The Lil Silver Pony keeping up with the Grey Mule

As most of you know, I am quirky about naming just about everything that I own that I truly enjoy. Maybe it is a throw back from being raised nearly an only child from the time I was 10 years old when my brother Danny moved out of the house for a new job 11 hours away. Or maybe it is just one of those quirky ways I have along the same line as picking up rocks, sticks, discarded turtle shells, animal teeth or just about anything else that catches my eye on the ground in the woods. Or nicknames I end up giving people that stick like J9 for my friend Jeanne or Mister for Richard….who knows, but I do it, all of it.

Over the past year many of the folks that have followed my blog have read about and seen pictures of my little silver pony…my 2006 Dodge Dakota Sport that has been so faithful in getting me to many exciting destinations and hunts. I remember the day I purchased it; October 20, 2006. I was on my way home from my second Women in the Outdoors event. I thought to myself “You know, if I am going to attend many more of these events and start doing more outdoor stuff, I am going to need a truck.” Yeah…I need a truck. So I headed to the Dodge dealership in my home town. Within 3 hours the deal was done and I was driving off the lot with my new little silver pony.

I think Richard was a little more surprised than confused when I drove right up to the front door of the lodge and blew the horn. Everyone in the lodge came out on the porch and Richard asked “What’s this?” with a smile on his face and a laugh in his voice. I said MY NEW TRUCK!! The little silver pony. I have always called Richard’s truck the mule…so the coined name was fitting for my new little bright silver truck. We all got a chuckle out of that!

Over the last 3 years and 3 months that truck was the means of transportation to some really great memories, awesome hunts…..176,000 miles of good times. During our early November trip to Kansas we started noticing a little knock and bump in the performance of the truck…we were packed to the brim and loaded down.

The Lil Silver Pony on our early November 2009 trip to Kansas

Packed without an inch to spare...

On our second trip, the knock and bump was getting worse. I took the truck into the Dodge dealership and was told that the transmission was starting to show some wear and the part that would need replacing would cause the entire transmission to have to be rebuilt or replaced. They offered a temporary fix of a liquid that quieted down the knocks and bumps…but it was just that, a quick fix. Richard and I had contemplated on what we should do; fix it or trade it in.

We came to the conclusion that I really had outgrown the truck with the number of hunts and events that I am now attending. With that thought in mind and adding the fact that the last visit to Kansas was a real eye opener that we REALLY needed a four wheel drive truck since we do a lot of do-it-yourself hunts. We definitely could use the extra room. So, we started shopping; building the truck we wanted online was the easy part……finding it…..not so easy. We spent 2 months searching online and cold calling dealerships about the vehicle we wanted. We were offered EVERYTHING under the rainbow including a burnt orange 1500 with 26″ chrome wheels; could you imagine that in the woods.

This weekend we attended the 34th Annual NWTF Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Sitting in the hotel room on Saturday morning catching up with my email, Richard asked me to see if there were any Dodge dealerships in the area. I found 4 and called all 4. Low and behold one dealership had just received a truck with our specifications 2 days earlier which was showing online as “in transit”. I made an appointment to come look at the truck after our days appointments and contacts and a round on the vendor floor. The drive over to Rockie Williams Premier Dodge was worth the time and effort. I am now the proud owner of a Dodge 2500 4×4, crew cab, metallic mineral gray pickup truck with the manual 6 speed transmission we were wanting. A 3/4 ton truck with a ton of space in the cab for all my hunting gear, a plug in for my laptop….I am absolutely in heaven. As one of my fellow huntresses, Wendy Pettis put it, I am now driving a pony on steroids!! I have affectionately coined my new truck “Clyde” as in Clydesdale, MUCH larger than a pony.

Now the sad part...emptying everything out of the Lil Silver Pony at the dealership…a few field points in the center console, a cabin key in a dash compartment, a piece of broken arrow complete with broadhead from a buck harvest which I had placed meticulously in the glove box nested right next to a plug of turkey feathers from a turkey harvest last spring, a garden pump sprayer with scent destroying spray left over from deer season, my spare ball cap that hung rocking back in forth in the back window and last but not least, my Colt Ford CD’s that I have played a million times on my many long road trips to my next adventure. Under my breath, I whispered “Farewell Lil Silver Pony” as we drove off South bound in Clyde.

Home at last and the Old Gray Mule is feeling a little inferior next to Clyde