Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First Time Wheelin' in the Ice & Snow

Embracing the Jeep Community
From Strangers to Off-Road Buddies

Like every trip to Rausch Creek, this one was filled with much anticipation and excitement. I was apprehensive and nervous because I was unsure how much snow would be on the trails. I had never wheeled in the snow and wasn't sure how that would affect my driving.

Excitement flowed as I knew I would be meeting new friends with a shared love of Jeeps and off-roading. Each time I hit the trails in my Jeep my admiration for the Jeep community grows. It's incredible how complete strangers can transform into Jeep Off-Road buddies in an instant because of a shared passion for Jeeps. 

There's a saying "It's a Jeep thing" that most people don't comprehend unless you have that passion for your Jeep.   

Rausch Creek Jeep group

During my first Women's Wheeling trip at Rausch Creek Off Road Park, I met fellow Jeeper who was preparing to install the same bumper as mine. Engaging in a lively conversation for about five minutes, we immediately connected and we exchanged email addresses. Little did I know that those five minutes would foster a lasting wheeling camaraderie.

My Front Bumper Install 👉 Read More

Exploring the Trails at Rausch Creek

I ventured out to meet my newfound friend and a few others to explore the trails at Rausch Creek during my first snow wheeling adventure. It marked the maiden voyage of my Rubicon on snowy and icy terrains, a thrilling first-time off-roading experience in such conditions.

Jeep Momma selfie with front grille

Navigating Snow and Ice

Growing up in Minnesota and North Dakota, I've had my fair share of driving through snow and ice. However, maneuvering off-road amidst these conditions presents an entirely different challenge. Driving on paved roads full of snow is a much different than a trail filled with rocks and trees lining the path. 

Jeeps on snowy trails

Snowy Terrain: A Surprising Advantage

Surprisingly, crawling over rocks seemed more manageable with the snow. The snow compacted into the crevices, providing a smoother drive. While it eased the journey, Jeepers like us thrive on the challenge of rocky terrains. 

snowy trail at Rausch Creek

Challenges of Ice

However, this trip presented a new challenge: slick, slippery ice. Firstly, we had to remain vigilant for icy patches to avoid spinning out of control. Despite my attentiveness, my tires spun several times, highlighting the treacherous nature of the icy terrain. Secondly, while navigating the rocks, my Jeep's rear end would occasionally fishtail, disrupting my intended course and adding a thrilling twist to the adventure.

Jeep Momma selfie

The Unexplored Button: Engaging Axle Locks

Reflecting on the journey, I realized that I had overlooked a crucial aspect: engaging my axle locks by pressing that magical button. This probably wasn't a great time to use the axle locks for the first time though. Another off-roading skill to I need learn, but during a time when I can be in a more controlled environment so I can experiment. It's a lesson learned, signaling my anticipation for another exhilarating trip back to Rausch Creek in the near future. The more I tackle the trails the more comfortable I will be to know when to use the axle lock button and when my Jeep will get me through with out it.  

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