It wasn’t my first Jeep trip, and it certainly won’t be my last, but this year’s Jp Dirt ’N Drive was certainly one of the best. It’s always good to be in the dirt and rocks of the desert Southwest, but this year, our trip got amped up a bit with some real wheeling in Logandale, Nevada, and St. George, Utah. With more than a 100 Jeeps taking part, our group trekked for three days of off-road wonderment and ended up in the Mecca of four-wheeling: Moab! Just being with a group of like-minded individuals always makes the trips better, even with such a large group of people. It got me thinking: I should do this all the time?
If you don’t know, I have been doing this all the time—it’s my job! It’s interspersed with tedious meetings and corporate doublespeak that will corrode the mind of many people, but I do it for the sheer joy of wheeling a Jeep in any way shape or form. In fact, this year I got to test out the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon edition, the latest and greatest offering of the Wrangler lineage. I flogged it hard for two preruns of the Jp Dirt ’N Drive, as well as leading the entire entourage from Las Vegas to Moab. I put about 6,000 miles on the JK Unlimited and realized I need to do this more. Built up with 35s, a 2-inch lift, and a Warn winch courtesy of Mopar, Jeep’s finest never failed me and delivered me to Moab in style.
And then I upgraded.
Since I was to cover the annual Friday Flat Fender Fun Run, I knew I needed a Jeep, and my last-chance rental had fallen through. That’s when Carson Qualls of North Carolina offered to let me drive his flattie, an olive drab MB-looking creation that had been on our Jp Dirt ’N Drive. Carson and his dad, Randy, with his own flattie trailered out from the East Coast to Moab, then drove their Jeeps to Las Vegas for the Jp Dirt ’N Drive event driving back to Moab. With a 4.3L Vortec V6, T-18, Dana 18, and 5.38s turning the 37s, I felt right at home. It was like going back to the basics and convinced me I should drag my real Jeep out of retirement—life’s too short to not wheel right when you want to.