Monday, July 13, 2020

Overland Adventure Ideas

Two to Five Day Overland Destinations 

My Jeep in Moab, Utah. 

Moab, Utah

Some people call Moab the Mecca of Off-Roading. There are over eighty 4x4 trails around Moab from easy to difficult. There are also several National and State Parks to visit. You could easily spend a month or more exploring this amazingly scenic area. 

My Moab Adventure 👉 Read Here

Hole in the Rock Trail, Utah

This is a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail off Utah 95 just west of Blanding, Utah. This trail isn't to be taken lightly, and needs a lot of preparation and research.

My Hole in the Rock Adventure 👉 Read More

Hole in the Rock Trail 👉 Watch Here

Mojave Road

The historic 138-mile road takes you back in time. With virtually no improvements since its inception, the historic Native American trade route and wagon trail remains the same as it was 150 years ago. Plan on 2 to 3 days to explore the stunning desert landscape and Joshua tree-lined routes.

Mojave Road Adventure 👉 Read More

Mojave Road Adventure with Bob the Jeep Dog 👉 Watch Here

Rubicon Trail 

My Jeep on the Rubicon Trail

My Jeep overlooking the Sierra Nevadas, CA. 

Another historical road in the majestic Sierra Nevadas in California. The Rubicon Trail is known for its ruggedness and versatility, inspiring the Jeep namesake. 

Don't be fooled by its popularity, it's a grueling marathon through the mountains. Another must "be prepared" trail as it could take days. I will be sharing more on our experience on this amazing trail. 

My Rubicon Trail Adventure 👉 Read More

Colorado Passes 

There are several off road passes within hours of each other that make for a great couple of days of wheeling in Colorado. Black Bear Pass is one of them. This infamous trail is not for the faint of heart or someone with a fear of heights with it's steep descents, treacherous switchbacks and loose falling rock. The views of Bridal Falls and Telluride are some of the most amazing in Colorado. Well most all views in Colorado are amazing. Weather conditions only allow the complete route to be open for a few weeks from late summer through the early fall. 

Engineer Pass, Colorado 👉 Watch Here

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Along the Northern Rim on the Arizona Strip is some of the most remote places in the United States which makes for a great overland adventure. You just need to plan good because gas stations are non-existent. 

Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon 👉 Read More

Dalton Highway

A slightly more civilized ride than other trails on the list. It's still not an easy ride crossing the Yukon River and ending at the Arctic Ocean. It a 414 trip through the wild Alaskan bush and barren tundra. Built in the 1970’s as the service road to the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. There are steep grades, avalanche danger, and hundreds of miles between gas stations. A brutal gravel highway is not for the faint-of-heart. However the dramatic views and a glimpse of the Northern Lights are a good reward. 

Coconino National Forest

This trail in Arizona covers nearly two million acres in northern Arizona with a massive network of trails surrounded by stunning red rock formations. 

Other Overland Ideas

Tillamook State Forest in Oregon
Sierra National Forest in California
Big Bend National Park in Texas
Pan American Highway 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A "Must Have" Recovery Gear Item

Colby Valve Review

Colby Valve Emergency Tire Valve System

Jeep Momma Vendor Discount Code

Colby Valve Permanent Valve System

Lessons Learned

I have learned a lot during my off road adventures and when I learn a lesson, good or bad, I always do my best to pass it on to you. 

Must Have Off-Road Recovery Tool 👉 Watch Here 

Trying to repair my popped bead. 

During my Fall 2019 Adventure, I learned the importance of the Colby Valve, an emergency tire valve system. I had heard of the Colby Valve, but didn't fully understand the importance of the Colby Valve until I needed it. 

Off-road mishap when I popped my bead of my tire

Valve Stem Dilemma

As I was crawling up a rock on the Homecourt Trail in Kingman, Arizona, I tore a valve stem. My tire went flat, and I popped the bead.  My Jeep was in a precarious position on the rocks which made for a dangerous tire change. Luckily a fellow Jeeper on the trail had an Emergency Colby Valve.

22 minutes into this video you see how I tear my valve stem on the trail and the easy fix using the Colby Valve.

Homecourt Trail in Arizona, Valve Stem Disaster 👉 Watch Here

Wheeling in Arizona - Homecourt Trail.

It was simple and easy to install. Simply take out the old valve stem and screw in the Colby Valve, air up and you are good to go. 

Use your mirrors to watch your rear tires.

I have torn three valve stems over the years. Paying close attention to tire placement on the rocks is so very important. One way to watch your rear wheels is the adjust your side mirrors so you can watch them as you crawl over the rocks. 

Wheeling the Rubicon Trail. 

Permanent Solution

On the Rubicon Trail I once again tore a valve stem. I didn't notice until I returned to Colorado when I discovered a slow leak. I replaced the valve stem with a Permanent Colby Valve. 

Replacing my valve stems with Colby Valves. 

Again super easy to replace just be very careful not to over tighten as you don't want to tear the gasket. I was very close to it. They should be snug, no rocking back and forth. 

Adding the Colby Valve to my tires. 

