Four years of Dracourage

Call me Dracourage.

Last Saturday, I took my 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, “Dracourage,” to DePaula Chevrolet for its annual inspection and registration update.

And as they went over the car from fender to fender, I waited (fully masked up, as part of our new world) in their waiting room.

And I realized, in those moments … this car has been in my possession for four years now.  Four years after a horrifying accident destroyed my previous car, I found this rocket to replace it.

Four years.  Wow.  And paid off in less than three.  So this car is mine, mine, totally mine.

I’ve had some substantial road trips with Dracourage – by the way, that nickname is a portmanteau of “dragon” and “courage,” in case you were wondering – and although those road trips and journeys weren’t always flashy, they were special for me.

Like a road trip to South Carolina to capture my first-ever solar eclipse.

The Cumulo-Nimbus Eclipse. Nikon Df camera, HELIOS 81-H 50mm f/2 lens, Solar filter, five images combined. (c) 2017 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Or my midnight drive to the Rexleigh Bridge to capture a milky way as it peeked over the covered bridge’s roof.

Washington County, 2:30 a.m. Nikon Df camera with ultrawide lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

There have been more than a few runs here and there with Dracourage, and it’s earned its stripe as a dependable, utilitarian car.  And although I did see a few cars at the dealership that might be worth a possible trade-in, I decided against it.  Why get a new car – and new car payments – when your current car does just fine for all it needs?

Ah, consumer culture.

As for the inspection, Dracourage passed – they had to replace a light bulb that illuminates the rear license plate, but no big deal.  And it’s back for more driving.

Listen, I’m allowed to gush about a car.  There were years in my life when I didn’t have a car, or I had to drive cars that were not designed for the height of a 6’1″ man.  But the rule for me is, if I own a car, it has to be made in America (at least the majority of the parts and assembly must be traced back to an American factory), the brand must be General Motors (which is better than Ford and Dodge and all the rest), and I have to be able to get in the car and never say to myself, as I turn the ignition key, “I wish I had another car instead of this one.”

So happy fourth anniversary, Dracourage.  Let’s go for five.  And six.  And beyond.