In Alberta to pick up a new Jeep

Cathy bought her Chevy Tracker new in 2001, and has wanted a new car for a long time. She finally bought a new Jeep online on Tuesday, and I’m now on a week-long wander home with it.

We’ve been all over the map in thinking about what Cathy needs and wants. One of the main criteria is that it has to be able to be towed behind the motorhome on a towbar, and very, very few vehicles can. We settled on a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, which can be summarized as a luxury off-road-capable SUV. It’s got a full load of the sort of equipment we need for the serious off-road driving we sometimes like to do – skid plates and tow hooks foremost. Cathy really likes this colour, which is called Light Brownstone Pearlcoat, but it’s not a common colour. We only found two Cherokee Trailhawks available with that colour in Alberta (where the best deals are often found), only one of which had the wheels we want.

2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
On Tuesday, we were able to finalize a deal with Big West Dodge in Drayton Valley, about 130 kilometers southwest of Edmonton, and on Wednesday I was on the 4:50 pm Air North flight to Edmonton. It looked like it was going to be a gorgeous evening to fly.

Ready to take off from Whitehorse, Yukon
Climbing out from Whitehorse.

Climbing out from Whitehorse on Air North
At 6:15, about 40 minutes before official sunset, the sun disappeared behind a low cloud layer.

A northern BC sunset from 33,000 feet
Air North goes to Calgary before Edmonton, and combined with losing an hour going east, arrival in Edmonton is at 9:50 pm. But the hotel shuttle was just loading when I walked out of the terminal, and by 10:15 I was in room #202 at the Executive Hotel Alexandra, located in a maze of hotels just a couple of kilometers from the airport.

Executive Hotel Alexandra, Edmonton Airport
I had a great sleep, and was pleased to find the next morning that the breakfast that’s included in the room rate ($109) was a full hot breakfast, not the continental that they advertise. I was in no hurry, so the comfortable and quiet breakfast room was the perfect spot to start the day.

Breakfast at the Executive Hotel Alexandra, Edmonton Airport
I interrupted my breakfast to pop outside for a photo of this wonderful sunrise πŸ™‚

Sunrise at the Executive Hotel Alexandra, Edmonton Airport
I was going to rent a car one-way to Drayton Valley, but Big West Dodge offered to send a shuttle. I asked for a 09:30 pickup, and got a call from the driver 20 minutes before that, saying that he’d arrived. I was ready to go, and was quickly outside the lobby looking for him. It turned out that he was at the other Executive hotel a half-mile away, but by 09:20, Dennis and I were headed southwest.

Big West Dodge shuttle van at the Executive Hotel Alexandra, Edmonton Airport
I had a very pleasant ride with Dennis, and taking delivery of the Jeep was a particularly good experience. Our salesman, Shawn Legeas, spent an hour or so going through the Jeep’s systems with me. The Uconnect screen, looking like an iPad in the middle of the dash, was intimidating at first but I soon found it very easy to use – quite intuitive. While there, I met the owner of the dealership as well as several employees – apparently they don’t get many buyers from Whitehorse πŸ™‚ Shawn and I had a photo taken for his album…

Accepting my 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk at Big West Dodge
… and just after noon, I shot this photo of the Jeep as I was about to leave, to post to Facebook.

My 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk at Big West Dodge
I was really looking forward to this trip! My first stop would be Hinton, to see my son and his family.

My 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Just before 1:00 pm, with the temperature at -1°C, I could see snow falling ahead on Highway 22, and was soon into it.

Alberta Highway 22 north of Drayton Valley
Even on a nice day, there’s not much to say about Highway 16.

A photo stop east of Edson, at 1:30. Already dirty with less than 200 km on it! πŸ™

My 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
When I saw these flags at Edson, I had to stop for a look.

Flags of Remembrance at Edson, Alberta
“Flags of Remembrance” – very nice. When I posted the photo above on Facebook, a Whitehorse friend, Doug Davidge, commented that his Dad and uncle are among those honoured by this display. An article in the Edson Leader describes the display: “The Flags of Remembrance, a program of Veterans Voices of Canada, commemorates veterans from conflicts that Canadians were involved in, as well as the nation’s ranks of peacekeepers. The 128 flags displayed along the perimeter of Centennial Park from Oct. 1 til Nov. 13 represent the 128,000 Canadians who have been killed or missing in action in war or in peacekeeping ventures from the Boer War to the present. Seventy seven of the flags have been purchased for sponsorship, which includes a commemorative plaque including the details of the person honoured. Cost of sponsoring a flag is $200 and will be available until Nov. 1. Fifty per cent of the proceeds will go to the Edson Legion for its charitable work and the plaques will continue to be installed as they arrive.”

Flags of Remembrance at Edson, Alberta
By the time I got near Hinton at 4:30, the sun had come out, and with the roads drying up, my first stop in Hinton was the car wash. Even though I knew that it would be covered by snow in a few hours πŸ™‚

Being able to see my kids and their families is a huge bonus to buying a car in Alberta. This is our third – my Cadillac CTS, and before that my Subaru Outback, were also bought in Alberta – those ones were bought in Calgary.

As I started working on this post at 07:00, the forecast fairly heavy snow had just begun.

Snowing in Hinton, Alberta
The weather forecast this morning is pretty much what can be expected this time of year. I don’t need to go anywhere today, except for a bit of shopping in Hinton. Tomorrow, I’ll be heading south through Jasper and down the Icefields Parkway.

Weather forecast for Hinton, Alberta


In Alberta to pick up a new Jeep — 5 Comments

  1. Nice ride! My gf has been wanting a nice Jeep like this for awhile now. You’ll have to write a bit of a review after you guys have driven it for a few months

    • The 3,100-km break-in trip was a good test of it, except for getting no off-road, and my next post will have a review of it. I’m basically very impressed by it, except for the headlights, which are totally inadequate – I’m going to set up a 3-vehicle headlight comparison test as soon as I feel better.

      • Looking forward to it!
        It’s funny you mention headlights as my cousin was visiting saturday after doing a bit of SUV shopping and said the same things about several vehicles they had looked at. He was telling me the difference (drawing a blank on the name at the moment) between what he was looking for which gave you a much better illumination and the ones he didn’t like (which seems to be the norm on a lot of models now) which was more a spotlight in one direction.

  2. Good luck w the new vehicle…lots of more extreme adventures to come next year for you guys and the furry kids!
    One thing that the two govts could agree on is a minimum standard for headlights; lumens, reach, width of coverage, etc (as I think they basically for stop and turn signals) – with so many of us aging and feeling anxious about night driving already, it’s a real safety hazard and seemingly many of the manufacturers put extreme styling ahead of safety and usability.

    Many of the newer cars, SUVs and now trucks are almost impossible to fit with aftermarket halogens or LED fogs or driving lights or look horrible with them attached…and vulnerable to easy damage.