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LIFESTYLES OFF THE BEATEN PATH

FALL 2009 • Issue 3 • Volume 4

WYOMING JEEP JAMBOREE • CLIMBING CRESTONE NEEDLE


OVERLANDING THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
ADVENTURE IN AUSTRALIA • JEEPING IN THE GRAND CANYON
OVERLAND PRODUCT REVIEWS • JEEP CJ PHOTO ESSAY
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> Shower and Kitchen Sink

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Lifestyles off the beaten path

Crew & Contributors From the Editor


Editorial It’s an exciting time for JPFreek Adventure Magazine. In late August, we
Lifestyles off the beaten path

Editor-in-Chief / Publisher announced our exclusive media partnership with Extrem Events, an
Frank Ledwell expedition company based out of Germany that is currently overlanding
Copy Editor the northern hemisphere. Our partnership with Extrem Events and its
Andrea Ledwell founder, Mattias Jeschke, will be an exciting one as we work with the
Advemture Editor
team to help it achieve its goal of traveling through Russia and across
Kraig Becker the Bering Strait into Alaska. Once in Alaska, a select member of the
JPFreek staff will join the team to complete the expedition through
Jeep Jamboree Correspondent
Greg Machado Alaska, across Canada, and into New York City. It’s going to be an
exciting trip and the first of its kind and JPFreek Adventure Magazine is
7 Bar Grille Correspondent
Mark DeNittis
proud to be a part of this historic journey.
Climbing Correspondent In addition, this issue of JPFreek Adventure Magazine features the
Jeff Haley
world’s first-ever inclusion of a Flash-based storefront within the pages
Contributing Writers of a digital publication. This exciting new technology has been
Alan Ellis
integrated into our photo tribute of the Jeep CJ and is proudly
Mark Filonowich
Mike Fissel sponsored by our friends at Rompalicious 4x4 – www.rompalicious.com.
Wil Kuhns To see how it works, look for the flashing Rompalicious logo on each
Will Morgan page of the CJ layout. As you browse each page of this layout, be sure to
Zak Patel hover your mouse over each photo to see select parts and to purchase
Marco Santarsiere them directly. It’s an exciting new technology that will shape the future
Mark D. Stephens of digital publishing.
Photography & Design Also in this issue of JPFreek Adventure Magazine is the inclusion of
Creative Director more video content to compliment our engaging editorial, including a
Richard Tinnell video spread featuring the Transcontinental expedition referenced
above.
Marketing & Financial
The off-highway industry continues to
Business Development
evolve and JPFreek Adventure
Frank Ledwell
Magazine will continue to lead the
Contact
JPFreek Adventure Publications, LLC effort to provide the most engaging,
P.O. Box 864
Houston, TX 77001 diverse, and technologically advanced
info@jpfreek.com Jeep publication available on the
market today. Enjoy!
JPFreek Adventure Magazine and the JPFreek name/
logo are property of JPFreek Adventure Publications,
LLC (“JPFreek”) and are protected by copyright. Any
use or reproduction in whole or in part without the
express written permission of JPFreek is strictly
prohibited. www.jpfreek.com
JPFreek is not affiliated with Chrysler LLC or
Frank Ledwell
the Jeep® brand and no such association is
expressed or implied.  JPFreek, JPFreek Adventure
Editor & Publisher
Magazine, JPFreek Adventure Publications, LLC and
www.jpfreek.com are not affiliated with, sponsored
or endorsed by, or in any way associated with
Source Interlink Companies, Inc., Source Interlink
Magazines LLC, Jp Magazine and its website
www.jpmagazine.com, and no such association is
expressed or implied.
Copyright 2006 – 2009
JPFreek Adventure Publications, LLC
All Rights Reserved. Published in U.S.A.
Cover photo by Jackie Ellis, Grand Tetons, Wyoming
Departments
From the Editor............................................ 3 Overland Overviews.................................. 94
News, Events, & Stuff.................................. 8 Freek Garage:........................................... 118
Converting Your Jeep TJ to Use Disc Brakes
News from the Adventure World.............. 16
Freek Techniques:.................................... 120
Freek Show:............................................... 56 Karma in the Jeep World
Mario Donovan’s 1992 Jeep Comanche
Land Use & Access:................................. 122
Expedition Discussions:............................ 90 Land Use & the “Ride Along”
Tire Sidewall Repair
7 Bar Grille & Reviews:............................ 124
Product News............................................. 93 The Man Pan & Recipe Contest Winning Entry
Features
Trippin’ Round the World – Part IV.......................................... 10
A video montage following Mattias Jeschke & the Transcontinental Jeep JK Expedition

Retracing a Wild West Legend.................................................. 18


Mike Fissel & Jeep Expeditions retrace the Mogui Stagecoach route

Queensland: Australia’s Land of Adventure........................... 30


It may be the world’s smallest continent but Australia is full of adventure

Two Days From Everywhere..................................................... 38


Big Horn Jeep Jamboree & mountain adventure in Wyoming’s backcountry

World of Wonder....................................................................... 44
A photo pictorial from the members of UKClimbing.com

Overland Adventure to the Scottish Highlands....................... 64


A unique journey through the splendor of Scotland

Crestone Needle Was Calling My Name.................................. 74


Classic alpine mountaineering in Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo range

An American Icon..................................................................... 80
A photo tribute to the Jeep CJ

Energy Propelled by Nature – Part IV..................................... 104


Seth Warren completes the Elements Tour

White Water, Kayaks, & Good Times...................................... 108


A change in seasons is cause for paddling adventure in Wyoming

Jeep Jamboree Photo Album................................................... 114


A collection of top photos from Jeep Jamboree participants

Photo by Pete Hartl


JPFreek Adventure Magazine likes Jeep® vehicles. We also like trees and
responsible off-highway recreation. That’s why each issue of JPFreek Adventure
Magazine will be 100% earth friendly with a reduced carbon footprint. It’s the
least we can do to show the off-highway community that Jeep recreation and
protecting our planet in the digital age can work hand-in-hand.
Photo courtesy of Chrysler Media Group
Camp Commander Hits Colorado
Text and Photos by Jonathan Knapp – www.jeepcommander.com
NEWS
West Coast Camp Commander 2009 (WCXK09) was held in the beautiful moun-
tain town of Silverton, Colorado amongst the rivers and trees that make this one
of the most impressive four-wheel drive areas in the entire United States.
Members of www.JeepCommander.com traveled from all over the U.S., some
traveling thousands of miles to be present at this historic event, marking what
certainly has become the first of many more Camp Commanders to come.
The planning for this amazing trip began in the fall of 2008 when a small group of Jeep Commander
owners brought together by a web-based forum dedicated to the Commander. They decided to get
together for a week of four-wheeling and after almost a year of planning and arrangements, Commanders
began to fill up the camping spots at the Red Mountain RV Park & Hotel in downtown Silverton. Some
members towed their Commander behind beautiful RVs while others towed trailers or packed in tents for
the week long event that included over 150 miles of trail rides, an awards dinner, and many other social
gatherings.
The members of JeepCommander.com enjoyed a variety of trails and were cautious enough to stay off
trails like Black Bear Pass; however, that is not to say that some of the lifted Commanders with larger tires
could not have made the trip. Day two took a group down Yankee Boy Basin (11,850 feet) and over
Imogene Pass, the highest pass during this event with an elevation of 13,114 feet ending up in the beauti-
ful town of Telluride. Imogene is the second highest drivable pass in Colorado and took the group through
several old mine towns (now ghost towns) and through a tunnel carved in the rock.
Other trails covered during the weeklong event included California Gulch (12,930 feet), Hurricane Pass
(12,407 feet), Corkscrew Gulch (12,600 feet) and a portion of Engineer Pass (12,800 feet), Kendell Peak
(13,066 feet) as well as several others.
Members participated in geo-caching, hot tubing, fishing, hiking, The Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour, and
shopping in Silverton and Ouray.
To join in on the next Camp Commander event, please visit www.jeepcommander.com for details.
FALL 2009
JPFreek Adventure Magazine Joins
Forces With Extrem Events for Paris-
New York Transcontinental Expedition
JPFreek Becomes Exclusive North American Partner for World’s Most Challenging
Expedition Across Bering Strait

Houston, TX – 8/26/2009 – JPFreek Adventure Magazine today announced a partnership with


Extrem Events, a German expedition company, to become the exclusive North American media partner
for Mattias Jeschke and his Transcontinental Expedition team. The partnership will provide Extrem
Events a new and exciting digital medium to publicize its much-anticipated Transcontinental expedi-
tion, whose purpose is to promote CO2 neutrality and alternative energies. Extrem Events will also be
working with JPFreek to expand its position within the North American Jeep community and to
expand its Initiative Partner 15000 project to further build its sponsor base for the expedition.
The team, which earlier this year commenced a yearlong expedition that began in Paris and traveled
all the way to Russia through Mongolia, is soon preparing the second leg of its journey. The journey
will be climaxed by affixing a pontoon-style attachment to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon vehi-
cles used for the expedition to cross the Bering Strait. Once in Alaska, the team will be met by a third
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon piloted by JPFreek Adventure Magazine Editor-in-Chief Frank
Ledwell, and will complete the remaining journey from the beginning point of the Pan-American
highway, south through Alaska, and then across Canada into the United States to New York City.
Frank Ledwell said of the expedition and partnership, “Overlanding and Expedition-style travel is one
of the fastest growing segments in the off-highway industry. The opportunity to join an experienced
adventurer like Mattias Jeschke is not only an exciting prospect but also one that we are excited to
share with the entire Jeep and off-highway community.”
The partnership is effective immediately and additional details about the partnership and community
involvement will be announced in the near future.

About Extrem Events


Extrem Events was founded in 2002 by Mattias Jeschke, an accomplished adventurer from Germany
whose travels have included a world-record setting expedition by altitude with a team of Jeep Wran-
gler Unlimited Rubicon vehicles in the Ojos del Salado in Chile. Extrem Events’ focus is on successfully
completing expedition-style journeys while also enhancing awareness for important social issues
throughout the world.
Mattias Jeschke and his Extrem
Events expedition team began
their Paris to New York
Transcontinental journey from
Paris earlier this year. While they
are currently on hiatus until the
expedition commences again later
this year, their journey has been
documented with video and their
once-in-a-lifetime adventure has
thus taken them from the city
dwellings of Western Europe to the
deep and treacherous backcountry
of Russia.

