Glamping spurned

Don’t ask me to explain why, but I love Jeep Grand Wagoneers.

Apparently, they are coming back at a cool $60k, but I’d rather have one that’s been around the block — and over the river and through the woods — for around $55,000 from Kerrville’s own Wagonmaster.

Wagonmaster, 2905 Memorial Boulevard, Kerrville, TX 78028

I routinely pass the dealer, which restores Grand Wagoneers to their glory (outshining the 2022 version, in my opinion), and I often take the side route home on Riverside Drive to stop and take a closer look. There are of course the ones with the brown and black trim, and the badass all-black one, but there’s one in solid canary yellow, and another in sky blue. I’d buy those two and park them in my driveway.

Taking them out only on Sunday, of course.

There was one in New York City whose owner would park it on Bank Street off of Greenwich Avenue. The rear window — that flat bluish glass of yesteryear — sported a surfing-related sticker. The second row had a child’s car seat.

The star indicates the exact place the Wagoneer was parked. Each morning I’d walk that street, and there it was, a shibboleth of my wanderlust.

Weekday mornings, I’d pass it on the way to AA meetings on Perry Street and, for a moment, serenity would deepen or flee, depending on my level of acceptance (page 417 of the AA “Big Book” if you’re looking for the reference…you, too, might need it next time you pass one of these chariots).

The 2022s are said to be more luxurious, with an “extravagant interior.” Car and Driver claims it’s being compared to the BMW X7 and the Cadillac Escalade. I’d much rather hear that it’s being contrasted against those armchairs-on-wheels, returning us to the off-road automotive demi-god it once was.

But I’m not exactly sure where I’d “off-road” this baby.

I’d like to think I’d strap on a surfboard and carve out at least a week of my next endless summer near South Padre Island. Or a drive through Monument Valley. Or venture into the soul-searching reaches of Big Bend, spurning the not-too-far-away glamping of Marfa.

I’d wake at dawn, or before, unshowered, and cook eggs and link sausage in an iron skillet heated by a Coleman stove. Another Coleman heating an enamel pot of coffee.

Of course, I no longer own a Coleman. I’m not sure they make coffee pots in enamel; I was saying that to make the sentence sound better. These days my large Lodge iron skillet is more amenable to Hamburger Helper. And, to be honest, glamping inside an Airstream sounds better than sharing a patch of dirt with the creatures whose exoskeletons can’t be penetrated by my Misen chef knife.

I thought grasshoppers were supposed to be cute. I find this one terrifying. I must find a muscle relaxant now.

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