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Eclipse Off-Road and some of our Clermont Jeep Club members headed to Windrock Park for our annual Jeep trip.

We left for Tennessee on July 8th headed Northbound to Cherokee, North Carolina for some site seeing before wheeling.

The Jeeps on the trip:
2010 JK 2dr: Trutrac F/R, 4.56s, 2.5" lift, 35s, and supporting mods.

2008 JKUR: Factory Lockers, 4.10s, 35s, RK 3.5" lift that netting around 4.5-5" and supporting mods.

2008 JK 2dr: Trutrac front, Detriot Auto Locker rear, 4.88s, 33s, 3.5" lift, and supporting mods.

2008 JK 2dr: Open Diffs, 2.5" BB, 32s.

1999 WJ: 4.5" long arm lift, Aussie rear locker, 32s, 4.7L V8 and supporting mods.

Last but not least TJ, 3.5" lift, 33s, open diffs.

All loaded up and ready to leave in the early am hours:



Somewhere in NC:




We arrived in Cherokee for the night after the 10 hour drive. We stayed at the Hampton Inn (Nice clean Hotel). Don't worry....we camped in Windrock!



The next morning we woke up to make the drive over Newfound Gap heading to Cades Cove. In Cade's Cove, there is a 4wd recommended road that we wanted to take on our way to Windrock. But as we found out, there wasn't much 4wd needed....LOL (Basically was a gravel road through the mountains.) However, it was very scenic and we enjoyed it.




We sat here while the tourist....aka idiots held up traffic for a while. I guess there was a couple of bears nearby. Luckily for us, we took the nearest dirt road we found to get out of the traffic line for a few. While doing so, a couple of bear cubs ran in front of my Jeep and down the roadside playing with one another. It was an awesome site and no other people outside of our group got to share it!







Only photo on Parson's Branch Road:





Finally made it to Windrock

The whole group aired the tires down to 18psi.



Our little home away from home.



 

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The first day we were there was a rainy one. The trails were muddy and sloppy. We were a little disappointed because of this as mud is really all we have in Florida. So on our trips we try to go to places without mud.

Our first day we hit trail #2 and #16.



First decent obstacle was on Trail #16. It was a nice little rock ledge. Probably wouldn't have given much trouble except with the muddy conditions, traction was sparse. I chose the right side. A little scraping and slipping and she went up without too much trouble.





Mike's 4dr made quick easy work of the ledge:






You can see the amount of water/mud making the ledge tricky.





After getting everyone over and using a winch only once to recover a high centered Jeep, we pressed on.







The end of trail 16 became somewhat dangerous and we had a couple of scary moments.

This was the muddy trail conditions. At the top of this very steep and long climb was an angled rock. As soon as your rear tires hit the rock, it tosses the rear end of the Jeep to the side causing you to turn sideways. As we all know from watching the plentyfull rollover videos ont he internet......this is how most Jeeps roll.

I was second up the hill and my back end jumped over. It turned my Jeep sideways causing it to teeter for a moment as it slowly came to a stop sliding..........after a change of underwear, I got the Jeep straight and hit it a second time. It went up and over without an issue.

Next was the TJ. They made the long climb and as soon as they hit the rock, the Jeep made the same jump sideways. I yelled for them to get off of the gas. Luckily Garret, (Driver of the yellow TJ) had enough knowledge to immediately get off of the gas. The Jeep came to a stop sideways at the top. Then for who knows what reason, the front end began sliding slowly down the mountain. While doing so, the front tire was picking up causing the Jeep to do some three wheeling. We all said, SH*T here it goes! By the grace of God, the Jeep's front tire stopped about 3 inches from the edge of the rock, keeping it from tumbling over. I was quick to hook up the winch and yank her back straight and over the troublesome rock.

Photo does not do justice!



After that incident, we pulled everyone up to the troublesome spot and hooked them up to my winch to keep them safe coming over. Again, if it had not been sloppy conditions, this would not have been an issue.

A photo of my Jeep after winching the 4 or 5 others over the obstacle:



After finishing up 16, time to head back to the campsite for some open flame cooking!
 

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The next day we started on Trail #22. Luckily it had stopped raining and we decided to stick to the blue trails once again until the trails dry out a little more.



Me on a fun little climb:










Ummmmm......what was that rolling away? Time for some limiting straps......LOL









I always love finding washouts where I can three wheel my Jeep!





 

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The next day was the best wheeling day we had. Next we ran trail #35 a single black. A lot of loose rock on this trail and we had a lot of fun!





This is "Baby Hulk." Baby Hulk travels with our group every year. He has been to Colorado including Black Bear Pass and Moab's famous trails. He is a member of our club and does not miss a trip!



Mike and I, the JKUR and 2dr Black JK broke off from the rest of the group to run trail #44 a double black. This trail was absolutely awesome! We used a lot of sliders, bumpers and skid plates. However, we only have a couple of pictures of this trail. We are working on the GoPro video of the trail and will post that up when it is done.

Teaser pic until we can get the video uploaded:

 

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After a great time wheeling, we packed up and headed home.

Carnage for the trip was really not bad at all! Two valve stems crushed on rocks and fixed on the trail. Also a lot of bare metal exposed by rocks.

During the long drive home around Gainesville area, I was following directly behind Lewey (Yellow JK). As we were cruising down I-75, BANG!!!! I see a lot of smoke and metal flinging around under his Jeep. We pull off the side of the road to discover this......





Driveshaft decided it didn't belong under the Jeep any longer. Luckily it was kind enough to explode itself right next to an interstate exit. We quickly ziptied the transfer case side of the shaft to the transfer case skid and slowly limped it off of the roadway to a gas station to avoid the 70+mph traffic.

Once at the gas station we were able to survey the carnage. Shaft broke loose from the transfer case side and blew out the evap canister (The evap canister was literally gone). If anyone needs one, it is probably still on I-75 somewhere near Gainesville, FL. When the shaft broke, it completely damaged the bolt heads. As a result, no socket would fit them. A pair of vice grips and an hour later, they were out!

Lewey has family in the towing business and decided to get his Jeep towed home for really cheap rather than mending it and limping her home.

A photo of Lewey shedding a tear as his Jeep is loaded onto the flatbed......




I hope you enjoyed our mini-adventure as much as we did! I will be posting up wheeling videos to this thread as they are finished editing.

We have so much fun with friends making new memories wheeling! Next year we will be heading back to Moab and cannot wait to do so!
 

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Those are some sweet ass pictures and it looked to be a ton of fun!
 

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sweet pics! one day I will make it out of Florida to wheel.
 

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sweet pics! one day I will make it out of Florida to wheel.
Once you leave Florida to wheel, you will not want to come back. There really isn't anything around that compares.

We are traveling to Moab again in June this year. We can't wait to get back out there.
 

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Once you leave Florida to wheel, you will not want to come back. There really isn't anything around that compares.

We are traveling to Moab again in June this year. We can't wait to get back out there.
I would like to do it every now and then but I guess my inner redneck is also satisfied with muddy trails. I enjoy riding in Richloam WMA and other Florida WMA's. Osceola WMA is another great one to ride, lots of trails and very scenic.
 
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