After six hours at the dealership, a Prius that wouldn't start and needed a jump, Craig's 50 mile freeway drive, in rush hour traffic, was uneventful. He said it was very smooth, and I found it hard to keep up with him in the Prius!
Our house is about 1 mile from the freeway. The exit ramp is a steep hill and the next 1/2 mile of the road includes a sharp turn up a steep grade and a tight blind curve. He managed quite well.
The next 1/4 mile is a private road (Hutchinson) and there were several low hanging branches that Craig said dragged across the roof. We will be paying a tree crew to cut them as soon as we get permission.
The turn onto our road (Old Ranch) is sharp and goes down a rather steep grade. When we got there we were alarmed to find a large dump truck with a trailer hauling a bobcat front end loader parked opposite the entrance to our road. It had broken down and was stuck. It was almost blocking our road. A car would have no problem, but the Alfa was another question.
Craig did not handle it well, but we did manage to get turned onto our road, and with the help of one of the truck drivers we managed to get the Alfa headed in the right direction, and missed running into the telephone switching box on the corner. It was close.
1/4 mile to go. This included a 90* turn, but we figured he could make that without guidance, so I drove the Prius down to the house, parked and hurried up to the upper drive. Craig said that more branches brushed his top and more tree work will be needed on our road before we try going back out.
The first part of backing into the upper drive went pretty good. He had to back up a bit of a grade, and turn at the same time. The space was wide enough and we both settled down enough to communicate.
But then came the big tree. I had measured it several times and was convinced we would not be able to get by it. it was one of my biggest worries.
Craig kept insisting he could do it.
What you can't really see on this picture is that although the driveway is just barely wide enough to get by the tree, it also curves, and on the left side there is a steep hill with very soft and unstable ground beyond the asphalt.
The only way to get by the tree would have been to go off the drive and risk the hill. We inched past it for a few feet, but there was no way to swing the back end around to follow the curve of the driveway without risking the front wheels going to far over the edge.
Craig finally agreed with me that the only thing to do was to pull back forward. Park at the entrance of the drive and call the tree men to cut down the tree!
That's where Alfa is tonight. Out of harms way, but not tucked into her place.
After all of that, we brought a bottle of Champagne up from the house and celebrated our first ride.
This is a view from house level. You can see we would not want to risk going over the edge of the hill!
In the next few days, I will write a post about our experience with the dealer. It wasn't all that bad.