With the start of this business, I also had to face the reality of a car purchase to shuttle between DC and Lancaster, PA. It was one not made easily, as I took pride in the fact that enough public transportation modes were available when I needed it (and many kind friends and family members to pick me up from the station!). The fact that there are great hybrid cars available now though made this a little easier. And the fact that it was love at first sight. My Prius, Penny is just the right size for me and my crates, boxes and tables and is so much roomier than she looks on the outside. She also had great qualities that I came to realize in the coming weeks.
Most of you know that Lancaster County has a very large Amish community that utilizes the ultimate oil-free/non-fuel dependent vehicle there is: a horse-drawn carriage. My part of the county is particularly made up of farmland and I don’t go a day out of my driveway without passing an Amish buggy. With country road driving also comes narrow roads and bends on roads without painted lines (or sidewalks or utility poles). It was on one such bend that I was driving behind an Amish buggy and my consumption of gas went to 99.99 gallons per mile. I looked at the speedometer to see I was going about 9 miles per hour. As my engine switched off, I was able to hear the clip-clop of the horse’s shoes on the pavement in front of me, and thought, “How perfect. Penny is right at home here in the countryside, practically designed to trot alongside my horse-drawn neighbors.” It’s a nice thought that helps push away the impatience of being “stuck” on the road.
The following week on my return to DC I turned onto the Baltimore-Washington Parkway only to come to an immediate halt. A bad accident farther up had brought the highway to a crawl. It took me almost 3 hours to get from Baltimore to DC, but again I had a comforting thought to outweigh the long drive – Penny delightfully crawled and coasted her way down the road and managed to use only about 1 gallon of gas for the entire trip!
So, it’s not a zero-carbon-footprint situation, but don’t you agree this is a match made in heaven? She’s perfectly suited to her city life and small parking spaces and stop-n-go traffic as much as she is on an open country road. Happiness on wheels!