Thursday, January 29, 2015

CB Handle

With the installation of my CB antenna, and the "kind of" temporary installation of my CB radio, I have been getting suggestions that I should check out the SWR. I had no idea what that was so, I checked it out on the good ol' handy dandy internet. So you all convinced me. I ordered a SWR meter, and I am awaiting the arrival of that meter. 

So in the meantime I need to figure out all this CB lingo and proper CB etiquette. The only thing I know about is from Smokey and the Bandit. If anyone has any suggestions on where to go for proper Jeep trail riding CB etiquette I would love to hear it. 

Also I'm told I need a CB handle. I was thinking Jeep Momma what do you think?

 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CB Install

For Christmas I got the Cobra 25 LTD Classic CB radio and a Jeep Spare tire CB antenna kit. I finally got around to installing it. The antenna was a pretty simple process. 

First I removed the spare tire. Man that thing is heavy. If I am ever out on the trails, and I have to change out my tire I won't be able to lift the flat tire back up onto the gate. I guess I will just have to shove it in the back seat. 

With the spare tire was off, the antenna mount bolted onto the spare tire holder all ready on the Jeep. Using a 13 mm wrench it is easily installed.   

The next step was pulling the oval rubber grommet from the rear gate and drilling a hole in the rubber piece. This will allow the cable to pass through the door. This was my first time using a drill.  I did not drill my fingers. Once I figured out how unsafe this was, I drilled the hole by placing the grommet on a board on the floor. 

The hardest part of the install was threading the cable into the rubber grommet. Once that was done I removed the plastic panel inside the rear door and threaded the cable through the door - the second most difficult part. I threaded a plastic string through the hole to tie to the cable. Then I pulled the string back through and grabbed the cable with a needle nose pliers. 

Once the cable was pulled through the rear door I ran it along the door and then tucked the cable along the passenger side of the Jeep up underneath the passenger seat. Which is where it sits now.

Now comes the installation of the CB radio. The question is where to put it. I asked many Jeepers for their suggestions. One was to install it on the far left dash. Well, in my Jeep that won't work because there is no room unlike older model Jeeps. 

Another suggestion was in the middle of the dash underneath the rear view mirror. I felt this would get in the way of my view. It also took away my storage space for my sunglasses.

The suggestion that I thought would work well is above the rear view mirror as I see this a lot in fellow Jeeper's Jeeps. But again there didn't seem to be a whole lot of room, and what would I do with the mic.

So my last option was to install it on the passenger side along the shifter. It would be easy to reach and monitor. It wouldn't be distracting while I drive. However, it could be uncomfortable for any passenger I may have driving with me. 

But wait -- that wasn't my last option. I decided to make my CB radio portable. This way I could just bring it along when I am out on the trails with no worry of theft when I am topless. 

I purchased the RoadPro - RPPS-22o 3-pin plug/12 volt fuse replacement CB power Cord
This was a good simple solution for me until I decide where I want to permanently place my CB radio. 

Plus, it allows me to further research the idea of a spod

By the way once I hooked up the CB we did make radio contact. We will see how it works out on the trails. I will keep you posted. 

 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Would Engaging My Axle Locks Helped?

My Rubicon comes with a couple of - what I like to call - magic buttons.  One is the sway bar button. When I'm in 4 low, I just push this button and my sway bars are electronically disconnected. The other buttons are the hill decent control, axle lock, and traction control, some call it ESP.  

Now, I have the sway bar and hill decent buttons down pat.  I'm still trying to figure  the best time to use the other two buttons. 

I understand the theory of how the axle locks work. I need to know in what situations will it come in handy, and when to engage. I know I have discussed this before, but until I actually use the feature I won't fully understand it.

Last weekend I was wheelin' on some icy and snow packed

trails. There were several situations where I would fish tail. There were also several times where my tires were spinning like in this video I posted on you tube.

You Tube Video 
- Getting Stuck/Spinning Tires

If I would have pushed the axle lock button, would this have helped me in these situations?

 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Friday, January 23, 2015

Taking Chances in My Rubicon

This past weekend I went off roading in my brand new 2015 Rubicon at Rausch Creek in the ice and snow. My Rubicon has less than 3000 miles on it, and I have only made three payments so far. I need to keep her healthy, because we still have a long way to go with her. 

