Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fit for Skyline Drive

The drive to Yaounde from Buea is about 322 km (200 miles). The fastest I made it was in 4 hours the longest included an overnight in Douala because the traffic really was that bad (coming back from Yaounde).  Normally, without feeling rushed it was between five and six hours.  The thing is a Nissan Terrano is an SUV and it drove like an SUV abused in Africa - with good reason - because it is.

When I picked up the Fit I was trying to think about a fun place to drive for an extended “get to know you” experience. The ONLY place that entered my mind was Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.  I mapped it out in Google to 207 miles with an estimated drive time of 4 hr and 35 minutes. 

It was a beautiful drive. I opened up the sunroof and put the windows down. I was able to work the car a bit more.  The drive to Front Royal was pretty standard but turning up Skyline Drive I immediately noticed the CVT trying to find the right place to be. What I was driving were some rapid up and down hills on corners. It was trying to anticipate what I might want or need but was not meeting with any success. So, I turned off ECON and put the car in sport mode, requiring me to use the paddle shifters. This turned out much more satisfying (admittedly however I am a manual shift guy and still wanted to shift that way).  In any case the CVT obeyed my command. I found the Fit ready to respond with some engine breaking on the down slopes and entering corners before adding power through the curve and up the hills.  It was quick to shift up or down.

The steering is light and precise, coming off the Terrano I simply wasn’t prepared for its accuracy, but that is one reason for me to do this drive. With the wind in my receding hairline, music emanating from the iPod through the sound system, with a “Fit” and capable car I was getting road therapy - salve for the soul.

It was all real good until I realized I went west on 33 rather than east. Oh well - I wasn’t lost just getting extra miles on the highway.  I went back via I-81 to I-66 an extra 60 miles or so.

My entire drive took me about 6.5 hrs with stops out vistas and animals.  I was reminded just how fun it is to drive a car that is so willing to be driven.  To be fair to the Terrano, the few times I found myself on muddy and challenging roads I was ever so pleased it was what it was!!

Everything has its purpose.  I enjoyed the Terrano and am now enjoy the Fit.  To fully enjoy each I have to remember each has a slightly different purpose.  

Everyone has a purpose. Sometimes it seems that our “things” are easier to see and understand purpose. In people purpose may be more difficult. However I would like to make it easier. I believe it is our purpose to love without condition or requirement.  Everything else we are or have is something else - perhaps gifts from God to be given in the service of love.  You are fit for service because you have a purpose and a very high calling: love others as you love yourself.  May the love of yourself and others grow more each day.