Today I asked Gary to take me to Sea Creek Falls. We'd seen the trail before but the creek crossing made us hesitant to cross because we were traveling alone and didn't have a lift kit. Since then a two inch lift off the ground made the creek crossing and four wheeling easier and safer for our vehicle and the passengers.
Before you start thinking about OHV (off highway vehicles) destroying public land, please let me assure you 4wd clubs are some of the least likely to damage pristine areas in nature. They stay on designated trails, they don't traipse through meadows with their vehicles, they don't throw out trash and they educate the public on how to travel responsibly. The 4wd ads you see on TV with SUVs speeding through trails are not what 4 wheeling is about. In most 4 wheeling situations the vehicles travel less than 5 mph and are driven very cautiously. The rule of the passionate OHV traveler is "Pack it In, Pack it Out" and "Leave no Trace".
Our jeep is a 2004 Grand Cherokee and Gary sold his pickup truck to get it. It's the last year they made solid axle suspension which is desired for off road travel. Gary and I have traveled extensively in the West on 4wd trails for years with vehicles such as CJ5s CJ7s, landcruisers, broncos, and so on. We've been on Sierra Trek and the Rubicon in California too many times to count, and Black Bear Pass in Colorado, and many other places. We now belong to the Blue Ridge Mountain Jeepers club (photo above of last event, mini golf and BBQ at Jim's Smokin Que). If you go to the Jeeper's site you can see videos and photos of some of the trails we've traveled on.
Flame azalea were in full bloom but my photo doesn't do them justice.
geranium, it was so beautiful growing along the roadside.
pink trillium growing along the road side, but perhaps it's the white variety just faded to pale pink. We got to the trailhead for the falls and numerous huge trees had fallen across the trail so we never did get to see the falls, we could only hear them. Four miles in at about five miles an hour and the same in reverse. At least I had the wild flowers to keep my happy. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.