So.... I may be a little more cautious out on the trails then the next person.

Okay -- so a lot more cautious. 

As I was editing my videos from this weekend, I noticed that I was hesitant on some of the trails. It was my first time off roading in the ice and snow which is a whole different experience than on the asphalt in those elements. When you are crawling over a rock, even the smaller ones, and you are not sure what your back end will do -- makes for a unique experience every time. 

Here are two videos where I am a little hesitant, but... in the end I make it through, or up in these cases, the obstacle. For me it is all about the confidence in my abilities as I know the Rubicon is tough and a very capable off road vehicle.

Winter Wheelin' Part 1

Winter Wheelin' Part 2

Now in this next video you notice I'm not so confident. 

Winter Wheelin' Part 4

With the ice and snow, I wasn't sure how she would crawl through the rocks. So I decided to take the by pass. You may look at the video and say "Wow that looks pretty easy". But as anyone who has been out on the trails first hand knows -- It is way more difficult than it looks in the video. Plus, I was in control of a vehicle that is worth $41K. I was not about to take any chances, however slim they may be, of damaging my new Rubicon. 

Call me chicken, or tell me I suck, but I am not stupid. I can live with that, knowing I have an undamaged Rubicon sitting in my garage waiting for me to take her out for a little adventure again real soon.  

Oh in case you are wondering here is Part 3. I do know how to count. 

Winter Wheelin' Part 3

  - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First Time Wheelin' in the Ice & Snow

I just love the Jeep community! Complete strangers one minute, and Jeep Off Road buddies the next. During my Women's Wheeling trip at Rausch Creek Off Road Park this past fall, I met a fellow Jeeper who was getting ready to install the same bumper I have. We talked for about five minutes, and exchanged email addresses. Well -- that five minutes now has turned into a wheeling buddy. 

This past weekend I headed up to meet my new friend, and some others to hit the trails at Rausch Creek. It was the first time I took my Rubicon onto the trails with snow and ice. It was actually my first time off roading in the snow and ice.

Now -- growing up in Minnesota and North Dakota I have had my share of driving in the snow and ice, but it's a totally different experience when you are off road. 

My experience -- yeah a whole five hours -- crawling over the  rocks seems easier with the snow.  The snow mashes down into the crevasses of the rocks which makes for an easier drive. Which you don't always want because we Jeepers like the challenge of the rocks. 

However, this trip there was not only snow, there was a lot of slick, slippery ice which made for another challenge. The first was being on the look out for those icy patches so you would not start spinning. I seemed to key in on those patches and my tires spun several times. The second was once I was crawling over the rocks, my rear end would fish tail which would throw my Jeep off my intended course. That would make for an interesting new twist. So there was still a challenge. 

Now the one thing I wish I would have done was engaged my axle locks by pushing that magic button. I guess that just means I will need to head back up there again real soon!!!

I was able to record video, and the Jeeper who road behind me did as well. But I haven't had a chance to even look at all the videos! I hope to get some posted soon.

Now, it's time to go log my recordings. I'd better hurry before my kids get home from school and my "me" time turns into "mommy" time.

 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Friday, January 16, 2015

Starting a Bucket List

Do you have a Bucket List?

I never did until a year and half ago. I don't know why I didn't. I guess I thought when I get older, I'll do all those things. Well, one day I woke up and realized ~ I am older. Now my motto is all about Living Life to the Fullest. 

I really didn't know where to begin with my list. So I started small with a mini bucket list with small attainable goals.

As I began checking off completed goals, I would add more to the list. 

Then I started to expand my bucket list with --

Things I want to see & do
Things I want to accomplish
Things that bring joy to others
Things that help me find joy and happiness
Blog Post May 5-4-2014 

Jeep Momma's New & Improved Bucket List
 (in no particular order) 
~~Gold Mine in Alaska
~~Drive through the Redwood Forest
~~Canoe the Boundary Waters in Minnesota
~~Visit a "Dude Ranch" in Wyoming
~~Rock Crawl the Rubicon Trail
~~Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner
~~Climb a Volcano in Hawaii
~~Revisit Yellowstone
~~Camp in the Grand Canyon
~~Go on a Treasure Hunt
~~Go Dancing
~~Find a Job I love
~~Release my Past

This past year I was able to check a lot of my Bucket List. 

