Gman's Adventures with Bella Blue - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-07-2019, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
GmanWJ
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Gman's Adventures with Bella Blue

Decided to make a thread just for sharing travel and adventure photos. I've had lots of other adventures not documented here but that's okay, maybe some older stuff will find it's way in here too.

Bella's a 2002 WJ Laredo with NV242HD (Selec-Trac), 4.7L V8, 545RFE transmission, 3.73:1 gears, factory Up-Country suspension, class IV tow package, leather seats and custom sound. Bought her brand new in July 2002 at Countywide Chrysler Jeep in Garden Grove, California. She had the good fortune of claiming the fabled Detroit, Michigan factory as her birthplace. She has been fortunate enough to live most of her life in Southern and Central California which is quite good for the undercarriage.


ADVENTURES!
  1. Pismo Beach Jeep Fest 2019
  2. Big Sur Weekend 2019




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ok mostly just repairs, but we are closing in on a lift
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-07-2019, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Pismo Beach Jeep Fest 2019

2019 was the sixth annual PBJ Fest and the first time I attended. Held at the Oceano Dunes OHV recreational park just south of Pismo Beach, California, this event was started by a small group of friends and has grown in size and/or stature every year since. The last I heard, there were 360+ registered attendees in 2019 and who knows how many freestyle drop-ins. This year was the first time they had a primary event sponsor, Rugged Ridge. There were also half a dozen other sponsors like Synergy Manufacturing, Atturo Tires, etc.

I hauled the trailer out to the beach Friday morning. Briefly spoke to a fellow jeeper who suggested we camp next to him, right next to the main event, so that's what we did. Turns out he was one of the event founders, so that was fortunate. Never boondocked on the beach before so wasn't quite sure what to expect. The wind started blowing Friday afternoon and started digging the sand out from under the trailer so I took a trip to Lowe's and picked up $15 worth of OSB in 2'x4' sheets to put a stop to that.

Friday evening on the beach.






On Saturday, the organizers offered to take people out on guided Noobie Runs of the dunes that make up ~1500 acreas of available OHV recreation area in the park. I counted 44 jeeps in our group, only one WJ and one XJ. This was only my second time out on the dunes with Bella, so it was nice to play follow-the-leader with somebody more experienced; in this case, our leader was only 16 years old and did a fine job leading us around. Went to the top of what looked to me like a really steep hill, one I never would have attempted on my own, but we descended without incident once I got brave enough to go down. I did not attempt a hill climb though, maybe next time.







Saturday evening they had burgers and hot dogs and prize raffles. I won a soft shackle made by Monster Hooks, they say it will withstand a 23,000+ pound load! A nice piece of recovery equipment for the tool box.



Sunday morning capped the event with a Jeep parade ... I don't think all attendees participated, but we had a bunch for sure. I walked up and down the entire row and yeah, only one WJ in the bunch.




So glad I did this event. After the Noobie Run, I went back out and explored the dunes again in the afternoon on my own and gained a whole new level of appreciation for what Bella can actually do in low-traction situations. I was never concerned for a moment that we might get stuck. We even got the better of an old Chevy on the Sand Drags. Seriously, I cannot adequately express how much this experience opened my eyes to the badassery this vehicle is capable of. My wife even grudgingly admitted that she had fun, mostly at the Sand Drags! In fact, she even said it would be a good idea to buy a new set of wheels and tires so I could have one set for use on the sand and one set for the highway. WITNESSED! Any wheel recommendations?




More info about the PBJ fest can be found here: https://pismobeachjeepfest.com/


Keep on Jeepin' everyone.


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post #3 of 4 Old 11-18-2019, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Big Sur California 2019

California State Park: Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground
Campsite #99, Weyland Camp
For me the main draw to Big Sur is the redwood trees. Big Sur contains the southern-most remains of coastal redwood forest in North America.



Okay this wasn't a grand adventure, but this was my first towing experience since putting in the IRO springs and other lift components, and the Falken Wildpeaks. Got to say it wasn't a particularly pleasant ride ... One of the components I installed was an IRO 1-inch sway bar spacer that is intended to keep the Addco sway bar from banging on the differential cover, and it did do that. Unfortunately, as soon as I dropped the trailer weight on the hitch, the springs compressed and reduced the clearance between the sway bar and the gas tank skid plate so that it made contact on every big bump, and there were a ton of those on CA Highway 1. Somebody else here in Jeep Forum said they had this problem as well, I'm going to look for that post ...

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. All the way there and back. The tires don't rub, so that's good, but the banging has to stop.

There are three developed campsite groups here: 1) South Camp (sites 1-78); 2) Weyland Camp (sites 79-130); Main Camp (sites 131-188). My campsite was in Weyland which is very nice and mainly populated with oak, sycamore, maple, and alder trees, but there are a couple redwoods here and there. That's what is shown in the pic above. Since redwoods are the main attraction here, I would recommend Main Camp which is almost all redwood trees.

This was just a weekend trip, stayed there a couple nights, did a little hiking, nice little get away. Weather was perfect.

Started the Jeep to leave, a small cloud of blue smoke shot out of the tail pipe and hung around glaring at me. Pretty good evidence that the valves need work, I would think. Ugh.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-18-2019, 04:24 PM
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Brings back great old memories when my wife and I were tent camping at Big Sur! Long trek from Ohio but we've gone back there a couple times since our kids now live in San Diego. Thanks Gman!
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96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 96 4.0 XJ (son's)


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