First "real" offroad experience

.. for varying definitions of "offroad", I imagine.
Sure, I've taken the Dak (2001 Dakota SLT) across a field, and have had an interesting time in some feet of snow. But I've never been
four-wheeling it in the Australian Outback. Or any other outback, for that matter...
These first attempts were pretty wimpy by your standards I imagine, but perfect for the newbie I be. Both weren't part of our original plans, but were worth the trips nevertheless.
For our first adventure, we turned offroad on a 4km there-and-back track. This track had lots of small-rock sections, and some bigger rocky sections near the end. Rocky creek crossings. Some really serious speedbump-like ridges (but 4x the height of a normal speedbump - these were actually for diverting water, I think - weirs?) I wouldn't call it a true 4WD road though, as I never actually put it in 4 - hi or lo. There was a good bit of bouncing going on tho.
(Aside - my steering wheel, just where it meets the dash, rattled a lot. Is this normal?)
Next morning, we went off on a completely different track, the challenges there were washboard - worse washboard I've ever seen - and some sandy bits, but nothing spectacular. I did have to put it in 4hi for this track, it seemed to help keep my truck's backside where it belonged on the washboard, and of course helped with traction in the sand.
Today I was at the dealer for an unrelated problem (failing radiator cap, in another post), we got to talking and he was saying the most common problem he sees with 4WD vehicles out here is broken axles. Cause? Accumulated metal fatigue from washboard roads.
Anyway, I had a great time and the Dakota was great! Didn't bog down in the sand at all, and handled the washboard better than any other vehicle I've driven, even before I put it in 4hi. Though I shouldn't be surprised, really, it is my first 4x4.
I'll certainly go with other, more experienced 4wd drivers/vehicles (with winches <g>) as we explore other roads. Having a 4x4 here has opened up whole new horizons for us!
Yeeha! Now all I need is a GPS so I don't get totally lost out here :)
jmc
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Sounds like a good day of fun. Be sure to post a few pics!!
Denny

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Suddenly, without warning, Denny exclaimed (04-Sep-06 11:21 PM):

They'll show up on coolimages dot us once I finish going thru them all. I'm a bit of a photographer too and managed to have over 200 photos for those two days, after culling. Won't put up more than half of them, anyway.
jmc
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Suddenly, without warning, jmc exclaimed (05-Sep-06 5:40 PM):

Pics are posted: http://www.australia.jodi.ws , click on "East MacDonnell Ranges, 2 & 3 September 2006"
Comments welcome!
There's not really any 4wd photos, as I was too busy driving then, but I still hope you enjoy the pictures.
jmc
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As much as I'd love to but I can't get the link to work...sorry
Denny

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Suddenly, without warning, Denny exclaimed (06-Sep-06 9:40 PM):

oops. Didn't realize that www wouldn't work. it's http://australia.jodi.ws
jmc
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The link is ng.
Roy
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there..
Denny
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Yup, I found them, thanks.
Check your email. Roy

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