Travel and the Car:

Yes, there was a Chrysler Voyager, a Chrysler Caravan, a Chrysler Grand Caravan, and a Chrysler Town and Country. These were the original minivans in the days when Chrysler was the only producer. They eventually cut out the Caravan, the Voyager, and the Town and Country and continued with only the Grand Caravan until just about last year when they came out with the Chrysler Pacifica. We test drove that car last year and just a few weeks ago. It was tempting. I wanted to buy it especially since they had a hybrid plug in model which I thought was impossibly cool. It was supposed to give you 30 miles of electric car and then you went into hybrid mode, making it the largest car in the world that you can plug in.

But it had two fatal flaws. First of all it was way too high up. You had to climb up into with with running boards and that sort of thing. I don’t know why they do this. They have essentially ruined all the remaining minivan models with this sort of design. Also it was very expensive.
It had the cutest commercials and videos with the Muppets, though. If you go to the Chrysler USA website you will see what I mean. They are really promoting the Pacifica and it appears on the front page.
Yes, the Ford Flex which we purchased instead has a third row. That is where the dog should be riding. Behind the third row is the “trunk” with space for either suitcases or grocery bags. Inside the car it is very much like a minivan. The third row can disappear into the floor of the car giving you more space in the back for cargo.

Yes, the Flex is suitable for long distance travel just like a minivan. We bought our first minivan, the Chrysler Grand Caravan, that we owned and which we were to drive 100,000 miles. We bought the first minivan with the idea of driving to Tucson for the first time. (The year before we went on the train, which was the first time we ever saw Tucson). We ended up driving it to Tucson four times including the move there. We ended up driving it to Florida twice, Hilton Head three times, St. Simons Island twice, the Oregon Coast once, Yosemite twice, the Grand Canyon three times, and San Diego once. It took us a lot of places before we leased two Ford Windstars, bought an RV, then bought the former Nissan Quest 2007.

I almost forgot. We also drove the Chrysler Grand Caravan to Yellowstone and the Tetons, the same year that we moved to Tucson. I found a photo of the Grand Caravan parked alongside the Madison River near the West Entrance to the Park in West Yellowstone, Montana. Most of the trees you see are lodge pole pines. If you drive down the road to the end of the picnic ground along the Madison River and turn right you will head into the thermal basins and eventually reach Old Faithful.

Old Faithful is the setting for Old Faithful Plot, coming soon from Cheops Books LLC.

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