No Where To Go

Well, it's finally sunk in for me.  I have absolutely no vacation plans at the moment.  Those of you who know me best will understand how uncomfortable that makes me.  Even if it's not for another six months, I like to know that there's some escape in sight.  No light at the end of the tunnel right now though... let's do something about that, shall we?


My greatest detriment at the moment comes from the fact that I have no more vacation days left in this year.  However, that resets on July 1st, so I don't have too long before I'll be able to take time off work again.  So we're probably looking at something in the heart of summer.

Next hurdle?  I'm still strongly considering buying a truck.  This, of course, comes at no small expense.  Therefore I'm going to have to contend with some restrictions to my budget for this particular trip.  That's not a big deal, there are plenty of places that I can go on a budget... I'm just giving you all a heads-up that my next series of adventurous blogs are not likely to come from a place like Japan or Iceland.

Iceland... that segues nicely into my next concern.  I think that if I'm going to fly anywhere I'd better make it West of here.  Flying to the East seems to be fraught with the peril of having one's flight cancelled by the natural fury of Iceland.  Not that I wouldn't like to go see that up close and personal...

Okay, so there's my criteria.  Summer.  Cheap.  West.  (Or within driving distance in which case I don't care what direction I go.)

Hmmm... I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the choices.  I'll dwell on this some more and let you know what I come up with.

Back to the concept of buying a truck!  I like to keep you all in the loop on these things, so I'll let you know where I'm at.  I went out on Saturday and test drove a new Ford Ranger.  I was happy with the truck, though driving something that much bigger than a Honda Civic will take some getting used to.  The salesman was (of course) a smarmy prick, but since I wasn't planning on buying anything right then and there I was able to just laugh it off.  I'm going to look around for other dealerships to see if I can find a salesman that I don't instinctively want to murder.  Wish me luck.

I keep looking for some competition in the light truck space, but with Ford knocking about $6000 off the base price of Rangers they've really priced themselves WELL below the competition.  I'm still looking to see if someone will cut me a deal, but I'm really starting to focus in on the Ranger as the clear winner.  That puts me in the position of starting to narrow down exactly which trim package.  The verminous little mutant who was trying to sell me one on Saturday seemed quite insistent that I go with the Sport package.  This is probably due to the fact that I didn't see any non-Sport Rangers on his lot.  The advantage to this is that it comes standard with the 4.0L engine (up from the standard 2.3L in the base XL trim package.)  Also, Ford is offering greater discounts on it, such that a Sport with the bigger engine comes out to be almost exactly the same money as the XL with the smaller engine.  That SHOULD make the decision obvious, but it doesn't.  For exactly the same money I get more horsepower, but I also consume (by the standard ratings system) about 2 liters more fuel per 100km than I would in the 2.3L engine.  So, with price being for all intents and purposes equal, I'm looking at a showdown between power and fuel economy.  Fuel economy could save a lot of money in the long run, but I have a hard time focusing on that with Jeremy Clarkson in my head screaming "MORE POWER!"

Well, I'm afraid that this might debate will have to continue later as I'm rapidly approaching the time of day where I'm meant to be leaving for work.  I hope this post finds you all well, and I'll talk to you all again next week.


corey.blosser said...

With your determination to buy a pickup truck, I'd suggest you enjoy your truck/bike this summer. Despite the fact that you just returned from a road trip, I'd suggest that you take the duo out for a 2010 Poverty Tour - "Salute to Fossil Fuels" - a road trip through small communities, staying at small roadside motels for cheap, eating inexpensive diner food, and spending the days wandering around on your bike.

Random Itinerary suggestion : Assuming you start near your parents, maybe start the 2010 Poverty Tour where it all begins.. Detroit.. then, leave quickly and continue West to Chicago. After that, maybe wander up towards northern Michigan, I hear it's kinda nice - cross back into Canada at the Sault, through a very scenic road up to Wawa (check out the Canada Goose), then cross over those lonely northern roads eastbound into Quebec, returning through Mont Tremblant to Saint Sauveur (those small towns would be great for the bike), wrapping up by passing through Ottawa and returning to Toronto along the disjointed Highway 7.

