Parked in the Tunnel View lot, we turned our camera around after snapping some moonrise shots of Yosemite Valley. This image is 25-minutes worth of exposures, showing the movement of the stars in the sky as well as the flight paths of several aircraft. We sat inside and watched a DVD, insulated from the 29-degree night air, letting the camera do the work.

Since the last time we updated you on our 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 long-term test vehicle we've racked up the miles, making the short commute to work, cruising to the Monterey Bay area and back twice, and slogging through traffic from Orange County to Pasadena. So far we've got more than 15,000 miles on our Ram and we continue to be impressed with the driving comfort that comes from a combination of awesome seats, smooth, quiet handling, and great steering feel. The 5.7L Hemi delivers effortless acceleration when called upon while giving us the ability to cruise in four-cylinder mode, maintaining highway speeds up to 70+ mph and going easy on the fuel until we need to charge up a grade or pass a semi.

Recent Southern California storms gave us the opportunity to test the stability control on slippery surfaces as heavy-footed right turns from a stop would cause the traction control to kick in. Unlike some of our previous testers, most notably our Tundra, the Dodge's system kicks in seamlessly, keeping the vehicle pointed in the right direction without any unnecessary beeps or jerky throttle correction. The wet roads were easy to come by, but we'd yet to drive the Ram in the snow, so when a chance arose to go to Yosemite for the weekend, the Ram was the go-to truck. With four people and a bed full of luggage, we drove the Ram on the 700+ mile round trip and burned just over 40 gallons of fuel for an average of 17.2 mpg. We never really had a chance to drive over unplowed roads, but the Ram never faltered in the slushy conditions we did come across. Only a few patches of ice could be found, and the traction control continued to be unobtrusive while still keeping us headed in the right direction. With a cab full of passengers we used the Ram Boxes to keep small pieces of luggage secure, if only we had a narrow hard tonneau to cover the center section of the bed, this truck would be the perfect road tripper. Check out blogs.truckinweb.com for further updates on our long term Ram.

Pros
* Heated and cooled seats make long distances much more comfortable.
* Returned more than 17 mpg fully loaded with four passengers and luggage.
* Ram Box keeps coming in handy.

Cons
* Navigation system has had a couple of hiccups requiring a reboot.
* POI finder on navigation menu could be easier to use.