For more information about the PNY expedition or to


join the team on their journey or sponsor this
expedition, please visit www.pny2009.com or contact
JPFreek Adventure Magazine at editor@jpfreek.com.
Trail Fest 2009
Hits Ontario,
NEWS
Canada
Text & Photos courtesy of Stephen Browne

In three short years, Trail Fest has become the


premier event in Ontario for family-oriented
off-roading. Organized and run by The London &
Area Jeep Owners Club (LAJOC: www.
londonjeepclub.org), it is open to members and
non-members alike, novice to expert.
Trail Fest is held on private land in the heart of conditions. The friendly and welcoming LAJOC
the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario, Canada. volunteers ensured that everyone had a fun and
About a two-hour drive northeast of Toronto, challenging time on the trails. The many hours spent on
this lake-laden region is a four seasons outdoor trail preparation and organization was plainly evident.
playground. Its rolling, rocky terrain makes it the
In recognition of the tight economic times, food
destination for area off-highway enthusiasts.
services were cut back this year with the savings passed
The scenic and wooded trails of Trail Fest offer through to a much reduced entry fee. The lower cost
something for everybody – rocks, mud, hill was welcome, and it wasn’t much of an inconvenience
climbs, sharp descents, off-camber and tight since economical meals and lunches were readily
technical challenges. Many of the obstacles have available in nearby Bobcaygeon, a picturesque town
bypasses so that everyone regardless of located at Lock 32 on the historic Trent-Severn
experience, from stock to highly modified Waterway (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/
vehicle, can enjoy most of the trails. Base camp trentsevern/visit/visit6/lock32.aspx).
is right at the trailheads so your time is spent on
For those of us who stayed in town, we even got a
the trails, not traveling to and from them.
bonus this year. Saturday night was “Midnight Madness.”
This year’s event was held over the first The main street was closed to traffic, the merchants
weekend in August. About 75 rigs took stayed open, a stage was erected, and the local cover
advantage of spectacular weather and great trail band rocked.

In all, Trail Fest 2009 was a great time had


by all and for those interested in joining for
Trail Fest 2010, updates will soon be
available on the event website: www.
trailfest.ca.
FALL 2009
Because the shirt
you’re wearing
is ugly.

Introducing the JPFreek Apparel Line


Now available through Allthingsjeep.com
“Moparized” Jeep®
NEWS
Liberty Debuts at 2009
International Motorshow
(IAA) in Frankfurt
• Mopar showcases popular accessories for Jeep® Liberty
• Mopar offers more than 160 performance parts and accessories for Jeep Liberty owners
• Complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts at www.mopar.com
Two days after revealing a “Moparized” Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep showcased a “Moparized”
Jeep Liberty at the 2009 International Motorshow in Frankfurt.
“Mopar gives customers the opportunity to further enhance the performance and appearance of
their Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer
– Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care. “At Mopar, we offer more than 160 proven, quality-tested
performance parts and accessories for our Jeep Liberty customers.”
“Moparized” Jeep Liberty
The “Moparized” Jeep Liberty on display in Frankfurt is equipped with chromed mirror covers
and18-inch polished aluminum rims. Other features include a chromed fuel-filler cap and tubular
side steps that double as easy entry points. As a final touch, upper and lower portions of the Jeep
brand’s iconic seven-slot grille are upgraded to chromed mesh.
Capability and Performance from Mopar
In addition to chromed accents, Mopar offers a vast selection of performance parts and
accessories to further enhance the capability and performance of Jeep Liberty. These performance
parts and accessories include everything from cat-back exhaust systems to roof racks for hauling
outdoor equipment.
Customers who want to customize their Jeep Liberty may order and have their Mopar parts and
accessories installed at the dealership. They may also be installed at the factory.
Jeep Liberty Jeep Liberty Chromed Accessories and Performance Parts
The 2010 Jeep Liberty features the Part# Item MSRP
industry-exclusive Sky Slider full-length 82211959 Chromed Upper Mesh Grille $479
open canvas roof. The Sky Slider Roof may 82211960 Chromed Lower Mesh Grille $155
82211248 18-inch Polished Aluminum Wheels $252
be moved to several positions, including full
82210803 Chromed Mirror Covers $107
forward, full rear or partially open to any
82211259 Chromed Tubular Side Steps $587
position in between with a convenient 82211021AB Chromed Fuel-filler Door $93
express one-touch switch. P5155035 Cat-back Exhaust System $878
FALL 2009
Forget TPS reports.

NEWS
Here are 15 other ways to spend the day.

FALL 2009

Just be sure to look like you’re working.


DOWNLOAD OUR PAST ISSUES NOW!
NEWS Top Adventure
Stories for the Third Quarter of the Year:

The Around the America’s


Expedition Sets Sail
Ocean Watch
On May 31st, the 64-foot sailing ship
voyage to
set sail from Seattle, WA on a historic
erica, a journey
circumnavigate North and South Am
ore. Thanks to
that has never been completed bef
rthwest
global climate change, the fabled No
the first time.
Passage has become navigable for
the Atlantic,
Allowing ship traffic to pass between
In an effort to
and Pacific Ocean north of Canada.
ironment, the
raise awareness of our changing env
ken this
crew of the Ocean Watch has underta
cts of those
24,000 mile voyage to record the effe
tinents, and
changes on the coastlines of both con
lly finished
as of this writing, they have successfu
sage and will
their crossing of the Northwest Pas
st of the U.S.
now turn south along the eastern coa
to take roughly
and Canada. The voyage is expected
13 months to complete.
g/)
(http://www.aroundtheamericas.or

Kayaking Around Madagascar


South African adventurer Riaan Ma
nser
completed his solo circumnavigation
of
Madagascar on the 8th of July, finishin
g the
3106-mile journey nearly 11 month
s after he
began. Manser is no stranger to lon
g
distance, solo expeditions, as he onc
FALL 2009

e rode
his bike along the entire coast of Afr
ica,
taking two years to complete that ody
ssey,
which covered more than 22,000 mil
es and
passing through 34 countries in the
process.
(http://www.africa365.co.za/defaul
t.
asp?pageid=674)
um
Death in the Karakor
ths, mountaineers shift
During the summer mon

NEWS
to
m the Himalaya and on
their attention away fro g
n. It was a very challengin
the Karakorum in Pakista l
range, with few successfu
season in that mountain e
her making it difficult th
summits, and bad weat ring
two tragedies of note du
entire time. There were
season this year, with
the Karakorum climbing a
falling while attempting
Italian skier Michele Fait fell
rean climber Go Mi-Sun
ski descent of K2 and Ko ess-
descending after a succ
on Nanga Parbat while me
was attempting to beco
ful summit bid. Miss Go
t on all fourteen 8000
the first woman to top ou e
t three more to complet
meter peaks, and had jus
to gain that honor.
/
.blogspot.com/2009/07
(http://theadventureblog
un-lost-on-nanga.html)
karakorum-2009-go-mi-s

Searching for Amundsen


Roald Amundsen is perhaps the greatest polar explorer in history, having
made expedi-
tions to both the North and South Pole before anyone else had done so.
But the Norwegian
explorer disappeared aboard his plane, the Latham 47 in June of 1928
while attempting to
rescue other stranded explorers. On August 24th, more than 80 years
after Amundsen went
missing, a large-scale expedition was launched to find his remains. The
team hopes to use
high tech sonar, and other gear, to sweep the Barents Sea, where the explor
er is thought to
have gone missing.
(http://www.searchforamundsen.com/Home.html)

FALL 2009

To follow all the excitement currently going on throughout the world in the adventure
realm, please visit the latest addition to the JPFreek Adventure Magazine team by visiting
The Adventure Blog at:
http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com/
Retracing a Wild
West Legend Text & Photos by Mike Fissel

When I first heard about this trail it gave me


visions of the old west when, while life was simple,
it was full of danger and adventure. Being the
history buff and Jeep “Freek” that I am, it
was time for some research about the trail
and its history.

The stage line ran from 1892 to 1901


from Flagstaff to the Grandview
Hotel at the Grand Canyon. Also
FALL 2009

called the Moqui Stage Route (the


original name of the Hopi Indians,
it was the area’s mass transit
system at the time and the most
popular route to the Canyon.
FALL 2009
ARIZONA
A six-horse team covered 70 miles of trail in just 12 plans for it, the expert was the Kaibab National Forest
hours, pulling a fully loaded stagecoach with a trailer in archeologist, Neil Weintraub. Neil told me the exciting
tow an average of 5mph. The all-day ride cost $20 - a thing about this historic trail is that the setting has
large sum for the time - and made three stops to give changed very little in the 108 years since the
passengers a rest and to change horses. The final rest stagecoach made its last journey. The big difference is
stop at the Moqui Station. An 1890s writer said, “The that there are more trees now than in the 1890’s and
road is good and level with some heavy grades. It winds they have taken over some of the meadowlands. He
among the slopes of the San Francisco Mountains for also mentioned that a book by Richard and Sherry
the first 25 miles through a fine forest of pine. The next Mangum called “Grand Canyon-Flagstaff Stage Coach
25 miles lead across a rolling prairie and the rest Line” is probably the best reference resource. It is
through the forest which skirts the rim of the Grand complete with the history of the trail and had plenty of
Canyon”. In 1901, the Grand Canyon Railroad was pictures, maps, and even directions. A check with local
completed which ultimately brought an end to the bookstores told me that the book was out of print and
stage line and a legend. unavailable. However, Amazon had two in stock, and I
managed to pick one up.
That Saturday morning at 7am, five Jeeps met up at
our usual spot when heading to the high country: a
McDonalds just north of Phoenix. One thing all of us
noticed was that the old (really old) Ford truck with
the pitchfork and scythe poking up out of the bed
towards the sky that seems to be there every time
we meet was there again. Ready to roll, the drive to
Flagstaff was just about two hours and then another
20 minutes or so to the trailhead where we met up
with one more of our members.
The drive to Flagstaff started off in the cactus-
laden hills of the low desert, to the grassy high
desert plateaus, and finally to the tall pine, aspen,
and meadows of the high country. Our starting
elevation was about 1200 feet and our ending
elevation just over 6000 feet higher at 7500 feet.
The weather forecast mentioned a 30% chance of
On this trip, members of Jeep Expeditions – www. thunderstorms. Now where we are from, a 30% chance
jeepexpeditions.org - spent two days getting to the usually means a 0% chance but in the high country
Grand Canyon with a night of camping near the Moqui things are different. As we exited Interstate 17 at
Stage Station. It appears as if the stagecoach may have Flagstaff, we could tell that they had gotten some rain
been a more efficient form of transportation as they did that morning. At the gas station, the attendant said it
the trip in 12 hours. For us it was to be a leisurely poured for an hour or more. Despite that, the sky was
weekend of exploration, camaraderie, living history, blue rather than gray and things were looking good.
FALL 2009

