So after what felt like an eternity we finally got settled into our apartment in Virginia. We ask around a little to find out where we could go to actually take the Jeep off road. By off road we mean without tearing it completely up, we understand there is always some risk. But with the car costing 40k now since it has the lift and new shoes we don’t want to run it off a cliff. We had several leads and one beautiful Sunday we got up early and were all excited. We got in the jeep drove about 30-45 mins following the GPS to our destination and found…wait for…. it a closed gate. We didn’t want to waste the weather and had passed a biking/hiking trail along the way so we back tracked. It was a very nice long rather intense trail that had some nice hills. However after walking this trail we found it was mostly for bikers as we were constantly moving off the path to let them pass. This did give me the ideal that we need bikes, lets face it riding is much more fun the walking. Anyway we got a nice workout in then headed home for the day to get new directions for the next Jeep Trail to try.
We talked to coworkers and found another path to try. This time we did some research first on the internet and headed out the next weekend. After arriving to the GPS destination the road kept narrowing as we drove down it, which to me was a good sign. The road came to a weird cross section where the gravel went right but to the left was a dirt path of sorts. We both looked at each other and smiled then off to the left we went. We made it about 600 ft onto this road and noticed a sign that said road closed August to January but the gate there was open so I shrugged and said lets see how it goes. As we continued our drive the road was dirt with some rocks and was only wide enough for one vehicle. I looked at Rebecca and asked her if there is another car coming the other way umm how do we get past each other? Rocks and a big hill were on each side of us rolling over the edge was not an option, but none the less onward we went. The trail was never difficult enough that 4WD was needed, however without the lift I felt there would have been a few spots that may have been challenging for a stock height Jeep. As we drove we didn’t pass any other vehicles however we did pass some people on the side where there was enough room to place a tent, we waved and kept driving hoping to not hear a chainsaw and seeing any masked monster type guys jump out of the tent. The first half of the trip was mostly uphill was a couple decent size rocks that had to be driven slow over but the jeep handled it like a champ.
We traveled about 2 miles and found a neat looking bridge and got out for a few minutes to enjoy the quiet and take some pitctures. We said maybe we should have brought our hero Gannicus, but as we had a few moments to think about it he would have been tossed all around the back seat since sitting down is not a trick he knows yet. We loaded back up and started the descent down again a few decent size rocks and a just a couple ruts made it more “off roady” then a normal dirt road. About half way down the mountain we may have run over a little twig that just kept dragging so I had to get out to perform some routine off road maintenance. I found this under are jeep, after clearing it out it was smooth sailing down the side of the mountain. We did find a “gentleman ” with his dogs on the trail. After a nice wave no banjos were heard playing anywhere so our descent continued. Although I still want to know where that man lived since we were miles away from any houses.
We cleared the mountain without any big worries or my favorite part…no damage to the jeep. Overall it was a very easy trail I would give it a 2 out of 10 for difficulty, which was fine since this was really my first off road with a full size vehicle. I have been going out with ATV’s for years but of course this was a bit different. I would recommend it if you just have a stock or slightly modified jeep that you don’t want damaged for a nice 45 minute to 1 hour drive. It was probably 6 miles or so total up and down the trail. For the next trail we are going to try and find something maybe a little bit more difficulty and maybe some small creek crossings but we shall see so stay tuned. As any other Jeep drivers know it is hard to find the off road trails.