This weekend, I took the XJ out to the hills of northern New Mexico. I had a score to settle with a particularly steep hill that conquered me last year:
Last year, I took my 2008 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road to this same area to do some wheeling. I made several runs at this challenging hill. First in 4x4 high, then 4x4 low, then using my locker. Nothing. All I did was kick up a ton of sand and make the ruts deeper. I tried approaching it with some speed, then tried going slowly. Nothing.
After probably a dozen attempts, I hung my head in defeat and drove off to do the rest of the trails.
Yesterday, I introduced my STOCK XJ to the same hill. The wind was blasting and sand was whipping all around. In 4x4 high, I approached the hill and made my way up it like a Billy Goat heading to a mating call. No problem!
Man, it felt good to stand on top of that hill and look at the view all around. You can see the highway from there and I hoped the traffic of big Dodge trucks could see me standing up there in victory!