and plenty of pictures. One thing for sure, moisture keeps the trail dust down
Most of my research seemed to deal with hiking or so breathing in the thinner air above 7000ft would be
taking a bike on this 70-mile venture; however, I found much easier sans dust.
little or nothing about 4x4 trips. As most of the route is At the trailhead, grey clouds hid the tops of the San
on Forest Service land, my first contact was Brian Francisco Peaks. We spent 15 minutes reviewing the
Poturalski, the Recreation Staff Officer for the Coconino maps and book again. We were off to find the first of
National Forest. Brian told me that while he was familiar three way stations along the route.
with the route and there were some promising future
Day one was interesting. One thing we found out
quick was the trails on our GPS weren’t always there
and there were trails not on our GPS that were. To
further complicate things, the trails on the southern
portion of the trail were poorly marked, making
navigation by way of the directions in the book pretty
difficult.
It might be good to point out that we had a number of
GPS devices. Slider had a laptop with Garmin InRoute
on it using Topo 2008. I had five devices set up (I have
yet to find the perfect solution but I am getting close
and until then….) including: a Garmin 2610 (Topo
2008), Garmin 7200 (Topo 2008), Toughbook Laptop
with Delorme Topo 7, a Delorme PN-40SE, and my
newest addition, the Acer Aspire 1 Netbook using
National Geographic Topo for Arizona.
With all the technology, we still found ourselves at
dead ends that should not have been there and
numerous corrections to our planned route. I should
point out that after the trip, I talked to Garmin, National
Geographic, and Delorme about the software. Garmin
told me that they didn’t update Topo software
frequently because things rarely change. National
Geographic still sells the same software made in 2002.
Delorme had just updated to Topo 8 and while it may or
may not have updated information for the area we were
in, they seem to update quite often. In addition,
Delorme allows you to download USGS Topo quads and
aerial images for many areas to integrate with their
program which thinking back, I should have done.
Anyways, as we left the pavement at the staging area
and hit the trail, tall, ponderosa pine and aspen trees
greeted us. Wild flowers were both scattered and
concentrated to form a colorful carpet on the forest
floor. All of this fragile magnificence for us to enjoy as
Mother Nature’s guests for the weekend but also to
respect and protect. We could see in some areas how a
careless traveler (hiker, biker, equestrian, or Jeeper), or
perhaps a random lightning strike, caused great
FALL 2009

damage and long term scarring. It made me realize


even more how vulnerable our forests are to both
naturally caused fires and those caused by the
carelessness of man.
Before long we had gone about 1/3 of the way and
were entering the meadowlands and now realized that
we must have missed the first way station. Despite our
being unable to find our first historic landmark, we did
find that the forests were full of deer, squirrel, and other
wildlife, which made for interesting viewing.
After crossing the vast grasslands, we were now seeing
many “wild” horses and hundreds of free ranging cattle.
On several occasions the cows blocked the trail and
looked at us as if to say, “We found some sweet grass so
don’t expect us to move.” I had the cure for that: a set of
four train horns powered by 150lbs of air pressure! Even
with a short blast of the horns, they only slowly moved
away, standing by the trail and looking at us with that
“how dare you” look.

While driving the trail, one could only imagine being at


the reins of the stagecoach as it made its way through
field and forest. I even felt myself as the trip leader
slipping away 115 years and feeling the pounding of the
hooves, the noise of the creaky stagecoach, the dust
swirling in the air as I shook the reins and yelled “yeaww”
to the six horse team. As we passed by places with
names such as Missouri Bill Hill, Tub Ranch, Rat Tank,
Deadman Wash, Victory Lake, and Colton Crater, one
could only imagine how and why some of these names
came to pass.
FALL 2009

Well into the meadowlands, we came to a fork in the


road. Seeing no signs and as the GPS showed that either
way ended up at the same place, about two miles ahead,
we chose the left fork which actually was straight. What
we didn’t know was that while the fork we took might
have been the trail shown in the book at one time, it no
longer was and we were greeted first by a “Beware of
Dog” sign and then about a quarter mile later a pack of down the road a sign on our right welcomed us to the
dogs. Yes, a pack. There were at least seven dogs and Moqui Stage Stop. There is a good amount of room to
they didn’t seem friendly. As we slowly and carefully park but not much left of the old station to look at. We
made our way through the dogs, we came upon a found some evidence of a foundation or two and what
house where a woman came out and politely told us was left of a cistern at the sight. There was evidence
that we were on private property and this road was no that people had camped there recently as we found a
longer part of the trail. She explained that a couple of couple of fire rings. While this would have made a nice
years ago a careless driver ran over and killed one of place to set up for the night, Neil the archeologist asked
her dogs so she no longer allows vehicles to cross her us not to make camp at the historic site as there were
property. No problem. I apologized for the intrusion plenty of larger areas within a half mile of the Moqui
and we made a u-turn and headed back the other way. Stop. And yes, there were plenty of other places to
It made you think how one careless act by someone camp. We had passed on about a quarter mile back and
can limit or close access to trails that we have used for that is where we went to set up our Saturday night
countless years. camp.
By now we had passed through Tub Ranch and were
crossing the famous Babbit Ranch where they round
up horses and auction them off annually. As we
continued, the flat land gave way to more hilly
ground. Along the way we noticed a carcass and
even a skeleton or two of cows that perhaps
wandered too far from their water supply or even
too far from the protection of the herd. The trail
seemed to tell us that the smallest mistake can
make you a victim. Good advice to heed.
It was late afternoon and we had conquered nearly
40 miles by now. It was obvious that we somehow
missed the second stop of the stage route.
Understand that the “book” tells us that the first
two stops are not marked as of yet and are just
beyond the trail that we now ride on. In the
defense of our technology-laden rigs, a good
portion of the old stagecoach trail parallels the
modern trail. There are only a few sections where we The Saturday campsite was a nice flat area
actually rode on the old trail it seemed. The Forest that had a large open area for a central campfire and
Service is in the process of inventorying the trail to lots of scruffy pines scattered around, providing both
identify original tracks of the stage and preserve them shade and a break from the winds. I attracted some
for years to come. We certainly welcome what the attention with a new tent that I had bought recently
Forest Service is doing and our club, Jeep Expeditions, that sets up pretty much in about a minute or so by one
has offered to help the Forest Service in whatever way person. It looks like any “real” tent with poles and such
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we can in the way of trail inventory, trail sign but it is made by a company named First Up who also
placement, interpretive sign placement, etc. makes those quick, wall-less sun tents you see at
As we traveled on, the meadows started to fade away outdoor events. Robert, one of our new members, was
and scruffy pine trees began to appear and started working on the roof top tent that was on top of his new
turning the landscape again to a kind of forest. The GPS JK. Even though my new tent went up quick and easy, I
told me that we were only a mile from the third and was missing my roof top tent as I decided to leave my
final stop of the old stage route, the Moqui Station. Just trailer at home for this trip.
Within about 20 minutes or so you could smell dinner Going on about midnight, half of the group had
cooking and Slider was over at the fire ring setting up already turned in for the night and the other half was
for the evening campfire. My dinner was going slow as still at the fire. The cracking and dancing flames seemed
the mini charcoal grill with the “instant light” charcoal to be telling us that we had enough wood on it to last
wasn’t lighting too well. I was thinking an ounce or two half the night. I think we used 10 gallons of water to
of gas but my sane side took over and I just kept at it douse it so we could get some sleep for the big day
with my strike anywhere matches. The good news was ahead.
that my butane stove made quick work of the I don’t know if it was anticipation, the clean air, the
pre-cooked baked potato and buttered corn that I had sound of the birds singing their morning songs, or even
vacuum frozen earlier in the week. the bright sun rising to the east but I can never seem to
Slider and B-Rad had a great fire going, possibly a sleep past 6am when camping. Today was no different.
record one as far as our group goes. We brought our As I exited my tent there were a few people stirring and
own and there was plenty of dead Pinon Pines laying still others who were snoring in their tents. The sun had
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around for the gathering. My dinner finally was ready already cleared the horizon and had a warm glow to it.
and I gulped it down, and then joined the group at the The sky was blue, the temps were very nice and
fire. Of course we talked about what we did and saw foretold a great day ahead of us. Over the next two
that day and what the plan was for the next day, but we hours the happy campers made breakfast and packed
also talked some history, some tech, and even the usual away their gear so that we could hit the trail by 8am. As
Jeep “tall tales.” It was obvious that everyone enjoyed we left our stop for the night we knew that we would
the day’s adventure and was excited about what was in camp there again.
store for day two.
One of the group found the skull of what appeared to at the Grand View Fire Tower. This was another
be a small predator at the Mogui site. It had some interesting piece of history and it was time for a stop to
impressive teeth that said “carnivore” and we wondered do more exploring.
what it might be. We lined up the Jeeps for a few group The 80ft Grandview Lookout Tower is a fire lookout
shots with and without their crews. After that it was point built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936.
time to hit the trail again. There was a bit of a wind blowing and those who were
How different the landscape changes over the course brave enough to climb to the top said they could feel
of 20 or so miles. We were now back into a mixture of the tower swaying in the wind. At the top of the tower
large grassy areas, tall pines, some scrub brush, and you can get some great views of the Grand Canyon Rim
more evidence of forest fires. As I lead the group down and the Coconino. The interpretive signs told us the
the trail, I again had visions of driving the stage back in history of the tower and fire towers in general in our
1900 as my Jeep bounced and creaked on the trail. It National Forests, as well as area information and
was a good feeling and I felt as if I could have been history. As a convenience, there were some real
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there way back when. With every mile I was reminded “facilities” here, the first since we hit the trail.
of the statement the Forest Service Archeologist said. We hit the trail again heading for Grandview Point, a
“The neat thing is that the trail has changed very little popular stop at the south rim of the canyon. At 7406
in the last 100+ years.” feet, Grandview point is one of the highest points on
Next stop, Grand Canyon National Park. The sign on the south rim. As we left the dirt trail for the pavement,
the trail greeted us as we crossed the cattle guard into we had about two miles to the “point.” The road was
the park. A very short distance into the park we arrived lined with a thick wall of pines and the air was sweet
with the pine scent. As we made the turn to Grandview parts of the skeleton minus the front quarters, hind
Point, it was evident as to just how popular it was. The quarters, and the head. It sure looked like the work of
parking to the east as you entered was completely full. poachers.
Fortunately the west lot - which we could not see due Driving down the trail, I wondered if any stagecoach
to the trees - had enough spots for the group. Walking had gone this way in days past. As we hit some areas
to the “gateway” we noticed tourists from all corners of with washouts and rock, I came to the conclusion
the world. I heard German, French, Japanese, Chinese, probably not and as far as driving it goes, this trail was
Spanish, and even some of the Kings and Australian pretty fun! Eventually the trail smoothed out a bit and
English. Everyone was taking pictures and video. The we came upon a large flat area of stone that made the
canyon below to the east, west, and north was nothing perfect lunch stop.
less than impressive. Although I had been there a few
Lunch on the trail is always interesting when some of
times before, I continued to feed the memory card in
our beloved dogs travel with us. My Cassie stayed home
my camera with image after image. The north rim,
for this trip but Jim brought Baron, his huge Rotweiler.
many miles away, loomed about 1000 or so feet higher.
Baron is always the gentle one when it comes to food.
Looking over the landscape one could not begin to
Always wanting to let him know that you are “family,” I
imagine the power of the Colorado River and the time
fed him some Swiss cheese and Black Forest Ham.
it took nature to carve out this natural wonder of the
Baron, like any pet dog, can be a beggar if you tempt
world. One thing about the Grand Canyon, it’s like the
him and his “smile” is irresistible. Now with lunch over
Foreigner song: it feels like the first time, every time
the interesting part began. It was time for Baron to get
and this time was no different.
in the Jeep.
There were plenty of interpretive signs that told us of
Step 1: Jim lifts Baron’s front legs onto the seat of the
the old stage line that brought tourists there. You know,
lifted TJ with 35’s.
the one we had been shadowing for the last day and a
half. The mining below, the old Grandview Hotel where Step 2: Jim wraps his arms around Baron’s belly and
the tourists spent their time after being brought there lifts him up into the Jeep.
on the stage and how it all ended shortly after the Step 3: Baron growls with his dislike of being
railroad had been completed 12 miles to the west. manhandled.
Some tourists were trying out at least part of the
Step 4: Jim is lucky if Baron doesn’t take a bite out of
Grandview Trail but it was safe to assume that few of
Jim! This time, no bite.
them ventured more than a few hundred yards. The
pictures of the trail were enough to keep me up top, Watching our GPS units as we continued down
just looking at the pictures of parts of the trail were Coconino Rim Trail, we watched carefully for our next
enough to give you “pucker factor.” turn. Our goal here was to intersect with Gray Mountain
Trail, which would take us south, parallel to Route 89
With everyone ready to roll again we backtracked to
and back to Flagstaff. While not rocket science, it
the fire tower and continued on the trail out of the
sometimes is a challenge and even tricky with trails on
park. Shortly after entering the Forest Service lands
the Topo maps that aren’t on the trail. The next 45
again we turned on FR310, the Coconino Rim Trail that
minutes brought us to the end of the trail and the
would take us southeast. This trail had a few rough
intersection of the Gray Mountain Trail.
spots on it but nothing our Jeeps couldn’t handle. One
There are some great views of some deep and narrow
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of the signs we saw said that there were some great


