Sunday, April 30, 2017

Our 16-Dollar-a-Day Car

Karen and I spent a couple of weeks in southern California and Nevada this past winter..  Naturally Karen excelled in documenting the trip with her camera.  But our blog still needed a narrative link. So I focused on our rental car.  Obviously, you probably think.  So I wrote one, but wait, April is National Poetry Month.  Why not?  So this blog differs in one respect.

                                                     The ultimate 16-dollar deal

Our 16-Dollar-a-Day Car

We rented a car on a recent trip
Just 16 dollars a day said the ad.
A Toyota Corolla or equivalent
The price didn’t sound too bad.

Oops, an insurance item remained.
Something more for the shopping cart.
That price couldn’t be retained,
We still needed the collision part

For on our own car we save plenty of dough.
‘Cause for one year’s coverage the charge
Is more than the thing’s worth.
So we skip it, the saving’s large.

But, for a mere ten dollars
Added just once per day,
A fender dent would ne'er be a worry.
It seemed wise to say OK.

We reached the rental store
At 10:30 late that night,
Most weary and exhausted
From our third airplane flight.

“Now, about the insurance?”
Grinned the car rental man.
I said “Oh, we’re covered
By your ten dollar a day plan.”

“Hmm, I don’t see it here,” he smiled,
As his computer he checked.
“Are you sure it’s worth the chance
If this car should turn up wrecked?”

Drat, I strained to recall
The deal that bested my ability.
I didn’t bring the papers
What if I’d only bought liability?

I give, I said, how much the cost,
What will be my outlay?
“That comes to 20 more dollars.
Oh, that’s once per day.”

With a sigh we set off in our Corolla
Happy to be on the go,
Til the next day sunlight revealed
A front end designed to plow snow.

A rock, parking lot speed bump
We go to places that’s got ‘em.
Disaster lay in the agenda
We’d surely tear up the bottom.

Alas, our itinerary changed
We returned to the rental store.
Can we exchange this thing,
Something with clearance, just a wee bit more?

The nice man behind the counter
Scanning his computer found a blip.
Ah, yes we have a new Volvo,
Two hundred dollars for the rest of you trip.

What’s the difference? I sadly moaned.
We’ve stretched our budget so far.
And we drove away from that town
In our 16 dollar a day car.

                      Our Morongo Valley destination as viewed from our rental car.

                                           Our neighbors -- a cottontail rabbit and...

         A jack rabbit.  Life has to be tough on big ears with all those prickly desert plants.

     Unless you're a ladder-backed woodpecker who finds a cactus a cozy place into which to snuggle.

Another neighbor, a northern mockingbird on a another sharp pointy plant, probably Mohave yucca, that I found out was nice to avoid -- the hard way.  They're nature's natural sword.

                    This blog needs some color.  How about a vermillion fly catcher?

                                                  And a western scrub jay.

A real treat was hearing over-wintering white-crowned sparrows, whose notes evoke memories of tundra summers.

We can't resist including an image of a phainopepia if for no other reasons than it's exotic name -- and head adornment.

Speaking of head adornments, how about this mustang's hat.  The owner of the airbnb we stayed at has adopted two of them -- mustangs that is.

       Oops, in the last image you couldn't tell the mustang has a nose.  This photo rectifies that.

Did you think Karen forgot to photograph rodents during this trip?  Wrong.  Here's a shot of one of the neighborhood's antelope ground squirrels.

Besides all the critters Karen "adopted" during this trip, another reason to visit the area -- Joshua Tree National Park. 

By the way, remember this is California so what might you expect to see out in the middle of nowhere?  Yep, only in California.  All rewards of travel in our 16-dollar-a-day rental car.