Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Women's Wheeling Day History

2014 - My first time attending the event! My first trail damage giving my Wrangler it's first tattoo.  

2015 - I had the opportunity to wheel a lifted vehicle by driving the Clayton Jeep.

2016 - I was reunited with my new Jeep Mom friend! The first time I broke something on the trails. The first time I was a tail gunner.

2017 - I became a sponsor of the event donating my Jeep Momma bracelets and Jeep Talk Show koozies. I was also a tail gunner. I attended the recovery class put on by NORA 4x4.

2018 - I was a tail gunner for the 3rd time. I was once again a sponsor. I finally gave back to some first time women Jeepers by guiding them over obstacles. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Women's Wheeling Day 2018

"At the end of the day it's not about what you have 
or even what you've accomplished. It's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what 
you've given back" ~Denzel Washington 

Saturday I gave back!!! 
What an amazing feeling!!! 

Four years ago I was welcomed into a community with open arms. I was given support and encouragement like I have never received before. My joy for a new passion began to grow from an incredibly positive environment while I was surrounded by other women in a new sport I was starting out in. This set an amazing foundation for a love that continues to this day. 

This past Saturday was the sixth annual Women's Wheeling Day event at Rausch Creek Off Road Park. The largest all women's off road wheeling event in the United States.  

An event with a vision of a day on the trails where women can be among their peers in a welcoming and supportive environment. This event grew from eight women wheelers that first year in 2013 to a couple of hundred this year. 

In 2014 I joined the event as a first time woman wheeler, and the past three years have actively participated volunteering my time as a tail gunner. A tail gunner works with the trail guide to safely guide off-roaders through the trails.

I was the tail gunner for Group 13, a group of Jeepers new to the trails. All but one of the women had never laid a tire off-road with the exception of snow and sand. Some were nervous, some were excited but apprehensive not knowing what to expect. 

During our ride at one point we needed to turn around mid trail so I ended up being the trail guide for a small part of the day. I had the opportunity to guide these first time off-roaders up and over obstacles. They were able to gain confidence each time they successfully traversed the trails. 

It was an amazing day seeing the smiles and hearing the hooray's as we wheeled around the green trails at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park. To give back to a community that I call my family and have come to love fills my heart with so much joy. To help give these first timers the confidence to continue to take their Jeeps off-road is worth more than my joy of 
wheeling on the more difficult trails. 

I am counting the days to next years event where I will volunteer my time to be a trail guide. These women have thanked me for the awesome day they had but I need to thank them for giving me the confidence to know I can trail guide. The confidence to know I can successfully spot a Jeeper through and obstacle.     

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Jeep Wrangler JL/JLU

The fourth generation Wrangler, the JL made it's television debut during Superbowl 52. The only good thing about that Superbowl. Yes, I am still bitter! 

The commercial was called Jurassic Jeep, an reenactment from the T-Rex chase scene from the 1993 Jurassic Park movie. However, Jeff Goldblum one of the stars from the movie is driving a silver with red accents two-door 2018 Wrangler JL Rubicon instead of a 1992 Wrangler (YJ) Sahara Edition.  Of course it's a dream as the commercial ends with Goldblum sitting in the Silver Rubicon in a showroom, where a Jeep saleswoman asks if he would like to take the JL for a test drive, to which Goldblum replies that he already has. 

Some JL/JLU Factoids
This most current model features a front end reminiscent of
the TJ featuring a "raked" front grille with seven vertical slots and round headlamps that integrate into the front grille. The designers moved the Jeep logo off the front grille. The JL still continues to use the traditional body on frame construction.   

All the JL trim models are available in two door and four door except the Sahara which is a 4 door only. It was designed to be more comfortable on-road. The Wrangler two-door is 2.5 inches longer overall than before, while the Wrangler four-door has grown by 3.5 inches.

Jeep Photo from the 2017 Auto Show
The new Wrangler is roughly 200 pounds lighter than the Wrangler JK. Most likely because they added more aluminum  to the JL. Like the front windshield which is easier to fold down, or can be completely removed. Some of the body panels are also made of aluminum some still made of steel. The hard top and doors are made of aluminum which make them easier to remove.

Safety improvements include standard side-impact airbags and strengthened B-pillars.

LED front headlamps and rear tail lamps are available, as are daytime running lamps on the front fenders. A blind spot monitor is built directly into the taillight housing. The rear spare tire has been moved down to increase rear visibility.

The interior design was inspired by the Jeep CJ-5 and 1987-1995 Wrangler (YJ) models. It is a more modern interior with a majority of the interior switchgear unique to the JL, except for some parts which are shared with other Chrysler products. 

There is a new three-spoke, retro-inspired steering wheel, and a color instrument cluster display screen is available on upper-level trims. There are also three updated infotainment systems.

The interior roll bar was redesigned to accommodate the three new roof systems. The Sunrider soft canvas rook is the standard for all models. This new soft tops is easier to remove. The Velcro and zippers enclosures from the previous models have been removed. Once these easily lifted out windows are removed they can be stored behind the rear seats. Now there is a lever that allows you to lock the roof into place when it's in the Topless / Down position so the soft top won't flap when you are cruising down the road.

Like its predecessor, the Freedom Top hardtop is a three-piece color hard metal roof system. The main difference is the weight which makes it easier to lift and remove the roof.
The Sky One-Touch Power Top the first of its kind on any Wrangler. It is a soft canvas panel that is power-retractable. Simple press a switch inside the Jeep and the roof folds back. Similar to the system in the Jeep Liberty.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

My New Adventure

Stay at Home Mom
When my first son was born I left my television news career to stay at home to raise him (and my youngest son). A decision I will never regret. However, after many years my boys began to need me less and less which lead me to start looking towards my second career. 

