Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First time Off Road!

A Day that Changed the Path of My Life

This is the day my Jeep Life morphed from daily driver to weekend warrior. I have sure come a long way.

My First Time on the Trails

Sunday morning, I got up early to hit the road for a three hour drive to Pennsylvania. I was headed to Rausch Creek Adventures for my own personal, one on one, off road, driving instruction. I was looking forward to learning more about my Jeep and her fantastic features. I was finally going to get out on the trails and learn how to drive off road.


Sunday morning I got up early and hit the road for a three hour drive to Pennsylvania. I was headed to Rausch Creek Adventures for my own personal, one on one, off road, driving instruction. I was looking forward to learning more about my Jeep and her fantastic features. I was finally going to get out on the trails and learn how to drive off road.

My nerves on edge and my tummy filled with anxious butterflies, I walked up to the window to check in. My instructor Kyle was there to greet me. He was warm and very welcoming. He set my nerves at ease. I was looking forward to getting out on the trails. We got started right away. I was so pumped when I finally engaged 4 wheel low! I drove a few circles in the dirt lot so I could get the feel of the differences in my Jeep before we headed out for the trails. 

Kyle is a well educated and seasoned professional trainer. He is knowledgeable about the capabilities of my Jeep. He explained them in terms I understood. Plus, it helped that I was an experienced driver in the snow and ice. 

When I hit the first incline I was a anxious about tipping over. But then when I saw this picture -- it put it all in perspective. It wasn't as bad as it felt. It sure felt a lot steeper inside the Jeep.

Kyle took me and my Jeep through wash outs, up and down hills, through the mud and over rocks. I didn't even damage my Jeep at all. I did hear some clanks and bangs -- only four -- so I think I did pretty good.

One of the coolest things Kyle taught me was about my Hill Descent Control button. Okay, so I knew I had it, and what it was for. But Oh... My... Goodness... -- I didn't really understand until I pushed the button and put it to use. Knight Rider look out... My Jeep will give Kit a run for his money. I was so amazed at what my Jeep did down the hill without my help! Let's just say if you want to find out I suggest you get your own Jeep! 

Kyle took me straight through the center of a pond! Which was quite a scary feeling knowing that if I sink my Jeep she's a goner. My Jeep is my mommy vehicle. I take her to the grocery store, pick the kids up at school, and take her on our family vacations. Plus I still have many, many months of car payments left.  

Another feature on my Jeep I truly didn't understand until I used it, the manual automatic transmission. HA! who knew I didn't need a clutch. The best thing for Kyle was not having to explain the basics of a manual transmission to me. I grew up driving a manual transmission WITH A CLUTCH. So using this feature was second nature to me. I didn't even need to think about using it I just did it.    

Another feature on my Jeep is the traction control. I can't even begin to explain it, but I know it when I feel it. Again natural instincts just kick in, and you know what and how to maneuver your Jeep. My first time was a little shaky, but I made it through. It will just take some more practice, but first hand experience is the only way to learn. 

I am by no means ready for some of the bigger rockier trails, but someday maybe. Right now, I will savor the great day I had. I look forward to heading out again real soon. There is one more class I would like to take before venturing out on my own. Once I do that the time will come to figure out what to do with my Jeep. Will I want bigger tires? A lift? It's all about the lifestyle I want to lead with my Jeep. My thoughts are turning more of daily driver - Weekend Warrior. But how Warrior will I need to go. The only way to find out is to get out there and experience the ride! And no day is complete unless you can come home with a dirty Jeep!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jeep Zipper Pulls Getting Topless

Getting Topless is Simple & Easy Now!

One of the many reasons I love my Jeep is the ability to feel the sunshine on my skin and the wind in my face. This is possible because I can take the top down. 

t's a very simple process to pull the top back and take the windows off. It's pretty much a one person job. But you can't always keep the top down as it may rain or the weather gets too cold. That means zipping back up those windows.

Zipping up (and down) the window was a very difficult part of the process for me. My fingers weren't quite strong enough to grasp the little zipper handle and pull up and around. 

But now I have discovered a very useful tool that has made taking down and zipping up my windows a snap.

Zipper pulls! I used to spend several frustrating minutes in the driveway trying to get my windows zipped back on.  These zipper ties have made it a simple, easy process. Now I don't struggle trying to zip up the back window anymore.

Some folks say oh you can make those pretty easy. Well not me I'm not very crafty in that way. So I reached out to a fellow Jeeper who makes them and bought a set of four. Now taking down and putting up my windows is fast and easy. 

Top-Zip Paracord Products for Jeep Wranglers

You can easly make these yourself if your are crafty with paracord. I bought mine online. Now taking my windows off and on is so much eaiser.    

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bucket List: Warrior Dash Completed

Reflections of an Amazing Day!

I woke up Saturday morning a bundle of nerves afraid of racing by myself -- worried that me -- a 40 eh-hem something year old woman -- wouldn't be able to handle some of the obstacles. I just kept telling myself I couldn't quit no matter what. For me to run and finish this race by myself was something I needed to do for me.

Most all the participants in the race were part of a team or at least had a partner. But for me it was "Team: Me, Myself and I". I knew if I could run and finish the race by myself I could do just about anything I set out to do. It was something I needed to remind myself of -- to bring back the inner independence I had lost somewhere along the way.

I was excited to share my experience with all my friends so I was periodically updating my social media accounts. Knowing I had support in the virtual world was a huge motivator, as well. 

The race course tested my endurance and perseverance. The first mile was a run into the woods on a trail of extremely steep hills. It seemed like they would never end. I wasn't about to give up and start walking like the other racers.

Even though my run turned to a slow jog I kept pushing through. Ever so slowly the trail turned into the muddiest, muckiest trail I have ever been on. Trudging through the one foot thick muddy, mucky trail for the next mile was another test of my strength. 

There were lots of complaints on the trail but for me it was actually a quite fun -- it was an adventure. As I ran through the mud I kept thinking about all the soldiers who have gone to hell and back. I figured if they can do what they did I can make this little itty bitty mud mile -- piece of cake.

The true test was the last mile. A mile of many obstacles most dealing with heights. One of my fears and an item on my Bucket List - to take that fear head on. I will always be afraid of heights but now I know I can overcome the fear mentally. There were several climbing walls to climb up and over. But the one obstacle that was the worse was the four inch beam across a ravine about 25 feet in the air. NO net and only two ropes to hold onto as I crossed. I just took a deep breath and forged on through. I didn't stop to think I just did. 

As I crawled through the last obstacle of mud I was excited that I was near the end but sad that the race was almost over. You could say my limits were tested and this race showed me I can endure so much more. I had such a amazing time I've signed myself up for another race - Down & Dirty. 


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