Tuesday, November 15, 2022

A Journey into the Wild - Day 2

We woke up on day two of the 4Xploring adventure to an amazing sunrise, blue skies, fresh air and the smell of sausage and chorizo cooking. Bob and Chris were already preparing breakfast before some were even out of their tents. 

Breakfast was absolutely delicious, a five layer egg bake cooked in a dutch oven.  Once our bellies were full it was time to hit the trail.

Our morning started out on dusty desert paths surrounded by Arizona's majestic mesas. We were headed to Snap Point for our first look at the Grand Canyon. It's the official western end of the Grand Canyon North Rim. 

The road to Snap Point is deeply rutted and during certain parts of the year can be closed.  The deeper you drive into the trail the tighter the squeeze as the bushes are taking over the dirt road. Definitely expect scrapes and scratches on your vehicle. 

The squeeze was getting a little tight, so we found a small
clearing at the edge of the high cliffs. We decided to get out here for our view here. It was simply breath taking.

After our amazing first view of the Canyon, we headed back out what I like to call pinstripe alley. Then it was on to Twin Point for our second night of camping under the stars.

We arrived to camp early in the afternoon which gave the
guests of 4Xploring a chance to chill on the scenic vista. The majestic cliffs sparkled with color as the sun began to set. 

Bob and his crews were busy preparing another fantastic meal for dinner. This time a Dutch oven Italian dish

Overland Cooking Prep Tips with Bob - YouTube video

4Xploring Fall Adventure Day 1 - YouTube video

What is 4Xploring? - YouTube video

Monday, November 14, 2022

Overland Cooking with 4Xploring - Day 1

As the sun began to set on our first night on the Arizona Strip, it was time to set up camp for the night. Most of the adventurers had roof top tents, I opted for the old fashioned ground tent. 

Bob, Mary and the crew from 4xploring got to work on dinner for the night. A Korean meal of Beef Bulgogi with a gigantic chocolate chip cookie and ice cream for dessert. The food was amazing! 

Korean Beef Bulgogi, broccili, rice and pickeled radishes. It didn't end there. Bob cooked a huge chocolate chip cookie in a Dutch Oven that was served up with ice cream. DELISH!!!

There are no nearby sources of artificial light other than a faint glow on the horizon from Las Vegas. It was a great nigh up on the Grand Gulch Mine's unpaved airstrip with the Upper Grand Wash Cliffs in the background.

Stay Tuned for Day 2's adventure.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

60 Before 60

I am half way there of trying to come up with 60 Reasonable
things to do before 60. I still need to come up with 30 more ideas. 

The year before I turned 50 I was having a hard time with the upcoming milestone birthday. I decided to have fun with it. 

50 Before 50 List

This time I will give myself a few more years to complete my
60 Before 60. 


Cigar Smoking Bar (do they still exist)
Hookah Bar
Stand Under a Waterfall
Write a Life Poem
Viking Compass Tattoo
Design My Own Cocktail
Start Running Again
See the Northern Lights
Visit the Big Horns
60 Days of Random Acts of Kindness
60 Days of Gratitude to Make it a Habit 

Eat in a 5 Start Restaurant
Practice meditation for 60 Days
Get Ordained
Complete a 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
60 Days of Prayer for others
Visit 60 National Parks/Monuments/Preserves 
Reach My Goal Weight
Drink a $100 Bottle of Wine
60 More Blog Posts 
60 More YouTube Videos
Hike or Wheel 20 New Trails
Create a Jeep Momma Calendar
Attend a Rodeo
Murder Mystery Dinner
Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
Jazz in the French Quarter
Blues Bar
Axe Throw
Cirque Du Soleil Show

Friday, November 4, 2022

Heated Gloves - Product Review

Sabot Heat reached out to me and asked me to try out their
battery heated gloves for a review. I thought, why not. I live in a place were they might come in handy one day. One of the favorite features is the sensitive screen touch. 

Gloves can sometimes be cumbersome. These were not. I loved how flexible they where when I wore them. I was also pleasantly surprised at how light weight they were. I was expecting the batteries to be heavy but they weren't. When I wore them I couldn't even tell there were batteries in the gloves. 

For more on my review check out the video on my YouTube Channel.   Click Here to Watch the Video

SabotHeat 2022 Upgrade Heated Gloves
US: https://amzn.to/3znKaqr 
CA: https://amzn.to/3SIcE57

Epic Grand Canyon Adventure Day 1

After we filled our belly's at the continental hotel breakfast and had a short drivers meeting, it was time to roll out for 5 days and 4 nights of camping among the stars. 

