It has been a year since I purchased my first Subaru, a 2017 Venetian Red Pearl Outback 2.5i Premium my family and I named Subie Ruby. She has her own Instagram page @subieruby, and I would like to take this time to share what an amazing journey the past twelve months have been with my Subie for all seasons.
Subie For All Seasons
It all began in Yosemite National Park during a celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. As a volunteer in Yosemite, I was asked to be a Yosemite Ambassador and had the privilege to attend a business retreat during the celebration. That’s where I met the Subaru leadership team who made an impressive presentation to the group. I work in Yosemite and was in the market for an all wheel drive vehicle. Several friends had owned Subarus, but I was on the fence between choosing an Outback or another popular AWD. Learning about Subaru’s mission and the great things the company does for the national parks were inspirational.
I arrived on the lot of Modesto Subaru on January 2, 2017. After taking a test drive, I decided not to visit any other dealership and was thrilled to leave with our new 2017 Subaru Outback. It was raining in the California’s Central Valley which meant that my first morning commute to Yosemite with Ruby would be on a snow covered track the very next day.
I woke early the next morning and journeyed into Yosemite to lead a hiking tour for my company. The roads were snowy, icy, and under chain control for all vehicles without all wheel drive. The speed limit was 25, and I was pleasantly surprised with how easily the Outback handled the slick surface. I have owned Jeeps in the past and they handle those conditions well, but the difference between Jeep Cherokee and Subaru Outback was appreciable. I was feeling more confident than ever before but wanted to avoid being overconfident. An accident occurred about 15 minutes from Yosemite Valley so I was delayed for an hour during heavy snowfall while the road was being cleared. Once the road to reopened, I spoke with a ranger who instructed me to drive carefully into the Valley. She also noted that I should be fine since I was driving a Subaru.
I spent the next 48 hours driving through just about every poor road condition possible and witnessed several vehicles spin off the road. One was even overturned. The two things that really stood out to me have been the smoothness in which the all wheel drive handles the icy road and the ability to slow down without applying the brakes by utilizing the continuously variable transmission (CVT). I am grateful for each engineering breakthrough.
From my initial snowy mountain excursion, I was already a loyal Subaru owner. I shared an email with the friends from Subaru I made in Yosemite and was immediately asked to participate in the Subaru Ambassador Program. I happily accepted. Since then I have shared several photos and stories with many friends, some of whom have also purchased Subarus.
Subie For All Seasons
Our family took Ruby out for our first road trip for spring break in March. It was important to show our children, and Ruby, the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park. I’ll admit my daughters were a bit skeptical when we arrived at the Subaru dealership back in January. They had their sights set on a pickup truck but were quickly won over after our initial test drive and a promise they may one day drive Ruby. I’ll admit it makes me a little uncomfortable to think my older daughter will actually be driving in just a few more years. However, I feel extremely comfortable knowing she will have the safety of a Subaru when she learns. They love the roominess of the back seat and extra cargo space which means they have more room to stay away from each other. I love the safety ratings and airbag allocation. Ruby also looked great on old Route 66 which was another plus.
They wouldn’t let us take Ruby down into the Grand Canyon, but we were able to snap a few shots inside Joshua Tree National Park. As a footnote to this story, my younger daughter was wearing pants with little metal grommets sticking out of her back pockets when we took this photo. I had no idea she slid herself up the hood while I turned for this shot. Needless to say, the Modesto Subaru Service Center was happy to compound out the little scratches at no extra charge when I brought Ruby in for her first service.
Summer came, and we were all impressed by the air conditioning system as we shuttled to Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Cruz, and other travel soccer cities. I was also able to take Ruby camping on BLM land in the Eastern Sierra and slept comfortably during a late summer cold snap. My sleeping pad and bag easily fit with the back seats folded down, and the car was well insulated throughout the night.
With the changing colors, I was determined to spend my birthday with my family picnicking at Lundy Lake to take in some Eastern Sierra fall foliage under a brilliant October sky. The aspen display did not disappoint. And neither did Ruby, of course. This car handles exceptionally well on every twist and turn of these mountain roads and has surprisingly good pick up on the steep grades. I remain impressed with the continuously variable transmission on the downhill side and use it constantly. Shifting into manual with the convenient paddle shifters makes speed control more manageable while maintaining a sense of sanity knowing I’m not burning my brakes.
Subie For All Seasons
Ruby is now a year old. It’s hard to believe how time flies as we plan our next big trip. Although my girls are already veterans of the American West having seen the bears, bison, and wolves of Yellowstone, they want to experience it again. This time they want to share the journey with Ruby. Until then, we will just have to ‘settle’ for more Yosemite trips until the passes open again in June. Hopefully, we will get some snow in time for our upcoming winter adventures with our Subie for all seasons.