Winter 2006 Forward to a Friend


Your Turn Letters from our Readers


Hurricane Relief

I work for the U.S. government as a disaster reservist in the capacity of a construction analyst. When a major disaster happens like Katrina, I am asked to go and assess the structures and determine damage so that homes, businesses and lives can be put back together through various government programs.

I worked in New Orleans on the Katrina disaster. I rented a Subaru Outback with only 6,000 miles on it in Dallas and drove it to New Orleans. Upon my arrival, I found that there was no lodging, so I lived in the car and showered at shelters. During the time of Hurricane Rita, I drove to Mobile, Alabama, through the hurricane to seek refuge with some friends.

I returned to New Orleans and took my rented Outback to places others could not go, and I did so with confidence. I drove through two feet of toxic water and six inches of toxic slurry in the Chalmette area, and I drove through debris in the ninth ward area of the city.

I sent pictures to give you the full understanding of my adventures with this particular car.

Taylor A. Johnson
Bucksport, ME


Road Trip Letters – Readers Share Their Good Times on the Road


Our Summer Trip

My daughters wanted to send in a photo of our trusty ’98 Forester pulling our homemade trailer on our yearly trek to Lake Tahoe. It’s a 600-mile round trip to camp for a week. Clare and Delaney are standing beside our rig loaded with food and drinks for nine days, four bikes, a raft, a kayak, two boogie boards, two tents, sleeping bags, a stove and lots of firewood. We passed a lot of bigger SUVs at the pumps as we averaged 24 miles per gallon, and we had a lot more gear.

This is our second Subaru, and it presently has over 100,000 miles. Thanks for building such tough little cars.

Tim and Wendy Riley
Spreckels, CA

Driving Through Nature

I was in the middle of my first national parks tour on highway 101N in Northern California, just south of Humboldt Redwoods State Park, near Leggett. There stands a mammoth tree – a coastal redwood. It stands 315 feet tall, is 21 feet in diameter and only 2,400 years old.

Now my Rex (WRX) has really driven through nature (literally).

Brian Lucchesi
Rochester, NY



Careful Cruise Control

Question from reader letters: I heard that I shouldn’t use cruise control on ice and snow. Is that true?

Answer: Cruise control is a convenience feature not intended for every driving situation. It allows you to maintain vehicle speed without having to hold your foot on the accelerator.

However, cruise control should never be used on slippery or wet roads or when:
• Driving on winding roads
• Driving up or down steep grades
• Driving in heavy traffic
Remember to turn off the main cruise-control switch when not in use to avoid accidental activation.

See your Owner’s Manual for more information.


Drive to “The Last Place on Earth”

In June, we drove from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, which extends 80 miles into Lake Superior. Our trip included Grand Marais, Whitefish Point (Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum), Tahquamenon Falls, Marquette, Copper Harbor – a round trip of just under 1,800 miles.


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is two-lane roads, unpaved forest roads, single-lane dirt roads with miles and miles of dense forests, wildflowers, wildlife (deer, coyote, owls, hawks, bald eagles) and beautiful fresh-water beaches. It’s perfect trekking for our 2004 Forester XS.

After visiting an abbey in a thickly wooded forest with incredible waterfalls along the way, we came upon an antique store with this unique message on the side. It seemed apropos.

Seat comfort, sunroof, sound system and general ergonomics added to the fun and enjoyment of this fantastic experience. It was a road trip we’d recommend to everyone, but be sure to drive a vehicle that can handle it!

John Kennedy
Grand Rapids, MI

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