Zakman describes the event very well. Not too many more pictures to add, but I will comment on a few more interesting parts of the event.
This weekend was meant to be as much a family mini-vacation as it was a chance for me to "break" in the new JKU. Only mods at this point were a Poison Spyder Evap skid, Cobra 75WX CB w/3' Firestik, and the portable Viair 300P "on board air". Bone stock otherwise, with 1 payment on it and barely any miles on it. I'm either insane or foolish. Both, probably...
Anyway, we planned on spending Friday and Saturday at the French Lick Resort hotel (thank you discount codes), but TH night I was left to find my own acccomodations (they weren't set to arrive until Saturday). Thanks to great weather I decided to camp:
As at almost any gathering of Jeeps, there always those that stand out, at least in the way that I want to shape my JKU in the future:
JF member tight_wad 's JKU sporting the look I'm shooting for in a couple of years:
He's also a pretty nice guy, which is another benefit of these events - meeting new people. Oh, and reconnecting with old ones, like Zakman, and even someone I haven't seen since high school (wife of msquaredIN).
Getting is dirty, scratched, scraped, and otherwise proving the "Trail Ready" namesake of the Jeeps.
My trusty co-polit for the trip (and many of the others we've done together):
As seems to be a habit I'd like desparately to break, something always seems to happen to me on these trips, usually from my own mis-step. The flat tire Zakman refers to stems from how I disconnected and tied the swaybar out of the way. Originally I removed the bottom bolt of the link, tied the link to the bar, then pushed the bar up and out of the way, and tied it off. Over the course of day 1 the tires apparently rubbed against the links enough to rub most of the black paint off. On day 2, easing my way down into the creek bed was just enough to push the link hard enough into the tire to slice it open.
Note in the picture Zakamn posted above:
We used Zakman's Hi-Lift and wheel adapter to raise the Jeep, and then used the on board scissor jack under the axle to stabilize it. We removed the flat and mounted the spare, and also removed the swaybar links completely. Thankfully, no more flats for the day.
Most of the group was gathered around and either watched or jumped right in to help. Very good group of people.
For the record, based on this experience I:
1) Now know how to properly disconnect on a JK and where to tie off the swaybar
2) Am rebuilding my Hi-Lift and even picked up the accessories we used to change my flat, include the wheel hooks and base.
3) Will be more organized in my tool storage. It's a pain to scramble around looking for something you know *should* be there but you can't find it...
At this point on day 2 I was so tired, I took this picture while singing "Convoy" in my head.
Near the end of day 2 someone asked (on the radio) name a movie or TV show with a Jeep in it. Lot more than you might think.
A few of our group did Randy's Ravine, and there were a few "pucker" moments as well:
That evil grin says "Yeah, I did that on purpose... Heh heh heh):
This guy (Chad) has his daughter with him on the way down and all you heard was maniacal laughter. Not sure if she was laughing as hard on the way up.
Hey Chad - we're still waiting on that e-mail.
There were 2 other JKUs in our group, both 2011 Saharas. They were all friends from Chicago. I felt a little bad for them in the sense that I knew what I was getting in to with the JKU. I'm not sure they did. Both did a great job for their first time out, and we all 3 had little hard top scrapes when it was all said and done. They all seemed pretty good natured about it all, and they were a lot of fun. Good job you guys (and ladies).
One of my most memorable moments was on rock hill, getting ready to watch a husband drive his wife's JK down the hill. As we stood together contemplating the right line (there's a hard line, and a less-hard line), he looks up and says he thinks he'll go down the left side, which is the less-hard line. His wife looks up and says "Are you a WUSS?!?" laughing the whole time. He basically accepts the challenge and then makes it look easy. Good job Mike!
Over all I really enjoyed myself, and found that the JK is a very capable rig right off the showroom floor.
Oh, and since I came home with the prerequisite dimple in the bumper, I'm working on getting an ARB Deluxe bumper to replace it.
Tires are next year. Etc etc etc.