When In Doubt, Ask A Friend

Remember when I was moaning about The Great Truck Hunt? When I was wracking my brain, hunting CarGurus and Craigslist and trying to figure out what aspect of my equestrian hobby I needed to compromise on, in order to afford a new truck or stick with my current one? Well that’s old news now. A lightening strike of bad luck for a friend is working out sweetly for us both.

Over a month ago, my best friend’s 11 year old truck, a Ram 2500 Laramie diesel, threw a check engine light on hauling home from a ride. She handed it over to her trusted diesel mechanic and cue heartbreak, shady shenanigan’s, and general insurance craziness. Somehow, her fuel was contaminated and it caused one or both of the fuel filters to shred the entire fuel delivery system. Of course she’d hoped that the bill would be covered by insurance and she’d get her beloved truck, named Denna, returned and used for several more years, but that wasn’t in the cards.

The repair bill is…hefty, more than I’ve ever paid to fix a vehicle. After a month of weird and downright infuriating moves by the insurance company and their adjuster, I called her up and asked, “Is there any way I end up with your truck and you get a new truck out of this mess?” Of course the husband’s had to wade in with their two cents (her husband was itching to upgrade to a 3500 anyway and mine, well, is super understanding but leery of exploding engines). Yesterday they purchased a brand new truck to fit their future needs, and I wrote up the most casual possible purchase contract. In a week or so, my friend will take delivery of her new truck and I’ll sell my F150 and switch teams to Ram. This is the best of both worlds: I get a truck I can trust to haul my new trailer, with an impeccable (and known!) service and use history, without an official car loan, and my friend gets the shiny new truck we can all drool over.

So, while I don’t yet have my new to me truck in hand, the wheels are in motion to say goodbye to Kethry (my husband had the Scion for 13 years, so clearly he’s miffed by my abysmal “vehicle every two years and never new” record). She was the first vehicle I ever got a loan for instead of using cash outright, the first one I had to haggle with a dealer, the first one I really researched before purchasing. I’ve put just over 35,000 miles on her, road trips and hauling trailers, to the barn every night and to my best friend’s house countless times. I’ve replaced her tires, her throttle body assembly, her O2 sensors and rebuilt her turbos. She’s climbed mountains fully loaded, visited five National Parks, and got Flash to the vet without complaint, on that horrible fateful night, a hard run over the Coast Range in the dark. I know she’s just one of the thousands, F150’s being the most sold truck in America, but she was perfect for me at the time and I’ve been so proud and grateful for the freedom she afforded, being able to haul out on my own is a privilege that can’t be overstated. From lessons to vet visits to adventures to evacuations, being able to just toss my horse in the trailer and take off, or pack my family and all our gear into the back and hit the road, I’ve loved this truck and I’ll love Denna just as much, as she’ll enable me to do even more with less stress and the slight worry about weights that comes with a smaller truck.

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After years of borrowing horses, working to ride and catch riding, I finally have my own horse, a spicy chocolate mare...but also a demanding day job (who doesn't?), a nerdy husband, a soccer loving kid who needs to be parented (by me, duh), and the ultimate trail buddy, a chocolate Labradork!

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