views of the Painted Desert from the trail but try as we canyons running to the north here. The area is now
might, every left turn we made in search of the rim and more of a grass land with few trees. It should be noted
the promised views turned into a dead end. At one of that this trail is entirely on the Navajo Nation
those dead ends we spotted the carcass of an elk Reservation. The trail began as many other trails we had
hanging over a tree branch. It gave me visions of Jason been on, rather tame but full of scenery and photo
and the Golden Fleece (Jason and the Argonauts), a opportunities. We passed many wild Indian ponies
movie from my early years. A few feet away we found roaming the grassy meadows and many cattle free
ranging. About halfway down the trail we were stopped It was just about eight more miles until we hit
by a pick up truck with a huge tank of water on the pavement and the closer we got to the town of Gray
back. It was a Navajo rancher and he wanted to make Mountain, the more signs of “civilization” we passed.
sure that we knew we were on tribal lands. As I talked Lots of homes, many of them with solar panels as there
with him he gave me a lesson on how sacred the land is was no electricity this far out. All of them had
to them and asked us to be sure to respect it. I told him outhouses and some of them with traditional Navajo
that we would do nothing less and we were grateful to Hogan’s next to their homes. It was obvious that most
be able to drive this trail across their land. He told us of the inhabitants were ranchers of sort and many
that we were in store for some great driving ahead driveways were home to pick up trucks and horse
when we hit the switchbacks that would take us from trailers. Lots of them had horse corrals and stacks of hay
8000 feet to about 5000 feet. and to my surprise almost all of them had Dish Network
It wasn’t long and the prophecy came true. The dishes on the side of their homes. Closer to town we
switchbacks were just in front of us and we were in ran into small and large groups of sheep in the road
store for some excellent views of the Painted Desert, and along the side looking for the sweet grass.
impressive canyons, the San Francisco Peaks to the All trips have to come to an end eventually and this
south, and the volcanic highlands all across the one was no different. We arrived at the town of Gray
southern horizon. This was one of the best driving parts Mountain with its souvenir shops, gas station,
of the trail. Most switchbacks aren’t much of a abandoned hotel, and the local eatery. We stopped to
challenge and this one was no different. It was fun to air up our tires before hitting the pavement and the 2-3
drive, however, and made you pay close attention to hour ride home, or in Curly’s case six hours. As the
the road. The one thing that switchbacks do afford you Jeeps were airing up we gathered around and talked
is the opportunity to take pictures of the Jeeps in front about how enjoyable the whole trip was. When I
of you as they go down and the Jeeps behind you mentioned about doing it again and spending more
coming down. I took advantage of the opportunity and time looking for the first two stage stops, pretty much
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took numerous pictures of everyone in our group. everyone said they were in for an encore. With that we
While it seemed to take forever to get down to the 5000 said our goodbyes and as I headed home, I conjured
ft level, we finally got there. The landscape was more one last vision in my head of this great land over 100
barren here as they get more rain in the higher years ago and how its history is one we should always
elevations. A huge manmade lake to our left was being savor.
used by scores of cattle drinking and cooling off their
hooves in the water.
Better Maps.
Bigger Display.
Simpler to Use.

A
ccesories

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Queensland:
Australia’s Land of Adventure
Text & Photos by Kraig Becker

Poet John Masefield once wrote, “All I need is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,” and standing
on just such a ship, cruising the Great Barrier Reef with the Whitsunday Islands drifting past me, it
is hard to disagree with the sentiment.
The Whitsundays are known the world over for some of the most amazing sailing, diving, and
snorkeling on the planet, and the views aren’t half-bad either. The sparkling, crystal clear, blue
water laps at white sandy beaches, while rocky peaks reach high above the Pacific Ocean. The
occasional dolphin or sea turtle breaks the surface just to set the scene, while cool ocean breezes
bring a hint of salt to the air.
Discovered in 1770 by Captain Cook, this chain of 74 islands is sprinkled across the sea near
Queensland, just off Australia’s east coast. But the Whitsundays aren’t the only draw for those
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looking for a little adventure down under. Queensland is a place that prides itself on offering
something for every outdoor enthusiast, and the options start offshore on the Reef and work
their way inland all the way to the top of Bartle Frere, the tallest mountain in the region. In
between you’ll find amazing beaches, tropical rainforests, and the highlands of the Great Dividing
Range, not to mention the wide-open spaces of the Australian Outback.
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Queensland is massive in size, covering more than 715,000
square miles, making it roughly two-and-a-half times the size
of the state of Texas. Because of this, the climate varies greatly
with coastal areas remaining temperate throughout the year
thanks to the ocean breezes. Inland, it is warmer and more
arid, while northern Queensland is tropical in nature and home
to the famous Daintree Rainforest, a World Heritage Site that is
a refuge to a number of unique plant and animal species.
The Daintree has continually existed in that part of Australia
for more than 110 million years, making it the oldest rainforest
on the planet. This lush playground offers up excellent
opportunities for outdoor adventure with zipline tours, canopy
walks, and jungle excursions by 4x4 all on the menu. But the
best way to experience the rainforest, in my opinion, is by
trekking into the bush with an Aboriginal guide. The
Aboriginal tribes have lived in the region for tens of thousands
of years, and their connection with the land is both physical
and spiritual which leaves a unique and lasting impression on
visitors.
For a completely different experience, adventure seekers can
leave the lowlands behind and challenge themselves on the
slopes of Mount Bartle Frere. At 5,321 feet in height, Bartle
Frere isn’t exactly a Himalayan giant, but it is a challenging day
hike that offers significant vertical gains and a surprisingly
steep approach to the summit which is often shrouded in
clouds. On a clear day however, climbers are rewarded with
great views of the coastal region to the east and the tablelands
to the west. Round trip to the summit and back takes roughly
10-12 hours.
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Many visitors to Queensland are less concerned with
how far they can get above sea level, and more
concerned with how far they can get below it. For
them, the Great Barrier Reef, with its warm waters and
hundreds of fish species, is the main draw to the region.
The Reef is considered one of the best places in the
world for SCUBA diving and snorkeling, with both
beginner and experienced divers finding something to
enjoy.
The Reef stretches for 1,600 miles up and down can vary greatly with some offering a quieter, more
Australia’s east coast, but access is granted mainly intimate experience and others having a party
through two locations; Cairns in the north and the atmosphere. Be sure to ask ahead of time before you
Whitsundays to the south. In both locations, it is easy to book to ensure you’re getting the cruise that best suits
hire a boat and spend as little as an afternoon or as your needs.
much as a few days out on the water. For adventure travelers, Australia is the prefect
Other aquatic adventures abound off Queensland’s destination. The country has plenty to offer in the way
coast, with the Whitsunday Islands being the epicenter of outdoor activities and stunning scenery, but it
of that activity. Cruises to those beautiful islands can matches all of that with friendly people and a great
also be of a variety of lengths, but I’d recommend a infrastructure that makes independent travel easy and
sailing adventure of 3 to 4 days to get a real taste of affordable. In fact, there are a plethora of cheap hostels
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what the islands are all about. In that time, you’re likely to stay in, and rental vehicles, including camper vans,
to have the opportunity to snorkel or dive in multiple are easy to find and inexpensive as well.
locations, take a bushwalk across one of the islands, So, pack a sleeping bag, a backpack full of clothes and
and spend a relaxing day on one of the amazing supplies, and don’t forget your adventurous spirit. A
beaches that are common in the area. Nights are spent trip through Queensland requires all of that and more,
aboard ship, usually at anchor in a quiet lagoon with a but it’s worth the effort and you’ll be rewarded with a
crystal clear sky, packed with stars, overhead. One word journey that is both challenging and easy, but will stick
of warning however: the experience aboard the ships with you long after you’ve gone home.
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TWO DAYS FROM EVERYWHERE

