Hooray for my wonderful 1994 Honda Civic DX! The little two-door hatchback turned 200,000 miles yesterday! The momentous event occurred around 6 p.m. on Route 4 in Virginia near the Kerr Dam and Reservoir. We were returning home from a visit to our four acres on a creek in Virginia, affectionately and also appropriately dubbed Chiggerville.
We were prepared, having brought a bottle of chilled champagne and four glasses. We pulled over in a little clearing and had a quickie party, even pouring a bit of champagne on the Honda.
Wessel and I had been worried we’d miss the big turnover because we are loaning the car to our Dutch/Friesian visitors, Wessel’s longtime friend Liekle and his brother Tjits, while they explore the NC mountains this week. From our calculations two weeks ago we were convinced the Honda would hit 200,000 with them, so we were doubly excited that we were present for the event.
While hybrids are great, the Honda ranks up there in fuel efficiency. Plus I haven’t wasted energy on new materials to assemble a new car in 14 years, and the car still gets about 32 mpg in the city and 36 mph on the highway.
While I have named cars in the past, for some reason I never named this Honda, which I bought for $10,000 at Weymouth Honda, south of Boston. But it has served me well. My last Civic (“Hokie,” for its origins in Blacksburg, Va.) died at the early age of 120,000 miles. Most of this Honda’s miles have been for fun or errands, as I’ve always, on purpose, had a short commute to work. Wessel now takes the car to work, about 20 miles roundtrip. I’ll be putting a fair number of miles on the car during the next year, while crisscrossing the state to research my book, “Farm Fresh North Carolina.”
I’ve had some great road trips in this car, especially when I load it to the gills (grills?) for car camping. The Honda and I have driven up and down the East Coast and halfway across the country, but not to the West Coast. I’ve had three bicycles on the back, and three dogs inside. I’ve also had some very romantic moments, with Wessel and a few who preceded him.
Honda and I have had our share of dramatic moments, too, from getting caught in a snowdrift in the White Mountains in New Hampshire to hydroplaning on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Mass., and ended up sitting on the median – uninjured and facing the wrong direction. We’ve gotten only one speeding ticket (my only one ever, when returning from the NC coast four years ago.) We’ve lost a couple radios and wallets to thieves in Boston, and a suitcase (of a houseguest!) to vagrant neighbors in Durham. We’ve never run out of gas, but we have broken down on a few occasions. Of course I’ve locked myself out of the car several times (who hasn’t?) and left the lights on, running down the battery (again, don’t we all?).
I hope we still have many happy years together. When our time comes to say so long, I’m thinking Honda Fit; a maybe a hybrid, if the price drops; or even more exciting, a plug-in hybrid. But for now, I’m very happy with my little Honda Civic. Pass the champagne, please.