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Accidental Wheeling in Jersey.

Old 04-29-2012, 07:49 AM
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Default Accidental Wheeling in Jersey.

This XJ is actually my fourth four wheel drive, and I'm kind of ashamed to say that, with one exception, I have never actually used the four wheel drive on any of my previous machines (an S10 Blazer, '87 XJ and Bronco II). Of course, those were also kind of peripheral cars, mostly used as fill-ins whilst I was busy trying to fix my other, go-fast kind of cars. In fact, about the only "off-roading" I ever did was in a 1978 Buick Skylark (which was actually kind of really good at it).

Anyway, being unable to afford my multi-car habit anymore, though, this current XJ is the only vehicle I'm working on and/or driving. With nothing to fall back on, I've been in the process of working out whatever kinks the thing has in the month or so I've had it. I've wanted to test the four wheel drive, but finding somewhere in New Jersey to do that is about as easy as locating a live unicorn in Times Square. Just about every square foot of land is paved, and if it's not, it's illegal.

And then a few days ago, I happened to come across this random road, which turned into a sand road. The sand was pretty packed, and was almost like driving on concrete anyway, but it gave me some inspiration and I did a Google Maps search and found what I thought would be a similar road, actually nearby where I live. So the next day, I embarked on my journey to what I figured would be a dirt road that might be loose enough for me to test my four wheel drive on.

Yyyeah.



Despite being a "road", and being on Google Maps and so forth, the only thing even remotely road-like about this was that I happened to be driving on it. I soon found myself wandering randomly through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey for several hours, trying to navigate through trails that were intended to be used by quads and bikes, squirming through puddles and trying not to get stuck in what is apparently referred to as "sugar sand".



On the upside, my four wheel drive works!

The best part, though, came towards the end of the journey. After driving around for a few hours, I saw something in the distance that looked sort of like an animal. I thought to myself, "What is that, a deer?" But it seemed kind of high. As I got closer, I realized that I was looking at a giraffe.

...!

A bit later, an ostrich also came into view. It took me a minute, but I realized that I was driving right outside the Six Flags Wild Safari park. These trails run right along the fence, which is nothing more than like an eight foot tall chain link fence, and on the other side are giraffe and ostrich and zebra and Lord knows what else. But for a minute, I was kind of afraid that I'd driven into some kind of parallel dimension.



I wish I'd taken more pictures, but having not intended to do more than spin my tires on loose gravel or sand, I hadn't brought a real camera, and once I was navigating the forest, I was more concerned with not getting stuck or breaking a shackle than I was in getting a good cell phone picture.

She got a little muddy, too (though not that muddy; it's been a dry spring). So I guess she's a real Jeep now.



And that is all. I eventually made it out of the woods with no damage to the Jeep, mild damage to my nerves, and without being mauled by an escaped lion or anything. All in all, I'd call it a successful, if not entirely unplanned, afternoon. Also, having had, er, SUVs in the past, I have no idea how I have not done this before.

And yeah, I'm totally doing this again next weekend.

AJ

Last edited by Derision; 04-29-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:24 AM
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The addiction begins!! That would be awesome to to see a giraffe in the woods. Haahaa
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:09 AM
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If u ever get a chance wander on down rte 206 toward atsion lake and take a ride through wharton state forest, plenty of off roading there for ya. Jus be careful, some of those puddles are bottomless pits.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jeepsoldier View Post
If u ever get a chance wander on down rte 206 toward atsion lake and take a ride through wharton state forest, plenty of off roading there for ya. Jus be careful, some of those puddles are bottomless pits.
I discovered some bottomless puddles on my trek, too... I had been taking it pretty easy, and most of the puddles I saw -- even that lake that was wandering across the street in my first picture -- were relatively shallow. At the very least, I could see the ruts where other people had driven through and could avoid them.

As I was winding out of the trails, and could see the actual, paved road ahead of me, there was one puddle left, and it was a really little one. I figured, pfft, last puddle, little one, I'll just gun it through and I'm home free. Of course, that little puddle was the one that was like two feet deep... because everyone and their brother has hit it on the way out of the trails. Still made it through... it would've been ironic to have gotten finally stuck, after hours of driving, ten feet from the main road.

One other fun part of the adventure, which I had forgotten to throw in... I had been going pretty easy, maybe 10-15 miles per hour, tops. I didn't know what was ahead and I didn't want to break anything, particularly since I hadn't brought any tools or anything with me, so I was taking it easy. Out of nowhere, a Dodge pickup -- a LOWERED Dodge pickup, I would add -- comes flying down the trail. He stops behind me, so I pulled off the trail and let him pass. He spins his tires, flies on.

A little bit later, the road got really bumpy... like, dips and troughs of like four feet or so. I think to myself, "Man, I hope he didn't hit this part of it going that fast..." and then as I pass over one of the little hills, there's his exhaust system laying in the middle of the trail, still steaming from the puddles he'd been sloshing through.

Yup.

Last edited by Derision; 04-29-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:10 PM
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i know that area very well been goin out there for years its got a little of something for everyone if you know where to look for it
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 90cherokeeguy View Post
i know that area very well been goin out there for years its got a little of something for everyone if you know where to look for it
Yeah, now that I'm looking around, there's apparently quite a bit around here. Who knew? I checked out Success Road down in Jackson earlier today, but I couldn't go above 4mph without vibrating off the road, so I gave up on that adventure. I think I need some softer tires.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:23 PM
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Where is this place, im close to the Jackson area
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:42 PM
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I only have one question... why is there not a picture of the freaking giraffe? Seriously... you see a giraffe and don't take a picture? The hell is wrong with you??? hahaha
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by zimdogg View Post
I only have one question... why is there not a picture of the freaking giraffe? Seriously... you see a giraffe and don't take a picture? The hell is wrong with you??? hahaha
--x-2



at least of the darn giraffe-yer other pics were good, me thinks yer lyin!!




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Old 08-10-2012, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gone4x4 View Post
--x-2



at least of the darn giraffe-yer other pics were good, me thinks yer lyin!!




Well, I did get this one...

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Old 08-10-2012, 10:25 AM
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Hilarious, I think I would have wondered if I had stumbled upon a paralell universe too!!
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Derision View Post
Well, I did get this one...


Zebras play frisbee golf? Who knew!
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:14 AM
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That zebra is taking the whiz of a lifetime! Freaking garden hose there...
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:07 AM
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i would have thought u ate some mushrooms along the journey
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:34 AM
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If it was a parallel universe, what if the animals put that fence up instead of us, only to keep us out... crazy
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