The short version: Got it real dirty! Anyone else have one of those handheld GPS thingies? Go Geocaching? Here in the PNW wildfire is a big issue. Ever hear of Smokey The Bear? Smokey has been around for 75 years and I received a Geocache trackable to commemorate the 75th year.
Oh Boy, get to see if the Passport can find its way out of a paper bag and place Smokey in a cache. Two birds with one stone today. Maybe three birds, another review.
The bug out bag with some water, snacks, medication, etc. was tossed into the cargo area. Yeah, the sleeping bag in case this turned out to be an overnighter. Forest service roads require something else, chainsaw. Stihl MS362 with a 25 inch bar should get me there.
Tow, Tow, Tow your boat review was done in the Drive mode. Give me a break will yuh; blacktop, level roads, any vehicle with testosterone doesn't need an S mode. Unless it is a Wussymobile.
So off we went, bug out bag, another GPS, chainsaw and extra impedamentum. Had to find that 9735 and what do you know, there is more than one. Quick where is that S mode. From blacktop straight to dusty volcanic pumice logging roads, rocks, down trees, and fun. The Passport was narrow enough to ride either side of the logging roads keeping one wheel close to the road edge, not scraping brush and the other wheel riding high center of the forest road. Hint, some of those ruts are deep and logging trucks with a load make impressive ruts. The "S" mode and paddles on the steering wheel earned their keep. Only had to stop and clear two downed trees blocking the way, normal day in the PNW.
At the Geocaching website, today's cache to find was only a few miles from Rancho Hobo, my abode. The Garmin in the Passport and the handheld both said 9735 and I was heading in the correct direction. Ok, one object today was to do just a little off roading, just a little. Turns out the other FS9735 is crushed rock, basalt. With washboard, more testing and a much shorter route.
The paddles on the steering wheel came in handy on down hill grades, the all wheel drive kept traction where needed. The fully independent suspension made short work of the washboard on the basalt roads. Since the Passport is primarily an on road vehicle, a sometime easy off roader I'll give it 4-1/2 stars for casual off road use.
The service technician that repairs the AC will need a respirator or spit up volcanic pumice for a week. Glad I didn't have to back up.
The image above is cropped to please the computer gods. It was taken on the way back to Rancho Hobo. All those burned out trees are lodge pole pines lost in a wildfire. The background is the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountain Range, Mt Bachelor and the three Sisters visible in the uncropped jpeg.