Monday, September 18, 2023

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life. 

Bucket List Revised - 2023

As I approach another milestone age, I find myself needing a reminder of the simple pleasures in life that make life beautiful. Sometimes we need reminders to shake up our routines. I have begun working on my "60 Before 60" list as well as my new bucket list. 

My 60 Before 60 list isn't about grand adventures or extravagant feats. Instead, it's a celebration of the everyday wonders that surround me – the things taken for granted. It's a commitment to finding joy in the mundane, and nurturing the spirit of curiosity that resides inside of me. 

A journey of mindfulness, wonder and self-discovery. Embracing the simplicity of life and living in the present moment each and every day. 

  1. Treat myself monthly to brunch.
  2. 60 Days of Random Acts of Kindness.
  3. 60 Days of Gratitude making gratitude a habit.
  4. Design my own cocktail.
  5. Complete a 1000 piece puzzle.
  6. Work towards my ideal weight.
  7. Become Lutheran again.
  8.Drink a $100 bottle of wine.
  9. Attend a murder mystery dinner.
10. Self-Love & Self-Care Daily Awareness

Be a tourist in my own town - Visit 10 local museums & 10 new restaurants.
Be a tourist in my own state - Visit 20 sights in Wyoming
Try 10 new foods I have never tried. 

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Revising My Bucket List

The winds of change have blown through my life since October 2020,  the last time I looked at my bucket list.  I feel I am at a point in my life to revisited that bucket list. As I reflect on the past few years, I've realize it's perfectly normal for my dreams and aspirations to evolve alongside my growth.

When I first started my list, I started with small accomplishments and then worked onto bigger ones. There were several items I didn't think I would ever accomplish but I did. Wheeling the Rubicon Trail was one of those items. It was such a surreal experience and I realized if I put my mind to something I can do anything. 

As I build back my life from losing everything, I reflect on what is truly important to me. Items that were once on my list are no longer important to me. Some still are. Now I embark on another journey of self-discovery and transformation. Where will my new journey take me? 

Get Healthy
Forgive Myself
Love Myself
Make time for family visits
Visit Iceland
Visit Scotland with my boys (there roots)
Overland across the US up thru Canada to Alaska
Visit My Family Farm in Norway 
New Orleans with my niece
Become Lutheran again

Mesa Falls, Idaho - August 2023
Revisit Yellowstone - June 2023
Camp in the Grand Canyon - October 2022
Jeep the Rubicon Trail - July 2020
Sturgis -December 2021
Wheel in Arizona -- 2019 & 2020
Visit Lake Tahoe - July 2020
Take a dip in the hot springs -  2020 & 2023
Visit Bourbon Street in New Orleans
Attend Bartender's School
Wheel in Uwharrie
Earn the Dickey Bell Badge of Honor
Earn the Peters Mill Jeep Badge of Honor 
Jeep in Moab
Visit Utah State Parks
Visit a Ghost Town
Ride a Mechanical Bull 
Complete my 50 Before 50 List 
Lift My Jeep with 35's May 2016

Visit the San Francisco Area 

Visit Wells, Maine (my family settled that town)
Visit Bar Harbor, Maine
Visit Acadia National Park 
Get Sliders for My Jeep  
Tattoo #2   July 18, 2014
Tattoo #1  June 9, 2014
Off Roadin' in a Jeep  May 27, 2014
Warrior Dash Race May 13, 2014
10K Race - December 3, 2013
My Mini Bucket List Update - August 22,2013 
Camping & Hiking with my Boys - August 13, 2013
Mini Bucket List - August 8, 2013 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

LED Light Bulb Comparison

Lasfit LED Bulb vs Sylvania LED Bulb in the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Dome light.

The only difference I found is the price. The Lasfit bulb is half the cost.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Off-Roading 101 - Air Down Tires

The benefits of airing down and why you should air down your tires when you are out on the gravel, dirt, mud, sand, rocks and snow. Air Down means reducing the tire pressure below the recommended level for normal on-road driving. There are many reasons to do this. 