Text by Alan Ellis


Photos by Alan & Jackie Ellis

My back was killing me from being bent over for an hour cleaning the bugs off the front of the
RV. Mostly they were grasshoppers, but there were enough other types of insects thrown in to
complete the Picasso that stretched across the front of the hood and bumper. It was well worth
the pain and effort to clean off the bugs though because they represented over 3000 miles of a
grand tour of Wyoming for me, Jackie, and Scout the dog. Two weeks prior, we embarked upon
this trip to Wyoming with a few goals in mind: hike, do some Jeeping, fly fish, climb, and…search for the
ever-elusive snow beaver. After it was all over, we would discover a state that offers unlimited opportunities for
the outdoor enthusiast and an equally unlimited opportunity to become an expert at bug scrubbing.
Wyoming is a two-day drive from anywhere. Why this is true is unknown, but it is a very remote state. Even if
you live just across the state line, it still takes two days to get there. Two days after our departure from
Oklahoma, we arrived at Grand Teton National park (GTNP). On the agenda? Find some Jeep roads, take in some
scenery, and hike up some moderate peaks. We had two issues immediately. First, off-roading is not allowed in
GTNP and second, dogs are not allowed on any of the trails. However, all was not lost because the park is
surrounded by national forest that is just as beautiful and unlike GTNP, the trails welcome Jeeps and dogs. So we
headed just east of the Tetons and discovered the magnificent Gros Ventre (pronounced “Grow Vont”) mountain
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range. Here, we would drive some scenic Jeep roads, hike a few peaks, and begin our search for the elusive snow
beaver. In the Gros Ventre range, we would climb Mount Leidy and Jackson Peak, both offering great views,
solitude, and abundant wildlife. It was on these hikes that Scout began to dine on grasshoppers. Wyoming had a
really wet summer this year, so the hoppers had infested the entire state. Scout took full advantage of this
situation and ate them one after another, like M&Ms. The wildlife is abundant in this area and we were able to
catch views of moose, bald eagles, and some of the herds of Elk, which are so famous in Jackson Hole. Sadly, we
had no luck in finding the elusive snow beaver.
ed west
da ys in th e Ja ck son area, we head ep
e
After thre
d on to th e Bi g Horn Mountains’ Je
e an
through Yellowston particular
Th is w ou ld be th e first year for this
Jamboree. by
e no t di sa pp oi nt ed. It was hosted
wer
Jamboree and we ea rLod ge Resort.com), locate
d
sort (w w w .B
the Bear Lodge Re tio n at th e top of the Big H
orn
rges s Ju nc
just west of the Bu 19 30 s, the Bear Lodge Re
sort
ishe d in th e
Mountains. Establ m ob ile tours, and mou
ntain
, fis hi ng , sn ow
offers off-roading Ro be rt a Young’s resort ha
sa
rs Ri ck an d
bike rentals. Owne un dr y, re staurant, and the
Bears
, ca bi ns , la
lodge, RV hook-ups Lo dg e Resort is a first-c
lass,
ge . Th e Be ar
Den Bar and Loun gh ly re co mmended if you ar
e
ion an d is hi
year-round operat ntains.
the Big Horn Mou
planning a visit to

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Will Morgan (a fellow contributing
The Jamboree was a huge success and from
ine), along with Rim Rock 4x4 club
editor of JPFreek Adventure Magaz
ng job coordinating the event and
Billings, Montana, did an outstandi
ort provided all the food and
guiding the trails. The Bear Lodge Res a
Bar-B-Q, and salmon. Breakfast was
highlights included rib-eye steaks, a
order omelets and fresh waffles, and
huge buffet that featured made-to-
ich ensured no one went hungry at
design-your-own sandwich bar, wh d
the most scenic we had encountere
lunch. The Jeep trails were some of
of dirt roads and technical boulder
on a Jamboree and were a mixture ld
a super modified rig, everyone cou
crawls. From a stock Commander to of
ning, the Bears Den lounge was full
find terrain to enjoy. By Saturday eve
ir Big Horns’ adventures. The lodge
happy Jeepers telling stories of the
we all enjoyed the outdoor stage in
provided a band for both nights and
more moderate trails for our stock
perfect weather. Jackie and I chose
tinue his quest of eating every
Rubicon, and Scout went along to con
nty of wildlife, but alas, the snow
grasshopper in Wyoming. We saw ple
rch.
beaver continued to evade our sea
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with the
A week into our trip and
us, it was off to
Jamboree sadly behind
some fly-fishing.
Sheridan, Wyoming for
previously, but
We had never fly fished
bass fishing for
both of us have enjoyed
that fly-fishing
years and soon learned
mpletely
and bass fishing were co
ide Paul
different. We met our gu
ide Shack
Wallop who owns The Gu
m), the
(www.theguideshack.co
e service for the
premier fly fishing guid
. The Guide
Sheridan, Wyoming area
on Ranch
Shack is part of the Cany
luxury
operation which offers
rsonal guided
accommodations and pe
s of
an d fis hin g tri ps on Paul’s family’s 3,000 acre
hunting Paul
ow ne d ra nc h in th e fo othills of the Big Horns.
privately- rning
ex pe rt gu id ing an d aft er an hour or better lea
provided lake and
am en ta ls of ca sti ng , it was on to fishing in a
the fund on and
r nine hours of instructi
a mountain stream. Afte and
, we ca ug ht tw o 17 -in ch rainbows in the lake,
guiding erall, it
ug ht th re e pa n- siz e ra inbows in the stream. Ov
then ca hly
ea t da y an d a ex cit ing fishing experience. We hig
was a gr yoming
e Guide Shack for your W
recommend Paul and th
fishing vacation.
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to
e de sti na tio n re m ain ing, we were beginning
With only on
Sc ou t wa s de ve lop ing an obsessive/compulsive
worry. First,
er th e ea tin g of gr as sh oppers, and we still had
disorder ov d
gli m ps e of th e m ys te rious snow beaver. We ha
caught no ous
ra re “sn ow be av er ” fro m Steve Quinlan, a fam
heard of th e etchy,
gu id e fro m Du ra ng o, Colorado. Details are sk
mountain a
a ta le of a pe rso n wh o was almost attacked by
but he to ld ming.
bing in the Tetons of Wyo
snow beaver while clim
So we headed over to our final destination: Devils Tower, Wyoming to
climb with legendary tower guide, Frank Sanders. Frank owns the Devils
Tower Lodge bed and breakfast (www.devilstowerlodge.com) and guides
both new and experienced climbers to the top of Devils Tower. Since
Jackie and I both had previously climbed the tower, our goal was to do
some different routes, spend some time at the lodge, and try to find
out what this snow beaver creature was all about. Frank didn’t have
any info on the snow beaver but we otherwise had a wonderful day
climbing on the tower. Devils Tower is a special place for climbers
and even if you don’t climb, Devils Tower Lodge is the place to be for
some good food, rest, and peace and quiet. After fourteen days on
the road and our fill of Wyoming adventure, it was time to head
home to Oklahoma.
As I continue to scrub off the bugs and reflect on our trip, I begin to
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wonder if this snow beaver really exists. The answer to that will have
to wait until next time. Sure, its remote location makes it a long
two-day drive but it really doesn’t matter because Wyoming, which
offers Jeep roads, fishing, hiking, camping, climbing, and numerous
other activities, is one of the ultimate destinations for the outdoor
enthusiast. After hearing a noise, I look up from scrubbing and see
Scout hacking up a grasshopper leg. He hasn’t forgotten his trip to
Wyoming, and you can be assured if you go there, you won’t either.
Rainbow over Chamonix - couresy of Hilary Sharp from UKClimbing.com
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Sareks National Park - courtesy of Mike Martin from UKClimbing.com


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In Golden Cathedral, Neon Canyon, Utah - courtesy of Ben Jones from UKClimbing.com
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North summit ridge of Gran Paradiso - courtesy of Tony from UKClimbing.com


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Mont Blanc from Plan de l’Aiguille descent path - courtesy of Bullwinkle from UKClimbing.com
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Stob Dearg - courtesy of Rich from UKClimbing.com

Special Thanks to UKClimbing.com and its members for sharing a selection of their top photos.
FALL 2009
1992 JEEP COMMACHE MJ
Mario Donovan’s
1992 Jeep
Comanche MJ
As my dear wife Anne would attest, while she
may be my wife, my 1992 Jeep Comanche MJ
Eliminator is my mistress. At least when I’m not
in the house, my wife knows that I’m in the
garage attending to my second love. As of this
writing, the MJ has 339,047 miles on the clock, of
which 10% have been off pavement.
the most beautiful places that North America has
to offer. Little did I know that in the course of the
MJ’s lifetime that she would compete in two Safari
Triathlons (19th & 2nd place respectively), be
involved in three accidents (two while unattended),
travel though 15 states and 3 countries, chew
through three suspension systems, and become
the primary tow vehicle for putting Adventure
Trailers through their paces.
Fast forward to 2008. The economy took a
bruising, still no mini-trucks on the market with a
solid front axle, and the MJ was getting long in the
tooth. The decision to put effort into the truck that
has been a reliable rig was a no-brainer. For less
than the cost of a new vehicle, I could renew and
upgrade the MJ to meet my needs. Armed with 17
years of intimate
knowledge of the
inner workings
of this vehicle
and other new
technologies, I
decided to turn
the MJ into a
more powerful
and more
luxurious self-
I bought the MJ, new off the lot in 1992 and drove contained
her home, a whopping 23 miles before lifting her Overland
with a 3” Rancho kit and adding a Warn 6000 winch support vehicle
and a set of 31” BFG AT tires. At the time, I was for my wife and
shopping for a mini-truck with a solid front axle myself with a
and none of the other mainstream manufacturers long term
had an offering that met the criteria. My intention adventure in
for this now rare Jeep truck was to convert her into mind.
a Spartan Overland support vehicle for my core
We started by having Four Leaf Clover Fab (4LCF)
backcountry hobbies: exploring, fishing, climbing,
create a long arm suspension that was tailored to
back country skiing, and winter mountaineering.
my driving habits: fast washboard, off-camber rock
I had a vision that the MJ would become a garden work and towing. Repairs to the foundation
platform to fully support a passenger and me for of the MJ were priority as she had incurred
weeks at a time. I quickly got busy building a false multiple stress cracks in the fire wall, most notably
FALL 2009

