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Designed for Work, Designed for Play

michael binkley toyota pick-up truck

After 18 years, our old Toyota 4×4 pickup truck finally gave up the ghost. It came as no surprise – Michelle and I have been anticipating its demise for a few years now, but we just kept pushing our luck with her. The old girl sure did not owe us anything.

For work, the design was excellent. Over the years, I’ve self quarried rainforest marble from the west coast of Vancouver Island, hauled basalt and granite from the Whistler area, serpentine from the Coquihalla Valley, glacierite from the interior of British Columbia, limestone from a dealer in the Fraser Valley and exotic Alaska marble from a dealer in WA, USA. When we were renovating our front garden at the turn of the millennium, the truck carried 55 full loads of andicite from the Squamish Highway to our front yard for all the dry sack retaining walls. We, of course had to scavenge, load and unload each of those.

For play, the design was excellent. The truck made numerous trips over the Rocky Mountains to visit my folks in the Alberta Foothills. I remember one Christmas when Michelle, my sister and I made a freezing trip loaded with luggage, ski equipment and gifts in the night to avoid highway traffic. During a break from my time at wheel, I squeezed into a roll of foam in the box for a sub-zero nap – despite the permanent canopy cover. It ferried our dogs (the truck has seen the lives of five of them) to their daily walk at the local off-leash park. It has carried our hiking and camping gear to destinations in summer and skis to resorts in winter – in each season, the four wheel drive proved very useful.

So when the timing chain made a big clunk as it broke in the middle of traffic, I was frustrated, but not too upset. The old girl had enough, and while it was a little sad to have her part, she was a real trouper to us. It seems odd to pay homage to a truck, but I felt it appropriate to recognize something that many of us take for granted.