A JEEP ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME
The thought of being involved with Rick Pewe and his group of cronies for another event gave me goosebumps. Way back in 2011, it was Rick and his crew that changed my life forever. That was an event known as the Ultimate Adventure, where participants spend a week on the road with little to no knowledge of where, when or what we would be encountering, usually driving through a handful of states and eating up about a thousand miles of trails and highways…while sleeping in tents at offroad parks and falling in love with gas stations that had groceries!
Well, welcome to 2019! And while the Ultimate Adventure still exists, there is a new adventure in town known as the Dirt ‘N Drive.
100 applicants are hand picked for a trip that travels from locations undisclosed into Moab, Utah for the annual Easter Jeep Safari event. Applicants apply without knowing much about where they may travel from or what routes they may take in order to get to the eventual end point in Moab.
Let me say that these events are VERY well planned…just like the Ultimate Adventure trips. While the participants may feel a bit uneasy about not knowing all of the exact details, let me assure you that this isn’t these guys’ first rodeo! The order of the day is FUN, SCENIC and an ADVENTURE. Oh, and we get to stay in hotels each night 🙂
Once I received notification that I had been selected to participate, the anxiety set in…my anxiety. I would be driving a freshly built Jeep, my 2004 LJ that I have named Golden Spike. Was it ready? Was I ready? I had almost zero seat time in this Jeep. I started by going through the standard and required checklist of items needed:
- Driver’s License
- Proof of insurance and registration
- Recovery equipment
- First aid kit
- Spare tire
- Communication ability (vhf radio)
These are easy things that most seasoned wheelers ALWAYS carry…piece of cake…I got this! Or do I?
Shortly after the notification that I had been selected…we all received email containing where we would be staying, what hotels would be best, and a lengthy rough itinerary of what each day would look like. Whew. This is NOT the Ultimate Adventure. This is the Amazing Adventure. This is the JP Magazine Dirt ‘N Drive, presented by Jeep.
I knew I had to drive from my home in Montrose, Colorado to Farmington, New Mexico, in the middle of April. Again, piece of cake. Oh wait…it has been a crazy winter year here in Colorado and I had to go over Red Mountain Pass above Ouray, into Silverton, then CoalBank and Molas Passes into Durango…hmmm. I needed to be at registration on Thursday morning, so I left on Wednesday afternoon.
Through some snow, some slush, and wet roads, the LJ did extremely well on the new 38″ MileStar Patagonia M/T’s.
I arrived early enough to take a look at a few of the rigs in the hotel parking lot and even grab a bite to eat before getting some sleep in preparation for the technical inspection and registration process the following morning.
Registration in Farmington the following morning went off without a hitch. Tech Inspection brought out a handful of FourWheeler Network folks making sure we all had the proper equipment. And once the inspection was done, it was time for event flags, event goodies, swag bags from sponsors, etc…hats, t-shirts, decals, a tool bag!
Well organized and well done! 100 folks in and out, prepared and ready! Even words from the local Jeep Club (The Cliffhangers) that would be handling the following day’s activities!
After some great pizza and amazing conversation, it was the next day where we would start seeing some dirt! After a police escort through town…we would be headed out to the infamous Chokecherry Canyon and Glade Run recreation area. This is the same area where the W.E. Rock Grand Nationals are held! Perfect!
Follow along as we take a picture trip through the day…and even a video from JP Magazine!
A special shout out and thank you to Traci Clark, the writer and photographer for JP Magazine that spends countless hours on putting this event together…from the mapping, planning and even registration paperwork…she is amazing!!
Stay tuned for the second half of images from this amazing event!