Thursday, May 28, 2015

My First Blue Trail Adventure

My Journey Beyond the Beaten Path 

Off-roading isn't just about driving on rough terrain - it's a thrilling quest that pushes you to break your own boundaries. Along with putting your Jeep's capabilities to the test. As a passionate Jeeper, I found tackling the blue trails at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park was more than just a test for my Rubicon. It was a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. It was a trip to teach me to set daring goals, step out of my comfort zone, and realize how powerful it can be to face challenges head-on.

Setting Goals

Setting goals and actively pursuing them was my new life's mission shortly after I became a Jeeper. Rather than passively waiting for life to unfold, I began living my life actively making things happen. I discovered setting goals and going after them was my key to living life to the fullest. It's not just about the thrill of off-roading but a deeper reflection of my life's journey, emphasizing the importance of setting and pursuing goals. 

Conquering the Blue Trails

Jumping from the easy green trails to the tougher blue trails at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park was a big step for me. It challenged my off-road driving skills. The blue trails, with their more difficult terrains, needed more than just a well-prepared vehicle. They called for a strategic mind and a readiness to learn from others.

Tips from My Experience

Understand the Terrain: I carefully assessed the terrain to identify potential challenges looking for obstacles like rocks, mud, or steep inclines, and planed my route accordingly. This helped anticipate the difficulties ahead and adjust my driving technique to overcome them.

Maintain Momentum: When tackling challenging terrains, I knew I had to maintain a steady momentum. This helps the Jeep's tires maintain traction and prevent them from getting stuck in mud. I needed to be cautious not to go too fast, which could lead to loss of control and potential damage to my Jeep. 

Practice Patience and Mental Resilience: Off-roading can be a demanding and sometimes frustrating experience. It's crucial to stay patient and maintain a positive mindset, especially when things don't go as planned. I had to remind myself it was okay to not make it over the obstacle the first time. Each challenge is an opportunity to improve your skills and grow as a driver.

Building Confidence Through Challenges

The journey through the blue trails was as much about building personal confidence as it was about enhancing off-roading skills. Relying on the guidance of experienced Jeepers and facing each obstacle with cautious optimism taught me valuable lessons in resilience and trust—not just in my vehicle but in myself. 

A good guide is going to understand your experience. They are not push you to past your limits but at the same time understand you will be able to make it through with a little encouragement. They will help you build the confidence you need to keep pushing yourself on the trails. This is exactly what I needed. Years later I became one of those guides pushing other Jeepers past their comfort zones.   

The Revelation: Embracing My Growth

Successfully navigating these trails pushed my boundaries and bolstered the confidence I needed ---not in my Rubicon, but in myself, which I was lacking. The concern of damaging my daily driver remains, along with a cautious mindset to prevent overconfidence and lowered guard. Reflecting back to those beginning days on the trail I smile at my apprehension on what I now see as easy trails. 

One discovery is my aversion to water obstacles, as their submerged secrets are unnervingly hidden. Still to this day I am uncomfortable driving through water obstacles. 

Water Obstacles at Rausch Creek 👉 Watch Here

Successfully navigating the Tip Top blue trail was a significant achievement, enhancing my confidence with each conquered obstacle, despite them often appearing more daunting from behind the wheel than on video.

Tip Top Blue Trail at Rausch Creek 👉 Watch Here 

Understanding Limits

Understanding the limits of both myself and my Rubicon, I avoid unnecessary risks that could lead to damage. Even though I know I can wheel the blue trails I still found some green trails challenging., underscoring that there's no need to prove anything by taking undue risks. It's perfectly acceptable to opt for a bypass or decide against a trail that doesn't feel right.

Just like in life you need to know when you are ready to tackle the next obstacle at the same time not be afraid to try.

Jeep Momma Navigating Blue Trails 👉 Watch Here

I was pleasantly surprised at conquering rocky steps on the C Blue trail on Rausch Creek's East property.  Confidence in myself and a more relaxed approach could vastly increase my achievements. I eagerly anticipate my next outing.

