Last Friday morning my youngest son Ben and I loaded up the Wrangler Unlimited and headed for the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania. Back to Nemacolin Resort and Spa -- nope no massage for me that day but what we did sure gave our muscles a work out.
Nemacolin is a 5 star resort that offers a lot of adventurous experiences in their Adventure Center. The one we choose that day is unique to this resort -- Jeep Off-Road Driving Academy. The academy lets you take out a Jeep Rubicon onto their small instructional course then out onto their 20 miles of rugged trails and terrain with an experienced instructor.
This past June I was able to experience these trails in my Jeep as I road along with their Rubicons. I had such a great time out on the trail their instructor, Greg, invited me back to experience some more difficult trails in their Rubicon. So that's exactly what I did. I'm not sure if it was such a great idea though.
Once I slid UP into driver's seat of the Rubicon some unforeseen force took over. Sitting behind that wheel with my foot on the gas pedal I felt invincible. It was truly amazing and I cannot begin to describe the experience.
The academy begins on their controlled driving course where the instructors familiarize you with the features of the Rubicon. They drive through the course then it's your turn. Along with Ben and I in the Jeep was also a father daughter duo, Mike and Denae.
Every year Mike takes his daughter on an adventure and this 10th year was an off roading experience for both of them.
While Mike took his turn behind the wheel his daughter was very nervous and didn't want to drive. I told her it's an absolute blast and she will love it and become addicted. And guess what -- like we say in our house -- Mommy's always right. She absolutely loved it and had the best time.
My turn behind the wheel was an amazing adrenaline rush that I didn't want to end. The power and invincibility I felt in the Rubicon was beyond what I can describe. I'm not sure if it was just being in the Rubicon or if it was the fact that it wasn't my Jeep and I didn't need to worry about banging it up. However, I don't think my stock Jeep could of made it threw some of the trails with out getting pretty banged up. But it makes me want to get a Rubicon -- like RIGHT NOW!!! LIFTED WITH BIG WHEELS!
The Rubicon I was in was a 2014 with a 3 inch lift and 35 inch wheels. It also had two buttons my Jeep doesn't have, the electronic sway bar disconnect and the axle lock button. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to use the sway bar disconnect but did get to use the axle lock button. I'm still in awe at what all these Jeeps can do.
We all had a great time. My son Ben had a blast bouncing around in the back seat. He had a smile on his face the whole time -- except when I wanted to take his picture. It was a memory we will both share forever!
One thing I did realize that if you are a good enough driver and know the capabilities of your Jeep you can pretty much "Go Anywhere, Do Anything". It doesn't matter if it's a Rubicon or a Sahara -- it's not just the Jeep but the driver. There was a hill that I drove my Jeep up that we took the Rubicon up as well. My Jeep did just as good as the Rubicon.
Some day I would like my Jeep to be able to do just as much as we did in the Rubicon. But in the meantime I'm having fun learning as much as I can about all the capabilities of the Jeep and experiencing all I can off roading. I want to be able to make the right choices for my Jeep and my Jeep lifestyle. I came into this with absolute no knowledge of how vehicles work or any off road driving experience. Unless you count winter driving in Minnesota. All I knew is put the key in the ignition and go.
Now I know what a differential is -- I know there's a difference between a tire and a wheel -- sway bars and articulation are not gymnastic terms and the list goes on. I know I still have a lot to more to learn and experience but isn't that the fun of it all -- a Jeep adventure.
I plan on going back but this time I'm taking my husband in hopes he becomes just as addicted as me. Then maybe we can trade in the Avalanche for a Rubicon!
A girl can only hope -- Right!
-- Simple Living! -- Enjoying Life! -- The Jeep Momma Way --