Jeep owners will argue over pretty much everything. It could be anything from what the best tire is, to what programmer makes the most power. But the one thing that nearly all Jeep owners can agree on is how much they look forward to wheeling or going on road trips. And if you can put those two together to create an adventure, then you have undivided attention.
The '07-present Jeep Wrangler has taken comfort and capability to the next level. The JK can be comfortably driven long distances daily by most people as well as traverse some impressive trails in box-stock form. Fortunately the new Wrangler has been embraced by the aftermarket, which has improved its potential for off-road aptitude even more.
In 2009 we attended the first annual JK Experience. It was an event designed to celebrate the new Wrangler's abilities. The small group of travelers started out in Texas and eventually meandered along to Johnson Valley, California, hitting several notable off-road spots along the way. We were only able to make part of the trip that year, but we cleared the schedule for the 2010 event.
When you show up to the start of the JK Experience you really don't know where you are headed. You're given a rough idea about what to expect, but every day is a surprise. So you have to plan for hell and pack for Armageddon. You could be camping in the rain wearing a garbage bag to stay dry while eating Spaghetti-Os from a can one night, and staying in a warm hotel room after a hearty steak dinner the next. Trailering your Jeep isn't allowed and everyone has to be self-sufficient.
The 2010 six-day JK Experience took us on an adventure through the highways, back roads, sights, trails, local flavor, and a wheeling spots of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Several of the off-road industry's key players along with enthusiasts from across North America, from California to New York, and Canada to Texas, were collected like lab animals to embark on an adventure that most Jeep owners only dream of pursuing. For more info on the 2011 JK Experience go to jk-experience.com. Don't forget to sign up if you think you have what it takes.
On nearly every off-road day there was an event for driver/spotter participant teams to compete in. These competitions included winch preparedness, spare tire installation preparedness, and removal/reinstallation of the serpentine belt. By the end of the JK Experience, Bill Christensen and spotter Tom Marshall were the overall winners by earning the most points during the week.