The script is flipped

The script is flipped

And boy, did it get interesting

I couldn't help but to stop the car when I noticed this tree

In my family, I am the car buyer when it comes to used cars. That changed this past weekend. Our son needs a car and is borrowing my overland truck until we find him something. He has been researching what is available on the used car market, but his findings didn't make sense. My wife threw down the gauntlet on Saturday morning and told him, "Come on, we're going car shopping."

Now my wife is diving headfirst into the used car market for the first time. Questioning why our son can't find something that will work and is within our budget. As they say - it's complicated.

To be fair, the situation caught me off guard too. I had no idea what we were up against. Although, I was happy not to have to deal with it and grateful for her willingness to jump in. I was also pleased that she would be gaining an understanding of what I deal with when buying a used car. After all, it's a major purchase and takes some work.

I usually buy from a private seller. Working with someone not making their livelihood from selling cars is easier. My wife wanted to buy from a dealer for her own very valid reasons. So off they went.

And oh boy, did they find a mess of a car market.

To set the stage. You can take your pick if you want a full-size luxury car or an electric vehicle. These cars are stacked like cordwood on dealers' lots. Ford F-150 Lighting, check. Mach-E, no prob. Tesla Model 3, pick a color. They made more of these than there is demand for. And now they can't sell them fast enough.

I don't know about where you live, but here in Southern California, gas is still over $5 a gallon. That puts cars with good gas mileage, especially hybrids, in great demand. Still, it's surprising that electric vehicles are so plentiful here. Go figure.

This is where it gets tricky to understand how upside-down things are with cars, new and used. New cars were selling like crazy - until dealers couldn't get more new cars. You remember how hard it was to get toilet paper at one time? It's like that now for the components that go into the new vehicles. So, new cars are not making on to the lots. With very few new cars, buyers turned to late-model used cars to fill the void. Because of that, there are now very few used cars on the market, particularly hybrid cars.

So we looked for an eight or ten-year-old used car that would work for now. You would think an eight-year-old car would be pretty affordable. Nope! Even older used cars are going for a premium.

Sheez, this is wild! If you can find one, a two-year-old Honda goes for the same as a new one! How can that be?

We are looking at some of the newer used electric cars to resolve this, which have depreciated as expected. They're still not cheap, but we won't be upside-down on the cost in a year or two when the market straightens itself out.

We thought the effects of the pandemic were in the rearview mirror, so to speak. We grocery shop without a mask, wash our hands for five seconds at most and have plenty of toilet paper. What gives? It seems that it's gonna be a while before our new normal becomes, well, normal.

(Out of respect for my wife's wishes for privacy, I have omitted her name.)

I have three more photos to share with you from Yosemite. I made these on my way out of the park while driving northwest on Big Oak Flat Road. As usual, I haven't finished processing these photos. Yet, they are far enough along that I am happy to let you have a look.

At the top. This lovely tree was attracting quite a crowd. It sits in what was a meadow. This past winter was not typical, and the meadow became a river.
Below, top. Several streams run under the roadway on the way out of the park and up the mountain. This is one of them. I made six exposures and merged them in Photoshop to create the entire scene in one image. The exposure was 3.2 seconds, which is rather long, so the trees blurred in places. Doesn't the water look lovely, though?
Below, bottom. One last look at a Yosemite waterfall before leaving the park. When viewing the waterfalls from the valley floor, they look so incredibly high. This view shows how massive the Yosemite Valley is, dwarfing the waterfall.

This stream is a trickle most years. With all the snow California received, it is raging.

As I was leaving the Yosemite valley, this is one last look back at this wonderful landscape

Photos that appear above are special previews for you, dear reader. Some photos may find their way to my online gallery, but most won't. Since you like my work enough to read these stories, you can request an image be made available in my gallery. To learn more, send me a message here and let me know about a particular photo you want to see published in my gallery for purchase. I am happy to accommodate you.

Thanks for being here. Otherwise, I couldn't do what I do