(Photos by: Chris and Heather)
(Story by: Chris)
We figured an introduction was in order. I'm Chris and this is Heather. We hail from the 30th state Wisconsin. Wisconsin is situated next to
one of the largest bodies of natural fresh water in the world, Lake Michigan. We have a very rich heritage of parks and festivals.
The area offers an abundant amount of fishing, swimming, boating and logging roads but alas sadly off road parks are far and few between.
To our north is Upper Michigan. West Minnesota and Iowa. South Illinois.
At one point Heather drove a 6 cylinder Hyundai Santa Fe, which got good mileage but she traded it in to purchase a new 2011 (2.5L) Subaru Outback.
We figured that the Outback would be able to do light trail runs and simple off roading that the Santa Fe could not achieve. The 2011 Outback
is a fantastic cross over/ SUV vehicle which does amazingly well on overland trips, constantly achieving 25-30 mpg.
On the other hand my prized lady was a 2006 Jeep Wrangler fully loaded with rear body amour, front and back tow points, built in d-rings and the venerable 4L I6.
Unfortunately the 4L I6 was developed years ago and thus was plagued by poor returns on gas mileage. My Wrangler spent the vast majority of the time sitting in the driveway. At 9-13mpg taking the Jeep on any serious long range adventure was very expensive. I finally chose to trade her in on a more miserly Hummer H3 5 cylinder 3.7L . The Hummer H3 5 cylinder 3.7L consistently achieves 18-20 mpg mixed driving and offers a much nicer ride with larger towing capacity. The Hummer is just right for over landing and light duty off roading. If I was going to attempt a day of light trail riding I would probably choose to take off the side steps. Though it is not absolutely necessary, it may help to avoid sever damage.
If I was strictly going for a off road vehical which is capable of tight trails, rock ledges and forest runs it would have to be 2006 Wrangler. But lets face it, neither of us had the time or financial resources to get away from our busy lives to go on those trail runs. We do however have enough time and money to get away for a day to observe the fall color changes. I had to get to a point where I asked myself how often do I get off road? The answer took 5+ years to come. What helped with the final decision was the T.C.O (total cost of ownership). In this day of high fuel cost and poor economy it just doesn't pay to use an inefficient vehical when traveling.
Lol! of course I could have decided to purchase a ride like this....
With that said here is our recent adventure. Enjoy!
We left early Saturday morning and headed north traveling through the congested traffic of Milwaukee, WI. ( famous for SummerFest, Harley and Miller).... We made pretty good timing through the construction and confusion. The day was warm. The sky was filled with birds. The sun was beating down and the Hummer H3 5 cyclinder 3.7L (18-20mpg) was running great.
Heather and I like to do extended road trips. For this trip we headed to Baraboo, WI. This time of the year the fall colors are reason enough to head north, but we picked out a plan of attack. Of course we had our trusty GPS (affectionately refered to as Dum Dum) and a atlas. The views were breath taking and filled with crisp autumn air .
We went trough countless small towns and arrived at the Wisconsin. Wow!