Sunday, February 16, 2020

Wrenching on Jeeps

WEEK 6 & 7

Neil and I have spent the past two weeks wrenching on Jeeps and other vehicles. There was continued work on "Weedbrownie" the LJ Xtreme Mash Up. Every couple of weeks Corey the owner comes and hangs out to help. That's always a fun time! 






Neil also took on working on a Cherokee. The job started out as a crossmember replacement. Once Neil took a look underneath the XJ he was shocked. This poor Jeep was a hack job. It ended up needing new shocks because the ones on it were too short for the 4" lift. 


In the end we did a Super 44 axle swap, added new shocks, and new break lines. Neil even threw in beefing up the stock diff covers. 





Last weekend we found a good deal on a Ford F-250 with a 7.3. Although Neil wasn't too pleased with the paint job. The truck was at Burning Man with it's owner. There is also a roof top tent. 




When we arrived the owner informed us of a noise she heard while driving the truck. Well Neil took a look. YIKES!!! the driveshaft wasn't connected to anything and their was a hole in the transfer case. There was also an ignition problem. So she dropped the price considerably. 


Part of the deal we had to drive her and two of her team members to Boulder. We loaded up all their stuff and hit the road. It was actually a fun conversation and we made some new friends. 

    



Thursday, February 13, 2020

Nexen Tire Review

Nexen Tires has recently entered the off road tire arena. A new company coming into a already established world is difficult, but let me tell you... These tires rock! 




Neil and I were hesitant at first but we quickly changed our mind during our 10,000 mile trip across America. 


Last fall we set out across America to do some wheeling, meet Jeepers, and experience the life of overlanding. We took the Rodian MTX tires on every terrain we could find from lava rock, snow, ice, mud, sand, and on asphalt on the highway. They performed amazing. 



Nexen says they are born from performance and I would have to agree. They performed perfectly on all the terrains we hit. 





  • Forward bite on par with competition sticky
  • Lateral stability is solid
  • Unique sidewall construction 


That unique sidewall constrution was second to none. We beat up those sidewalls wheeling in Arizona and they were amazing. 



After 10K miles I found very little wear. And you don't need to air down as much as you would another tire. 14 PSI was the perfect number for rock crawling. Those tires performed just as good if not better then a tire aired to 10 PSI. 



Sunday, February 9, 2020

A Must Have

During our adventure last fall, Neil and I had the opportunity to test out knives from L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives. Neil was really excited to be working with them, but I never understood people's fascination with knives. That all changed after the month long journey. 

We were given a personal knife each. Neil picked the Bushcrafter, and myself the Camp Muck. Wow, using this knife totally changed my outlook on a good quality knife. I don't leave home without my knife now. 


The blades are a superior quality made from a high carbon steel. Every knife they make is made by hand with attention to detail. The handles are so comfortable in my hand and I don't feel awkward using it like I do with other knives. 




Neil's go to knife was the Machete. He beat his to death using it for everything from chopping wood to clearing trails, even a fire poker. It held up amazingly and is still as sharp as when we first got it. 





Another favorite of mine is the camp kitchen set of knives. There are four of them in this cool holder made by Blue Ridge Overland Gear. My go to knife is the paring knife. Againm very comfortable in my hand with a blade that is solid. 

We were lucky enough to be able to see, first hand, the knives being made and the knife artisans who take pride in their product. Check out our tour video, one of our first stops on our Adams Xtreme Off Road Adventure. 



I highly recommend getting one of these knives if you plan on doing any offroading or overlanding. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

BYE-BYE Drama

WEEK 5

I'm going to start with the positive first. I had come back home from the East Coast two days early (see below). It was a quiet three days as Neil and I were doing our own thing.

On Thursday, we decided to take another field trip. We headed to Saguache to visit Jeep Enthusiast Terry Gillette and his collection of military Jeeps at the Jeep Rescue League. Video coming Soon! 



