Most car enthusiasts, commuters, and devoted fans of Eisenhower-era infrastructure are well-acquainted with a singular automotive mainstay: Roads. Roads make vehicles practical, they provide space for our cars to move from point A to point B without pesky hills, ravines, or vegetation in the way. But sometimes, the road isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to go off the road.
I’m writing this from a hotel room in Santa Barbara, California, where I’m driving the new Subaru Solterra EV. Because it’s a Subaru, that means tackling trails that other automakers fear to tread — but it’s gotten me thinking. Surely I can’t be the only one who enjoys some dirt trails in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, other Jalops must have years of stories from oaths less traveled by. What are your favorites?
My favorite off-road experience, conveniently, came in a Subaru. It was a Forester, rented with the most insurance humanly possible for the Rental Car Rally. That little crossover survived more than its fair share of abuse over those eighteen hours, but it took me somewhere I could never otherwise go — the Mojave desert, foot to the floor through winding sandy paths, desperately trying to track down a tube of cooled lava to mark a checkpoint off my map. The feeling of that car, barreling through the sand, is one I likely won’t ever forget.
That’s my favorite off-road experience, but yours may vary. Rock crawling, mudding, or simple weekend trail driving are all welcome here. Tell us your favorite stories, memories, or anecdotes from your off-road pasts, and you may find yourself in our slideshow of top answers on Monday. Just try to keep the tires facing down.