Some time ago, I realized that I’m going to need something with 4-wheel drive if I’m going to survive too many more North Dakota winters. My car holds its own against North Dakota blizzards, but it can only do so much.
In also realized that fishing out of a sedan was just asking for a headache. The poles are a pain to transport, and taking a fish home to eat is a ton of work.
Then, earlier this spring, the transmission in my Oldsmobile developed a serious problem and was out of commission for a while. At first, I considered just getting rid of it and hit up the dealerships looking at vehicles — pickup trucks, to be exact.
I ultimately chose to get my transmission repaired, but the test drives I did while I was weighing my options made me realize that there was a big, open hole in my life. It’s was a hole the size and shape of a mid-1990s pickup.
The looking process took a month and a half before I decided on this baby: a 1993 Dodge Dakota 4×4.
I didn’t realize it until after I agreed to the sale, but this particular vehicle choice seems almost predestined. The state I call home is North Dakota, my blog is about living in and enjoying North Dakota (look at the name!) and now my truck is a Dakota.
If this trend continues, my first child might be a "Dakota"!
Anyway, When I bought it, the turn signals didn’t work, the light bar on the bumper didn’t work and the battery was dead (my fault, I somehow turned on the dome light during a test drive without realizing it). I’m working on fixing those problems and about half a dozen others I won’t mention here, but don’t think I’m not enjoying myself.
I paid a fair price for this truck, as-is, and the joy of fixing it up myself is that I get to have a special sort of ownership that only comes from repairing your own vehicle. You can spend all the money in the world and hold the title in your hand, but a truck or car is not truly, completely yours until you’ve gotten your hands dirty while making it into a better machine.
I’ve got my work cut out for me with this truck, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m keeping my Oldsmobile. It’s my car for driving to work and back on normal days, along with errands, long trips and the like. It gets dang near 30 miles per gallon and I know better than to let a car like this go.
But on the weekends, and any time I need 4-wheel-drive to get around or a big metal bed to carry something big or dirty, the Dodge will come out to play.