Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blue Trail Adventure

Setting an objective for myself, and going out to achieve it is my new mission. Waiting around for life to happen is not how I decided I am going to live my life. Now it is all about making things happen. 

One of those objectives is to be able to tackle some of the blue trails at Rausch Creek Off Road Park in my stock JKU Rubicon. I have already been on several of the green trails, which are the easiest trails at the park. 

Some of the blue trails are quite difficult for a stock Jeep as far as clearance goes, but there are some I can get through by going slow and steady expecting some scraping and banging along the way. 

So, last Sunday I trusted a fellow Jeeper to help guide me through some of those blue trails. We picked just a couple of the easier blue trails for my first time. My goal is to become confidant at driving off road picking my lines and successfully
tackling the trails before I begin to modifying my Jeep with a lift.  I feel it will make me a better driver on the rocks. 

I had a great time testing my limits and gaining the confidence I need. It is not the confidence in my Rubicon but the confidence in myself that I lack right now. 

There is still the fear of breaking my daily driver that sits in the back of my head. Plus, I think it is good I don't get too cocky and let my guard down. 

I realized I don't like driving through water obstacles. You just can't tell what is lurking just below the surface. Just like in this video I posted on my Jeep Momma You Tube Channel

I was able to tackle the Tip Top blue Trail. It always looks much more difficult from behind the wheel than it does in the videos. Every time I am able to tackle one of these obstacles my confidence improves. 

I need to know my limits and my Rubicon's limits and not taking unnecessary chances for any sort of damage. Right now some of the green trails are still a challenge for me so I don't need to prove anything to myself by taking chances. I realized it is okay to take a by-pass or just back up and not take a trail I am not comfortable with like here in this video on my Jeep Momma You Tube Channel

I was very impressed I was able to conquer some rocky steps on the C Blue trail on Rausch Creeks East property as seen in this video on my Jeep Momma You Tube channel.  

I am sure I could accomplish a lot more if I just had the confidence in myself and relaxed. I am looking forward to heading out again real soon. 

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bucket List: San Francisco

Girl's Getaway Weekend

Bucket List Item: Ride a Cable Car

Family Time

I spent the past 5 days on a Girl's Weekend Getaway with my sister and niece. We played tourist visiting many sites in Northern California. We took a ride on the famous San Francisco Cable Cars, walked around Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.

Bucket List: Alcatraz

We also hopped aboard the ferry to check out Alcatraz Prison. I have been on a lot of tours in my life and by far, this was one of the best walking tours. We all had our own little audio tour. It was like we were there in the prison with the guards and prisoners. An awesome tour. 

One day we headed up the coast along the ocean and checked out the beaches of the West Coast, definitely different from the sandy beaches here on the east coast. We then drove through beautiful wine country.

We braved those steep, s-curves of the Sierra Nevadas to take in some of America's most breathtaking views at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park....

....and saw those Giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Off-Roading Trail Etiquette

Off-Road Trail Do's & Don'ts

Do:  Keep Track of Your Group When off-roading in a group, it is the responsibility of every driver to keep track of the vehicle behind them via the rear view mirror. 

Don’t: Tailgate - it is dangerous AND annoying. Allow the vehicle ahead of you to completely pass over the obstacle before you make an attempt.

Do:  Allow vehicles going up an incline to have the right of way. On steep inclines, the loss of climbing momentum might cause a loss of traction or an engine stall. The vehicle going down should pull over as safely and quickly as possible.

Don’t: Speed on the trails. Trail riding is not a quick activity. Take your time, be aware of all obstacles and enjoy the environment around you.

Do:  Be prepared. Make sure you bring the essentials, including tow straps/recovery kit, a first-aid kit, a CB radio and a spare tire among other things.

Do: Stop to help others. We all rely on each other, especially in remote areas. The off road community is one of the friendliest and most helpful groups of people there is. 

Don't: Dusting -- Anytime you drive by someone on a dry dirt road at more than 10 mph, you cause a huge cloud of dust. A number of Jeeps are open air, so all this dust will not only cover the interior of the vehicle, it can also inhibit the driver’s vision or breathing. Slowing down to a crawl will prevent dusting.

Don't: Wheel spinning: Ordinarily, wheel spinning is the result of one of two things: Driver error or having the wrong equipment. Either one throws rocks or mud on other vehicles or can cause ruts in the trail, making it an unpleasant experience for the next person. If you find yourself in a situation where you are spinning excessively, try another line or turn around.

Excessive Wheel Spin 👉 Watch Here

Don't:  Rock stacking: This is permissible occasionally to help get out of a bad situation. But if you have to routinely stack rocks to make it over an obstacle, you may want to re-think your route or your vehicle’s capability. Rock stacking disturbs the environment and can permanently change an obstacle.

Obstacle Tips

Closely observe the vehicle ahead of you. This helps you pick the proper line(s) for negotiating a rough spot. The ability to see their rear differential is a good starting point. 

Get better perspective when there are multiple obstacles by dropping farther back. This gives you more time to think through your strategy. 

When stopped, pull completely off the trail and pick a spot that’s already been disturbed. Try not to park on tall, dry grass for fire safety reasons. 

Leave no man behind -- just like in the military. If a vehicle in your group has a problem, the group stays until the problem is resolved. Be prepared for it every time you go out. 

More Off-Roading Tips

Be patient, helpful and keep a good attitude because next time it could be you!

If you have made several attempts at an obstacle and there is a long ling of rigs waiting their turn, move aside and let them through. There is nothing wrong with being winched through an obstacle if you can’t make it through on your own after a reasonable number of attempts. 

Leave your ego at home.  Don’t let others pressure you into doing something you’re not comfortable doing. There is nothing wrong with taking a bypass if you or your vehicle is not up to tackling an obstacle.

Always practice good “Leave No Trace” and “Tread Lightly” ethics. 


Monday, May 4, 2015

Wax on Plastic Fender Solutions

Try Peanut Butter, They Said!

 Back in 2015 I decided to wax my Jeep. I wasn't as careful as I thought, and some of the wax got on the plastic fenders. It stained them a dull white. I tried washing off the wax, but it still remained on the fenders. I used Mother's Brazilian Carnauba wax which apparently is not good for plastics. 

Looking for a Solution

I went in search for a solution. Many products were suggested. Some were right in my cupboards. Before I bought expensive auto care products I tested the products I had in my house. 

FAIL: Pink Eraser

FAIL: Mr. Clean Eraser Sponge 

Leather condition and Simple Green were suggested and both were a fail. I put peanut butter to the test. The wax disappeared with the first smudge of peanut butter. However, after the next soapy Jeep wash the wax came back. 

FAIL: Peanut Butter

FAIL: Dawn Dish Soap

Wax & Mud Stained Plastic Fenders

Not only are there wax stains on all my fenders, but mud stains as well. Not just any mud either. Coal dust mud, if that is such a thing. The Off-road park I frequent is in the Pennsylvania mountains on an old coal mine. The mud and muddy waters up there can stain those plastic fenders if you don't get the mud off immediately with some good soap and water. 

Mothers Back to Black 

I decided to try Mothers Back to Black. It is a heavy duty trim cleaner that  provides cleaning ability and restoration. The bottle filled with a soap like gel comes with the scrub brush.

 Squirt the liquid on the brush, scrub back and forth,  then wipe the excess off with a microfiber cloth. 

The wax disappeared! My fenders look new. The mud stains are gone as well. Now the real test. The test of time. After two weeks the Back to Black is still holding the stains at bay. 

Mothers Back to black 👉 Buy Here

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