The car that DH and I are using on our holiday is a Toyota Corolla and we are hiring it at a very reasonable rate if you compare it to car hire prices in Australia. We are paying approximately $700 for 20 days and that includes full insurance. It is very economical regarding petrol consumption as well, and has given us so much freedom to do what we want to do. We noticed some differences in the car (especially when it was raining and we got wet while trying to open the door)...it does not have keyless entry. When the car is put into Drive, all the doors lock! When the car is put into Park, the doors can be opened. We’ve also discovered that if you unlock the driver’s door, the other doors stay locked...hence a number of times DH was settled in the car, key was in the ignition...and I’m still standing on the footpath waiting for my door to be unlocked...oops! However we have also discovered that if it is the passenger door which is unlocked first, all the doors will open...? We have wondered whether all of these features are for safety reasons??? Maybe it’s for protection against car-jacking???
|This is DH|
|Here is our hire car!|
I want to pay tribute to DH for the way he has been the designated driver on our holiday.The following is not meant to be a tirade against other drivers in the US or the road system here, it’s more about an acknowledgement that DH is doing a brilliant job albeit a scary one at times!
|Here are the freeways which are everywhere here in the US; and so big too!|
People drive on the opposite side of the road here, so he had to get used to that...and rather quickly! He first drove in LA with its freeways that are twice as wide as ours at home. He has acknowledged to me that he doesn’t like driving on those big freeways...but he does! Then on many of the highways linking cities, the nemesis for my husband has been the plethora of large trucks which share the highway, grudgingly in some cases. These trucks are only supposed to drive at 55mph according to the signs...but I guess many want to go faster than that to keep to schedules! DH has found some truckies intimidating when they want to go faster in the ‘slow lane’. In recent days, the highways haven’t been pleasant to drive on because of the heavy rain. Vehicles in front tend to throw up a mist as they drive along thus reducing visibility for the vehicles behind.
|The truck can come a bit close for comfort sometimes!|
|These freeways are twice as wide as those in SE Qld!|
Last Tuesday, at the beginning of our day’s driving we went through the Mt Ashland and Ashland area. There was lots of snow there including Christmas card-like scenes of pine trees with snow on their leaves. The height above sea-level ranged between 3000ft and 4300 ft. The pass we had to go through was a very steep gradient and the roads were wet/icy. DH rose to the scary challenge of driving safely on this stretch by just taking it carefully and not speeding. Local drivers and truckies roared past us without an apparent care in the world, but we still got through with our steadier, slow lane approach. DH was scared and I know this; but possibly a bit of fear can be a good thing if it makes you concentrate and not rush blindly on.
|We've gone through some steep mountain passes!|
|The trucks like to go faster than the advisory signs put up just for them!|
|DH has had to drive through low visability conditions!|
|The moisture comes up as mist as large vehicles career over the road surface.|
Our best friend in all of this driving in unknown territory has been our Tomtom GPS unit, which we’ve named ‘Harpy’ as she nags a bit!