Saturday, July 4, 2020

Looking Out For Your Friends

One day about six years ago, I called the police in a small town in California. I was worried about an online friend I met on Google Plus. He name is Mike. He is a fellow Jeeper and paralyzed from a motorcycle accident. He was in a very bad place six years ago. There was a group of us who would chat and try to lift his spirits. 

One night I noticed a very disturbing post he wrote. I was very worried. I was so worried I called the police thinking he was going to take his life. The police went to check on him. 

I was nervous the next day when Mike said the police came to his house and asked who called. I fessed up. He went on to tell me I saved his life. He was going to take his life that night but when the police showed up he didn't. He along with his wife and son are very thankful. Mike and I have stayed friends. However, since Google Plus shut down we lost touch for awhile. 

He has reached out again and now wants to return the favor. His wife makes awesome natural soy candles and sells them online. They have made a special Jeep Momma candle

They want to help support me on my journey.  A portion of the proceeds will go to help support my journey.  

Jennifer, Mike's wife, hand pours these candles. Of coursed I picked the color purple. The one in the picture is a lavender sage scent. However, there are other scents to pick from. 

This is a purple in color, and a limited edition Jeep Momma 10oz candle. Frosted glass, 100% all natural soy wax, and hand poured to perfection. These candles are a special edition for Tammy at A portion of these proceeds goes to Jeep Momma to help support her adventures. Get yours while supplies last. Jeep Momma YOU ROCK!!!!!

Go check out the candles. Great with a glass of wine and a bubble bath. One of my favorite things to do outside of Jeeping. When you are burning your candle know you are helping me during this difficult time in my life. 

It seems my luck is pretty bad right now with my bank account being compromised and my unemployment benefits being taken away. God sent Mike and Jennifer at a time when I needed them. Funny how life works. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Jeep Code

You don’t know what you don’t know. 

When I first bought my Jeep I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t realize there was this whole Jeep Code you signed on for when you became a Jeep owner. I slowly learned the code from other Jeepers in the Jeep community. 

One -  when you become a Jeep owner you become part of an amazing community, an amazing family. It is an unique family with a passion for all things Jeep. This passion bonds us. 

Two  - there's this thing called the Jeep Wave. When driving down the road you wave at other Jeepers. I even wave at Cherokee drivers.

Three - When you enter this family with the shared passion along with it comes responsibility. That responsibility is to help other Jeepers. 

One way is when a Jeeper is stranded on the side of the road. Most always you should stop to ask if they are okay. Now remember to keep your own safety in mind. That comes first. 

Four - Never leave another Jeeper behind on the trails. 

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. 

I have to remind myself not to get annoyed when I don’t get a Jeep wave or if another Jeeper doesn’t stop to help me. They might just not know. So it’s my job to educate and spread the word about the Jeep Code. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Jeep Momma Tips: Places to Take Your Jeep

There are many different places to take your Jeep.
There is no one right answer or wrong answer.

I have videos on my YouTube Channel of all the places I have wheeled my Jeep. There are two videos that always seem to get those negative comments… “That’s Not a Real Trail”

In my opinion a trail doesn’t have to be difficult with rock obstacles on it to be a trail. And it’s okay if you only like to wheel those easy trails. We all have different likes and dislikes.

During the past 6 months I have found I really enjoy those “Not Real” trails. I still like those adrenaline pumping trails, but to be out in my Jeep checking out the natural beauty of nature does wonders for my soul even if it’s on the black top.

Jeep Momma Tips to Finding "Not Trails"

1. Google Scenic By-ways to find some really great black top road trips. There is one in Moab that parallels the Colorado river. It is absolutely amazing.

2. Change Map Settings if you aren’t in a hurry. If you use Google Maps to get to your location, go into your settings and click the avoid toll roads and highways. 

3. This website is cataloging trails all over the US. It will give you information such as length, difficulty, location, elevation, duration, plus a map with way points that has directions and mileage.

4. Black Canyon National Park a black top ride outside of Gunnison, Colorado on Hwy 92 through the Black Canyon National Park. If you are afraid of heights or ledges it’s a pretty intense Ride.

5. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is another one. It’s said to be one of the most scenic drives. 
Jeep Momma YouTube Video

6. Backroads Books - Search for Backroads and 4 Wheel drive trails. There are guides for Colorado, Arizona, California and Moab. These guides have tons of photos that show the scenery as well as trouble spots. There are tips and advice from local experts to help get you through the trails. The trails are BLM approve and are legal routes.
7. TAT Trail - The founder Sam has been mapping public back roads and forest roads all over the United States for decades. He is still mapping. When he originally mapped the roads back in the 80’s all were gravel, but now some have been paved over time. This trail was originally designed for motorcyclists but Jeepers have begun to use these trails. It’s a great way to get away from big cities and get a look at America’s country Roads. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Wheeling in Colorado

You always hear about the great wheeling in Colorado. I have been here since January, finally just now getting a chance to experience the beauty of Colorado. Winter in the mountains lasts through the spring so getting out on the trails can be difficult. 

