We have had a spate of snowy weather in Northern New Mexico — three storms in five days. Those predicted one-inchers turned into multi-inchers, especially closer the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Road conditions can get iffy here. That’s when I take the Subaru.
The Subaru, a 2003 Impreza we’ve owned since zero miles, doesn’t have a name although it should. Until the past couple of years, she (alright the car has a gender) was my constant companion on the road through good weather and some really awful weather.
When I worked back East, I had a 40-minute commute from a hilltown in Western Massachusetts to a newsroom in Northampton. My trip took me on a state-numbered route through three small towns. It included two serious hills — in West Chesterfield and Williamsburg — and a number of curves. The highway crews were diligent as they could be but they had a lot of miles to cover.
With three buckets of sand in the back for ballast, my trusty Subaru got me through freezing rain, ice storms, and snowstorms of varying depths.
I recall one early morning being stopped on the top of Burgy Hill by a cop who noted the highway crew was just getting there. It was black ice all the way to the bottom so I should take it slow. We sure did.
One April 1, a heavy, wet storm got past the weather forecasters. I left work early and my Subaru had to maneuver around a jackknifed tractor-trailer going up Burgy Hill. But I made it home through the cement-like snow.
These days, Hank drives the Subaru. It is the first vehicle for him that isn’t a truck or van. I got the Prius, which is heavier and does OK in the snow because it’s front-wheel drive — and is a helluva lot better on gas.
The Subaru now has 137,000 miles. Her black paint has suffered in this Northern New Mexico sun. The radio stopped working and the driver’s door lock is getting a bit funky. She got a tick in the engine no mechanic could figure how to fix a 100,000 miles ago. But she’s taken Hank twice across country and once to Vegas. When she gets going, she’s a smooth ride. She’s also got great visibility and a champ of a heater.
She’s also a dependable ride.
And so Wednesday morning she made my choice easy. I left the fancy schmancy Prius home and took the Subaru to work. I did the same at 6:30 a.m. on Friday. We already had a couple of inches on the roads. And, I felt like an old friend had come along for the ride.
PHOTO ABOVE: There she is in the newsroom’s parking lot.