I knew getting back in the news field wasn't an option as that flame to my old love diminished. So I was on to other possibilities, but not quite sure what I wanted my second career to be. 

Back to Work
Getting back into the work force after being a stay at home mom for over 16 years has been extremely difficult. My resume has a big hole, but I filled it with my many, many volunteer jobs. That didn't seem to work as I have only received one interview in over 25 applications. Luckily, I had friends who started up an elevator fabrication company and went to work for them in the meantime.

I have been thinking about my long term plans and what I am passionate about. Contemplating my second career has weighed heavy on my mind as I need to plan for my future as well as have a back up plan. Life is moving way too fast to sit around waiting so I took action.  

One day out of the blue I decided to search up bartending schools in the area not knowing if they existed. They exist, so I signed up. 

I took night classes for two weeks and had an absolute blast even though it was an exhausting two weeks with full time work and classes. At first I was very nervous about attending the class for several reasons.  Trying anything new and different is always hard. I knew I would be the oldest in the class and was worried about taking tests again. The last test I took was 33 years ago. 

I was very hesitant to even go. I received some not so positive reactions from some neighborhood mom's but my close friends knew it would be perfect for me and offered the encouragement I needed. So I persevered and went to class.

I enjoyed myself immensely. I looked forward to pouring and mixing of the drinks each night even though we were using colored water. I went in early everyday to practice using both hands to pour and get quicker. I ended up getting 100% on all my tests and poured 28 random drinks in 10 minutes. 

The weekend after I received my certificate I invited my friends over for some taste testing. I needed to test them out myself too since we were only pouring colored water. I will have to say I did a pretty good job. I made some tasty Chocolate Martinis

French Martinis & Cosmopolitans

I think I will have to give this bartender gig a try especially since I love chatting it up with strangers. I'm also a pretty curious, social person. Who knows this may be my new passion. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Third Generation Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU

The JK/JKU's body and chassis were completely redesigned during the era when Jeep was part of Daimler Chrysler. 

What is a Wrangler? The JK/JKU ~ Jeep Talk Show Podcast 

However, this third generation Wrangler continued to have a separate body and frame, rigid live axles both front and rear, a fold-flat windshield, and can be driven without doors.

The Wrangler Unlimited is the only American four-door convertible in production. The Wrangler Unlimited became a big sales success — by mid 2017 three quarters of all new Wranglers listed for sale were four-door models.

New Features to the JK/JKU Wrangler 

  • The Unlimited's wheelbase was stretched from 10 inches like the TJ-based Unlimited to 20 inches. 
  • Noticeably wider track , 3.4 inch, than the previous model.
  • Though the two-door model has a 2-inch longer wheelbase, it is actually 2.5 inches shorter in overall length than the TJ which allows for a 44.3° approach angle and a 40.4° departure angle.
  • With a larger factory available tire size of 32 inches, the breakover angle on the Rubicon is increased from 22.6° to 25.4°
  • The four-door Unlimited model has an over 20" longer wheelbase at 116" to offer much improved rear seating room, but is nevertheless only 2.4" longer than the 2006 TJ Unlimited.
  • Stability control added as a new safety feature.
  • All versions offer off-road tuned Anti-lock braking system and traction control system with electronic limited slip differential.
  • The electronic sway bar disconnect became standard on the Rubicon trim.
  • Runs almost all vehicle functions, other than steering, under computer software control. 
  • Engine, transmission, and to some extent braking are computer controlled, as are lights and auxiliary systems. 
  • There were three safety recalls for software fixes.
  • The Sunrider convertible soft top is standard equipment. 
  • Also available on the JK model is an optional 3-piece modular hardtop.
  • This is the first generation of the Jeep Wrangler to have a change in the tail lamps.
  • The Wrangler X is available with factory installed right-hand drive, targeted at U.S. Mail carriers. 
  • Dana 44 Rear Axle

The Unlimited offers more options and equipment than any previous Wrangler model, including standard electronic stability program and optional seat-mounted side airbags, remote keyless entry, navigation system, and Sirius Satellite Radio. 

The Sport base model is the "bare bones" Wrangler that can be customized to a buyer's specifications by adding such options as air conditioning and other accessories. It was originally called the "Wrangler X" until 2009.

The Sahara model is the "luxury" model offering exterior-color fender flares and gold 'SAHARA' decals and stitched into the seats.The Sahara's and Sports have the Command Trac Shift on the fly part time 4WD. 

All three trim models come with factory skid plates on the transfer case, gas tank and evap canister. 

The Rubicon is the "off-road ready" model named after the famous Rubicon Trail. It offers 32" BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain KM off-road tires with aggressive tread, seventeen-inch alloy wheels and RUBICON decals. 

The features that really set the Rubicon apart are...

  • Rock-Trac 4x4 system
  • Tru-Lok front/rear locking diffs
  • Dana 44 heavy-duty axles
  • Front sway bar disconnect system
  • Performance suspension system High-pressure monotube shocks
  • Tunable valves
  • Heavy-duty suspension
  • Gas shocks  

The Dana 44 Heavy-Duty axle not only reduces the joint angles of the driveshaft for better ride quality, but it also increases ground clearance.

The Rubicon has a 73.1:1 crawl ratio for better rock crawling and off-road performance. The Rock Trac System gives you more control and more torque  for superior off road performance with the 4:1 low gear ratio that lets you crawl at a lower speed with a greater increase in torque in all the wheels! 

3 months ago the last JK rolled off the assembly line at the Toledo plant to make way for the JT Truck which will be assembled on the old JK line. They are in the process of retooling that line right now.  

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...