Not to mention the latest issue of lock downs. Sadly, outdoor activities were included in this lock down along with closed campgrounds and trails.   

A listener of the Jeep Talk Show Podcast invited Neil and I to wheel with him and his wife. He took us to his favorite trail - Chinaman Gulch Trail. It's a difficult trail up near Buena Vista, Colorado. This trail is open all year round due to the minimal amount of snow it gets. 

                                             Chinaman Gulch Loop 

Neil drove the YJ and I took my Rubicon. It was a challenging rocky trail with spectacular views. We have since sold the YJ. We are now working on a 1969 CJ5. I am thinking we might keep this one. We will see. 

We all had such a great time we decided to meet up again for some more trail riding. This time Ron picked Toll Road Gulch Mountain Pass. It was a central meeting point for both of us.  

                                 Toll Road Gulch

This time I left my Jeep at home and rode shotgun in Bumblebee. That is what we named the CJ5. It did a great job pushing up the mountain, but there still is some work to be done. 

This trail has very narrow switchbacks and is scary, the heights. They say my JKU would have made it on the narrow trail, but it would have been tight. 

This trail takes you to Bonanza, a ghost town. A former silver mining town. We weren't able to get to the town as part of the trail high up in elevation was still covered in snow. 

Neil and I plan to take another way to see this town. I look forward to seeing one of the top Ghost Towns around. 

Over Memorial Day weekend we took a rode trip to Western Colorado for some camping and wheeling. Another place with spectacular views. 

We packed up the back of the CJ5 and hit the Escalante Canyon trail. It is not a difficult trail at all but the views are amazing. We were up in the Uncompahgre National forest for one night of camping then down in the Canyon another night. 

                 Escalante Canyon  - A Jeep Momma Video

We camped right along side the coyotes. It was so peaceful night of dispersed camping. No noisy tent neighbors. Dispersed camping means we were camping in the wilderness not in a campground.  

It got chilly up in the forest as the elevation was about 10,000 feet There was still snow on the ground in some parts. Both these locations were two totally different terrains. Forest and Canyon all in one weekend. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Remembering EJS 2020 Moab

Part of Celebrating the Jeep Life Adventure this year was attending EJS 2020, Easter Jeep Safari, in Moab, Utah. I was looking forward to wheeling my own Jeep this time. I have been wheeling in Moab before, but it was in a rented Jeep.

The plan was to get there early and wheel the most popular trails before they get filled up with Jeepers. Well, we didn't need to worry about any Jeepers being in Moab while we were there. The event was cancelled due to the virus. 

All the BLM, city, and county campgrounds were closed as well. The motels weren't accepting out-of-towners and the restaurants were take out only. 

We still persevered and went. We found dispersed camping just south of Moab in San Juan County. We enjoyed 4 nights of camping and 4 days of wheeling. 

We were able to take the back roads into Arches National Park as well. It was pretty cool to see actual dinosaur tracks. 

It was great having all the trails to ourselves. We did not see another Jeeper on any of the trails. It was bittersweet. I was nice to have the trails to ourselves but we missed the comradeship which makes being a Jeeper so much fun. 

We also missed seeing our many Jeep friends who planned on attending EJS 2020.  

 We had planned on staying for at least two weeks but on the 5th day we were approached by a sheriff's deputy. He
said never in his life did he imagine he would have to kick Americans off public land but he was just doing his job. For the safety of their small community we were asked to leave. We hated to do it but we packed up and headed back to Colorado. 

We had a great Adventure in Arizona and Moab. We were sad it was cut short. It has been one surreal year for me with leaving my home and kids to the lock down to the riots. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Overland Camping Options

If you asked what the definition of Jeep Life is you would get a very different answer from every Jeeper. Jeep Life is unique to each Jeep owner.

For me the meaning has changed over the years as I am experiencing different aspects of the life from daily driver to weekend warrior to extreme wheeling to light wheeling from mud to sand and rocks to modifications and upgrades.

My Jeep Life has now turned into #camperlife #overlanding. However, I still love those rocky trails. A great app essential to Neil and I is I-overlander. We are all about free.

Campgrounds and hotels can get pricey when you are traveling a lot. I-overlander works great if you are camping in your Jeep or have a camper.

The app is a group effort by you and others to share those “secrets” of the cool spots you find. It will show you spots others have used for dispersed camping on public lands such as BLM and National Forest.

Dispersed Camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. There are no services; such as trash removal, and little or no facilities; such as tables and fire pits, are provided.

