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Freelander - First Off-Roading Trip

Posted: May 3, 2011 0:18:46 • 473 words

A couple weeks ago, eager to see just how well my Freelander lives up to the lofty expectations and rich heritage of the Land Rover brand, I decided to take it on a little wilderness expedition. The verdict? Well, at least it has a great highway ride :-P

The trip started with work that night, I opted to take the roof off the Rover and use it for work instead of the Crown Vic, to see how it went. While the Rover greatly outshines the Crown Vic in comfort, it's really poorly-suited for delivery. For one thing, it's smaller and narrower, with fewer cubby-holes for ready-to-delivery papers, so it felt rather cramped to work in. And, despite being a good bit smaller in every dimension (with a several-foot difference in wheelbase and length), the Crown Vic is actually more agile, which is extremely important for this job. Combined with the fact that 17 miles of slow, jerky residential driving every night isn't good for a car, and the Crown Vic's value doesn't really have any further to drop at this point, I'll be keeping it for a little while, just for work purposes.

Anyway, after work, I grabbed my camera gear and headed out to the mountains in the hopes of catching sunrise photos at the start of my trip, like the last time I went out there. Unfortunately, it was so overcast that the sunrise was pretty much invisible, I didn't even notice the sun come up. But, on the plus side, I got some great photos of the truck at the top of the mountain peak! It was too cold to spend a whole lot of time up there, but it's always refreshing to visit the mountains :-)

Next was a beginner-level off-road trail. It's one I've run numerous times in multiple vehicles, so I knew it pretty well, and I could anticipate its difficulty. Things started off pretty well, just some basic minor obstacles, and the Rover got a nice little mud-coat. But, a short while into the trip, I realized that my truck and I have a lot in common: She may be fully capable of trudging through rough terrain with the boys, but she really didn't want to. And if I kept pushing her, it'd ruin her nicely-manicured ride that I love so much. So, I called it an early day and headed home. But, it was a nice experiment, and a necessary way to really get to know how the vehicle handles in extreme conditions.

So, my cute little Rover will get plenty of wilderness trips in the future, but nothing rougher than a gravel road if I can help it. She's so adorable in that setting, but I can tell that gettng dirty just isn't her thing. And that's fine, it isn't my thing either :-)