Sullivan, Clinton and Broadhead Trail 1779

Day 4: September 6th, 2000 Pittsburgh (Car Search)

My body gets slowly adjusted to the new time zone. It’s the first time I wake up past 6am. After a big breakfast at the Bob Evans, where all servers say Hi to me in the meantime, I continue my search for a suitable SUV. I am running out of time and if I want to start my tour as planned I have to find a car today. Whereas I think I really like this Bronco. But I cannot remember if this car had headrests. And before I buy this car I want to really check this car in every detail. I arrive at the dealer around nine. He hands me over the keys to give me enough time to inspect the car. I check the play in the steering and look at the painting if there are any repair spots. It looks like there was rust on the bottom which was just painted over. Also the car has no headrests and the dash board has a real old fashioned look. The only extras are air conditioning and a radio, nothing else. Suddenly I am not this convinced anymore. Also the car dealer was not able to eliminate my concerns. Regarding the headrests he suggested to get some newer seats from a junk yard. The other alternative would be an one year newer Chevrolet S10 Blazer but with 180,000 miles on the odometer. At least engine and driveline was completely rebuild recently. I also check out this SUV. The headrests are integrated in the seats. The height is just enough for me. Also the dash board looks much nicer than the Bronco. Only the high odometer reading freightens me.

Therefore I start searching around again, this time in a new area. But again nothing suitable is around. The SUVs are either too new and therefore too expensive or they are in such bad condition that they are completely unusable. I decide to drive back to my friends and check again the SUVs on the Internet. There are three S10s in the price range of $3500 to $4000. The most promising is an 88 build with 4.3l engine and only 83,000 miles on the odometer with almost every extra for $3900. I drive back to the Motel with my list of cars and try to reach the owner of this S10. But chances are not good to reach anyone around 1pm, so I only reach his answering machine. The only thing I can do for now is making a trip to Wal–Mart to buy another phone card. The old one is almost empty. I also use the opportunity to buy a CD. There was a great song playing in the radio all the time and now I eventually got the name of the singer.

Around 4pm I try again to reach the owner — this time with more luck! He is the second owner and he gives me a long list of parts which have been already replaced. We make an appointment immediately to see the car. Unfortunately he is at the other end of town and he has another appointment this evening. But we should be able to arrange things in time. I follow the way description to his house. The Blazer is parked in front and I like the truck from the first moment on: White with tinted windows and the spare tire outside. The truck looks really great! Shawn, the owner, also comes to the truck. He is around my age and very sympathetic. He doesn’t look like someone trying to cheat people. I am getting very positive that this will be my new truck. We do a test drive and also check the 4WD. I try to use what I learned from the dealer and to me it looks like everything is fine. But after the test drive I see that the car is losing some oil. After a short amount of time there were a couple of drops on the ground. He promises to check out the reason for this in the morning and will let me know by noon.

Around 8pm I drive back to my Motel. But this time I use the Highways through the city instead of the expensive Penna Turnpike. It takes me more than an hour until I am back at the Motel. I plan to just go over to the Bob Evans because it is very late. But the restaurant is already closed! In the 24/7 country the restaurant closes at 9pm! That’s almost worse than in Germany! So I have to search for another restaurant. After a brief search I discover a Perkins Family Restaurant. They don’t have the greatest food but it is ok and reasonably priced. And most important: They are open!

Just past ten I leave the restaurant and drive back to my Motel. Hopefully the oil issue is not a big repair. I like the truck and I don’t want to search around any longer. But let’s see what the owner says tomorrrow…

  • Sights
  • General
  • Breakfast: Bob Evans, Cranberry Township
  • Dinner: Perkins, Cranberry Township
  • Motel: Super 8, Cranberry Township
  • Distance: —