Pardon me for being a little materialistic for the moment, but I’ve just watched Yota drive away for the last time. We sold the Previa to a nice Russian gentleman who plans on using it for camping and climbing. “Yota” was our nickname for the Toyota minivan, which my parents bought new in 1993. It’s been the family workhorse for 15 years and has seen some pretty incredible trips. It was really quite hard to watch it drive away, partly because it means that we’re now a 1 car family, and partly because it carries so many fond memories with it.
Since seeing it for the first time when my mom stopped by a scouting event when I was 14, it has been all over the western United States. Some of best trips included driving back to Nebraska with a pre-painted picket fence strapped to the top, driving to San Francisco for spring break in 1996, and an untold number of backpacking, hiking, canoeing, and biking trips. When it came time to sell it, I was a little nervous about sharing my memories of it, so I stuck to details like how it has the “largest wipers in its class,” a gaffe that got the attention of one potential buyer. Here are some details that I didn’t mention:
- It can comfortably break 100 MPH, and has done the Yakima to Bellingham trip in 2:57
- I backed in to our house-sitter’s car on the morning we were leaving for Germany
- It has more backcountry miles than 99% of the SUVs out there
- Several friends helped push it through Bellingham one halloween night singing the Doc Watson version of “You are my Sunshine.” The radiator had broken and we were all in costume.
- I took Michelle on dates with it in high school, and she married me anyway.
- Mid-engine + rear wheel drive + studded tires = awesome fun in the snow
- It carried me and all my possessions back from Bellingham after I finished college
- 5 stereos in 15 years
- The Oil Can Henry’s on Capital Highway refuses to service it because of the engine location
- Scott and I drove around SW Portland and Tigard during some snow days a few years ago and helped other people who had gotten stuck. Then we went to a movie. Then we did cookies in the deserted theater parking lot.
- I like the way it looks
So, here’s to your new life Yota, and thanks for the 169K you’ve shared with us.