JT Brooks Tire Deflators Pro - - $99.95

Improved traction: Airing down the tires increases the contact area between the tire and the ground. This larger footprint enhances traction on various off-road surfaces such as sand, mud, and rocks. With reduced tire pressure, the tire can better conform to the uneven terrain, allowing for improved grip and better overall off-road performance. 
  • Increases Contact Between Tire and Ground 
  • Enhances Traction
  • Improved Grip 
  • Better Overall Off-Road Performance 
Smoother ride: Lower tire pressure helps absorb shocks and bumps on rough terrain. It allows the tire sidewalls to flex and absorb impacts more effectively, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable off-road experience for both the vehicle and its occupants. 
  • Absorbs Bumps
  • Sidewalls Flex & Absorb Impacts
Enhanced flotation: Airing down increases the tire's footprint, which spreads the weight of the vehicle over a larger surface area. This helps prevent the tires from sinking into soft surfaces like sand or snow, providing better flotation and reducing the likelihood of getting stuck. 
  • Wider Footprint Spreads Vehicle Weight
  • Prevents Tires from Sinking 

Reduced trail damage: By airing down, the tires can better conform to rocks and obstacles on the trail. This helps reduce the risk of tire punctures and sidewall damage. Additionally, with lower tire pressure, the tires are less likely to dig into the trail surface, minimizing the impact on the environment and preserving the trail for future use. 
  • Reduce Risk of Tire Damage
  • Minimizes Trail Damage 

Air Down to a reasonable range based on road conditions. Ideal tire pressure for off-roading can vary depending on factors such as the vehicle's weight, tire size, and the type of terrain. After off-roading, it's crucial to reinflate the tires to the recommended pressure for on-payment d riving to ensure safety, tire longevity, and optimal fuel efficiency.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Bucket List: e-Bike

While visiting my niece, we had the opportunity to ride her e-bike. The experience was so much fun I decided to add owning an e-bike to my bucket list. 

We rode a trail along the Pacific Coast of California. The views were amazing and we were able to ride for miles. 

E-bikes are becoming more and more popular with the ever-growing urban congestion and environmental concerns. The electric bicycle solution is gaining momentum. Not only do they allow for eco-friendly travel, but you also have a flexibility of finding parking spots in bigger cities. 

You can discover hidden gems that are hard to access by cars or public transportation. This revolutionary mode of transportation is not just a passing trend; it's a transformational shift redefining the way we move within our cities and beyond.

E-bikes are designed to be accessible to a wide range of individuals, regardless of their fitness level or cycling experience. The pedal-assist technology provides an extra boost when needed, making hills and longer distances more manageable. 

I usually have a hard time riding a bike because of my issues with my knees. Riding the e-bike was so enjoyable. My knees never locked up. Even with the pedal assist I was engaging in physical activity because I could still pedal at my own pace but keeping pace with my niece. 

This cool feature of e-bikes, the pedal-assist technology, provides riders with an extra push of power as they pedal. This subtle yet significant boost changes the dynamics of commuting, particularly for those tackling hilly terrains or battling headwinds. No longer do daunting slopes stand in the way of a seamless journey; e-bikes make these challenges surmountable, ensuring a sweat-free and enjoyable commute. Contrary to the misconception that e-bikes eliminate the need for pedaling altogether, these bikes require riders to engage their muscles. The pedal-assist system simply offers a helping hand, ensuring that riders still get a workout while maintaining a comfortable pace. This gentle form of exercise can have positive impacts on cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

Now that the e-bike market is gaining popularity it is evolving rapidly, hopefully creating more affordable options. One I am looking into is the HeyBike, the city run model. 

Getting an e-bike will be more than just checking an item off my list. I will be able to add more experiences to my life.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Role of Trail Guides

In the world of overlanding and off-roading a trail guide is the one person you rely on throughout the journey. Being a trail guide whether overlanding with many rigs over a span of several days to spotting a fellow off-roader over an obstacle is a big responsibility. Before you decide to be a trail guide make sure you are up for the task.

Responsibilities of a Trail Guide

The primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the participants while providing valuable information about the trail and its surroundings. Safety is a crucial aspect of being a trail guide. They assess and minimize potential risks by providing guidance on proper wheeling techniques, advising on recovery gear to use, and implementing trail etiquette.

Trail guides should carry essential safety equipment, such as communication devices, first aid kits, emergency supplies, and recovery gear. They should be prepared to handle common trail-related emergencies or incidents.

Communication and coordination are key. Maintaining clear communication with participants, ensuring they understand instructions, rules, and any necessary precautions. Coordinating logistics such as meeting points, trail information and what to expect are tasks of a trail guide. 

