That coffin-shaped thing in our backyard by the vehicle gate is a Thing of Great Surprise for the kids, destined to be put together by the handymen while we’re on our trip to the South. There is a Tarp of Deception on top of it for counterintelligence reasons, to keep the Great Surprise as such.
The Thing of Great Surprise comes in a single box that is eight by two feet and weighs in at over 300 pounds. Your humble correspondent, not being the brightest bulb in the cupboard, backed his minivan up to the vehicle gate and then unloaded that box all by himself, to stage near the area where the Thing of Great Surprise will be assembled. Your humble correspondent had to pop an 800-milligram Ibuprofen a little while ago, and will be doing very little in the way of bending at the waist for the next day or two.
Because our road is still muddy, it has a 6-ton weight limit on it. Because the freight service delivering the Thing of Great Surprise sent it in a semi, your humble correspondent had to chug out into town and take delivery of the goods in the Home Depot parking lot. Once again I am impressed by the cargo-hauling abilities of that Grand Caravan. I have on occasion hauled a bunch of standard 8×4 drywall sheets in the back without trouble. I’ve hauled cargo and passenger groups with the minivan that I couldn’t have transported with any other vehicle. When the time comes to replace the Grand Marnier, I may just forego the AWD and buy another one of these. AWD is useful three months out of the year, while seven seats or 160 cubic feet of cargo space and a flat-load floor are useful year-round.