About ten miles down the road from where I live, the urban sprawl
gives way to rolling hills, vineyards
, and Christmas tree farms
, and the smoothly paved streets give way to rough dirt roads. In short, I live approximately ten minutes away from rally car heaven
On the particular blue-skied summer evening during which our story takes place, I had set out with the intention of getting myself good and lost in the labyrinth of dirt roads that snake through the hills I've just described. To my great joy, I succeeded admirably at this task, and soon my WRX was flying with reckless abandon over hills, around corners, and under low-hanging tree branches.
At first I held back my speed and avoided sliding too recklessly around corners in case some local farmer happened to be approaching from the other side of a blind curve, but eventually, having met no other traffic and having decided that the roads were pretty much abandoned, I let loose and began enjoying the sheer thrill of rocketing around a sweeping curve completely sideways, then grabbing traction just as the curve ends and translating the sideways momentum back into forward momentum. The WRX makes this so easy that a child could do it, which is probably high on the list of reasons why people like me should not be allowed to drive cars like this.
Eventually, I came to a place where the road got very wide and began a long curve at the same time. I approached at around 60 miles per hour, being somewhat cautious because I hadn't driven the road before, but still going faster than anyone ought to have been on this particular road. I tapped the brakes ever so slightly, inducing a slide, and began to negotiate the curve.
As I came around the corner and the rest of the road became visible, I was startled to see a young doe standing on the inside edge of the curve, munching on the grass just off the road. She looked up and turned her head to face me as I slid past, completely sideways. We were nose to nose, about ten feet apart. I don't know whether the deer froze in fright or was just used to rally cars sliding past her, but she looked straight at my car, tracking it as it went past, and then started munching on her grass again as I came out of the curve and ended the slide.
Needless to say, I slowed down considerably and made my way home. I haven't been back on those roads, nor have I driven as recklessly, since that day.
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