Editor’s Note: All pickup trucks are getting bigger and more capable, but can a new truck survive the challenges of a big city? Here is one tale from downtown Denver.
This parking nightmare was totally my fault. I didn’t think ahead or even consider the fact that the parking area was located in the most popular gathering place on the most active weekend… Larimer Square (Downtown Denver) on Memorial Day weekend.
For those of you who don’t know. That area is party central for Denver. Bars, tourists, clubs, panhandlers, restaurants, partiers, dispensaries and close proximity to Coors Field make Larimer Square a popular destination. Too popular for some.
This is how my parking nightmare unfolded.
Saturday 3pm: Arrived at Palma Cigars in Larimer Square. Found a small parking lot that was nearly empty right across the street. It never occurs to me that there are no pickup trucks parked here. I’m in a 2019 Ford F150.
- Mission: to meet some friends and have a cigar.
- Time allotted: Two hours – max. Mission accomplished in under two hours after a delicious, hand rolled cigar is consumed. Feeling manly.
5pm: I find that the parking lot, which was nearly empty when I arrived, is now full. Very full. There’s more – according to Ford, their SuperCrew F150 with the 5.5-ft. Styleside bed is 231.9-inches long (19.32 feet) – bumper to bumper.
The room between my bumper and the car behind me was about 22 feet. Had there been space of more than two feet between the F150 and the vehicles next to me, had there been 23 or 24 feet between the F150 and the car behind me – I might have made it out.
As it was, the numbers were against me. I began the attempt to extract the F150 at 5pm. This went on for a long time. Keep in mind: this 2019 Ford F150 is a Lariat with a FX4 Off-Road package and nearly every option in the book. It’s basically a $65,000 truck.
Bashing this expensive aluminum-bodied truck is not an option.
Yes, I used every tool offered:
- The 360 Camera with split-screen display
- The Rear View Camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist
- Foul Language
- Power Folding Mirrors
7pm: No progress was made. After hours of fighting, even considering the weight of the Nissan Sentra behind me (being just over 2,000-lbs) – could be moved with some persuasion. I was truly stuck.
My only option was to wait it out. I just needed one car to move. Either one of the vehicles flanking the F150, or the Sentra behind me needed to move. That meant I had to sit on my ass and wait.
Not feeling very manly.
10(ish)pm: FINALLY! The owners of the car to my right came out! The sound of the car’s alarm chirping was music to my ears. I wanted to say, “Nice parking job pal!!!” or something clever… but all I could muster was, “Howdy.”
Once he pulled out, (it took several attempts for his puny car) I was free in a three-point maneuver. The 20-minute ride home gave me time to reflect on my ordeal. I still want to get a pickup truck, but maybe the idea of a Ram Power Wagon being driven by my spouse downtown is giving me pause.
She-who-must-be-obeyed would be livid if she went through what I just did.
It’s not the truck’s fault – it’s mine. I should have parked on the street, or in a location with some elbow room. Still, it’s something to think about if you’re considering a full size truck – and you live in the city.
Speaking of food for thought regarding new pickup trucks…