Thursday, August 19, 2010

Park Ranger Vehicles

Since I worked as a Park Ranger for over thirty years I often get asked questions about what kind of vehicles I drove. Here are a few of my favorites. Unfortunately I do not have photos of all the great cars, trucks, and SUV’s I was issued to do the job.

The first park I worked at was Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland. We fought over the one orange electric Cushman. It was all we had other than one administrative sedan and a couple maintenance pickups. It was old, slow, unstable with three wheels, and the battery life was miniscule. We spent a lot of time pushing it back to the shop for a charge.

Another beauty was this late 70s AMC Matador. This was my first vehicle issued to me on the Blue Ridge Parkway. In addition to its classic lines it had a really powerful engine that given enough time could get up over 50 miles an hour. The brakes were great as long as you did not have to use them and the tacking skills I had learned sailing came in handy for maneuvering around curves. When you had to stop quick and step on the pedal hard the entire car would jump and buck like it wanted to run full tilt forever without stopping. It also had crank handles that were easily removable such as whenever you tried to open or close the driver’s side window.

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