Then Friday, we headed back to Delta, Colorado to pick up Neil's new toy, a 1942 CJ2A with a military body. Neil was so excited. 




He has been wanting one forever. However, he decided the military part of the Jeep deserves to be preserved so we are dropping it off to Terry to preserve this one of a kind piece of history for all to share in. In exchange we will get a body to match the CJ2A frame. 

I ended the week putting together my latest YouTube video. 




BYE-BYE Drama   

I had flown back to the East Coast at the end of Week 5 to see my kids. I was so excited to see my boys. I had found a $100 round trip ticket on Spirit Airlines. For a hundred dollars I will skip the free peanuts and soda.

It was great seeing my kids. We enjoyed our limited time together. All in all the trip was very eye opening. I actually went back too soon to visit. Being a guest in my own home was very difficult. Seeing friends was so hard emotionally, because it will never be the same. Trying to pick up where I left was not going to work. 

Then all the drama re-entered my brain. I was emotionally falling apart dealing with the separation and lawyers, repeated questions from friends of why I had to leave, being back in that environment was all to consuming. I was letting it affect me. It became very unhealthy for me. I was blowing every thing out of proportion. I crashed, so I left 2 days early. My time with the boys was basically done as I couldn't stay at my house anyways. I couldn't bear staying there and not seeing my kids. The moment I began driving back to the San Luis Valley I felt relief and the pressure leave. 

You know, everyone has their issues they are dealing with and I am not unlike everyone else. We all are going through something that can be very emotionally hard. I decided I need to be drama free and work on my future. I can't change the past, but learn from it. I have decided to stop focusing on the drama, as I'm sure you are tired of hearing it, just as Neil is too. He is a patient man, and I'm thankful he was here to support me even though I drove him bonkers. 

SO BYE BYE Drama. Time to heal and work on ME! It's a hard thing for me to do since I have pretty much spent the past twenty or so years neglecting me and my needs.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Let the Adventure Lead




Day 20 - During the ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon YouTube fan Angela reached out to me  She invited Neil and I to stay at her home. We took her up on the offer. It was a great night of conversation and camaraderie. 






The next morning we had breakfast at a cute small town breakfast spot, The Randall House, while we bonded as Jeepers. Then it was time for Neil and I to head to Sedona. 






While on the way up another fellow Jeeper reached out and invited us to their town. We decided to cut our time in Sedona short to head to Prescott, Arizona for a Jeepers trunk or treat. 







Originally we were going to run two trails, a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail and Broken Arrow. I decided to pick Broken Arrow because it was a more difficult trail and it had the famous stair steps. 





Later I found out we missed part of the trail. Guess we will need to go back. 






We headed up to Prescott, Arizona after the Broken Arrow Trail. We were going to spend Halloween with Summit 4 x 4 Offroad Club and the shop. 






We are so thankful we let the adventure lead us. We were able to meet a great group of Off-Roaders. Neil and I began to embrace the idea of letting the adventure lead us. 





Prescott was holding a trunk or treat and the Summit 4 x 4 group was participating. They also had a nice warm fire going and they treated us to Carne Asada tacos. This 4 x 4 off road club and shop had an interesting relationship and the next morning we went back to do an interview. 


Another cool side note. As I was sitting chatting I heard "Jeep Momma" being yelled from the sidewalk. A fellow Jeeper and follower recognized me. It was a fun moment. 




That night Neil & I were thankful for the hospitality of Mike and his wife. We both were able to enjoy a hot shower and our own bed! And Neil was able to get fresh hot coffee first thing in the morning. 

Time for a Getaway

WEEK 4 Neil had been working diligently, and super long hours to keep us going and working towards the future. This man knows a good deal when he sees it and is constantly on the go juggling many projects. 



After weeks of non-stop on the go we decided to take a side trip to meet a new friend, Bob with BC Vintage Jeeps. 

Blog Post and YouTube video coming soon.




We drove up to Delta, Colorado after dropping off a transfer case to a buyer. Again the views were amazing, but what do expect... everywhere you go in Colorado it's spectacular, pictures nor videos do the beauty justice.  


