A Fun Drive After a Beautiful Hike

Ravna and I went for a hike today, and the FS road to this trailhead is more what I’m used to: an even-surfaced gravel road with a few holes. Only one rock hit the skid plate the whole 16-some miles! Since Ravna was my sole passenger, and she was buckled safely in the back seat, and it was getting later on, I went hunting for oversteer (when I wasn’t sneaking glances at Hood).

I’ve had a blink of an eye of oversteer in the Volvo, on SR 47 (lifting off the throttle stopped it), so I wanted to experience more severe conditions. It was a good enough road surface with a steep enough grade that I was maintaining 15-20 pretty easily with the engine braking in 2nd or 3rd, so I opened it up a little when the conditions allowed (but I kept it under 30 or so).

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The only times I managed to lose traction a bit were on hairpin turns with good visibility (and no dropoff). But I’m not sure whether it was actually oversteer, because it felt a lot like the understeer moments I’ve had in both this car and my truck. When it happened, I let go of the wheel and let up on the throttle, and things pretty much sorted themselves out from there. I have no indication of when the AWD is kicking in (I imagine it must be on this kind of surface), so that may be contributing to the uniformity of response. What do y’all think, was it over- or under-steer?

Anyways, it was good fun, and the hike was gorgeous, too. Let me thank you in advance for your opinions with some photos of Ravna at the summit:

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