Rausch Creek Offroad Park
with the Maryland Jeep Club
March 18, 2006

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the group Poopy's bone stock YJ.  I just wanted a shot before we hurt it YJ at the entrance to the blue section of trail 1 J.T. going downhill on trail 1 getting ready to enter the off camber section TJ entering the bowls on trail 4 another of the same the YJ entering the bowls.  I don't know if it was the color, or what, but I was just loving the look of this Jeep J.T. on trail 4 the TJ stuck on 4 a split second sooner and this would have been a great flex shot, but since I was slow it's just a picture of J.T.'s XJ just a poser shot of my TJ at the base of Yellow Jacket Ridge me coming up Yellow Jacket more of the lower part of Yellow Jacket just getting to the hard stuff on Yellow Jacket just touching the start of the hard part climbing the hard stuff a little flex near the top of Yellow Jacket flexing at the top of Yellow Jacket just slightly more flexed Cowboy coming up Yellow Jacket Ridge.  I think that's pretty impressive for a stock Rubi Cowboy posing with his stock Jeep stuck on Yellow Jacket just before we got him free J.T. coming up Yellow Jacket Ridge closing the hood on J.T. multiple fluid leaks J.T. at the top of Yellow Jacket Ridge busted light cover from hitting a tree several times the Drain Plug me cresting the hill on Drain Plug just starting to enter the Drain Plug stopped for a second as everything inside my Jeep slid forward just hitting the water in the water exiting the Drain Plug Pik in his massive CJ Pik running the Drain Plug in reverse after it offered him no challenge at all Pik's exit J.T. in the water J.T.'s exit TJ entering the water TJ in the water a $300 CJ entering the Drain Plug.  is that one hell of a deal, or what? sitting high above the water line. me cresting the hill on trail 2 a few inches farther along one of Poopy's many attempts at a hill climb on trail 2 before he nailed it a nice, clean tire on the front of my Jeep my busted valve stem from the hill climb before Crawler Ridge me flexing on Crawler Ridge me flexing on Crawler Ridge me flexing on Crawler Ridge me flexing on Crawler Ridge a little posing at the bottom of Crawler Ridge just wanted a shot of my new RE Superflex LCA flexing a little Cowboy stuck on Crawler Ridge in an identical way to how I usually get stuck Pik making Crawler Ridge look so easy that I don't even think he was trying the other CJ coming down J.T. flexing on Crawler Ridge I should have got a better shot of his rear tire as it was cool the way it was sitting on the front of the rock, but I got this one instead not bad flex for an XJ, huh? This should have been a cool shot of an exit to the Drain Plug, but I didn't expect him to drive so damn fast.  I uploaded it, so I figured I would keep it anyway. J.T. entering the Drain Plug J.T. exiting the Drain Plug J.T.'s fiberglass damage from beating the shit out of that XJ

I had been wanting to go out with the Maryland Jeep Club for a while now. I had been on their board for a little while and met a few of them on a trip to Rausch Creek in November, but had never been on an event that was totally theirs.

I signed up for a trip to Paragon, but somehow that got cancelled because this run at Rausch was taking over. While I did want to give Paragon another try, I love Rausch and never have a problem with going there.

Somehow I ended up being elected to lead the group. This made me a little nervous as the only time I have ever led a group here had me leaving with a ton of broken parts on my Jeep and an interior full of mud. To add to that, we also had Poopy in a bone stock YJ on 30 inch street tires in our group which I was convinced was going to be a major hassle.

Keeping the YJ in mind, I decided that we should start off on the blue section of trail 1. I wanted to run something that was hard enough for me to have fun with, yet would still allow Poopy to keep up. I had also had some fear of this trail because of a nightmare I had about rolling the Jeep on the off camber part the night before I came here in November and I needed to run it to get over that. This trail seemed to be a perfect comprimise as it is rated blue because of the off camber part and not because of anything big that we had to climb over.

The limitations of the YJ emerged as soon as we hit the trail head. This thing had no traction and, with no droop at all, it would easily pick up a tire. I really don't think he enjoyed the first climb because of how hard it was to get his Jeep through, but that quickly changed. He made the next climb after several tries and it was becoming obvious as to what he was willing to put the Jeep through. As soon as he hit the off camber stuff, he started smiling and kept that smile the whole day.

We moved onto trail 4 because I wanted to run Yellow Jacket Ridge. I missed the trail markers on one section of the trail and bounced the bumper off a tree several times, breaking my KC light cover, to get pointed in the right direction. We ran the bowls while Poopy caught up and started getting the feel for his Jeep. We had a few easy stucks here and there and, with the help of bypasses and quickly growing skill, Poopy kept up.

Several of us ran Yellow Jacket Ridge while the others watched. There were a couple little stucks here and there, but nothing major. The only big issue was J.T. leaking several fluids for no obvious reason.

We met up with a few others at lunch time back at the camp site. They stuck with us for the rest of the day.

We went and ran lower 3. While I was trying to go slow to allow Poopy to keep up, it was really unnecessary as he had no problem. He was really getting the feel for that Jeep now and it was impressing us all that he kept up with us on trails that his Jeep had no business being on.

A few of us ran the Drain Plug with the water level being the lowest I have ever seen.

Trail 2 came next. This was a perfect trail for the group as it has a ton of bypasses which allowed our different levels of Jeeps to all get what they needed. Everyone made the hill climb and, no matter how much I egged them on, nobody had the balls (or lack of common sense?) to run the Frog Hole. The trail came off without issue and we seperated a little bit at the end so that some of us could run Crawler Ridge. Hell, by this point we were even forgetting that Poopy was with us because he was keeping up so well that his little stocker wasn't standing out at all.

I impressed myself with being able to run the hard line for the hill climb leading up to Crawler Ridge. Although I did destroy yet another valve stem, I did make it. In fact, everyone that tried it ran the hard line and everyone made it. I think the shining star here was Cowboy who made it in a bone stock Rubicon with his swaybars connected.

I had ran Crawler Ridge before, but I impressed myself because I was able to make it this time without getting hung up on anything. Cowboy, however, got hung up in an identical way to how I always do. There were a few little scrapes from people here and there, but everyone who tried made it down.

One of the CJ's busted his clutch linkage and headed out with a few other members of the group in tow. Poopy was one of the ones leaving with him and I couldn't help noticing as I followed his YJ that it suffered no damage other than a little pinch on the tail pipe. Now, I would expect him to find other damage once he gets it home, but it was amazing as to how well he did driving that thing. So, I owe a big thumbs up to him and I'll hang my head in shame for thinking that it would be a problem when we showed up that morning.

With our group being much, much smaller now we decided to hit a couple trails really quick on the way out. I always like to hit at least one of the hill climbs on the Pole Line not only because they are fun, but also because no one else seems to do it.

We ran upper 3 and followed it to lower 3. Then we hit the Drain Plug in the opposite direction. I expected to have a little trouble making the climb coming out, but my Swampers hooked up just like I wanted them to.

While most everyone headed down to go camp, there was no way I was going to stay outdoors on a night where I hear it got down to about 10 degrees. Instead, I headed home to my warm bed.

It was a great day and it was great meeting everyone.

I really learned what a good driver in an underbuilt Jeep can do with the right motivation. I used to hate the way people would tell me my Jeep couldn't do something when it was smaller, and now I realize that I have started to do the same thing. The lesson here is that what a Jeep can do is much more in the driver than in whatever bullshit you have bolted to it.

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