It's a long time since I was at the wheel of a 4x4. The last time was over fifteen years ago driving a Land Rover Defender in a sideways skid over a rain-slicked English meadow.
To put the previous paragraph in perspective; yesterday was spent driving up and down dirt roads and tracks in search of a suitable piece of land for us to build. We found a few, but some were priced way out of our budget. The property market over here in BC has yet to nosedive like in the UK and US but the cracks are already showing with a fair amount of US owned property going up for sale. Looks like we'll have to look harder and further than we thought.
However, Dog has claimed the back seat of the 4x4 for himself, it is his, and the moment we walk past it he is up and waiting by the passenger door. I'm surprised at this, because normally he hates cars and gets seriously travel sick. Yet this self same mutt hunkers down on the back seat while we're bouncing and jouncing over potholes and ruts like a Kangaroo on steroids. Go figure, as they say over here.
On one occasion yester'e'en, we'd found ourself at the bottom of a sixty degree slope, Dog was sitting up, eyes bright and happy. I took a look at the proposed climb and slipped the shift into four wheel drive. Wife looked sidelong at me as she understood what I was about to ask our little SUV to do. Then a broad grin cracked her face and she said quietly. "Okay Jones, let 'er buck." We surged up that slope like a mountain goat and bounced onto the track, whooping and cheering like teenagers.
What's even better is that we get better gas mileage with the SUV than our van. Damn. I'd forgotten how much damn fun this could be.