A very fragmented itinerary - but in the end my recommendation is to spend the summer with your latest acquisitions in mobility.

Jabbles said...

What about Killarney? I know your parents have something booked, although I can't recall if it's before or after July 1st. There is also out west as in BC. I know you are a fan of the area, and there is some great diving there too.

As for the truck, I linked a pic last week to a MINI with a trailer. I know you aren't likely to go that route but have you considered car that can tow a small motorcycle trailer? The Jetta TDI gets great fuel economy and I imagine a small trailer would be no problem.

Colin Young said...

Ah, I love these responses! The "Salute to Fossil Fuels" just says it all for me right there. :)

I had a blast going down to North Carolina, and I'm really fired up for another road trip right now. A drive through the North of this fine province would probably be excellent.

Killarney is definitely on the radar right now, I'm just not sure how long I'll head up there for. That one might just be a weekend trip to save costs... the lodge can get a bit pricey.

That trailer you linked is sweet Jabz. I'd actually REALLY prefer to go that route. The biggest detriment right now is space, I really have nowhere to store even a small trailer. If a truck was a LOT more money than a small car right now it might be more economical to rent a second parking space for my bike/trailer and go that route, but with the discounts they're giving on light trucks it seems like the superior option for someone with my limited space. Man would I love a Jetta though. :)

Also on the truck scene, it looks like there are some good discounts on GMC trucks right now, so I'll have to look at a Canyon as a possible competitor to the Ranger. I haven't been able to thoroughly research it yet as their site is giving me issues from here, so I'll have to dig a little deeper when I get home tonight. I was looking at the Dodge Ram 1500, the smallest of their offerings, but I think I'd need a second job to keep the thing fully fueled.

Jabbles said...

Yeah I understand the space issue. What's the point of a trailer you have to store in Petrolia? As I had said before I had read through some interesting threads about small trucks and that sometimes the fuel economy is only marginally better than a full size. I don't know much about the reliability of the Canyon/Colorado twins but I will say that stylistically they are a win in my book. I also remember that aside from Toyota and Nissan you are pretty much forced to go auto transmission with the most small trucks.

Aunt J. said...

The Salute to Fossil Fuels trip sounds great but remember that there's free room and board in BC, kayaking/canoeing, scuba diving, etc. Bring one of your buddies.

corey.blosser said...

After re-reading my proposed itinerary, and getting some feedback from others, I've decided it was a bad route to recommend. The only bit I like it Saint Sauveur/Mont Tremblant - they would be great with the bike.

One downside is that you couldn't do any 'travel' on the bike unless you had someone driving the truck as well. I suggest you team up with someone to drive the Support Vehicle (truck) so you can actually do some cross-country travel on the bike.

G&G said...

Hi Colin, Why not try visiting British Columbia? You get free nroom and board, the summer weather is not hot but pleasent,See Whistler and mountains, vancouver Island , Whales etc etc especially if you want to take photographs and besides all that G&G want to see you,love

Mom said...

My push is for Killarney. We will be there August 1-11. There wouldn't be as many opportunities for biking, but lots of kayaking and hiking.

Jabbles said...

That road into killarney could be fun, if it's all fixed by now.

Aunt J. said...

My goodness but this posting is generating a lot of comments from your fans.

Sis, push for BC rather than Killarney. G&G and I are still awaiting that visit Colin mentioned a few yrs. ago.

Colin Young said...

You guys are all AWESOME! I love the massive discussion this has kicked off. An epic road trip, an adventure in BC, or a triumphant return to Killarney? Hmmmm... let me check my schedule, I'm in one of those greedy moods and feeling the need to do ALL OF IT!

Mom said...

I must agree with you Sis. I'd love to see Colin go out west for a visit. Maybe a week out west and a few days with Mom and Dad in Killarney?