Ride a Cable Car in San Francisco

Walk the Golden Gate Bridge

Get Bigger Tires for My Jeep 
        I just went ahead and got a Rubicon but, I still want                 bigger tires 

Visit Yosemite National Park

Join a monthly Poker Game 
Instead I do a monthly Mom's NighOut!

Get Rock Sliders for My Jeep 

Get a Tattoo

As I make progress on my list I continue to add to it. Every couple of months I take time to reflect and revise my list. I still need to come up with idea's that will bring joy to others and things that will help me find joy and happiness. Looking back at experiences I wanted when l was younger will be a good start.  I just need to dig deep into my memory because as you know the older you get, the worse your memory gets.   

I can't wait to see what this year will bring.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jeep Momma Goes "Plum Crazy"

Back in October, I was looking to add some purple to my Jeep -- my Sahara. I started looking on the internet for ideas when I came across the Ravens Jeep at Adam Jeeps Of Maryland in Aberdeen. This Jeep had some really cool purple accessories, so I called up the Adams Xtreme Motorsports shop to see what they had to offer. 

I decided on purple grille inserts. So, I drove on up to pick out my color. The next thing you know I'm trading in my Sahara for my brand new Rubicon.  

11-1-201 Blog Post - Giving up my Sahara a hard choice  

Well, I finally got around to picking up my purple grille inserts today.  I bought the Rugged Ridge Black Grille Inserts, and had them painted purple -- "Plum Crazy" purple. Very fitting, since I can be a little crazy. 

Regenbogen Auto Works in Bel Air, Maryland painted the inserts, and did a super job on them. Check out their page on facebook! 

Once I had the inserts in hand they were super easy to install. Just make sure you have the correct orientation by matching up the angles of the lower and upper portion of the grille slots with the inserts.  Then pop them in starting with the bottom. My kind of install -- Easy Peasy!

You can call me "Plum Crazy" now!  I love the new look!

   - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Fears

This past weekend I was in Northern California. My husband had a business meeting, and I tagged along. We had a long 4 day weekend - a Mini-vacation. Our first vacation without our kids in 15 years. Our weekend was jammed packed with lots of sight seeing in the San Francisco area.  

Street car rides, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Sonoma County Coast, Vineyards and Wineries, Wine Tasting, Yosemite National Park

Unfortunately, the Rubicon Trail was not on the itinerary for this trip. But that really didn't matter to me since some parts of the trail are closed because of snow and storm damage. I would rather drive the trail when it is warmer so I can enjoy the scenery. 

So back to my dilemma. We decided to spend our last day visiting Yosemite National Park. As we drove East towards the Sierra Nevada's along Highway 120, we came upon a very, very curvy road up a mountain right outside Moccasin, California.

I do believe this is the scariest road I have ever been on in my life. It went on for about five miles of very sharp turns up the side of a mountain about 6,000 feet up. The whole way the speed limit was 20 mph. 

As my husband drove slowly up this winding mountain road I held on to the grab handle and the center console with a death grip.

I have a fear of heights. I am actually crying in this picture. At points I became paralyzed with fear.  

There were spots in the road on the turns where there was no guard rail and there was no room for any error as the drop was straight down. I bet I dropped the "F-Bomb" a hundred times and screamed at my husband to slow down several more. I think this drive up New Priest Grade Road was worse then the roller coaster ride, The Intimidator, I road on this past summer.  

After our visit to the park it was time to head back down the mountain to San Francisco. I wasn't quite sure I would make it back down that winding road. But my husband came to the rescue by finding a mini bottle of my favorite wine at the Yosemite Camp Store. 

Whether it was the wine or the fact that the passenger side of the car was not on the outside of the road, the trip down wasn't nearly as bad. 

This whole experience had me wondering if I would be able to make the drive to the Rubicon Trail. And more importantly will I be able to drive the trail itself. 

We did decide that maybe if I were driving it might be a whole different experience since I would feel more in control of the vehicle. 

Maybe I will need to be hypnotized before I hit the Rubicon Trail. Or maybe there won't be scary as hell roads like this on the Rubicon Trail.

   - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life.  Bucket List Revised - 2023 As I approach another milestone...