A Chop Chop Adventure

Travel
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD RST Crew made a trip into the Santa Cruz mountains to chop down our own Christmas tree less of a chore and more of a fun and comfortable adventure. Photo Credit: Arturo Hilario
We Take a 2019 Silverado into the Mountains for a Tree Scouting Expedition

Arturo Hilario
El Observador

It’s the time for family, friends and watching “Elf” for the hundredth time. With that comes the yuletide traditions wrapping gifts, staying warm and staring at the wonder of a tree being the item that ties rooms together for about a month. 

Recently I went on my first trip to cut down my own Christmas tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Although I have had my fair share of trips up the 17 into the picturesque area around Big Basin State Park, I had never been to this exact place where Christmas trees actually did grow as far as the eye could see.

In this region of the Santa Cruz mountains various tree farms dot the landscape amongst a wide, one-lane road just off the 17 highway.

The tree farm that I ended up choosing by family recommendation is called JS Tobacco Ranch, although based on the name it seems they made their bread and butter on other plants. They only do the trees now though (and reefs). I went there with a few family members in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado RST crew cab, which was more than enough of a tool and comfort to have out in the “wild”.

JS Tobacco Ranch happens to sit upon a rolling hill and with view of the mountain range around us, it was a great spot to walk around for a few hours trying to find our perfect tree.

Although it was a chilly day and there had been rain the previous day, as it happens sometimes the rain broke, and we had a picturesque blue sky above our descent into the tree lined hills when we arrived.

The great thing about taking a truck like the Chevy Silverado is that it’s less of a chore and more of a fun opportunity to smoothly drive up into the mountains thanks to its 5.3-liter ECOTEC3 V8 engine and the comforts of its interior.

As I had mentioned before, it was chilly, and it gets even more so as you leave the interior of the Silicon Valley and move up into the mountains. This was no problem as the truck has great temperature controls within its cabin. To start off the trip my ungloved hands (no gloves needed in a Northern California winter) were greeted with an already warm leather steering wheel thanks to the heated steering wheel function. My party and I did stop for coffee and although the truck comfortably sits 5, there are 6 cup holders, so we could’ve brought backup coffee or tea as well.

I will be the first to admit, I’m not the biggest Christmas aficionado, I am more of a Halloween guy. With that being said, I do have a train set I put out every year and do enjoy getting into the spirit of whatever holiday the month calls for. So, for this trip up to cut a Douglas fir down in December called for some winter wonderland in the Silverado.

I had previously set up my preferred settings in the intuitive and really good-looking Chevrolet Infotainment 3 screen. It’s 8 inches across and never stuttered on me during my time with the truck. On a quick tap, we were on the Spotify app and were able to access quick functions such as previously played songs, artists, as well as recommended genre playlists from Spotify. With the easy volume controls built into the back side of the steering wheel it was a breeze to turn up the Michael Bublé and Thalia duet of “Mis Deseos/Feliz Navidad” for example.

As we approached inclines and smaller roads off the main highway 17, the Silverado had no issues getting off the road a bit to let cars come down the opposite side of the narrow road. With its off-road suspension and hill descent control it was a breeze on the way up and the way down after our tree had been chopped.

Back at the tree farm, we took about an hour walking around checking out all the trees of different shapes and sizes. Our ceiling at home is only about 8 feet tall so some giants out at the farm, as beautiful and “Christmas tree archetypes as they looked, were simply too big for the house, but certainly could’ve fit onto our truck bed.

Eventually amongst a cleared-out area towards the back of the farm we saw one that at first looked a little lopsided and strange standing there on its own amongst a bunch of stumps. As we went in for a closer inspection we realized it looked lopsided because of a stump that was right under it, making it look a bit lackluster.

It turns out this one was “the one”. My first time cutting down a Christmas tree and it was a fond experience. Just make sure to return the saw at the end of the experience, you can get free cider and coffee as a keepsake instead.

The ease of access of the Chevrolet Silverado 4-wheel drive RST made this a pleasant, easy experience. From driving in the cold to up and down rain-stained, one-lane roads, there was never a sense that this truck couldn’t handle the elements. The best part was we didn’t need to tie the tree up on our roof, or stuff in the back of our cross over. It laid comfortably in the truck’s bed.  

While on our drive back with our tree, fondly nicknamed “Arbolito”, we listened to some classic Christmas music and had a lively discussion of where the placement would be for dear “Arbolito” within the house.

With that being said, if you have a chance, please try cutting down your own tree. Happy holidays!

 

For more information on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, please visit https://www.chevrolet.com/trucks/silverado-1500-pickup-truck.

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