bed that would hold all of my gear & support one that went from the accelerator, across the
equipment. I found a used steel commercial shell transmission tunnel, and to the passengers’’ foot
with side doors, upside-down and filled with trash pan. Reinforcement of the unibody “frame” came
and wasp nests for $100 and added a garage built next in the form of ¼” plate welded to its entire
rack. I stocked the MJ with camping gear, tools, and length and a custom cross bar underneath the
parts and hit the backcountry. I could sleep in the engine to join the two frame rails together. To
back, carry my outdoor toys, and travel to some of improve the front end, the factory shock
arrangement was upgraded with a fully-gusseted
upper mount and dropped lower mount position to
allow for longer travel shocks without increasing ride
height. Limit straps were added to prevent damage to
the new Fox Shocks with remote reservoirs. To keep
the front wheels on the ground during high speed
washboard and whoops, Fox nitrogen-charged
jounces replaced the factory bump stops. Custom
long arms with Ballistic Fab & Rubicon Express joints
keep the front axle in place while providing generous
travel and dampening vibration noise transmitted to
the unibody.
The rear suspension had already been converted to
SAS and a Dana 44 years earlier but the shocks
needed to be upgraded to reduce performance fade
from heat generated on washboard. Fox remote
reservoir shocks were the solution. With a full load of
gear and a shell, their performance never fades.
With the suspension and unibody upgrades out of
the way, attention to engine performance was next.
The original 4.0L high output inline 6-cylinder engine
had been rebuilt at 230,000 miles and at 250,000 had a
supercharger installed. The S/C made lots of power
but proved itself an unreliable platform for long range
travel due to the high RPM required to make that
power and the heat it created in the process. The
solution was a 4.6 stoker motor from Golen Engine
Service. Matched up with a 62mm throttle body,
Thorley header, Hesco adjustable fuel regulator and a
Split Second timing calibrator, not only was mileage
restored to stock vehicle EPA claims, the power is far
more substantial than the stock power plant ever was.
The sheer grunt-like power, while not eyeball
flattening, will make you grin from ear to ear while
you pass others on 11,000 ft passes at 65 MPH while
fully-loaded down. I cannot say enough about how
significant an improvement this modification has
been.
All of the work to improve suspension & engine
performance was focused on supporting the living
habitat being reincarnated in the bed of the MJ. The
FALL 2009

shell, an AT Flippac, built to spec with reinforcement


where it counts and no side windows becomes the
new roof over our heads. This shell flips open to
provide a full size sleeping platform with a mattress
and standup headroom. The truck bed has been fitted
with full extension AT composite drawers and a
custom top loading compartment that house all adjusted, the fully deployed AT Flippac & awnings
equipment, tools & parts. Underneath the drawer can be carefully maneuvered into a new position.
storage system is a water tank, water purification After a long day on the trail, this level of
filter, hot water tank, and a house power system convenience and comfort is welcome.
that feeds the interior lighting, seven power outlets Future modifications to the MJ include:
and National Luna 40 liter fridge & 10 liter freezer.
• A split swing-away that will house an external
There is nothing better than a Popsicle in August in
kitchen galley.
Death Valley.
• 2 meter radio
Mounted to the interior of the shell walls are
Thule Smart RV Organizers that keep key • B-GAN satellite unit.
emergency and comfort items just an arm’s reach • Thule removable roof rack on adjustable track.
away from the sleeping platform or the tail gate.
My expectation for this vehicle platform is to drive
These convenient Thule units can be transferred to
her well beyond the 500,000 mile mark. It’s a big
the exterior walls when needed in camp. On each
world and there is a lot that we have not yet seen.
exterior side of the shell is a Fiamma F-35
Journeys to South America and Australia are being
retractable awning, which expands the protected
discussed and there are many places in between,
living space.
unplanned and unexpected.
Pulling into camp and parking in a north facing
If I can impart any vehicular & marital advice here,
orientation in winter or a south facing orientation
take care of your Jeep with love & affection. Spend
in the summer can establish a comfortable, well
more time in the garage and less in the dog house.
protected camp established in less than 10 minutes.
Take your wife or loved one with you on your
Interior leveling gauges assist in accurate parking
wanderlust journeys off into the horizon. Both will
placement. One of the advantages of this
love you for it.
configuration is that after full deployment, if it is
determined the camp orientation needs to be
FALL 2009
This land is your land.
Join N.O.R.A. today
and help keep it that way.

www.nora-usa.com

Pressing needs, pressing schedules,


pressing deadlines; sometimes the
whole world seems to be pressing in
around you and you just need some
relief. We think that you should grab
one of our products and get away for
a while. Trust us, you’ll love it.

www.gsioutdoors.com
FALL 2009
Overland Adventure to
the Scottish Highlands
Text & Photos by Hendrik de Backer

Earlier this year we decided to


load up our Wrangler and
organize a trip to Scotland, a land
of beautiful nature, a lot of
culture and history, and of whisky
and haggis.
Living in Belgium, we decided
that the best route would take us
up to Ijmuiden to catch a ferry to
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, from
where we would have a
400-kilometer drive north to the
region of Loch Lomond and The
Trossachs National Park. The ferry
FALL 2009

is a great and relaxing way of crossing the North Sea.


The Trossachs National Park encompasses around 1,800 sq. km. of some of the
finest scenery in Scotland, and forms the border between the Lowlands and the Highlands. It is an area of
contrasts, from rolling lowland landscapes in the south to high mountains in the north, and has many
lochs and rivers, forests, and woodlands. Nowadays, the Trossachs are a haven for walkers, cyclists,
photographers, wildlife enthusiasts and many other outdoor pursuit seekers, and hosts a huge number of
events and festivals both indoor and outdoor each year.
FALL 2009
We found a great 4-star accommodation in The Portnellan Lodges near
Crianlarich. Our lodge was sitting on the top of a hill with a view across the glen,
and included all imaginable comfort, including a great collection of maps for
local tours. On our first evening, we immediately started planning, sitting on the
terrace, with smoked salmon and smoked whisky (a Laphroaig 10y Cask
Strength). We decided to fill our holiday period with a number of excursions and
day trips as follows:

Killin and Ben Williams, Aberfeldy


Killin is a small town, known for its magnificent and scenic
Falls of Dochart, with an ancient stone bridge spanning an
original clansmen burial ground. It is a great place to stop and
have a walk, and standing amidst the bustling waters above
the gravesite, one feels a very special mixture of awe and
respect for the Scotsmen buried there.
Killin is quite small, and once you exit the town centre, a
narrow and winding road takes you up to the Ben Lawers
Mountain visitor center from where you can start a hike up to
the top at 1,214 meters. We were rewarded with spectacular
roads and sceneries, and a great surprise to find a big lake on
the plateau on top.
The road from Ben Lawers connects via Bridge of Balgie to the town Aberfeldy, where the Dewars distillery can
be found. A first stop for a whisky souvenir J.

Oban coastal drive and Hell’s Glen, Loch Fyne and Inverary
Famous for its distillery but also for having flying boat
squadrons in the early years of World War II, Oban was a must-
visit city on our list. The road from Crianlarich to Oban turns
and bends between the hills, and sudden bursts of sun
erupting between the clouds promised a lot for a great day.
Oban itself was a surprise to us. A rather small and
cozy town, draped around a small bay with some
fishing ships. We visited the Oban distillery shop and
were welcomed by a very kind man who was very
happy to stamp my whisky collectors bible. We had
lunch at the Mac Tavish Cavern where I had, of course,
FALL 2009

a dish of Tatties and Neeps, being mashed potatoes


and mashed turnips, accompanied with a great
portion of haggis. Haggis is traditionally made from
sheep intestines, cooked in a sheep’s stomach, but is
also easily found in pubs as a snack or lunch. The
Haggis ingredients and its cooking ways sound a bit
weird, but the taste is just so very nice!
After our visit to Oban, we took a special scenic drive
through Hell’s Glen and then up to Inveraray near
Loch Fyne. The Hell’s Glen is a narrow and now almost
abandoned track through the hills, and a pleasure to
drive! Inveraray is the town next to the Loch Fyne,
and home to an ancient prison museum, and also to
the Loch Fyne Whiskies company, who employs the
principle of a living cask in the style of a Spanish
whisky solera: “When (the cask is) half drawn down, a
new malt is introduced and the character changes.” A
great concept, with a great shop, and a fantastic value for
money whisky!

Blair Athol, Highland Wildlife Park and Fort William


Having a friend who is totally crazy about wolves, we were
advised to go and visit the Highland Wildlife Park, located up
North near Kingussie. We plotted a route and this took us near
Blair Athol.
The Blair Athol Distillery in the
picturesque town of Pitlochry,
Blair Athol is one of the oldest
working distilleries in Scotland.
The Distillery produces a 12-Year
Old Single Malt Whisky with a
strong fruity flavour and a
smooth finish, and is a great
visit. Unbelievable but through, I
met a Brazilian co-Jeeper in the
parking lot who owns three
Jeeps himself. We exchanged
our email addresses and were
on our way.
The Highland Wildlife Park is
located in a number of valleys
and is accessible by car. It has
both domestic and exotic
animals, and allows you to stop
and get out of the car on
specific places. The kids loved it.
FALL 2009

On the way back we visited Fort William, which was a disappointment for us.
Almost no people on the streets, no interesting shops, but we did find a shop
selling some of the greatest Scottish pies I ever tasted. On the way back home,
we were hammered with showers and rain until all of a sudden, the clouds
opened and we were surprised and awarded with one of the most beautiful
rainbows we have ever seen. This is Scotland at its best, we believe.
Callander, Duke’s Pass and Achray Forest Drive
This daytrip took us on a magnificent and sunny Easter Day to Callander, one
of the larger towns in the region and bustling with people on Sunday morning.
It’s a big contrast with the quietness in the hills. We had a great lunch in The
Waverly Pub and after lunch, we sat out to find the Duke’s Pass to get to the
Achray Forest Drive. The pass is a stretch of a few kilometers of narrow and
winding road, consuming your concentration to the max! It swivels around the
lochs and over the hills, and gives a great drivers feeling. Maybe we should have
taken the Grand Cherokee instead of the Wrangler here. J

After the pass, and only exceptionally open


for the Easter Weekend, we had an
opportunity to drive the Achray Forest Drive
which is a trail consisting of about 12
kilometers of winding, unpaved forest road
and normally used by harvesters. It is a
fantastic experience to cruise the track along
the borders of the lakes.

