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Humbled in the woods

StG58

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So, the son in law and I (along with the rest of the clan) went out to a Jeep trail today that was rated for stock jeeps. We got about a mile down the trail, and bailed out. Descretion being the better part of valor. Some of the other rigs out there were very impressive. One rig had a front suspension that was worth more than my Jeep. I am truly humbled by what I saw.
 
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StG58

StG58

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Ground clearance and tire traction. Both of our Jeeps are essentially stock, with the SIL's JK having the factory street tires on it. We got to the first steep down hill and the "big boys" had rutted the edge of the break over out pretty well. There was a line to take off to one side, but that would have dropped my TJ on the gas tank skid on the hump in the middle. Since we didn't know what the rest of the trail looked like, we bailed.
 
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StG58

StG58

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OK, back home and settled in again. Here's the deal on the Tahuya forest trail system. It is very popular with the locals. There were lots of Jeeps out and about on New Years day. Most, if not all of the Jeeps were built TJ's and JK's with a smattering of built XJ's. By built, I mean fairly serious builds, high quality suspensions and tires, armor, lockers & such. My feeling from looking the Jeeps over and thinking about it, is that the locals definition of "stock" differs from mine. No harm, no foul. The other issue is that this trail gets maintained by a couple of local 4x4 clubs. I'm guessing that the maintenance gets done in the spring. That would mean that the trail conditions are pretty rough this time of year. With all of the activity, the trail gets pretty beat and rutted by winter time. With all of that being said, if you head out from the showroom with your shiny new Jeep to do this trail in the winter, expect to not get very far unless you don't mind banging the underside off the trail. Most of the trail is open. There are some tight spots that will filter out full size long bed pickups. Not going to try the trail in my 1999 Suburban. Pushing small trees over to get around a corner is not treading lightly.

Bottom line: If you have 31x10.50 tires or larger and don't mind knocking the paint off your factory skid plates, you can probably do this trail in the winter. The rock gardens installed by the local Jeep Clubs are for the serious guys with money invested. They were not an issue for the JK with the coil overs and HP D60's. He motored down the rock garden hill, turned around and motored right back up. The TJ with the built suspension motored up the hill with little trouble. It was fun to watch.

Sorry, the cell phone pictures aren't worth posting, but if you search on Tahuya Jeep Trail there are lots of photos and video of Jeeps on the trail.
 
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Chris

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OK, back home and settled in again. Here's the deal on the Tahuya forest trail system. It is very popular with the locals. There were lots of Jeeps out and about on New Years day. Most, if not all of the Jeeps were built TJ's and JK's with a smattering of built XJ's. By built, I mean fairly serious builds, high quality suspensions and tires, armor, lockers & such. My feeling from looking the Jeeps over and thinking about it, is that the locals definition of "stock" differs from mine. No harm, no foul. The other issue is that this trail gets maintained by a couple of local 4x4 clubs. I'm guessing that the maintenance gets done in the spring. That would mean that the trail conditions are pretty rough this time of year. With all of the activity, the trail gets pretty beat and rutted by winter time. With all of that being said, if you head out from the showroom with your shiny new Jeep to do this trail in the winter, expect to not get very far unless you don't mind banging the underside off the trail. Most of the trail is open. There are some tight spots that will filter out full size long bed pickups. Not going to try the trail in my 1999 Suburban. Pushing small trees over to get around a corner is not treading lightly.

Bottom line: If you have 31x10.50 tires or larger and don't mind knocking the paint off your factory skid plates, you can probably do this trail in the winter. The rock gardens installed by the local Jeep Clubs are for the serious guys with money invested. They were not an issue for the JK with the coil overs and HP D60's. He motored down the rock garden hill, turned around and motored right back up. The TJ with the built suspension motored up the hill with little trouble. It was fun to watch.

Sorry, the cell phone pictures aren't worth posting, but if you search on Tahuya Jeep Trail there are lots of photos and video of Jeeps on the trail.
Sounds like a fun time, even if you did just end up watching it!
 
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StG58

StG58

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Orygun, the wet side...
It was worth it. Got to see some serious machinery doing some fairly serious stuff. Gave me some more background on what my little SE needs for upgrades. We did cruise a bunch of logging roads, so it wasn't a total waste of time. I've always figured that what you do on New Years day sets the tone for the rest of the year.
 
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Ron505

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I've seen some stock Wranglers do some things that you would not think could be done. They are quite capable in their stock form, but I completely understand not wanting to beat up your rig.
 
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Chris

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I've seen some stock Wranglers do some things that you would not think could be done.
I think a lot of it comes down to how good of a driver you've got and whether or not you want to beat up your rig.
 
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StG58

StG58

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I think a lot of it comes down to how good of a driver you've got and whether or not you want to beat up your rig.
...and there can be a lot of rig beating on your way to becoming a good off road driver in a TJ. The back woods are not strange territory to me. In the past it's always been in full size rigs with ample HP and strength. The restriction has always been size though. A full sized rig will only fit in so many places without the use of a chain saw and bull dozer. The TJ opens up a lot of new territory to explore because of it's size and weight. I beat the living crap out of the Chevy Cheyenne learning to drive off road. It had plenty of power and plenty of strength, so it mostly just shrugged the abuse off. The TJ? Not in the same class in stock form. Sure, it goes places that I never dreamed of taking my trucks, but - it's a finesse thing that the trucks never needed to teach me. So, Uncle Steve got schooled and now it's time to get a little schooling. :)
 
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Chris

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The TJ is fantastic in that it's a small but capable rig. I know what you mean about size... My brother has a full size cab Toyota Tundra TRD and that thing is monstrous in size. He for some reason or another thinks it's going to do better off-road than my Wrangler... I beg to differ!
 
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StG58

StG58

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I've got some places to take him Chris, up in the Siuslaw and TSF that may show him the error of his theory...
 

Chris

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I've got some places to take him Chris, up in the Siuslaw and TSF that may show him the error of his theory...
I believe it! I tried to explain to him that his truck is meant for towing and pulling, it's not meant for complicated trails through the woods.