Even securing camping spots and advising what to bring are on the list. Keeping the lines of communication open during the trails ride provides a smooth experience for the participants.

Trail guides often emphasize the importance of preserving and respecting the natural environment. Tread Lightly principals should be promoted and educating participants on ways to minimize their impact on the trail and its ecosystem are extremely important.  

A guide needs to know how to attack different obstacles with the wide variety of rigs and be able to spot those rigs over obstacles on the trail.  Each rig is unique from the make and model to aftermarket parts the rig is sporting. They all wheel differently; a four door could need a different line than a 2 door. The same with stock rigs versus lifted one. This is where the experience levels come in handy. Especially on trails that have technical obstacles. Guides must be aware of all of this and know the terrain they are guiding.

For longer overlanding trips lasting several days offering informative commentary about the trail, its history, geological features, ecological significance, and any relevant cultural or historical information makes for a more fulfilling experience. Including key stops along the way for exploration enhance the experience. A bonus is providing a meal of a simple lunch or a Dutch-oven breakfast and dinner.

Overall, trail guides play a crucial role in facilitating safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences while imparting knowledge and fostering a deeper connection to nature.​​

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Carvana: Revolutionizing Car Sales in a Changing World

Our world around us is rapidly evolving, technology has transformed almost every aspect of our lives. From the way we shop to the way we communicate; the digital age has revolutionized our daily routines.

The new way of doing things can be challenging to except some days. There's a yearning within me to go back to a time from my childhood, where life seemed simpler and more comforting. But was it simpler?  Those days are gone and I need to embrace the changes. One of those changes is how we buy and sell cars.

The automotive sector has seen a significant shift, especially in the process of buying and selling cars. Carvana, a revolutionary online platform, has emerged as a game-changer, reshaping the way we buy and sell vehicles.

A couple of years ago, I had to face this change as my son decided to sell his Corvette, which I was a co-signer. He mentioned he was going to sell his car using Carvana. I didn’t know anything about the company. I did a little research and questioned him. I had my concerns. However, my son said it the way to go. I put my trust in his research and we went for it.

WOW! We didn’t even have to leave the house. He filled out some information online then set up a house call. They came to our house looked at the Vette and wrote a check right there in the driveway. A few hours later a tow truck came and took the car. Easy Peasy. 

No placing classified ads and dealing with numerous potential buyers and haggling over prices. That approach is inconvenient and often lacked trust and transparency.

Now, with the advent of the internet and the rise of e-commerce, the automotive industry has been quick to adapt. Carvana, founded in 2012, has streamlined the whole process of buying and selling cars. They have a user-friendly website and app. You can browse through their inventory at your own home. No threat of a salesman trying to pressure you into buying a car.

What sets Carvana apart from traditional dealerships is its focus on customer convenience. Once a customer finds a car they like, they can complete the entire purchasing process online, including financing and trade-ins if needed.

Though we haven’t tried out  Carvana's "Vending Machines", which are an iconic symbol of the company, the selling of our car was so simple and convenient. That process of selling the Corvette was surreal like a sci-fi movie. 

It’s the way of the future I thought and I was right. It seems I need to embrace these new ways. It’s about convenience, a quick and simple process without out hassle.

That day with Carvana foreshadowed the coming future of how the digital age is reshaping industries, transforming the way we buy and sell cars.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Jeep Momma Product Review

The Lasfit floor mats are a a must have upgrade from the stock carpet mats. They look good and make clean up easier. 

15% off code:JeepMomma1
Lasfit contacted me and requested that I review their all-weather floor mats. They kindly provided the mats for review purposes at no cost, without any other form of compensation except the product itself. 

After allowing the Lasfit Floor Mats to bask in the sun for a brief period, I proceeded to install them in my 2015 Jeep Wrangler, Then I waited for them to settle in my vehicle for slightly over a week before forming any opinions about their performance.

Here are a few of my first thoughts about the Lasfit Jeep Accessory.

  • The ridges in the floor mats will be good at collecting the mud and dirt. 
  • The rear mat has a trim on the ends you can tuck into the Jeep.
  • The rear mat is one long piece that covers the center hump. 
  • The laser fit flows with the contours of the Jeep. 
  • The front mat fits well and lie flat. It also feels good at the gas pedal.