Loch Lyon and Glenturret


Nearing the end of our Scotland exploring
holiday, our last daytrip took us back to Killin and
again up into the mountains. Instead of going in
the direction of Ben Lawers, we chose to try out a
road that is marked as a dead end and indeed,
the road gets worse every hundred meters.
However, we continued to drive and started to
crawl slowly up into the hills with the Wrangler
until, at a certain moment, our pace had dropped
to about walking speed. We discovered a number
of deserted meadows full of sheep, lakes, and lochs that seem so unspoiled, and
historic landmarks we never would have believed to be there if we did not see
them ourselves. The combination of the deserted track, the nature, and the
solidness of the JK made up for another great morning drive!
In the afternoon, we set out for one more whisky stop and we decided to
go and visit the Glenturret distillery, home of the main component in the
FALL 2009

Famous Grouse blended whisky. A great-guided tour is set up there and


we enjoyed the actual making and distilling of the whisky, including
a tasting session. The guided tour explained all the phases in the
whisky making, all during a live whisky making process in the
different distillery halls. We left with a special collector’s item
bottle of Famous Grouse on Scottish Oak whisky as a perfect
memory to a fantastic holiday.
LINKS
http://www.portnellan.co.uk/
FALL 2009

http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/
http://www.dewars.com/
https://www.lfw.co.uk/
http://www.highlandwildlifepark.org/
http://www.thefamousgrouse.com/
Crestone Nee
Was Call
My Na Te
Photos by A
Video courtes
FALL 2009
edle
ling Looking between my feet was a lot of Crestone conglomerate rock....straight down. If I fell
here, it would make a big splash in South Colony Lake almost 1,000 ft below. Without a rope
or the ability to protect my climb, I finally knew the meaning of true commitment and the

ame
understanding that the only way down off this mountain was up.
Our adventure started in 2001 when Alan first climbed Crestone Needles Ellingwood Arete,
a 5.7 technical route via the mountain’s eastern knife-edge ridge. This distinctive alpine
mountaineering route is considered a classic. Located in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo
ext by Jackie Ellis
Alan & Jackie Ellis mountain range close to Westcliffe,
sy of Andy Leach Colorado, Crestone Needles’ easily
identifiable silhouette is inspiring…
and tempting. We drove up the road

“I finally knew the in 2008 so I could see for myself this


classic mountaineering route. After

meaning of true seeing it that time, I knew I had to


come back and climb it. So now here
I was in July 2009, returning to
commitment, and the Crestone Needle with the Arete
glaring at me and calling my name,
understanding that the saying “Climb me!” I was now poised
to face its challenges, just as it did
only way down off this for Albert Ellingwood, the first
ascender, in 1925.

mountain....was up.” Months of training and planning


culminated with me and Alan
making an attempt on this 14,197-
foot beauty. It is accessible via a

six-mile moderate 4-wheel drive Jeep trail known as


South Colony road. Alan and I chose to Jeep up most
of the road, backpack the mile and a half to South
Colony Lake, and then camp overnight for a
pre-dawn start close to the mountain. We found a
hidden campsite in the willows and set up our
two-man tent in short order. The weather predictably
got stormy and we were in and out of our tents the
rest of the afternoon. But the weather didn’t dampen
our enthusiasm or our appetite. The evening’s
highlight was salmon fillets cooked by our friend,
FALL 2009

Kevin Timm, over a camp stove and eaten in warm


tortillas with a mug of hot mint tea. After dinner, we
enjoyed watching the local mountain goat wander
through the basin. We hopped into the tent early to
try to get some sleep as our intent was to meet our
climbing partners, Andy Leach and Fabio Somenzi,
on the trail at 4:30am.
Neither Alan nor I slept much and at 3:30am,
we began to get ready. We had a quick meal
of gorp cookies and canned peaches, took
one last look at our gear, and then we were
ready for our climb. Andy and Fabio were
eagerly waiting for us at the trailhead and an
hour and a half later, we were at the base of
the famous Ellingwood Ledges as dawn was
breaking. The Ellingwood Ledges ascend the
east side of Crestone Needle and are not part
of the actual arête; however, they are
composed of steep rock and alpine grasses
that will get your attention while doing class
3-4 scrambling.
At the top of the ledges, a short scramble up
brought us to the infamous red knob. That’s
when the fun really began and where I began
to look between my feet. As the remainder of
the climb is exposed, airy, and mostly
unprotected, I began to have second
thoughts about what I was doing here. At this
point we had been climbing in our approach
shoes (basically beefed up running shoes), so
everyone began to change into their climbing shoes.....except me. We had
decided earlier that I would forego the rock climbing shoes to save weight. This
would slow me down a bit, but I had rock climbed in these shoes many times
before. Not much of a choice at this point anyway.
So, I looked between my feet, shrugged my
shoulders and pressed on, making some
sketchy un-roped class 5 moves over the most
terrific exposure of my climbing career. The
big splash in South Colony Lake would have to
wait until another day. When the exposure
and climbing got too extreme, we would rope
up but otherwise it was pretty much class 3-4
scrambling up to the technical head wall of
the climb. Still sucking Oklahoma air, we
could see that we were holding our partners
up, so we let them blaze ahead. Since they
FALL 2009

were both Colorado natives and spent most of


their weekends in the mountains, they were
not feeling the effects of the altitude as we
were. Once at the head wall, the 400 feet of
technical climbing would begin.
Our deal was that I would carry all the extra
gear and Alan would lead all the technical
pitches. Although we later questioned this
FALL 2009
tactic, I was happy that I was able to pull my own weight on the
mountain. As a result of Alan’s light pack, he was able to breeze through
the technical parts of the climb without issue. The downside? I would
now have to climb 5.7 with an extremely heavy pack and basically what
amounted to running shoes. This proved to be an adventure in itself.
Although I had a rope for safety, rock climbing with the pack and bad
shoes was a challenge that exhausted me. But ultimately, after a bit of
time, I managed to work it out and complete the technical section. A
short scramble brought us to the summit where Andy and Fabio had
been patiently waiting for well over an hour. We took a few obligatory
summit photos and then we began our descent.
Gaining the summit is only half the battle and our descent took almost
as much time as the climb up. Crestone Needles class 3-4 standard route
is also the descent route from the Arete. This route is a loose and steep
gully that would prove to test our already frayed nerves. Not only do you
have to avoid taking a header down the gully, your biggest worry is
dislodging a rock down onto a climbing partner, which I did. Luckily,
the grapefruit-sized cobble I dislodged struck Andy from behind on his
pack and left him without injury.
The remainder of the descent back to camp included a long slog
through the loose gravel and sand of the pass, and the wet snow fields of
the north side of Broken Hand Peak. Much too tired to eat, I drank a
bottle of Gatorade and it never tasted so good. We then crashed in the
tent after fourteen long hours on the mountain.
In October of 2009, the U. S. Forest Service will be closing the last three miles of South Colony road. Would-be
climbers of Crestone Needle will now have to make a four and a half mile uphill hike to get to a base camp below
the peak. However, I would encourage everyone to make this journey. South Colony Lake’s basin, and the
mountains that surround it, are a treasure and partially closing the road will help restore the area to its once
pristine state. Once there, you’ll be surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks and glared upon by Crestone Needle’s
Ellingwood Arete that just might call your name as well.

Check out the video


documentary of Alan
FALL 2009

& Jackie’s climb of


Crestone Needle here!
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FALL 2009

Chuck McInnish’s
enthusiasm for Jeeps
knows no bounds. Chuck
not only cherishes his 1980
CJ but is also a volunteer for
the United States Forest Service
Adopt-a-Trail program. Chuck’s rig
features a number of self-proclaimed
mods that have made it “Trail Rated.”
An American Icon

Kevin Vara
dy and his
Jeep CJ ta
ke a break
from the a
FALL 2009

ction whil
on the tra e
ils
John Knichel
traverses the
diverse terrain
of Bangs Canyon
near Grand
Junction,
Colorado. John’s
1977 CJ-5 has
the stock 258
Inline 6 cylinder
and other mods
including:

Skyjacker 2.5” Lift


33” Power Trac Lugs
Factory 4.10 Gears
with rear Trac-Loc

Will Bentley’s 1982 CJ-8


Scrambler was the subject of
a Freek Show article in our
spring 2008 issue. His CJ8
Scrambler is a full frame-
FALL 2009

up restoration with a 350V8


and features a number of mods
including:

1” Body Lift
2” Add-A-Leaf Lift
33” Mickey Thompson Super Swamper Radials
Plus many custom interior/exterior mods
Clayton Weed’s 1984 CJ-7 is truly a
family rig as his two sons helped him
get it to where it is today. Clayton’s
rig features several mods including:

D30 front axle with Warn Hub conversion, Warn


Chromoly inner & outer shafts, 4:56 gears and
OX Locker
AMC20 Trussed rear with Superior Chromoly 1
Piece axle and Detroit Locker
ProComp 4” SUA Lift, 2” Body Lift, and 1.25”
Shackle Lift
Ramsey 9500 Winch
35” Goodyear KM Tires

Mark Burkett navigates along Jenny


Creek Trail in Colorado in his 1983
CJ-7, which is equipped with the
following mods:

Weber Carburetor
Currie 9” Rear axle with Detroit Locker
Dana44 Front axle with ARB Locker with Poison
Spyder High Steering

Southern
Missouri Offroad
Ranch is the
setting for
Jimmy Hoffman
and his 1978
CJ-7 with 304
AMC V8. Jimmy’s
rig features
a few mods
including:
FALL 2009

Dana44 front axle


with 4.10 gears
Hydro-assist steering
36” TSL SX Tires
8-9” Lift
Warn XD9000i Winch
When you can wheel and
help an organization like
UFWDA at the same time, you
know it’s a good time on
the trails. Robert Doswell
took his 1981 CJ-8 with
350 Chevy V8 to UFWDA’s
first Wheel-in at Oak Ridge
Estate. His rig features
the following mods:

D300 transfer case with


Tera-Low gears & twin stick
shift
D44 axles with Eaton
electric lockers & 4.27
gears
35” ProComp X Tires

Rausch Creek OHV Park is the setting for


Paul Trautner and his 1981 CJ-7. Paul’s
rig features several mods including:

MC2100 Carburetor
Clifford Header
4WDH 4” Lift
4:10 Gears on D300
Aussie Lockers front & rear
Longfield 30 Spline Chromoly Superaxles
BigDaddy Rockers
Mastercraft Seats

John Setar’s 1984 CJ-7 Laredo


wouldn’t be anywhere near its
completion without the care of his
wife, Melissa, and it shows! John’s
CJ resides in Melbourne, Florida and
FALL 2009

features the following mods:

35” BFGoodrich M/T Radials


Rubicon Express 4.5” Lift
OX Lockers front & rear
4.88 Gears
1” Body Lift
Steve Meier and his
1983 CJ-7 traverse the
terrain on Frazier
Mountain in Lockwood
Valley, California.
Steve’s rig features a
258 Inline 6-cylinder
with TBI and the
following mods:

T5 Tranny w/ B&M Shifter


4” BDS Springs
Dana 300
½” Lift M.O.R.E. Shackles
1” Body Lift
35” BFGoodrich Mud Terrains
OX Locker
Poison Spyder Rocker
Knockers
Rockhard 4x4 Cage

Joe Remish’s 1980 CJ-5 enjoys its


FALL 2009

favorite wheelin’ spot in N.E. Ohio.


