We have some company staying with us for the next few days. He’s very large, but doesn’t eat much and he’s very quiet.
His name is King Solomon and he’s living in our driveway for a bit, while his owners are out of town.
He folded his ears in because they’re cold in the fog. He usually lives in Mount Pearl where, he tells me, the weather is much better.
He’s my parents’ Truck that they use to haul their Great Big Trailer on their annual excursions all over North America. He’s a Ford F350 diesel 4×4 pickup, who can carry over 6500 lbs. and tow a whopping 25,000 lbs. Basically, he can carry 1.25 hippos in his box (if you could persuade them to climb in) or pull 5 hippos somewhere (if they weren’t pulling in the other direction).
For a sense of scale, here he is next to Caroline, our Toyota Echo.
Despite all this raw strength, he’s a laid-back, likeable sort.
King Solomon is very good at carrying things around. We put six bales of peat moss, five pansies and fouteen pepper plants in him today and he didn’t mind a bit. He’s hauled about 2,000 lbs. of horsepoop for the garden and his only comment was how farm-fresh it made him smell. Last week, he toted food for 200 hungry runners in the Not-So-Hilly Half Marathon and didn’t ask for so much as a bagel. After the race (the food was all gone), we carted a bunch of big speakers and other stereo equipment away from the reception. He said that it made his back half a boom box.
He’s got a funny sense of humour.
The other thing at which King Solomon excels is going places that are hard to reach in an ordinary car like Caroline. He’s high off the ground, which is good for going over rocks and things, and he’s got two four-wheel drive settings. One is called “4×4 high,” which is his basic “travelling over rough terrain” mode. The other is “4×4 low” which he tells me he uses when he wants to crawl up the side of a cliff. I’ve never seen him use this one, but I’m sure it’s an experience.
So the other day, King Solomon mentioned to me that he’d never been to Cape St. Francis, the northeastern tip of Newfoundland. Here it is:
You get to it by driving to Pouch Cove, and then up a really steep rutted gravel road that bounces and jounces its way out to the end of the world. Caroline made it out there last year, but almost didn’t make it back. King Solomon promised he wouldn’t have any trouble at all, and so we loaded up Vicky and Katherine and Jasper and off we went. It was foggy and cold, but everybody had a great time. King Solomon flipped himself into 4×4 high mode and clambered up over the hills and rumbled down into the dales with nary a slip or a slide.
Things did get a little bouncy though.
King Solomon told me he was being very careful. I believe him, but I was glad he has good seatbelts.
I’m going to like having him around for a while. I have a suspicion though, that his provender is going to be a little pricer than Caroline’s and for that reason alone, it’ll be nice when he goes home.