**NOTE: Lasfit provided these floor mats to me for review on my YouTube Channel and blog. They wanted an unfiltered, honest review and didn’t provide any sort of compensation or incentives for a favorable review. They left it up to me to how I wanted to do the review.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Mud Wheeling Tips

I do not like wheeling in the mud. However, sometimes when you are out on the trails you just can’t avoid it. 

Mud can be one of the most treacherous types of terrain due to many factors. I avoid it as much as I can for several reasons. 

It’s messy and not good for those Jeep parts. Plus you don’t know what’s hidden in the mud. It’s important to be prepared and take precautions to ensure a safe and successful adventure on the trails.

Jeep Momma's Ultimate Mud Guide

Jeep Momma's Top 5 Wheeling in the Mud Tips

  • If you plan on making mudding your thing, tires are very important along with good ground clearance and protection of your undercarriage such as skid plates. Get proper tires with an aggressive tread pattern designed for mud.
  • If you know you are going to encounter mud airing down your tires is a good idea. Lowering your tire pressure will increase the contact patch and improve traction. It allows the tires to mold and conform to the uneven surface and improving the grip in the mud.
  • Use momentum wisely.  If possible watch the vehicle in front of you to get an idea how fast you need to go. Maintain a consistent speed when driving through the mud. Gradual acceleration and controlled momentum help maintain traction and can help from getting bogged down in the mud. Avoid excessive speed as that can lead to loss of control.
  • Have your tow strap hooked to your vehicle before entering the mud. That way if you get stuck it could make your recovery easier.
  • After your time in the mud a must is clean your Jeep before the mud has a chance to dry and harden. Dried mud can affect your tire balance and could trap heat in your transmission.

Remember mud can be unpredictable so prioritize safety and the protection of your Jeep. Make sure you are prepared with the proper recovery equipment too.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Wyoming Overland Adventure

I was overflowing with excitement as I headed out on my inaugural Wyoming adventure in my trusty Jeep. Destination: A stretch of the Oregon Trail nestled in the heart of Central Wyoming. I was meeting up with a group of other overland enthusiasts for a DB Overland Adventure.

The Oregon trail is a 2,170 mile East–West trek from Independence, Missouri to the coast of Oregon. Our journey was only a small section of the trail along the Sweetwater River in Wyoming. 

Check out my Oregon Trail videos on YouTube for more in-depth history of the trail.  

Muddy Madness Conquering the Oregon Trail: Jeep Overland Adventure

Jeep Adventures on the Oregon Trail: Pioneers vs. Modern Challenges

Trailblazing Through History: Jeep Momma Shares Fascinating Oregon Trail Facts

In the 1800's the pioneers traversed the vast prairie grasslands in Kansas and Nebraska following along the Platte River into Wyoming where it met up with the Sweetwater River. That’s where we began our overland adventure. The banks of the river were high and the trail was muddy which made for a sketchy trek close to the river's edge. 

Along the saturated riverbank, there were sections where a single misjudged turn of our wheels could have unleashed a torrent onto the trail. I recall moments of apprehension when I feared my Jeep might swerve in the wrong direction on the slippery, mucky terrain, potentially sending me adrift along the river's current.  

Venturing further into the trail, the rolling hills of Central Wyoming unfolded before me like a painting. With the abundant rainfall this season, the landscape exploded with vivid colors while the wildflowers flourished in full bloom.

Along the trail we came upon trail markers. The stone markers
etched with the words Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail, some were marked Pony Express. Seeing, in person, the Oregon Trail markers felt surreal. I learned about the subject in school and the realization of standing in the very place where history unfolded left me awestruck.

The pioneers on the Oregon Trail faced the wrath of Mother Nature, enduring the unforgiving elements that exacted a heavy toll on their journey. We were in our 4x4 rig so the trail wasn't nearly as difficult. 

However, as the rain showers arrived in the mid afternoon, the dusty roads transformed into a treacherous quagmire, posing significant challenges for certain vehicles on our overland expedition. At times the pace slowed, as many rigs struggled in the thick clay-like mud. 

The Oregon Trail's river's course, serving as a direct route to South Pass on the Continental Divide, which was renowned as the most convenient passage across the divide. The path starts to climb in elevation once it departs from the low-lying areas surrounding the Sweetwater River. This detour is necessary to avoid the steep canyon walls that run alongside the river. 

