I love my Jeep. I know that’s not your “typical” nerd thing, but if you’ve never gone off-roading, you should give it a shot. It’s the most exhilarating, heart-pumping, scariest roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on. And you’re going less than five miles per hour. When you’re driving on a trail, there are no tracks. You’re off-camber, and there’s a sheer drop-off on one side of you and a wall of rock on the other side, your knuckles are white, gripping the steering wheel so tight it leaves imprints on your hands, and a nervous sweat forms on your brow. With your butt clenched and your heart in your throat, Six Flags might as well be the Teacups ride at Disneyland. This is real danger. This is a real thrill. You’re in control and it’s terrifying.
In October, we attended a Jeep Jamboree in Moab, Utah. Here’s one of the best parts of the Jeep. We drove it 1,200 from Texas to Utah, put it in 4 wheel drive, pushed a few buttons, let some air out of the tires, and went off road for two days. Then we aired up the tires again, unlocked our axels with a push of a button, put it back in 2 wheel drive, and drove it all around Utah and back home. Simple and fun. That’s what makes the Jeep Wrangler an amazing vehicle. My daily driver is also a full-time off-road beast.
I’ve always heard of Moab as an off-road mecca and after being there, I know why. The landscape is gorgeous. Everything is so open and huge and the Navajo sandstone “slickrock” is a sandpapery rock that’s so grippy you can climb something in your Jeep you probably wouldn’t even be able to climb with your own hands and feet. I fell in love with the way that off-roading is part of the culture of Moab. Even the nearby National Parks have off-road trails you can tackle in your Jeep. And those trails aren’t exactly wimpy.
Most of all, I fell in love with the things that we saw while off-roading. Surrounded by only gorgeous landscape, it all feels so huge. It’s enough to make you feel small, if you weren’t in awe of it all. We were able to see and enjoy things you’d only get to see with hours of strenuous hiking, if you could hike there at all. I can’t wait to go back. And we will go back.
So here’s where you might complain, “I don’t have a Jeep. Why should I even bother?” Remember what I said about off-road culture? Moab is FULL of places where you can rent Jeeps, all outfitted for the trails. No excuses, just do it!
To see more of my photos from the Jeep Jamboree and my trip to Utah, visit my Flickr Collection. It’s still a work in progress, as I have not finished editing the photos from the second part of the trip.