Blue C Trail Rausch Creek Off-Road Park   👉 Watch Here


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bucket List: San Francisco -Girl's Getaway Weekend

Creating Timeless Memories

As life's pace seems to quicken by the day, finding moments to cherish with my family becomes increasingly precious. I had the privilege of spending five remarkable days on a Girl's Weekend Getaway with my sister and niece, checking out the wonders of Northern California. Our journey wasn't just about sightseeing; it was a celebration of family bonds, laughter, and shared experiences.

Crafting Your Own Bucket List 👉 Read More

Bucket List Item: Ride a Cable Car

Bucket List Thrills: Riding a Cable Car and Beyond

Our adventure started with the iconic San Francisco Cable Cars, weaving through the city's vibrant streets with a sense of nostalgia and excitement. Hanging with my sister and niece at the bustling Fisherman's Wharf and the lively Pier 39 were memories created to last a life time. 

Alcatraz Prison Cell

We set sail for Alcatraz Prison aboard a ferry, embarking on a tour that left an indelible mark on our hearts. With personalized audio guides in hand, we traversed the corridors of history, envisioning life within the confines of this notorious penitentiary. It wasn't merely a tour; it was a journey through time, shared with cherished companions.

Coastal Wonders and Majestic Landscapes

We wanted to get a lot of sights in on our trip. So, we ventured past San Francisco. We traced the rugged coastline, marveling at the beauty of the West Coast's beaches—a stark contrast to the familiar sandy shores of the east. Our journey led us through the verdant expanse of wine country, where each vineyard whispered tales of tradition and craftsmanship.

Conquering the winding roads of the Sierra Nevadas, we ascended to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. I will admit I had some tense screaming moments climbing up those curvy roads. The panorama views were breathtaking. 

Tucked away in Yosemite are a grove of towering sequoias of Mariposa Grove, we stood in awe, humbled by the timeless presence of these ancient giants.

Mariposa Grove


This first getaway made me realize the importance of carving out time for myself and spending time with my family. Research suggests that living in the present moment and practicing mindfulness can increase happiness. However, I have found having something to look forward too makes me feel optimistic. I am eagerly waiting for our next adventure. Whether it's a weekend getaway or a bucket list expedition, these experiences enrich our lives and deepen our bonds.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Off-Roading Trail Etiquette

The Unwritten Rules for Jeep Enthusiasts

The off-road trail is more than just a path—it's a shared adventure that demands respect, skill, and a deep understanding of the unspoken codes. This ensure both safety and enjoyment for everyone. The essential do's and don'ts of off-road trail etiquette are important to know ensuring a memorable off-road journey. 

Off-Road Trail Etiquette 👉Watch Here

The Essential Do's and 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. The bond of the convoy is sacred; maintaining a visual on the Jeep trailing you ensures no one is left behind or in distress 

Don’t: Tailgating is a no-go. It's not just about safety; it’s about respect. Allow the Jeep ahead of you to clear obstacles entirely before proceeding. This is off-roading, not rush hour.

Do:   Uphill traffic takes precedence. Momentum is key on steep inclines; losing it could mean getting stuck or worse. Yielding to uphill Jeeps is not just courteous—it's critical. The vehicle going down should pull over as safely and quickly as possible.

Don’t: Resist the urge to speed. Trails offer a tapestry of nature and challenge to be savored, not rushed. Speeding risks both the environment and the serenity of the experience. 

Do: Come prepared. A well-packed Jeep is a lifeline on the trails, equipped with recovery gear, a first-aid kit, communication tools, and essential spares. Your preparedness is your peace of mind. 

Do: Embrace the spirit of assistance. Off-roading is a community, and on remote trails, a helping hand can make all the difference. Whether it's recovery assistance or guidance through a tricky section, your support strengthens the bonds of the off-roading fraternity.

Don't:  Avoid "dusting" at all costs. Creating a dust storm not only impairs visibility and breathing but also diminishes the enjoyment of open-air Jeep enthusiasts. Slow down, show respect. 

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: Rethink rock stacking. While sometimes necessary, frequent stacking can harm the environment and alter challenges meant to be conquered by skill, not alteration.

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. 

Plastic Fender Mythbusters 👉Watch Here

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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