My Civic awaiting me after a 23 mile hike

About half an hour ago, a guy came by and offered me a good price on my 2003 Honda Civic LX. I took the offer, and now my Honda is on its way to Newport Beach. 11 years, 4 months, and 186,409 miles later, the best car I’ve ever owned is no longer mine.

It was time to sell it. I had put a fair amount of money into replacing parts, and it was nearing the point where the amount of money it took to maintain it was reaching the same amount I’d have to pay monthly for a new car. Kelly has never been able to drive it, as it is a manual transmission car. And, given that I commute 1 hour each way five days a week, plus the possibility that I may have to work in places like Borrego Springs, Warner Springs, and Julian, meant that I needed something more reliable. I hate to see the car go, but go it went.

It was fitting that its first and last major journeys were for hikes. Despite it being a low-clearance economy car, the Honda got me to hundreds of trailheads to hike thousands of miles. It did this while providing excellent fuel economy, that often hit 40 mpg. It went up into the mountains, deep into the deserts, through forests, and up dirt roads into the chaparral. It never once left me stranded. It only once left me anxious, and that was on its final journey to Mineral King.

The car accompanied me to Chicago, where it gamely soldiered through brutal winters and summer thunderstorms. The car made repeated long journeys, including LA-Seattle, Chicago-Denver, LA-Chicago, and Chicago-LA. It hauled camping gear, music gear, endured the worst sorts of messes, and has been one of the constants in my life for the last 11 years.

I don’t usually get sentimental about things. Aside from my wedding ring and my Guild 12 string, I can’t really think of any other belonging that I have much sentimental attachment to. The Honda, however, was as close to being a friend as any physical item can get. I am grateful to the way in which it got me everywhere I wanted to go. I am grateful that it never left me stranded. I am grateful that it was economical and practical. And, I am grateful for all of the great memories I’ve had in it.

I’ll leave for the High Sierra Trail and John Muir Trail on Friday, and after that, it will be time to get a new car. What will I get?

You guessed it: A Honda Civic.

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