When tightening it with a socket wrench be careful not to tighten it until you can't anymore. That means you gone too far. 12 - 16 inch ft lb torque is the range Colby Valve suggests. 

Ultimate Tire Valve System

I am thinking maybe I should have gone with the Ultimate Valve (Extra Short) since I like to rub those rocks. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Wheeling the Rubicon Trail

Rubicon Trail Dream Achieved

Six years ago. I discovered the Rubicon Trail from videos on YouTube. I had no idea there was even such a trail. It looked amazing and difficult. A fellow Jeeper told me, with practice, one day I would be able to wheel the trail. 

My Jeep on the rocks.

The time was finally here, my chance to take my Jeep off-road on the Rubicon Trail. Not only was I going to get to wheel the Rubicon Trail, I was going to get to do it with my two sons.

Ben & I on the way to the Rubicon Trail. 

Day 1 👉 Watch Here
Day 2 👉 Watch Here
Day 3 👉 Watch Here
Day 4 👉 Watch Here
Day 5 👉 Watch Here

Family Time

I picked my kids up at the Denver airport on Thursday night and Friday morning we were off to the Rubicon Trail.  We took our time getting from Colorado to California where we were meeting the rest of the Jeep crew that were going to wheel the Rubicon Trail with us. 

Primitive Camping with my boys

Spending time on the road with my kids was amazing. I was able to show them the amazing beauty of the west. The first night we found dispersed camping in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. 

Selfie with my kids camping. 

Their first experience at dispersed camping. They liked the fact we were the only ones for miles and out in the middle of nowhere with just nature. 

Making Awesome Memories 

It was a great time and an awesome memory. We took a little hike just me and my kids then came back and Michael got the fire started. Then we ate dinner and hung around the campfire. A moment in my life I will cherish forever.  

On the Road to the Rubicon Trail

Those three days on the road with my boys are ones I will never forget. Jeeping across the West showing them the amazing remote beauty. 

Crossing the Colorado River. 

One of the most amazing parts were the views along Highway 95 in Utah between Blanding, Utah and Hanksville, Utah. It's one of America's Scenic By-ways. The views were absolutely breathtaking.  

We pulled into South Lake Tahoe Sunday afternoon and meet the fellow Jeepers at the hotel. That ride into South Lake Tahoe coming over the mountain and seeing the lake was spectacular and scary. I created a traffic jam because I was so freaked out at the heights. I wish I had pictures but I couldn't take my hands off the wheel and Ben was secretly recording me freaking out. 

Selfie at the entrance to the Rubicon Trail. It's a Jeep Thing! 

Surreal Moment

The next morning it was off to the Rubicon Trail. It started with Ben, my youngest son,
asking me, "Why are you so excited for being on the Rubicon Trail?" Ben said, "It's fun but why are you so excited?" Unless you are an off roader it can be hard to understand the excitement.  


Our first camping spot on the Rubicon Trail. 

We set up camp that first night on top of the obstacle Whale Bones. My boys, Dixie our dog, and I in the tent. Michael eventually slept in my Jeep. 

One of the Rubicon Obstacles. 

I made it up the obstacle with no winching, however my winch was put to good use getting some of the other Jeeps up the rocky incline. Thanks to Quadratec for my winch. I was selected to be the proud owner of the new winch during a giveaway at a Women's Wheeling Event I attended at Rausch Creek in 2019. 

A pit stop on the Rubicon Trail. 
We left Whale Bones that morning with our bellies full. Angela brought breakfast burritos for all. The first half of the Rubicon Trail is through the Loon Lake interior and is mild to moderate. We were making pretty good time

My Jeep posing on the Rubicon Trail. 

To wheel the Rubicon Trail was a dream of mine from the moment I discovered it. That was back in 2014, and I never in a million years thought I would have the skills to tackle this iconic trail.

Buck Island Camp spot. 

We finally made it to Buck Island Lake and found some really amazing campsites. It was a needed break for everyone.

Buck Island Lake. 

 The lake cooled off some.

Rock Firepit at Buck Island camp spot. 

Other enjoyed the fireside chats. 

Ben exploring the rocks. 

Ben even did a little exploring. 

Buck Island Lake. 

Our last day on the iconic 4x4 trail.Early that morning we left the coolest camping spot on Buck Island Lake.

My Jeep crawling over the obstacles. 

Leaving the area was a sign of what was to come on the trail. The most difficult obstacles were ahead.  Big Sluice, Saw Toot, Scout Hole, Squeeze Rock and Cadillac Hill. ;

Overlooking part of the Sierra Nevadas. 

There were some very intense moments for all of us. It was an amazing day for me as I traversed a lot of those obstacles on my own. I have come such a long ways from those first days at Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Pennsylvania.    

The Steel Bridge

It was so cool to see those places you always would hear about. 

Rubicon Springs

Rubicon Springs

Some took a swim in the frigid waters. My boys and I opted not too. 

Part of the crew waiting for the rest

The trip up Cadillac Hill to Observation Hill was intense. It was just me and my boys. They were awesome giving me the courage I needed to keep moving forward. Once off the trail we found a place to eat. It was nice to all be together to celebrate our accomplishment. 

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