Okay, so it's not so old – only 14 years. But it's paid for. The air conditioning still works. In over 300,000 miles, I have only in the last couple years had to replace the alternator and starter. So now I need a radiator and a water pump. And the only reason I found that out is because we made a hay run to just outside Phoenix last week.
This being July in Arizona, the Phoenix area is easily topping 100 degrees before noon each day. So hauling 3 tons of hay uphill all the way home was bound to have some effect on the cooling system. After the first stall, we turned off the a/c. Of course, the engine took quite a while to cool down so I could add coolant. At least we had detoured to Lake Pleasant for a picnic and a swim on the way home. A park policeman stopped by and asked if we needed help and I explained, with my best attempt at humor, that we were just "cooling off." Well, we finally did get our swim and picnic and got back on the road to home. After 3 more stalls, we made it off the freeway and officially back to Northern Arizona, with no more problems all the way home.
Having replenished my own radiator, from lack of a/c in a hot truck all day, I am able to sit back and admire the stack of hay that will keep the critters fat and happy for another month. I reflect upon all the good times we've had in Big Red (actually maroon, but Big Maroon sounds too Gilligan's Island). Camping, woodcutting, hauling horses, cows and other critters. And all the practical tasks she performs – hauling hay, water, building supplies; hauling other cars out of ditches; pulling a homemade drag to smooth out a muddy driveway. Getting around on muddy and icy roads. Going where no jeep dares to go. Who wants a new truck anyway? Get me that radiator and water pump!