Once we hit gravel, we stopped to air down our tires for a more comfortable drive on those rocky paths up ahead. 

Little did I realize, I was traveling with a fellow YouTuber - The Gear Bunker. More with Eric from The Gear Bunker on Day 5. 

We left Mesquite, Nevada with full tanks of gas and a trailer of 56 more gallons.  Eleven vehicles in all; FJ Cruiser, Jeep LJ, 2-door JL Rubicon, 4-door JKU, 4-door JLU Rubicon, a Ram Powerwagon and 5 Gladiators. 

We were on a journey of a lifetime with 350 miles of open
wilderness and no amenities. Just us and the unspoiled nature of the Arizona Strip. 

The Arizona Strip is the part of Arizona lying along the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon north of the Colorado River. There are scattered settlements through out the region, the Kaibib Indian reservation & land protected by the National Park Service, BLM & US Forest Service. 

The Strip is typical of the West with it's red rock canyons and
dry climate which leads to the vegetation of c
acti to grassland and sagebrush, to Junipers and Pinyon forests even a Ponderosa of Pines, Spruce, Fir and Aspen trees on the Plateau.

It contains magnificent cliffs, spectacular canyons and valleys that transform from the vast high desert to pine covered mountains. 

We began our trip into the Virgin Mountains with a moderate climb over Lime Kiln Pass to the canyon.  This rugged desert path is highlighted by rocky twisting canyons and vast high deserts filled with Joshua trees and red towering sandstone. 

We meandered our way back into Nevada through a small
Gold Butte National Monument  to our second mountain climb over Whitney Pass. 

Once through Whitney pass you could see for miles on the
high desert plains - the 
Grand Gulch Canyon. The views were spectacular. One of the most challenging trails on the Arizona Strip. 

We were making our way through the Grand Parashant National Monument - the scenery was breathtaking, and the deeper we went, the more spectacular the views. Parashant is remote and vast.  No crowds! No lines! 

Endless blue skies, isolated cattle corrals, lone cowboys (I
saw one near the end of the trip) and one of the best places in the world to view the dark night skies. 

We came upon an old abandon mine and decided to make camp for the night  -- up the hill from the mine at an old grassy airstrip over looking the canyon on a solitary vista. 

Grand Gulch Mine -- Mining engineers once said the mine
contained some of the richest copper ore ever produced in the Arizona territory. However, the copper ore didn't mean get rich quick.
 Ore was hauled four hundred miles by horse and wagon to Salt Lake City, Utah for smelting. 

A costly endeavor.  A slow expensive trip. In 1918 when WW1 ended the copper prices plummeted. The mine shut down for 20 years. 

Then during WW2 the demand for copper rose again and
Grand Gulch Mine came back to life. No longer using horse and wagon to haul the copper instead trucks successfully hauled out the ore. 
Copper mining continued until a fire in 1955 that destroyed the main buildings. Eventually in 1958 the miners abandoned the mine.

Exploring the old mines can be dangerous with rusty metal strewn about and vicious flying insects -- you need to be on your top game. I was not. Some how a bee flew down my shirt and stung me twice on my boob. How that bee got into my shirt I will never know. I thrashed around to get it out of my shirt, it was quite a site. Thankfully, no one saw me but only heard me. One of the adventure ladies was nearby and our first meeting was her pulling the stinger out with her fingernails. Her husband came to the rescue with his first aid kit, excited to finally rip it from the Velcro.  

It was an amazing night up on that airstrip. The light pollution from Las Vegas was still visible on the horizon, but the stars were abundant. 

Bob, Mary, and the crew were preparing a  gourmet meal while the guests got to know each other on the first night of this amazing adventure. 

Stay tuned to see what was on Bob's menu for the night! 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

On the Road to an EPIC Adventure

I have planted my feet in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the next chapter of my life, trying to #LiveMyBestLife. Before I could start pounding the pavement for a new job and a place to call my own, I had an amazing opportunity I couldn't pass up -- an Epic Adventure with 4Xploring.

What is 4Xploring -- Plus the Trek to the Adventure

A Jeep Life with Jeep Momma Video

The 2022 4Xploring Fall Adventure was a five day, four night overland trip along the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon in the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument. I was able to join this epic adventure at the last minute as a passenger in my friend's JKU.

