So, I'm sitting here eating my nice warm soup thinking about what just happened and that I should share it with someone. Who though? "Why, JeepForum would appreciate this story."
I'll preface this story with a good 'ol 'I know it was dumb and it could've ended up a lot worse', but feel free to express your own version of that.
If you're in northeastern Kansas, you know how much rain we've gotten lately, two solid days worth in fact. So I decide to drive around checking out any flooding that might be going on. Luckily, the Army Corp. of Engineers came through here after '93 and made things near Tuttle Creek Lake pretty well flood proof. On private property, however, that is not the case.
I came home, driving down my gravel road that's covered in water, splashing about and having a good time. I decide to check out the spot beyond my house that usually floods. To get there, I have to keep driving and it is downhill at a decent 10-20 degree decline. I come over the hill to start heading down and think to myself, "Self, you need your flood lights." So I turn those bad boys on and suddenly WATER. "HOLY FARK" and other words were uttered as I slamed the brakes and came to a nerve-recking 10-foot, muddy slide to a stop.
The front wheels are nicely tip-toeing into a newly formed river. Okay, uh, reverse. It kind of works, but due to the weird decline I'm being pulled off of my gravel road and into the unplanted field that is nothing but completely soaked soil. I lose traction and slowly slide back to where I started. Okay, uh, 4x4 reverse then. Same results, but with grinding. I'm guessing that because the drive train was busy holding things together, 4x4 wasn't engaging. At this point, I'm considering leaving the Jeep and getting the truck. I decide not to, though, because I know I've seen that movie before. The guy winds up getting eaten by a dinosaur.
So now I'm stopped. Things aren't getting worse, but they're definitely not getting better. But because I don't want to sleep in my Jeep and definitely don't want to be eaten by a dinosaur, it's time to do something drastic. I reverse one more time, but brake as I begin to lose traction. I'm stopped! And I'm not currently in water! Now for the dumb part. I'm even thinking to myself at this point that this is a dumb idea. But what the hell, I have pretty good insurance.
I put 'er in neutral, let off the brakes and get a good roll started and pop in the Part-Time 4x4. For what seemed like forever, I heard nothing, but at the last moment I heard that wonderful CLUNK. Brake! Slide. Water again. I have no idea how deep I was, but I was definitely back in the water a bit further this time but with 4x4 this time! Here we go. Reverse.
That son of a gun just crawled out of that mud and water and up that stupid hill like she suddenly decided that she was done playing and was ready to go home. I pulled a quick u-turn through the field and left nice deep ruts for me to look at in the morning and got back on the gravel road and drove home.
Lessons of the story? (1) Are you potentially going to need 4x4? Just put it in Full-Time 4x4, don't wait! (2) People make fun of your Liberty? Let them laugh. That thing is every bit a Jeep as anything else. (3) Don't have a Jeep? Buy one, they're neat.
1997 Ford F-250 LD 4.6L V8, 245,000 mi
1992 Jeep Cherokee Laredo 4.0L I6, 171,000 mi