JGW (Jeff's Gone Wheeling) @ The Badlands: Good Friday 2013
BRay and I decided Good Friday would be a great time to take his shiny new JK Rubi to the Badlands Off Road Park....even though they did still have snow on the ground.
We met up at 5am and headed south. I had a buddy along for the ride, he's thinking about getting a Jeep, I was sure to convince him. :D
Once at the park the first order of business was the "before" shots:
My TJ, BRay's JK...with about 1500 miles.
They were so clean and shiny.
I aired the new DuraTracs down to 12 psi, I didn't go as low as I did with the MTR's, since the side walls are bit softer. After a day of wheeling I'm not sure there is any reason to go below 15 psi.
BRay was a little apprehensive, which was understood, I mean his Rubi was brand frigging new...spotless, he didn't even drive it over winter, so kudos to him for hitting the trails, which were muddy and in spots, snow covered.
About 10-minutes into our day I tried the step up in the quarry....it had a big puddle at the base, and was dug out a bit more than it had been a couple of weeks prior. Today it wasn't in the cards to make, even though I did it several time a couple of weeks ago. I gave it three shots, on the third the Jeep shifted to the driver side and about flopped off the steps....:eek: Thankfully it stopped, just in time and I was able to back on down and drive away.
A few walls and ledges later my buddy, Matt, was convinced he needed a Jeep. :laugh:
BRay, getting some dirt on the tires.
It was time to sink or swim.
Or better yet, drive right through.
We headed to the creek trail, after a short stint in the quarry.
I had to talk BRay off the "ledge" here.
It looked worse from inside the Jeep.
I stopped for a Kodak moment.
Instead of exiting the creek at the tubes, we took a right and went up towards the quarry pond.
BRay started to worry less about the mess as the day went on. :laugh:
He did still worry about scratches though.
No worries though.
We made our way along the quarry rim, headed back to Purgatory and along the way, we ran across some more snow.
What you can't feel or really see, is the off camber of this section, and the drop to the driver side.
I went through a section of Purgatory, BRay watched from above.
Not one tree reached out and tagged the new Rubi.
After a little more quarry time, a climb I have on video but will be seen later, and a trip around Red Trail, over the rock and between the tree...where I got a bit too close, and scraped my top (the top is fine, no holes, just character) we headed back to the parking lot and had some lunch.
While there we met Tim Tool Man Taylor, no really we did, I swear. Tim was driving a red CJ and had his two sons with him...well I assume they were his son's, I didn't really ask. Anyway, Tim said this was his first time at the Badlands and asked for some suggestions, I suggested he follow us. :teehee: So he did.
BRay got a urgent call from work, despite being on vacation and had to stay back at the lot to deal with that, so he missed out on The Orange Trail. Tim wanted a nice basic trail to start things off, so I figured Orange we be perfect. :fistlaugh:
Tim getting ready to climb "Cement Hill"...
...his 4wd wasn't staying engaged, so one of his sons had to hold the shifter in place, once that was done, he came right up. The bottom of Cement Hill was covered in snow and slush, so the first few feet was slickery.
Once up the hill we dropped into the point of no return, banged a bumper or two on a rock, but all was good.
Tim's CJ held it's own, as I knew it would. I believe Tim said this was the most extreme stuff he had done thus far.
This down hill was steep, and slick.
Tim getting ready to make a climb.
I didn't drag Tim through the swap section of Orange, because I don't like it either. We did quite a bit of tight trails on Orange before heading to the Creek Trail, where I had taken BRay earlier. BRay was still busy with work and missed out on the return to the creek.
Tim got hung up on the TC skid....need to lose the drop Tim.
Tim backed up and tried line #2.
Line #2 has a little ledge too, but it didn't stop the CJ.
Once up line #2 you are greeted with two trees, which was very close together, but the CJ is pretty narrow, so it didn't present much of a problem at all.
We continued down the creek to the big rock area.
We climbed up the back side of the rock, then went down the rock back into the creek and continued on the same path as I had taken BRay earlier. We did switch up a few lines along this creek journey, since there was no reason for me to go exactly where I had already been.
Once back at the quarry I played around a bit more, further convincing Matt he needs a Jeep. I finally decided I needed to stop while things were good...then did some more. :laugh:
I gave Tim my card and directed him here to see the pics and trail report, so hopefully he stops in and says hi.
We left Tim and his boys, who were now driving the CJ while Time filmed them, so we could go find BRay.
We found BRay back up near the lot, and being as it was 3:30pm and not knowing if we had time to complete another trail we decided to call it a day.
I took some after shots:
I think BRay snuck off to the car wash.
That's what happens when your tires are wider than your flares. :D
The driver side was actually muddier.
Near as I can tell we covered 15-17 miles in the park....which is a good day in my book.
I had a video camera mounted on the back of my Jeep for an hour, and got some footage of BRay following me, but it'll be awhile before that is ready to post.
The pics I posted in this thread are all I have, no really, we were moving alot, taking pictures wasn't high on my list today. Last time out 1,008 pics, this time 48....doesn't seem right, does it?
On the way home Matt, Brian and I stopped and had dinner, talked about our day then headed on home. Matt has some vids and pics on his phone, and Brian has some pics on his camera, so once I get them I'll post them, unless they do it first.
Awesome day, weather was great, company was too.
I'm pleased with the Duratracs, the rode great to and from the park, and performed great in the park. I probably won't air down as much next time, but other wise I have no complaints about this tire. They cleaned out great and climbed everything but the step up. They got me up a ledge I couldn't climb with the MTR's last time, so not making it up the step up didn't bother me, in fact the step up is funny that way, make it one day, miss it the next.
Tune in tomorrow as I may have the vids done.
Next wheeling trip: May 18th.....Moab baby. :D
Tim Allen, really?
His name was Tim, and his plates said "TTYME 77"....So he must have been Tim The Tool Man Taylor, right?
Great report as usual. I had that happen on the step too! It was covered with snow at the time. Looks like you made your buddy decide to go with getting a Jeep.
Thanks Jeffro for letting me tag along for the day and for showing off some pictures of my Rubi JK. I was a little concerned the first 10 minutes in the park at the quarry when you slide to the side of that first ledge. The pictures don't do it justice how much you were actually off camber on that ledge. Your Rubi TJ was impressive on the trail flexing and climbed those ledges like a mountain goat on Red Bull.
It was a great day despite having some interruptions from my company owner while on the trail. I was surprised how well the JK Rubi did in stock form comparing to other Jeeps I owned over the years. I'm hoping it will only get better with some tires and mods.
Now get to those mods, Moab is 47 days away. :D
I did forget to mention the Commander we found...on street tires, trying to turn around and get off the trail. He made it about 30 yards down the trail. I helped get him pointed back in the right direction, by pushing on the front end as he stood on the gas. :laugh:
The guy never rolled down his window, or said thanks. What a tool. He didn't help the plight of future Commander owners I find stuck on the trail.
I guess those "Trail Rated" badges not increase your off road ability after all. :laugh:
As we were leaving for the day I saw the Commander heading back into the park......maybe he's still there.
Great write up Jeff! Pics never do it justice! Looking forward to the video!
I've been sick for the last three days, so I haven't had a chance to hound the other guys for their pics and vids....but I'll get to that soon.
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