YET AGAIN it was travel time. These days , I have so many meetings with various vendors and Factories who are in different cities..Long story short, it was rental car time.. I’d taken a lot of expensive cars off late and I thought it best to stick to cheaper cars coz I did not want anybody in my office to pop their eyes. Last week I could’ve taken a SAAB 9-3 but took a Nissan Versa (hatchback) instead. This time around, I reserved a 2011 Camry but when I got there, parked next to the Camry was a Jeep Wrangler !! Now this time, I could not take my eyes off it and uttered the words..” I want the jeep” ..the manager ,a good friend of mine laughed away and said ” I knew it AV, you cannot resist a Jeep” ..and that’s how I got me a Jeep for a day.
I had 150 miles to drive and 50 miles of these are in the country side.
As soon as I hit the country road, I could not resist pulling into what I thought was a path leading to a trail. ended up being gated private property.
Hey, the Jeep proudly says its ‘Trail rated’.
and then, while driving on, I realized I was kinda early for my meeting..so, I pulled over for yet another photo shoot.
went to office for my meeting all along with my mind set on the excitement that was to be later that evening..driving fast and powerful cars is fun but driving slow offroad is a totally different kinda fun..I’m just a wannabe offroader. The 4X4 fraternity has got me very interested in the thrills of offroading..anyway, let me cut all the gibberish..i left the office 1/2 hr earlier coz I wanted to be out there in daylight..remember it gets dark pretty soon in this side of the world..reached the spot that I had planned to get off the road at..
it was a steep incline but nothing 2H couldn’t handle.chugged on..did not see any gate and presumed it was no mans land..but somehow there was a path. I drove along the path slowly..the Jeep was showing a bit of resistance..figured I should be in 4H…now is the tricky bit..how to shift to 4H? put the auto box in P and tried..flop…put it in D and tried..flop…dang ..i had to be in N for that..did just that..slotted into 4H and chugged along for a good ten minutes before the scare sunk into me..I was in a possible pvt property and in red neck territory-Alabama. these guys buy guns and ammunition like grocery and if they have to replenish the ammunition, they must be using it too..I remembered my Manager Rodney tell me that if anybody trespassed his property, he wouldn’t mind shooting with his guns before speaking and the cops don’t question..I didn’t want to be at the receiver’s end..no way..turned around and returned…now that was a challenge in itself..
1. I couldn’t afford to damage that car..its a rental and enterprise will hunt me down till the last dollar of the damage..
2. I was an amateur in offroading.
3. it’s an automatic..not as good as manual and in these conditions, Manual gives better control.
4. I had no spotter.
5. the path was pretty rugged with ditches all over..due to erosion.I made careful moves and did manage part of the maneuver and then..oops..i put a wheel in a ditch…before I panicked, I did realize that 4L would probly do the magic…slotted the transfer box to 4L and gradually released brake..the torque was tremendous and it pulled out of there easily…I sighed in relief coz if I was still in 4H, I had to get out of the ditch with velocity and in the bargain, give the Jeep scratches..I wasn’t gonna do that..damn..that was real close..for sure.got close to the point where I got into this trail..