Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meet The Panda

Proud owner
When you finally find exactly what you're looking for, you can't just let it go. I think this applies to many walks of life. But specifically, I'm talking about a car. Say hello to my new gas guzzling desert whippin' adventure mobile - a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. I shall name him Panda.

When my hunt for a used Wrangler became serious, I spent months researching the market. I knew I wouldn't settle for anything other than a white stick-shift. Whether I wanted an Unlimited or Sport or specifics on trim were left to fate. I began my search in the Tri-Cities, looking at multiple dealers. Then I went online. Then I extended the radius of my search, and headed north to Spokane and south to Hermiston. The few white Jeeps I saw were either brand spanking new, costing $40K, or automatics. I was getting scared. Are white stick-shifts that rare? I thought so.

N Sunset Road, Benton City
Rewind to last month. I saw this beautiful 2013 two-door white Jeep pop up at a dealer in town, so I headed there to test drive the babe of a car. It was a stick... Jackpot. Things were getting exciting! As I got in and glanced around the car, I notice something huge. No air conditioning. Weird? Who makes cars without AC?! Apparently there are still cars, even in 2016, that do not come with AC. I also learned that some Jeeps, specifically Canadian born Jeeps, come this way. This Jeep was a beauty, but AC was a deal breaker for me. I'm sad to say it's gonna have a hard time finding an owner with our Tri-City summers. It sadly doesn't belong in our region.

Yeah that happened.
Putting the spotlight on The Panda, he is my perfect match. I spotted him driving past our local Jeep dealer. At the time, the price was a little too high so I figured I didn't stand a chance. But after a week they dropped it by $2K and owning the car became feasible. I was simultaneously looking at other Jeeps on the market so I felt pretty confident about what number I'd come at them with. That Friday, I went in to give him a test drive. For such a cute car, he packs some power. I loved the feel and knew he was a perfect fit. A four door would be a little too big for me. The dealer let me keep him all weekend to test drive and with a day of negotiating, we settled on a price. I have officially had him for three days and even embellished the back window with my UW decal. He looks perfect. Go Dawgs.

Yesterday, my friend Andrew and I hit the back roads of Horse Heaven Hills outside of Benton City for a mini off-roading adventure. This was my first time learning how to drive on this terrain and I learned low gears are how you do it. I need major training on off roading, so feel free to shoot me some tips & techniques and layman info on lockers and all that cool Rubicon stuff. Can't wait for more adventures, especially in the snow this winter. Thank you Andrew for the great photos! And a big shout out and thank you to Lithia of Tri-Cities for their excellent service. If you're looking for a Jeep, they won't let you leave until you're happy with the deal. 
Fifth the final summit! Mt. Adams August, 2016

Another cool thing, I did finish summiting all five of our state volcanoes with a topper on Mt. Adams in August. I forgot to blog about it, but here's a cool video I made (CLICK HERE) of our summit. Thank you to my badass group of friends who celebrated at the top with me. Now I need some new goals. Any ideas?

Last word - please give a moment of silence for all the bears going into hibernation. Sleep well guys. ⤲

No comments:

Post a Comment