This week was a busy week for my Jeep and I. We spent a ton of time together. The top and doors were completely off. We went a short trail ride. We attempted some wrenching but not with any success (but I’ll fix that soon enough). We had one of the biggest club events at the Iron Pigs game for Jeep Night. And the four-wheeled beast reached two milestones: 18,000 miles and is one year old. This first year has been absolutely amazing. I am going to try to go through some of the highlights and reflect on how much this Jeep has impacted my life.Back in June of last year, my Jeep and I found each other. It appeared to be just a basic, stock Jeep Wrangler Sport. But it was anything but basic…the Firecracker Red really stands out. Even the day I drove it off the lot, I was getting looks as we drove it home with the sunrider open singing to the top of our lungs.
The red is unmistakable. It definitely makes a statement. I took the Jeep to Tennessee last year and got to share it with my brother and his family. The girls loved riding it with the top down and the wind blowing around their hair…Jeep Hair and they certainly didn’t care. It was great to drive through the mountains where I grew up with family. It was highway driving but I didn’t care. As I was winding through the curves and climbing to elevation, I turned at one point to my mom and said, “This is why I bout this Jeep”. I have always been a fan of the outdoors. I grew up camping and hiking and just being outside. But, now, I simply could be closer to that even while driving.
I began to add a few things to my Jeep. Just small things to make it mine. The mods began to add up. My Jeep was starting to become it’s own. I added things to the interior, small vinyls to the exterior, and pieces to the grill. But the best stuff wouldn’t happen until I added the bumper and the winch. This addition really made the impact that I wanted. I wanted a killer looking Jeep AND one that could help me and others get out of jam. It really started pulling the look together. I added new wheels and tires to complete the look that my Jeep has now. It’s not overly-aggressive yet. It will become more and more over time, I’m sure. Having a Jeep was the nudge I needed to get back outside and camp. I have gone on several small trips by myself. I have camped more in the last year than I did in the previous 15 years combined. I needed this. I needed to get out, disconnect and just enjoy the quiet, the smells, and the fresh air. Every camping trip has gone with a trail ride.
Finally… getting to the point of writing about being off-road. I so enjoy being off-road. It doesn’t matter to me if it is an unpaved road or a challenging rocky trail. I love it all. When the rubber isn’t touching pavement I am happy. I have been on trails in East and Central PA. Some of these trails were just easy leisurely rides and some were challenging and pushed my limits of what I thought I could do. They weren’t at all pushing the limits of my Jeep, though. I still haven’t riden the big specialty parks in the area. I think there are now three of them. That is coming for sure. I spent an extended period of time back in Tennessee and was on a trail almost everyday. My uncle showed me trails and sometimes I just looked for them. There are literally trails scattered all over the smokey mountains and the mountains near my hometown. I have been blown away by the capabilities of this Jeep. I know every Wrangler, stock or otherwise, is a very capable off-road vehicle. But, sometimes, you need to witness the power and agility for yourself.As I reflect over this past year, every experience I had with my Jeep was great! It is my daily driver and every day I would walk away and glance back with admiration!
During this past year, I have gotten to know some of the Jeeping community and even co-founded a club for Jeep enthusiasts to hang out, get help, help the community and show off our Jeeps. This has been great for me and has helped me connect with others in the area.
Here’s to another year!!!