We met up with part of the group Saturday morning in Cheyenne the headquarters of TNT Customs and 4Xploring. This was the start of the two day pre-adventure trek to Mesquite, Nevada where we were meeting the rest of the group at the starting point for the 22 Fall Adventure. 

We headed South to Colorado through the Rocky Mountains. My first time back since I left almost a year ago in that helter-skelter exit. A necessary departure to get back on my feet and heal my heart. Spending this the past year healing with my family was good for my soul.

It felt good to see those majestic mountain ranges again. It only confirmed I made the right choice to leave the Midwest and get back out to the Wild Wild West. There is so much adventure in those Rockies and still so much left for me to explore. 

As daylight was growing to a close we looked for a place to set up camp for the night. Cathedral Valley in Utah was our spot. By the time we arrived at the campsite, the sun had set and only the stars provided light. 

Like I have done many times in the dark, I quickly set up my ground tent. Then I spent several minutes gazing at the amazing night sky full of stars and planets. Even the Milky Way was out for display.

Cathedral Valley is a remote district at the Northern end of the Capital Reef National Park in Utah. A scenic back-country gem dominated by Southern Utah's soaring sandstone monoliths scattered throughout the vast high desert. 

The next morning we packed up our tents. I was able to get my tent back in the original tent bag. Pretty awesome! LOL! However, that was the only time during the rest of the trip. I came close a few times though.

Then we headed for Mesquite, Nevada. We were on a time crunch to get there by three pm for hotel check in. Our last chance for amenities before our five day overlanding trip.

 Along the way we cut through Zion National Park. One of the
five mighty National Parks in Utah. Zion is spectacular with breath taking views. We took the scenic by-way through Zion. Utah has 28 scenic by-ways around the state. 

The Zion Scenic By-Way is state road nine and flows through the towns of Rockville and Springdale, Utah. A entrance fee is required or a national park pass. We entered in from the East entrance and there was a slow moving line to get in. 

This by-way showcases stunning views of out of this world rock formations, mounds, towers and hilltops. Colorful layered strata's with a variety of colors of rusty red, orange, creams, yellow and brown fill the views. 

It's a landscape peppered with pine, sagebrush and wildflowers. Over a million years of water and wind shaped the landscape to the amazing views we see today. 

Once we reached Mesquite it was time to check into the hotel and a last minute check of the vehicles. 

Stay Tuned to my YouTube Channel, "Jeep Life with Jeep Momma" and this blog ,as I continue to share this Epic Adventure with you. Plus, some bonus material!  

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Keep Living Your Best Life

When one chapter ends you turn the page. I was nearing the end of a chapter so I turned that page. A new chapter in my life has begun. I am taking a huge leap of faith. I put in my two weeks notice at the local Jeep dealer at the beginning of October.

On my last day, I packed all my belongings into my Jeep then headed West the next morning. It was an immensely difficult decision to leave Southern Minnesota because of being so close to my family. They were my rock during a very difficult time in my life. A much needed year to get myself back together. 

I am not fully healed, but I know deep in my gut I need something more / different to fully (if I ever can) heal. I need to start living My Jeep Life again. What that will look like this time I am not sure. For months, I had been pondering where I would land my feet. So many choices out West. It was a difficult to chose but I prayed for answers. 

An answer came as a friend offered a place to stay while search for my own place and job. Plus, the bonus to the new location is a custom Jeep Shop, TNT Customs. I knew my Jeep needed some reliable, trusted help.  

The timing for me to leave seemed right because my friend was headed out on a
five day overland adventure to the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon with 4Xploring. I was invited along and had the most amazing experience and met some amazing new friends. (Blog Posts and YouTube videos of this epic adventure coming soon)

Now its time to hunker down and find a job, give my Jeep much needed TLC, and find a place of my own. I have no idea what this new chapter has in store for me. It is scary, exciting and so bittersweet. Moving on is difficult. Change is difficult. 

However, change is necessary. Change can transform your attitude and your perspective on life.  Change can bring about new opportunities. Change can take you on a journey in life to that brings you to others who you would never think you'd meet.

Making changes in my life have been difficult but in the long run I know they are making me stronger! 


A Journey into the Wild - Day 2

We woke up on day two of the 4Xploring adventure to an amazing sunrise, blue skies, fresh air and the smell of sausage and chorizo cooking. ...