We moved to Boise in January of 2007. We arrived sight-unseen from England with very low expectations. Having lived in Seattle and Portland before moving abroad, we knew Idaho was where you ended up only if you’d done something bad in a previous live. As such, we only planned to stay in Idaho for six month to a year, two years at the absolute most.
When we moved to the UK, we each sold our cars and borrowed one from family for the first month we were back in the States to get us settled. With the understanding that we wouldn’t be here long, we looked for a car that would get us through our stay in Idaho. We found Lizzy. She was a 1991 Toyota Corolla station wagon with 183,000 miles. The hope was that she had 20,000 more miles in her and would last until we moved back to the West Coast.
Within a month of arriving in Boise, our opinion was changing; within two months, we were loving it and had given up our plans to leave. We also starting exploring some of the more remote areas around our new home with longer and longer road trips. First to Stanley, Idaho for a music festival, then to Seattle to visit family. Before long, Lizzy was taking us on back country roads in remote parts of Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Montana.
As we explored further, we also got more adventurous with our driving. Gravel roads, dirt roads, unused forestry roads, lines on the map that probably weren’t meant to be interpreted as roads at all, we drove them all. One spring, we were poking around southern Utah. We had left the interstate days ago and hadn’t seen pavement in several hours. As we approached the intersection with the next “major road” we spotted several large trucks and jeeps parked along the side. We pulled over to make sure everything was alright. They were debating whether their off-road vehicles would be capable of making the drive we just did in Lizzy. “Where’d you come from?” they asked. “About 40 miles… that way, I think,” was my reply. They looked over my shoulder at Lizzy and asked, “In that?!?” She was pretty amazing.
We’ve now been in Idaho for almost a decade and Lizzy has served us well all these years. We started joking that Avery would learn to drive in Lizzy. Then, this summer, Lizzy started having some issues. She could still get us around but not as well and with a baby on the way, we decided it was time for Lizzy to go. The question is what do you do with a car that took us on so many adventures and clearly means more to us than anyone else. When the opportunity arose to trade Lizzy in for a bike and go car-free for a year, it seemed like a perfect fit. Lizzy’s spirit could live on in the new bike and Lizzy would get donated to a good cause.
So, after nine and a half year and over 100,000 miles, the car that was expected to last two years and 20,000 miles was finally taken away. When the tow truck came, the neighbors who knew the story, came out to say good bye. Overall, Lizzy was a great car for us. Like Boise, she was much better than we expected. We had a lot of great adventures and look forward to the adventures yet to come with the bike that will replace her. It even seems likely that Avery will learn to ride a tag-along connected to this new bike.
Fare well, Lizzy. You were a great car.