Thursday, July 5, 2018

Too Hot for the Beach: Hiking Alternative

Fort Tryon Park

NYC is stuck in a heat wave and though we did spend three days at the beach, we avoided the beach on July 4.

Why would we stay away from the beach on the quintessential beach day? For one, NYC. Though the city boasts several white sand beaches, the proximity to the millions living here means every beach is crowded. We were driving a car to the beach, which means the beaches inaccessible to public transportation would be marginally better, but still..scarce sand real estate = no place to relax.

Also, having just spent three days at the beach, we were eager for something a bit more active. So we decided on an urban hike in Fort Tryon Park.
#pacificahybrid #chryslerpacfica #electricvehicles

Into the Woods

This park is home to the Cloisters branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but we were taking the dog. And the museum is so unwelcoming to dogs that when I was using the Cloisters restroom and my friend was standing near the door to the staircase entrance, trying to catch an AC breeze when people entered and exited, a guard came out and told her to move. No second hand AC for canines, or their handlers.

My friend posing with the sculpture
And despite mostly wooded paths, the park was still unreasonably hazy, hot and humid. We mostly admired the Heather Garden from afar, since it was in the sun.

An urban hike
We briefly checked out the outdoor sculptures of armored knights. There are three pairs, each a knight with a nude figure. The nude is androgynous. So is the knight, though when's the last time you saw a female knight? But the Icelandic artist is female, Steinunn Thorarinsdottir.

The Chrysler Pacifica hybrid we drove for the week served us well for both the beach and the day trip with friends. For the beach, we folded the rear seats flat - they sort of disappeared into the underbelly of the minivan. This created a huge space for two bicycles. We still had plenty of room for luggage, and if we'd wanted to bring two more people, we could have easily done so.

Could only see the rhododendrons for a minute
The second row captains chairs gave those passengers a big, comfy chair. But even the third row had plenty of room. One of my tallest friend's, who is 6'4", elected to sit in the third row (we picked him up last). But he was comfortable. And on a triple H day, the air conditioning cooled everyone off.

We didn't tell our friends that only the front seats were ventilated, but the panoramic sunroof, a premium, ensured that no one felt claustrophobic.

Chrysler taking the lead in minivans

With the rear seat folded down, bikes inside the Pacifica
Chrysler produced the first minivan and now it has the first hybrid minivan.

The Pacifica has an electric range of 33 miles. But even just using gas, it gets 32 miles per gallon. For a 7 seater, that's pretty cool.

The minivan was loaded with safety features, like front and rear park assist. The 360 surround view camera helps with parallel parking.

Family friendly of course

Powering up at the beach
The power lift gate was useful for loading our bikes and the power sliding doors would have been great with little kids. A bonus if you are in a tight parking lot; with the sliding doors, you don't have to worry about the rear seat passengers dinging the car next to you.

You can open and close the doors from the key fob, or from the driver's seat on the ceiling. Very family friendly. And the Blu-ray / DVD player - with headphones - and seat back video screens, keep kids entertained. This was part of the extra customer preferred package, which also included more advanced safety technology. Still, the base price was $44,995. With options and destination charge, the van is $48,580.

Note: Chrysler loaned me the Pacifica hybrid minivan. I was not otherwise compensated. Opinions expressed are my own.

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