‘The Beluga’ – A Nostalgic Gear Review

Dedicated to ‘The Beluga’

It was getting late and we were still high up on the mountain. The blizzard was in full force, but we were too close to turn back. I vaguely remember the pitch dark and the warm, reassuring words of my mother. We slowly inched up the steep, slick slopes of the Colorado Rockies.

Then we stopped.

A bitter cold hit my face as the window rolled down. Frost cracked off the glass and fell to the ground, revealing a strange man standing outside our car.

“License and registration please.”

We got pulled over on the side of a mountain, in the middle of the night, on the way to family vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado. For driving in a blizzard.

Typically we stay in the climbing zone for our gear reviews, but I’m feeling nostalgic. This last week I had to watch that same truck we drove to Breckenridge drive off with its new owner. I’ve been sitting in its back seat since I was four and driving it since I was 16. I know it from back to front, side to side, and ‘check engine’ light to oil leak.

2003 Chevrolet Suburban – Gear Review

The first thing you need to know about this bad boy is it’s huge. Like fit everything you own huge. For a rock climber that’s pretty cool because it means you can haul as much gear (or people) as you want wherever you want. Just make sure the parking spot you’re about to inhabit leaves you enough room to open your doors.

Next, you’ll, of course, want to know about the odometer. Personally, rather than seeing 270,221 miles (434,878 km) as a mark of age, I choose to see it as a great achievement.

Now let’s get to all the problems. And yes, every one of them has a story. There’s the huge dent above the back-left wheel, put there by a bicyclist (he was fine). The piece of plastic on the passenger seat handle that I bit (yes, bit) out as a child. Then there’s the check engine light that I’ve gone through many pains of trying to get it to shut off, to no avail. And the oil leaks. Which were simply a result of all the stress the car has been put under over the years. And lastly, there was one seatbelt that didn’t work in the middle row of seats. I reserved that seat for my little brother.

Oh yeah, and the A/C doesn’t work.

Despite all of the problems, I continued loving the car. It had everything I needed. Comfort, room, STYLE, a steering wheel, and four wheels. It was the PERFECT first car.

This blog is my little thanks to him. Wherever he is out there.

I named him “The Beluga”. No idea why it just seemed appropriate. What did you name your first car? Do you name your cars?

I’ve saved up my money working hard to buy myself a bit of an upgrade. (With AC that works) But I have no idea what to name it. What does she look like to you?


(My new car next to the Beluga)

Thanks as always for reading!!

Casen Co-writer theDIHEDRAL


14 Replies to “‘The Beluga’ – A Nostalgic Gear Review”

  1. When I got married my wife owned a 1991 Hyundai Excel. It had many defects which we referred to as “security features” because no one would ever want to steal it. The driver side door wouldn’t unlock with the key. The passenger side door would unlock with the key, but the door handle didn’t work from the outside. To get in the car when it was locked, you had to open the hatchback, reach through the car to unlock the driver side door, then get out and walk around to the door to open it with the handle. Then you could open the passenger side door from the inside. So much for opening the door for my wife when we were on a date! Also, the car had no sun visors. The A/C would only work at freeway speeds, because it would make the engine stall while idling. It got about 35 mpg. Awesome car!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hear you. When I scanned all my old photos into jpegs, I found all the shots of almost every vehicle I had ever owned and did a blog piece on their pluses and minuses. Even with the minuses, there was nostalgia attached to them all. As to a name for your new ride, how about Dolphin or Tuna. She is a bit slimmer and more sleek than Beluga. As to naming my own cars, I had a 1988 Camry wagon, we named the hot box because it had no AC. My bicycle riding son would cringe that we are even talking cars, but then, he is nostalgic about his bikes. Cheers and happy driving. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like that you saved the middle seat for your little brother. As the little brother, my big brothers used to hand me a plastic bag and encourage me to play “spaceman”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha it definitely will! I’m definitely glad to have upgraded to a more fuel efficient car. I drove that thing mostly out of necessity. 😂


  4. I think I like Dolphin best too. I have an old Nissan Sentra, but she is giving me no trouble at all. In fact because I have cousins that love detailing my car when I visit, she still looks brand new. Other than a scratch on one side and pits on the hood and a few things minor things she quite frankly doesn’t look much different than most newer cars on the road. Motor still runs well and there are no hiccups yet. I see much newer cars in worse shape. I don’t name my cars but my daughter does. I do call her a “she” though.

    Liked by 1 person

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