Moab is always fun, no matter how much it changes. But it’s a season for both apparently and change, even with much Moab involved, well . . . that remains to be seen, doesn’t it?
Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) this year was one of the latest ever. You see, EJS precedes Easter Sunday, which moves on the calendar year-to-year. So we all thought we’d be in for a warm week as late as it was. Instead, I saw snow, sleet, and hail—that was just in the first couple of days. Let’s put it this way, my unofficial day-to-day trail uniform is cargo shorts and a Jp shirt, and I was in jeans most of the week. Just a weird feeling for me.
Then there was the JK. I’ve been pooh-poohing JKs since they came out. When I got the new job, I “inherited” Jp’s JK and it had tons of problems. The suspension was totally whacked-out, the transmission was blown, and it was a porky and incorrectly geared rig. Thanks to companies like Jeepspeed Shop, Off Road Evolution, Midway Industries, Quadratec, and Gen Right Off-Road, in five weeks I was able to get the Jeep to lose 500 pounds, fix all the issues with the suspension, add recovery points, and generally make a very fun-to-wheel Jeep. Then the next day I drove it to Moab. My first long-term experience with a JK was that drive to Moab, wheeling it for more than a week, and driving it back. While I didn’t break it in Moab, I did break the Jeep repeatedly both before and after. Guess I need to figure out just how far I can push it without killing it.
Then the new job on top of that. They plunked this magazine down in my lap, as well as the Facebook, jpmagazine.com, Twitter, Instagram, and so forth, and basically said, “Go!” Now I have every Jpever made. I’ve been reading Jp almost since the beginning, so being handed my favorite magazine ever was a dream come true. And I have no doubt that I can keep it heading the way it’s been going since I started reading it.
All that said, I’m having fun. You’ll see some new stuff coming in, and some old stuff going out. I killed How To Survive—I just felt like it was getting too far away from what most of us do. Unfortunately, as you’ve seen, Dr. Vern is taking his leave. While I tried, I wasn’t able to talk him into staying. I’ve brought in a new full-time Jeep chick, Katie, and you can see her first column in this issue. Rather than one huge tire blowout issue, we are going to start reviewing at least one tire an issue, and we’ll be carrying the old Burning Ring of Tire online and updating it every month, so no matter when you need to buy tires, you can reference our ponderings on the subject.
As we go forward with this new paradigm, we are going to start being more transparent, so to speak. Hopefully you guys (and gals) will get to know me better and have some more fun with the magazine. So, with all that in mind, here’s our coverage of the Easter Jeep Safari. I know a lot of you can’t make it out to the event so I tried to bring the event to you in these pages. I’m hoping that you’ll get a taste of what it is like to actually go. Also, by the time you guys read this, it will be hot outside, so we put together some “beat the heat” stuff to help ya through it. We have some cool features (no pun intended), and of course, our normally awesome columns. Thanks for stopping by.