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4xFred: Beach Wheeling

Posted in Features on September 7, 2015
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I finished with Ultimate Adventure and hit the road home. Not California home, but rather Pennsylvania home to see my family. I’m the youngest of four boys (yes, that explains a lot) and Mom and Dad invited us all to a family vacation at the Jersey Shore. By “Jersey” I mean New Jersey, not the brown cows with black noses we had on the family farm, but I don’t mean the slicked hair, gold chain, too much cologne, too tan Jersey Shore from the horrible TV show. I mean the smooth clean sand of Long Beach Island. LBI was my favorite summer destination after summer camp. How crazy was it to relive my boyhood fun by spending a week at Ultimate Adventure (summer camp) and then head to the shore with my family who I don’t see often now that I live out west.

At every summer camp I attended as a kid, there was always a guy driving a Jeep around, one of the maintenance guys. I always wanted to be that guy cruising through the woods in a Jeep. It was the same at the shore. I would see some beach bum in a CJ rusted through from salt spray with a surfboard, a pretty girl, and a dog, and I’d think, That’s the life for me. So the fact that I got to cruise to the beach in the Ultimate Summer Camp Jeep was a boyhood dream come true.

But boyhood dreams never had me driving through Philadelphia traffic in a rowdy Jeep in a summer rainstorm. My foot out the door, a lack of windshield wipers, and the semilegal wheel placement spraying rainwater rooster-tails off the Falkens made the trip exciting. The looks I got from fellow motorists were hilarious. They may have been thinking, What is that idiot doing?! I like to think they saw an amazing Jeep with a canoe on top and a real live adventurer behind the wheel and were thinking, Where did I go wrong?!

The week at the beach was awesome. It was great to see my family and folks, and the Jeep was a hit among the nephew and nieces, neighbors, and at the car show parked near the ’Vettes, Mustangs, and Camaros. I got the perfect amount of sunburn, took just the right amount of beach naps, played mini-golf, and drank plenty of saltwater after getting tumbled in the surf. Then on the drive home I only got pulled over once for my tires sticking out and the nice PA State Trooper was also a 4-wheeler so he wanted to talk more about trails and Jeeps and less about possible tickets. Thanks Mr. Officer!

Now that I’m back on the west side I realize I need to do more with this Jeep besides just the normal shows and events that the UA vehicle attends. It’s a lot of fun and I’m planning on more monthly adventures all over the country. I think it’s time to load up the dogs, my pretty girl, some boards (surf and snow), a cooler, and camping gear, and hit the road to be a trail-bum from sea to shining sea and on every mountain road in between. That would be a real Ultimate Adventure!

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