We were headed to Rocky Ridge, which marked one of the most challenging sections of the pioneers' entire expedition. However, our Jeeps effortlessly conquered this rugged rocky terrain without any difficulty. Rocky Ridge is where many perished during a bitter, cold blizzard in 1856. We stopped the memorial to pay homage to those fierce, brave pioneers, 

Read more about their story here: 

The Willies/Mormon Handcart Tragedy 

Our three day adventure included stops at the Carissa Gold Mine and the Historic South Path City. The gold mine still to this day has operational machinery. The tours were a nice break after miles and miles of mud. 

I am finding I enjoy overlanding. It ties all of my interests into one fun package - off-roading, camping and sightseeing without the stress of extreme rock crawling. The best part is hanging with friends, new and old, at the campfire each night reminiscing about the days events.  

Portable Gas Campfire - - $109.99

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Untold Story Revealed

I'm thrilled to announce my return to the world of podcasting! After an amazing journey of nearly seven years as a co-host on the Jeep Talk Show Podcast, fate took an unexpected turn about a year ago.

Without warning, the decision was made to replace me as co-host with a listener. 

I was truly a stunned by the phone call, as I never saw the turn
of events coming. Not being able to say good-bye and thank my loyal listeners was particularly challenging. 

To this day, I am sure some of them remain unaware of the circumstances behind my sudden departure. I hope this blog post finds them so they can join me on my new podcast. 

2022 was my year of healing. 2023 is my year of growth with a twist of enlightenment, gaining a deeper understanding and clarity about my journey and where it has taken me. Learning gratitude helps me look at the heartaches, betrayals and disappointments in a new light.  

I've come to realize that this unexpected twist was a blessing in disguise. It was necessary twist during this profoundly difficult period in my life -- a metaphorical shedding of the old skin, to rejuvenate myself.

Now, as I embark on this new chapter, I carry with me the lessons learned. I'm eager to reconnect with my passion, share my voice, and engage with a fresh audience that awaits. 

Join us, as Nate and I begin a new journey sharing our passion on The Off-Road Insiders Podcast. We will dive deep into the world of off-roading, catering to all enthusiasts, from Mall Crawlers to Rock Crawlers, glampers to overlanders. 

The best is yet to come!

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Top 5 Jeep Maintenance Tips

Change your oil at least every 5,000 miles (3,000 if not using synthetic oil).  Do not over-tighten the oil filter cap when changing your oil on a 3.6L engine. It can crack the oil cooler housing, which typically costs about $900 to repair. 

This happened to me and I had to replace mine. The spec is 25 Newton meters of maximum torque or about 18 foot pounds.

Change your transmission fluid, transfer case fluid, and differential fluid every 30,000 miles.  

Rotate your tires at least every 5,000 miles, to provide even wear and to get the most life out of them.  Check them for odd wear patterns, which may indicate an alignment problem or a problem with steering components wearing out.  

While your tires are off for rotation, check your brake shoe thickness.

Check your coolant level in the overflow bottle and a COLD radiator.  Do not remove the radiator cap when it's hot, as boiling coolant could come spraying out.  If you need to add coolant, DO NOT add a non-green coolant if your coolant is green, and DO NOT add green coolant to a non-green coolant system.  Mixing green and non-green will cause them to form a gel in the coolant system over the course of a couple of days which can damage your water pump, and would be an expensive and awful mess to clean up.

These tips will help keep your Jeep lasting longer which means more time enjoying your topless days and adventures on the trails. 


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Treasures in the Rockies

Nestled between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the San Juan Mountains is treasure chest of vintage Jeeps. A few weeks ago, I took the trek south to see the vintage Jeeps from a time gone by. 

Terry Gillette, the owner of the Jeep Museum, The Jeep Rescue League, took me on a tour of his Jeep and military artifact collection. Check out my YouTube videos below for a look at this cool gem in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. 

Vintage Military Jeeps - I found a Gem in the Rocky Mountains

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

[How To] Open Your Jeep Door

Over the years many people have had a hard time opening the door to my Jeep. Some just don't know how the handle works while others don't have the strength in their fingers. 

It seems it's just not my Jeep. Nebula in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy seemed to have the same issue. See the clip here. She should of been subscribed to my YouTube channel. She would of seen my How To Open Your Jeep Door

How To Open Your Jeep Door in 3 Easy Steps 

Grab the Handle.

Push the Button with Your Thumb. 

Pull the Handle.

If you have weak fingers use both thumbs. 

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life.  Bucket List Revised - 2023 As I approach another milestone...