Todd's '97 Jeep Wrangler Hits the Trails

I decided that since I now had a vehicle that was capable of hitting the trails, I might as well take it out four-wheeling (rather than just parking it in my apartment garage all the time waiting for thieves to break into it again. So, I went out on a trip with a four-wheeling club (which I've since left) to Trollhaugen Ski Resort in Wisconsin. Ben helped out and showed me some of the basics of four-wheeling.

Sand.... Sand.... DEEP HURTING! (At least with my wimpy tires. But I eventually made it up the hill.)

Despite the fact that I still have wimpy P205/75R15 street tires (which I'm now planning to upgrade), I was able to make it through most of the trails without disasters. In fact, I didn't damage anything -- I'm either lucky, careful, or both. I thought I'd break the transfer case off on a rock.

Ben gets the bright idea of taking some air out of my tires so I have some more traction. This seemed to work.

Of course, since I kept getting stuck, I needed the occasional tow or two. Surprisingly, nobody minded that I got stuck and blocked the trail; I guess nobody was in a hurry to get back to camp right away.

One of the nice things about having a new vehicle is that it's much more reliable. Of the two full-size pickups in this picture, one had a bad battery terminal and a bad alternator, and the other had a problem with the starter. Ben's Willys (actually, his friend's) on the right had a broken axle joint. Mine emerged from the forest unscathed.

By the way, Ben is a maniac. Here he is trying to destroy his friend's Willys on a pile of logs.

So, would I do this again? Sure -- it was a blast. I don't know if I'd get into four-wheeling hard core, to the point where I'm installing a 3 inch lift kit and Air Lockers. (After all, I have to drive this to work every day.) Besides, I've already got mountain biking as a hobby. But I figure that I might as well use my Jeep for what it was made to do. It's also a lot more satisfying than sitting in Twin Cities traffic all day.

See you on the trails (as Ben always says)...

Update: This jubilant little update was written at a time when I really enjoyed four-wheeling with the club (which I've since left). After that, I found out that this particular club wasn't really oriented toward people like me who wanted to trailride vehicles that were daily drivers, but was more geared toward hard-core four-wheelers. As I started to find this out, I started enjoying off-roading with this club a lot less. The final nail in that particular coffin happened in February, 1998 when I had a falling-out with the club's membership secretary regarding my behavior and her participation in the development of a web site for the club. I stopped off-roading at that point and I haven't taken my Jeep off-road since.
Back to:

Todd's Jeep Page

The Information Singletrack