Our drive back to Delta was a little different. It was suggested we go through Black Canyon National Park. OMG!!! What an amazing ride. The Canyon was beyond amazing. I highly recommend this drive. 




I did however have a meltdown. My fear of heights kicked in. Neil was not happy, and shared I ruined to ride. Fear of heights is something I need to work on. My fear is a little more than just a fear of heights. I freeze up. I do want to do the ride again as I know it will be different. 




There was another part of the ride that I was looking forward to seeing, but the days are too short and the sun went down. We ended up driving a scenic route in the dark. I need to be more aware when navigating. 

The end of the week was something I was looking forward to, but at the same time hesitant about; flying back home to see my kids. I was looking forward to seeing them. I missed them more that words can describe. I knew things would be different and hard. That's why I was hesitant. 

I know change is hard at the same time good, but this change was extremely hard. I was a guest in my own home. My home I made for my family. A home I built for 14 years. As a mom that's a tough one to except. The first day there was hard as I was drained. I had been on a plane trip all night and then spent the next day with little to no sleep. It was nice to hang with my kids, but I needed to sleep. After a good night sleep it was much better, hard but better. 

Another couple of days with my kids then back to my life and getting it straighten out so I can move on.

Getting Stronger & Stronger

Every day it gets easier and easier. My life was turned upside down at the end of 2019 and it was extremely hard emotionally. However, I am thankful for the Jeep Community and Neil helping me through this time. 



It was a week of more wrenching in the garage a good therapy for me. I am starting to find my place and learning to be helpful. 








I even put my organization skills to test by helping Neil get his tools organized which by the way he asked me to organize them. I know better than to mess with a man's tools. 



We had a couple of minutes in the garage to pull my Jeep in. Neil was able to help me hard wire my headlights. No more plugs to jiggle loose. He also got rid of my duct tape fix of my license plate. It's nice to have a wrenching partner. 

So now on to my next week as I get stronger and stronger emotionally. I still have set backs, but we all do. I will push forward and preserver. It's time to get back to my blog and youtube. I have more trip videos to edit and posts to write.  Always looking for the next adventure. 

A Hidden Grand Canyon Gem

Day 19- It seems Neil & I didn't get enough of the Grand Canyon. We had heard you could drive yourself down to the bottom of the Canyon right up to the Colorado River. So we went in search. 




We decided to take the back roads up to Peach Springs, Arizona. This was were you could buy a permit to drive down to the Colorado River on Diamond Creek Road. There's a building, the Hualapai Tribal Forestry Department where you can buy a permit. 





This permit for $16.27 per person allows you to drive Diamond Creek Road down to the Colorado River on the Hualapai Reservation. 




It's about a three hour drive down and back with the most spectacular views. The ride was a rough one down to the Colorado River on the washboard gravel road.






I should of aired down for the ride down which I did after Neil suggested it for the ride back up. Airing down certainly helped as the ride back up wasn't nearly as rough.







The views were amazing. I will be posting a video soon but it does not do the ride justice. The canyon drive is most amazing. It was a difficult day for us because Neil wasn't able to bring Maggie May with us. I know how hard that would of been for me if I didn't have my Jeep.  

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Spectacular Grand Canyon

Day 18We woke up to a cold morning in Mesa Verde National Park. The three of us slept on my Mattress Firm mattress in the back of my Rubicon. It was cold all night, but Jersey was like a mini heater and kept us warm. She is also a cover hog.

It was an a spectacular view during our drive through the park on our way to the Grand Canyon. Neil had a good time messing with me as we drove the park. 
Our first stop was 4 Corners Monument where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah come to a point. The monument was nice but the "park" was not what I expected. It still looked like it did in the 1970's when I first visited. I was expecting some upgrades. 


We arrived at the Grand Canyon just as the sun was setting! What a spectacular view. It was chilly and windy, but Neil and I had a good time stopping at all the different vistas.