Monday, February 28, 2022

4x4 Training Weekend

In order to use my new Jeep without breaking it, I signed up for a two-day offroad training class through Badlands Offroad Adventures.

I woke up early to head to Borrego Springs.  The class met up at a small resort for a vehicle inspection and a few hours of classroom time.  After learning the basics, we aired down our tires and headed to Christmas Circle for lunch.  Then it was off to the dirt!  The rest of day 1 and all of day 2 was conducted in an OHV area a few miles east of town.  We started on easy hills and sand and progressed from there.  At the end of the first day, most of the class met up for dinner at Carlee's.  Half the class was only taking the first day so the rest of us scattered to various campsites or hotels.  I headed down to Glorieta Canyon to a wonderful site overlooking the valley.

After waking up, I had some time to hike up the canyon a bit before heading back to the circle to rendezvous for day 2.  Day 2 was a continuation of the skills we learned in day 1 but on bigger hills, steeper slopes and narrower trails.  We also did some drills with cones on the ground to practice turning and work on wheel cheat.  The "final exam" was going down a steep 25 degree slope (called Graduation Hill) in soft sand.  We had to pick a line and keep the rig under control so we could stop at any time.  I didn't think we could do this after just 2 days of class but the instruction was very good.

Students' rigs

Top of Graduation Hill

Desert Sunrise

Campsite near Glorieta Canyon

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Maiden Jeep Voyage

For Rosie's first trip off-road, we chose an easy trail in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  We drove out the starting point at Yaqui Wells with a stop in Ramona at the Packard coffee shop.  From Yaqui Wells, we made the pleasant drive up Grapevine Canyon, making a few brief stop along the way. I tested all the modes and off-road features such as axle locks and sway bar disconnect.  At the end of Grapevine Canyon, we headed off on the Jasper Trail.  This road was rougher but still pretty easy.  We checked out a couple potential future campsites before stopping at the Wilson Peak trailhead.  From the trailhead we made the 9 mile out and back along Pinyon Ridge to the summit of Wilson Peak.  This peak has some of the best 360 degree views in the county.  We got back to the car just at dusk and the temperature was dropping fast.  We passed some folks braving the cold and staying overnight.

I also got some data on MPG.  The computer reported 21.2 MPG and I calculated 21.3 after I filled up the tank.  This was with a full battery leaving the house, driving in hybrid mode the entire time and max regen on most of the time.

Dusty jeep

Smiley rock

Jyoti on the trail

Great weather