Ode to the Corrie

Capturing all of the memories that are associated with the Corolla for the last fifteen years would take more time than I have right now. But given that earlier today I just sold my first car and what has been a faithful companion for my entire post-collegiate life (15 years…40% of my life!), I felt some tribute to the “Corrie” was in order.


A few memories that came immediately to mind:

  • Its inaugural drive from PA to MA on Labor Day 1998 in order to get to Boston in time to start my first job the next day
  • Homecoming weekend trips from Boston to Dartmouth to visit the crew at the Crack House
  • Drives from Boston to Philly to visit the family (or, as they allege, to visit the Flyers durin the playoffs)
  • Outfitting the car with a Thule ski and bike rack to make it look tougher
  • Many trips to Baker, Stevens, Crystal, or Whistler, sometimes with the assistance of chains, occasionally with a push from a friendly parking lot attendant, but never failing to make it to its intended destination
  • Cramming my brother and three of his friends’ gear into the trunk for a Penn State spring break ski trip (you still owe me for the trunk repair Brian)
  • Tim complaining about the stench of hockey, ski, and bike gear and suggesting I get the car cleaned if I ever wanted to get a date (Tim is the one who gave the Corrie its nickname)
  • Picking up Tim and Elizabeth from the airport a few weeks later in a completely detailed Corrie – it seemed to help
  • My first date to Kingfish with Meagan, which involved me driving an hour around Greenlake since I was too cool to actually listen to directions – fortunately things worked out OK
  • Camping trips to the Gorge

I am likely forgetting many others, some intentionally (hi Dan).

But to pick a favorite one is pretty easy. The winter I lived in Whistler, I was in Seattle for the weekend visiting Meagan, and lingered in town a few hours after dinner, a little longer than I intended. I was tempted to spend Sunday night in town, and Meagan in fact urged me to do so, but a forecasted 50cm powder day was calling, so at around 10pm, I headed north. I stopped at 7-Eleven for a 12 pack of redbull, some bottles of water, some diet Coke, and a coffee to power me through the ride.

After getting underway, it started raining heavily in Bellingham, and then snowing at the border. It wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done to fight sleep with more caffeine, especially given the rapidly deteriorating road conditions after Squamish. But I was pretty damn determined to get to my destination, and I knew the Corolla was going to get me there.

I pulled into the house in Whistler Cay just before 3:30am. Too lazy to shovel the driveway, I backed out into the road a few times and bulldozed the car in, just enough to get it off the road and avoid getting hit by a snowplough later. Mission accomplished! I set the alarm, woke up a few hours later, shook off the Red Bull hangover, and got up for an epic powder day with Nick and Zack. I was pretty happy with the outcome.

Red Bull Detritus

To the Corrie…thanks for the ride…the Outback has some tough shoes to fill.

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