Wednesday, March 5, 2014


If I've ever got the time to spare, I'll take my Hatchback or my RS out for a little exploring.  Given the nature of each vehicle, I usually take the '12 Impreza out in search of nice scenic asphalt roads winding through a hillside.  On the flip-side of that, I'll drag the '00 2.5 RS out to go find some Stage-Rally-worthy roads on some back-country gravel and minimum maintenance dirt.  Last weekend certainly called for some nitty gritty RS adventuring, especially considering that I'm trying to keep the salt and grime off my newer car which my Fiance will be borrowing for a few days this week when she travels for some rehearsals about an hour each way.

It isn't hard to find gravel roads in rural Nebraska... but it IS difficult to find ones that aren't straight as an arrow.  I've found the best way to find 'em is to look for valleys that have thick tree cover.  Then look to see if the straight-as-an-arrow road looks to be swallowed up by it.  If it looks like the road's path has been altered on the other side of the valley, chances are, there's a few turns to make the exploration worth your while.  It's not fool-proof, but last weekend this simple tactic proved to be quite the winner for me.  Not only did I discover a neat little bridge with some turns nestled in some trees, but the road was pure-dirt.  I'll take a dirt road over a gravel road ANY day of the week, but the trouble with dirt roads is that they're often straight and often rutted from trucks going through when they were wet.

There were gravel roads leading up to this dirt portion with a nice S-Turn, a tight one-lane bridge going over a creek, and then back out to some more gravel turns before things straightened back out to the same old same old. I found this patch of fun just west of Weeping Water, NE.  It's about a 40 minute drive away from where I live, so it's not exactly the most accessible set of roads to visit.  I've found some fun gravel and asphalt roads closer to home before, but it's good to branch out and find stuff outside my normal search radius.

I may never get a chance to go back and visit these roads, but it's always fun discovering something new.  March 15th will mark two years being behind the wheel of a Subaru for me.  In that short time, I've managed to find over 200 miles worth of fun scenic routes, many of which I've led cruises full of Subarus through.  When I first discover these roads, it's quite the thrill waiting to see what's over the next hill or what's around the next bend.  Then, once I've plotted a good route through it, it's rewarding to share that experience with other drivers who are anxious to maneuver their cars through these roads just as I was.

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