Dave, that is a great looking ride you had there.
There is definetely a fun responsible way of off-roading and a be a jerk because it's not your problem way as well. One day I stopped near a bunch of puddles on Quaker Bridge Rd. and realized that all the bushes, leaves, and trees around the puddles were orange. People were hauling a$$ down that road so fast and hitting the puddles with their vehicles and shooting everything into the woods. Yeah, I'm sure it looked cool at the time, but that's why a lot of those puddles are so deep in the middle. It really ruins it for everyone. That's one of the reasons why I got a dual sport. I don't have to worry about how deep most puddles are, I can just make it around the edge.
I don'tf splashing through the small puddles anyways. Theres no challenge. The only time I will splash hard is if it's deep clearish water to knock the mud of teh undercarraige. Plus if your vehicle isn't setup right splashing wets the wires and possible hydro lock. I know my motors will run underwater. been there done that. It takes quite a few hours of work but I know how to get them there. One thing I havent mastered is keeping the water out of the inside llol. Wet seats suck in the winter time, they freeze up and ain't too comfy
bkelly89, ignore the trolls, it's a fantastic area to off-road. Bear in mind that in the Wharton State Forest it's illegal to consume or possess alcoholic beverages, so keep them in a locked compartment or trunk where only probable cause or a signed warrant may enter in. There seem to be endless places to picnic, hike and get away from the crowds, even with 2-wheel drive if you know what you're doing. Definitely as a native Piney I assure you that this is land that God made for us all to enjoy, off-roaders too, and not those who work to close it off to everyone except the elite on horseback, mountain bike or foot. Those folks have done a fantastic job of ruining off-roading in many of our southwest desert areas, using off-road impact as an excuse and sometimes planting endangered wildlife to put the nail in the coffin. As a youngster we used propane tanks and an air compressor to fill our tires with water, it did help me keep on the bottom of the deep water holes in the backwoods. It was so remote that I got my first woods buggy at 10 and my first trail bike at 11 - I even taught myself to drive that '61 Mercury Monterey, and painted it orange with a brush! I knew those roads all the way from Wading River to Chatsworth like I know the palm of my hand. I rescued a Toyota Corolla once as a youngster on my little Honda trail bike half-way to Washington off Ridge Road at the Great Sandy Intersection. Boy were they glad to see me! With one of the Cavileer boys I rode a trail that went the back way from Wading River to Lower Bank where you had to cross boards in some areas as you hugged part of the river/swamp shoreline. No doubt you can't do that anymore!