ALERT: Send us your family-vacation-in-a-Jeep experience, especially if it’s vintage or parked in front of a monument or noteworthy thingy (world’s largest ball of string, or whatever you come across). We also want to see the usual fare: Rather than the same built rides that we put in Readers’ Rigs, Sideways is all about your military Jeep experience, your sunk/stuck/rolled Jeep experience, family experience with a Jeep, or other personal history in which a Jeep played a part. We want to see and hear, so send us a pic and don’t forget the most important parts of all: who is in the photo (first and last name), where it was taken, what year/type of Jeep, and the fun backstory info. And tell us who you are and where you’re from if you’re not the one in the photo. Make sure the photo is high resolution (1,600 by 2,000 pixels or around 2 megapixels) and a JPG (maximum quality), BMP, or TIFF file. No PDFs. Email the photo and story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “Sideways.”
Holly Nisley from Grand Junction, Colorado, had us at “so stuck after digging, logs, and rocking.” The adventure next required walking to get help, and her friend figured they were going to die, and Holly figured they’d run into some guys who’d be thrilled to help two people of the female persuasion out of the mud. She sent her dad the map details for how to find them, and he called the rangers at the Visitor’s Center and the sheriff. And then the fun began. “Bill Burke with 4-Wheel America happened to be in the area doing a trail, and the rangers thought he was called to save us. By the time we made it back to the Jeep with guys to help, Bill was there. He rope-towed me right out and directed me out of slipping into a ravine. I was freaked out and asked him if he could just do it. He said, ‘You own a Jeep, you need to learn this.’ I learned after I was out of the mess that he teaches four-wheeling for a living, and I got one hell of a very valuable free lesson. I got stuck because I didn’t check to see how deep the ruts were. I learned there is nothing wrong with getting out and assessing the trail, I learned more about my Jeep’s capability and what she can’t do ... yet. I would do it all over again because if I hadn’t gotten stuck, I’d never have met Bill. One of the best days ever.”
“It was post-June 1943, WWII, European Theater of Operations. I am pretty sure that it was post D-Day in France. Dad landed on D-Day plus 8 (days), if I remember the stories correctly. He was in Patton’s signal corps and would have been about 21 at the time of this picture.” That’s courtesy of Jim Robbins about Private John Sudigala, the driver you see here.
First Fail: Pride Down, Rep Up
We dig first-timers, so Dan Ridgeway of Canal Fulton, Ohio, we’re digging your first roll! And how you’re owning it: “I’d like to have a great excuse for my unfortunate situation, but I must say it was completely driver error, and the only real damage was to my pride,” Dan said. “I've been driving this Jeep for the last 20 years, and this was my first oops. My Jeep is a ’78 CJ-7 with a 304, T18 tranny, spooled Dana 60 rear, front Dana 44 with a ARB locker, 4.88 gears, 35-inch Boggers, and a 2 1/2-inch spring-over lift.” Dan and his buddies were able to upright it and keep on ‘wheeling.
Mike Monzon of Santa Clarita, California, sent this groovy pic of his ’83 Jeep CJ-7 that was taken during a trip on the Mojave Road while crossing the Soda Lake (dry) bed. “This trip means a lot to me and my brother because for once in our busy lives, we were both able to make some time and get out and enjoy some dirt.”