Photography by Micah Stailey
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
My recent excursion in the Rocky Mountains was an adventure of a lifetime, especially thanks to the 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature. The full-size SUV turned hours of driving into a pleasure cruise. My favorite road was Guanella Pass. Starting at an elevation of 9,000 feet in Grant, Colo., this mountainside pass is simply breathtaking. From 180-degree vistas of tree-lined mountainsides to 10 mph hairpin turns, there’s never a dull moment on Guanella Pass. That proved especially true on day 2, when my boyfriend and I decided to drive to Georgetown through Guanella Pass. What we didn’t know was that the road ahead would be full of adventure! The mountain road hit us with constant bumps, two puddles that were bumper-deep, and numerous rocks protruding from the ground. I get it, mountains: You’re called the “Rocky Mountains” for good reason. While it’s clear that road was meant for 4×4 vehicles, our Mazda CX-9 Signature tamed the terrain without breaking a sweat. The soundtrack? Soothing jazz on XM Radio’s Watercolors station–with the CX-9’s 12-speaker Bose sound system, we felt like we were front row at a Quincy Jones concert.
The Mazda is very quiet and smooth. The seats are wide and comfortable providing extra room in the back to put your luggage. It offers luxury and comfort in one simple design. Adventure hit us in every mile and at every turn, but the Mazda’s well-tuned sport suspension brushed off rocky roads, dips and multiple 8% grades like a champion. The steering wheel is precise and light giving you control over the vehicle. The emergency braking system is convenient during rush hour traffic, city driving and for distracted drivers. Another feature I loved about the Mazda CX-9 Signature was the backup camera, which provides a full view of the road behind you — parking lot fender-benders were never a concern.
Sporty SUVs like this make the adventure more exciting when heading to uneven paths and unknown destinations. We discovered places and amazing views while overlooking the cliffs and hills. Sometimes you need to take the road less traveled and turn off the GPS. It will take you to beautiful panoramic views where you can snap photos few others have. Life is not about the destination but the journey, and the Mazda really made this entire journey a wild adventure.