Goodbye, Dracourage. Hello, Lightning’s Girl.

NOTE: The Mike’s / Neba hooked rug progress blog post that’s normally scheduled for today will be shown next week at this same time.


Saturday morning. My final day with Dracourage, my 2013 Chevrolet Cruze. The fourth car I’ve ever owned. The fourth GM car. The second Chevrolet. I’ve cleaned out every nook and cranny in the car. Every food wrapper, every leftover film cartridge, all the papers in my glove box.

One final trip with the car. One final goodbye.

Oh yeah. And one final photo.

Six years ago. It was 2016. I think I even blogged about it. Of course I did. I blog about everything. Six years of road trips and adventures. And trips to the service bay at DePaula Chevrolet.

But the car is now showing its age. And as much as I would love to continue driving Dracourage, to essentially drive it until the wheels fall off … I’m sensing the wheels might fall off at some point in time.

I’ve already made arrangements for a new car. Well, new to me. This time around, I have specific needs and wants. I want a hybrid car. There aren’t enough charging stations in the area to make a fully electric car manageable. And the car also has to have the General Motors badge. Preferably a Chevrolet brand, but I’ll take a Cadillac or even a (hold my nose) Buick.

I’m now on the New York State Thruway. One last road trip with Dracourage. That nickname of “dragon” and “courage” melded together. I thought about all the adventures we had together. Solar eclipse in South Carolina. At least three Canadian Pacific Holiday Train chases. Trips to here, there, and everywhere.

I pull over at a NYS Thruway rest area. It occurred to me that my new car might not have the adhesive plastic fasteners for my E-ZPass transponder. Luckily, the gift shop at the rest area also doubles as an E-ZPass sales location. Cashier smiled and handed me a couple of adhesive strips. This is good.

11:45 a.m. I arrive in Utica. That’s where my new car waits for me.

Paperwork signed. Payment made. Signatures galore.

And then … finally … a road trip back home.

In my 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier. Silver metallic paint job. Four-door hatchback, leather interior, seat warmers with three levels of heating – warm buns, toasted buns, and burnt buns. OnStar and SiriusXM. Bluetooth for the phone. And did I mention it’s a hybrid, so it balances its power between battery and internal combustion engine?

And the road trip back … I swear to you, this car was quiet. More quiet than the world championships of “Quaker Meeting.”

Still, this car needs a name. All my cars have names.

I bounced around seven or eight different possibilities.

And it came down to this choice.

Sing it, Nancy.

That’s what I need. A badass nickname for a badass car.

Blog readers … say hello to Lightning’s Girl.

Oh, and one more thing.

I downloaded an app called ChargePoint, which told me where all the available EV chargers are in the Capital District. And get this … some of them are free chargers.

No shit. Free electricity.

Sure makes a big difference in my travel bill.

Methinks I’ll use that added savings to pay off this car as fast as possible. Remember … I paid off a 6-year-loan for Dracourage in 2 1/2 years.

Nothing says I can’t try that again.

Welcome to the Chuck Miller family, Lightning’s Girl.

We’ve got trips planned.

Let’s take them together.