Some popular dispersed camping areas may have toilets. Generally, overnight camping is NOT allowed at trailheads, picnic areas, day-use parking areas or any other areas that don't allow overnight parking. When using a dispersed camping area, the general rule is to be a minimum of at least 100-200 feet away from any road, trail or water source.

You need to be aware if you are in a National Forest or National Park. They are two totally different places. Typically you can’t disperse camp in National Parks. They have specified campgrounds and usually have fees.

You can also disperse camp on BLM lands which are west of the Mississippi: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The ioverlander app also shares local fee based campgrounds, “boondocking” spots and places to get water.

Boondocking is camping without any hookups outside developed campgrounds. It can also mean dry camping and off grid camping. Typically it’s in Trucker Gas Stations, Walmart parking lots, Cracker Barrel parking lots. On our way to Kingman Arizona it was getting late and there were no places to spend the night. So we pulled over in a gas station and popped up our camper and went to sleep.

In the Mojave Desert you can camp off the main road. I call them “off shoots”. You can tell these are off shoots because they look well traveled and some spots have “fire rings” from previous campers.

Just don’t go making your own off shoot. After awhile you get the hang of it. Mojave Road is a great getaway to learn all this.

Monday, May 18, 2020

LTWK Mojave Road Fan Ride

Giving Back and Celebrating 
the Jeep Life is our theme for 2020. Neil and I were so touched by all the support during out first adventure last fall - "Adam's Xtreme Off Road Adventure" - we decided to give back to our supporters. 

One of those ways of giving back is our Fan Ride, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. The West  Coast ride first. 

We had such a great time on Mojave Road in November 2019, we wanted to do it again. This time we invited our Jeep friends for the LTWK Mojave Fan Ride. 

LTWK stands for L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives. They have supported Neil and I from the start. Their knives are amazing. I was never a knife person, but now I carry one in my Jeep all the time. 

Neil and I use their camp kitchen every time we go camping and in our day to day lives. 

Stacy, Mike, Jody and Bob the Jeep Dog joined us for our first ever fan ride. The ride was amazing with camping, comradeship, and campfires. Plus, great wheeling and scenery. It was a great relaxing ride through the desert.

LTWK Mojave Road Fan Ride 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

March Madness

At the end of Jeep Momma & Neil's Adam's Xtreme Off Road Adventure last fall, Neil and I talked about our next adventure. I honestly didn't think we would have one. I wasn't expecting us to ever meet again. 

We both were living different lives with me on the East Coast and Neil on the West Coast. 

Little did I know, we were destined to wheel together again. With my personal life a mess "Hardest Week of My Life", I headed out West and we began planning our next adventure. 

We planned on hitting all the Overland Events, Easter Jeep Safari and two fan rides. The first fan ride was a West Coast fan ride on Mojave Road call the LTWK Mojave Road Fan Ride sponsored by L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives. The second is an East Coast Ride in Kentucky. 

As we were preparing for our LTWK Fan Ride at the end of March on the Mojave Road in Southern California, we got word of a wheeling event in Kingman, Arizona. Neil and I didn't even need to discuss it,as we both agreed it needed to be put on the calendar. 

Two of our YouTube fans joined us in Kingman for March Madness. We found a secluded spot on BLM lands and set up camp for four nights and four days of wheeling. 

After we set up camp the first day there was enough time to wheel an easy wash before the sunset. It was a nice relaxing drive through a sandy wash with super easy obstacles. 

The next morning it was time to hit the trails, Twister and Wayne's World. Our fan Mike AKA Jeep Zentoks on YouTube called shotgun with Neil. He wanted to check out the trails before he ventured out in his Jeep. 

Rick and I wheeled in my Jeep. Twister was the most difficult trail I have ever wheeled. I am proud to say I made it through with out any damage. Plus I wheeled it with out a spotter. I am moving up in the wheeling world. 

TWISTER - YouTube Video
WAYNE'S WORLD - YouTube Video

The second day I took a day off from wheeling and did some much needed errands to get ready for our LTWK Mojave Road Fan Ride. We were heading straight to Kingman to meet our fans in just a couple of days. Neil and Mike headed to the trail Homecourt for the day. I had wheeled Homecourt the last time we were in Kingman so I was good. 

Our last day in Kingman I called shotgun in Neil's Jeep. I really wanted to get some good video of him wheeling, that is hard to do if I take my Jeep. The trail was Safelite and wow what an amazing trail. Check out the story here.

Safelite YouTube Video

I didn't mention in the video that as Neil was being towed off the trail the Jeep flipped. No one was hurt but the Jeep's windshield took a hit from Neil's knee. 

What a great day of wheeling. The next morning we packed up camp and headed to Mojave Road to meet our other fans joining us. 

A shout out to our fantastic Sponsors