Wild triple treat: The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Platte River Fort, plus the Nissan Rogue Sport

nissan rogue sport event

When it comes to brands hosting interesting, exciting, and informative events to introduce bloggers and media folks of varied sorts to their goods, automakers tend to be among the best of the best. Nissan recently significantly raised the bar on outstanding activities that encourage movers and shakers to plug and promote a product with a wild adventure in honor of the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport. And I was delighted to participate in the program.

Nissan, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Redline, invited members of the media to an overnight escape to experience the Rogue Sport, with wild being the theme from beginning to end.

Platte River FortA wild west flavor marked the start as Platte River Fort — a replica of historic Bent's Fort — hosted the event. The expansive site began in 2001 as a private residence (for a woman who wanted a home just like Bent's Fort... and her husband gave her just that). The property was sold in 2013 and converted into a unique rustic-yet-luxurious event center that opened its doors to the public for weddings, conferences, retreats, and family outings in 2015.

A wild animal attraction closed out the day with a private tour of the breathtaking rescue animals and their expansive accommodations at The Wild Animal Sanctuary. The 720-acre non-profit facility — the world's largest carnivore sanctuary — provides a forever home with wide open spaces for 450 or so lions, tigers, and bears, plus fox, emus and more. Wild animals that have been rescued from illegal and/or inappropriate, cruel, inhumane exhibits and such around the world (including illegal owners in the United States).

The Wild Animal Sanctuary

I'll soon feature Platte River Fort and The Wild Animal Sanctuary (with lots of photos!) in separate articles here on Grandma's Briefs. It's the wild agenda between those two, though, that was the primary purpose of the Nissan event — going wild in a test drive of a sleek, stylish, sporty Nissan Rogue Sport! And that's what I focus on today.

After a personal tour and tantalizing Tex-Mex lunch at Platte River Fort — including the best lemon bars I've ever tasted for dessert — Nissan reps gave a brief presentation on the fabulous features of the Nissan Rogue Sport as well as a walkaround.

nissan rogue sport

Then we were to partner up, choose a Rogue Sport, then hit the road and go wild experiencing all the auto offers. 

My ride partner, exuberant auto enthusiast Mia of MiaOnTheGo.com, and I nabbed a beautiful Monarch Orange 2017 Nissan Rogue SL AWD PT. We snapped a few shots then hopped in. I took the first turn at the wheel and adjusted my seat and mirrors as Mia programmed our first destination into the NissanConnectSM with navigation system (7" color touch-screen display) as well as a few favorite SiriusXM channels for the ride.

nissan rogue sport

nissan rogue sport 

I hit the keyless start and off we went. Destination: about 40 minutes north to the Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland, Colo.

The get up and go of the four-cylinder Nissan Rogue (141 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque) was hearty, the ride smooth and steady, the braking firm yet far from touchy and jerky. As I drove north on the state highway, I appreciated the lane departure warnings as well as the clear view, front, back and sides, with minimal blind spots.

Navigation wasn't quite as clear a view for me, though. At first. When I drove, I had trouble seeing the route when glancing at the navigation screen above the console. I — like many boomers and grandmothers and others — wear readers for small print/graphics but not for driving. So with no readers on while at the wheel, I couldn't make out what was on the map. (I later learned, when Mia drove, that it's because the navigation system was on a different screen than what it should have been. When on the correct screen, the immediate directions appear smack dab behind the steering wheel — large size and easily readable for the driver, with no need to glance at the overall map in the larger display.)

nissan rogue benson sculpture park 

After a quick wander through the sculpture garden — how could we not? — Mia and I hit the road again, with a good hour or so remaining to trek the back roads (and some big roads) of northeastern Colorado before arriving at The Wild Animal Sanctuary at the appointed time.

As Mia drove, I fiddled with various features, some fun, some functional, as she tested this and that related to wipers and more from the driver's seat. Soon our drive time was up, and we took our place in line outside The Wild Animal Sanctuary with our fellow Rogue adventurers.

nissan rogue sport 

Now, when it comes to automobiles there's a lot of technical specs and such to point out. But my primary concerns are safety and comfort. The Nissan Rogue Sport amply exceeded my expectations (and requirements) on both counts. Plus some.


• Around View Monitor® w/Moving Object Detection

• Automatic Collision Notification, Emergency Call and Stolen Vehicle Locator (part of the NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM)

• Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Emergency Braking (features of the SL Premium Package)

• Lane Departure Warning and Prevention plus Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection (via the Platinum Package)


• An exceptionally comfy steering wheel (that limited my tendency to grip the wheel too tight the longer I drive)

• Leather-appointed seats

• Quick Comfort® Heated driver's and front-passenger's seats

• 6-way power driver's seat with 2-way power lumbar

• 60/40 split back seat with plenty of legroom

• Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC)


• All I had to do was plug my smartphone into the vehicle's phone port for it to connect to Bluetooth — no figuring out this and that for proper Bluetooth connection

• Heated outside mirrors — wonderful for sub-freezing winter days and nights

• Customizable alerts including Drive Zone, Valet, Curfew and Speed alerts (The curfew alert is great for parents of new drivers, alerting parents when car is driven past preset curfew and alerting driver time's about up)

Nissan Rogue Sport SL AWD PT msrp as driven (which included the SL Premium and Platinum Package options plus floor mats, destination and handling charges): $31,365

Bottom line: I was wild about the Nissan Rogue Sport. And thoroughly thankful for the opportunity to experience the ride — as well as the wild activities that bookended the auto adventure (both of which I'll write on soon... so stay tuned).

nissan rogue sport

Learn more about the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport at Nissan.com. And be sure to follow the hashtag #RogueSport on social media for thoughts from others who've experienced the Rogue ride.