Joe’s rig is a complete frame-off
restoration and sits on top of several
mods including:

35” Mud Bogger Tires


4” Lift with 1.5” Shackle Lift & 2.5” Body Lift
The Granite Mountains in the
California Mojave Desert is the
setting for Roger Peterson’s 1985 CJ-
7. Roger’s rig features a 4.2L Inline
6-cylinder as well as the following
mods:

Trac-Loc Limited Slip Differential


Superior Axles One Piece Axles
Skyjacker Hydro 7000 Shocks
Skyjacker Steering Damper
31” BFGoodrich All-Terrain Tires
KC Daylighter Off-Road Lights
Warn HD Shackles 3” Lift
Conferr Jerry Can Holder
Cobra 18 WX ST II CB Radio
Yeasu FT 7800 2m/440 MHz Dual band Ham
Radio
FALL 2009

Bombers & Jeeps. Mike Hardesty’s


Jeep Willys shares the spotlight
with another American icon.
Our friends at
Quadratec built this
rock-crawlin’ CJ to
tackle any terrain and
still be show-and-shine
quality too!

FALL 2009
One of the most unique CJ-8s still on
the road, Eric Walton’s Postal Jeep was
one of only 230 made and was purchased
in Anchorage, Alaska. The rig is right-
hand drive and features a number of mods
including:

Warn 9000xi Winch


Rubicon Express 4.5” Lift mounted to custom
onboarding brackets without shackle reversal
35” Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Tires
Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers & Crusher Corners
Runck Bumpers
Waggy D44/HD20 axles with 4.56 gears and Detroit
Lockers
Optima Red Top Battery
Xenon Wide Flares

Jim Larocque is the treasurer


of National Scrambler Owners
Association and his 1983 CJ-8
Scrambler is a testament to his
passion for CJs. Jim’s rig is
loaded with the following:

Aussie Lockers front & rear


Genuine Gear 4:88 Ring & Pinion
Unitrax Custom Drive shafts front & rear
Currie Extreme Ford 9 rear axle
4.5” & 1” Suspension / Body Lift
35” ProComp Xterain Tires
FlexLite Electric Radiator Fans
FALL 2009

Tuffy Overhead Security Console, Tuffy


Oversized Security Drawer, and Tuffy
Security Center Console
Smittybilt Seat Covers
HiTeck Custom Seats
Grant Hunter’s rig may
look like the Joker’s form
of transportation but it’s
definitely one serious rig
with Bushwacker fender
flares and other various
suspension and interior/
exterior mods.

Go Topless Day brought out


all sorts of Jeep vehicles
including Jason Shuller’s 1982
CJ-5 in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Jason’s rig sports several mods
including:

31” Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Tires


Black Diamond AT Shocks
Bestop Super Top
Herculiner Interior
Tuffy Stereo Console

Philip Shufeldt’s
1978 CJ-5 tackles the
terrain at Turkey Bay
OHV Park in Land of
the Lakes State Park,
Kentucky. Philip’s rig
features a number of
mods including:

D30 Front axle with Aussie


Locker
FALL 2009

D44 Rear axle with Detroit


Locker
2.5” BDS Spring Lift
Courier Radio
33” BFGoodrich M/T T/A KM
tires
Tabor 12K Winch
EXPEDITION DISCUSSIONS

Major
Sidewall
Repair
Text and photos by Martyn Davies

If you incur a small sidewall split, your first line of


defense should be to switch the damaged tire out
with your spare. The damaged tire can then be
repaired at camp or in a safe location.
The Ultimate Puncture Repair Kit contains both
thick and thin plugs and you should try to fill the
tear completely with a combination of both. With
the split plugged, inflate the tire up to 25psi and see
if it holds pressure.
If the plugs don’t hold pressure, a more extensive repair will be required. In previous articles we have covered
breaking the bead, and removing and replacing a tire. You are going to need all of the skills and tools plus a little
more for this repair.
Although merely removing the front of the tire from the rim can do this repair, I recommend you remove the tire
completely. You’ll end up with much better access to the damaged area of the tire.

For this repair you will need the following tools from
Ultimate Tire Repair Kit:
• Tire Reamer
• Baja Patch or Regular Patch
• Stitching Tool/Rasp
• Rubber Cement
• Chalk
FALL 2009

You will also need:


• Solvent, such as brake cleaner
• Something to sew the sidewall with (i.e. waxed cotton thread)
• Shoe Goo or equivalent flexible glue
After removing the tire from the rim, make sure that whatever has punctured the tire
is not still lodged in it.

Step 1. Make holes in the tire for the stitches


Drill or poke holes on either side of the split so that you can stitch across
the area. For example, I like to have one stitch above, one below, and three
stitches across a 1.5” split. If a cordless drill isn’t available, I use the reamer
from the Ultimate Puncture Repair Kit.

Step 2. Mark the area to be patched


Size either a regular patch or a larger Baja Patch to cover the split. Mark
out the area perimeter using chalk.
The interior of the tire is coated with an impervious shiny layer that stops air bleeding out through the tire.
Unfortunately, a patch won’t adhere to this layer so it needs to be mechanically removed using the rasp.

Step 3. Remove the impervious layer


Spray a solvent onto the area as it speeds up the process and makes it easier to
mechanically remove the layer with the rasp. Be thorough and rough up the entire marked
area, then make sure all the shiny layer has been removed

Step 4. Sew the split


Take a section of thread and push it through one of the holes
using the reamer, the thread should form a loop inside the tire.
Push the other end of the thread through the hole on the other
side of the split.
Take the loose end of the thread and put it through the loop
Pull the loop back through the tire so both free ends of the
thread are on the outside of the tire.
Knot the two ends together to form a stitch.

Step 5. Patching
Dry fit the patch over the area to be repaired.
Mark out the corners of the patch on the
FALL 2009

inside of the tire using chalk.


Apply rubber cement to the patch and the
marked out area on the tire.
Allow the cement to become tacky to the
touch.
Put the patch on the inside of the tire.
Step 6. Stitching
Stitching refers to the physical bonding of the patch to the
tire. The stitching tool looks like a pizza cutter, and it is
rolled over the patch to get rid of any air bubbles and to
press the patch firmly onto the tire. Roll the stitching tool
methodically across the patch and down the sides. It’s a
long process and isn’t complete until the plastic outer
covering of the patch has started to detach.
With the patch firmly attached, the tire can be put back on
the rim and re-inflated. The tire should be able to hold
around 25psi.

Step 7. Sealing the outside of the tire


To stop dirt from entering through the split, seal up the
outside using Shoe Goo or equivalent flexible glue. Cover
the entire split and the knots of the stitches. Allow the patch
and outer repair to set up overnight if possible.
This emergency repair enables you to retain a usable spare,
or a temporary vehicle tire. Any tire that sustains sidewall
damage needs to be replaced as soon as practically possible.
FALL 2009
PRODUCT NEWS
OFF ROAD TRAIL LAUNCHES ONE-OF-A-KIND PORTA-
BLE WHEEL CHOCKS
Off Road Trail Tools announces the release of their exclusive Wheel Chocks designed with the
latest technology and safety as the first priority.
“Since gravity isn’t always our friend, we’ve incorporated hours of engineering, design and testing
to ensure our wheel chocks provide the best grip, whether on an incline, decline, pavement or
dirt,” says owner Tat Marcy. “These aren’t your typical wheel chocks.”
These original ORTT Wheel Chocks are designed with unique tooling to produce friction
to grip dirt and other surfaces. Additional holding strength can be obtained by using
simple tent stakes. Tested using Finite Element Analysis (FEA), 3D Deflection, strain
and stress analysis, Off Road Trail Tools’ Wheel Chocks give you the ultimate safety
features not found on any other wheel chock.
Extensively tested, the ORTT Wheel Chocks can be unfolded and laid out
horizontally to double as a traction device in a sticky situation. Light-
weight yet strong material allows the wheel chocks to be used while
winching. Equipped with stainless steel hardware, these non-rusting,
non-sparking chocks are the only choice when it comes to your
safety, the safety of others, and your vehicle. Designed to be
compatible with today’s off-road tire sizes, the ORTT Wheel Chocks
are collapsible for easy transport.
For more information, please visit www.offroadtrailtools.com

Front-End Protection Never Looked So Good With


OR-FAB’s Stinger JK Bumper
OR-FAB’s Stinger bumper for the 2007-’08 Jeep Wrangler JK offers superior protection on the trail and especially
during a steep descent. The heavy-duty bumper is manufactured from 3/16” thick steel plate, providing superior
front-end protection over standard tube-style rock bumpers. It also features a front guard that not only looks
great, but also keeps your Jeep from flipping.
The OR-FAB Stinger bumper allows your Jeep to maintain steep approach angles and the tapered design allows
them to easily slide off large rocks and ledges with ease. Installation is
simple, as they easily bolt into the same location as the factory bumpers
and use ½” thick steel mounting brackets to improve their strength and
durability.
The OR-FAB Stinger bumper also comes with reinforced D-ring mounts
FALL 2009

and shackles, and can accept a standard winch design. All OR-FAB
products are made in the U.S.A. and are backed by years of experience
on and off the trail.
For more information on this or any other OR-FAB product, contact
Performance Automotive Group, P.O. Box 3450, Chino Valley, AZ 86323,
(928) 636-7080, or visit them on the web at www.p-a-g.net.
ARB’s Newest
Fridge Freezer
Text & Photos by Matt Adair

Keeping perishable food items cold and fresh is a big Pops on the trail even with ambient temps hovering in
challenge to any overland explorer. 500 miles from the the high 80’s, certainly a first for me.
nearest store and your steaks are thawing because Never having used a fridge like this before, I also
they’re floating in a lukewarm puddle of what used to brought along a conventional ice chest, a nice Coleman
be your ice is a bad thing, and not just because your “5-day Extreme Duty.” Long before the end of the week,
beer is likely also warm. the ice had all melted and everything got transferred
ARB has been equipping intrepid travelers with all into the ARB. While the interior of the fridge doesn’t
sorts of equipment to make overland expeditions look that big, but when you consider that you don’t
easier and more fun for years, so their new Fridge have to put any ice in it, it can swallow a LOT of stuff. As
Freezer has a lot to live up to. With a five-day trip to the a matter of fact, the second cooler was really only
Rubicon Trail coming up, it seemed like the perfect useful carrying ice for mixing cocktails at camp. In the
chance to test one out for ourselves and put ARB’s future, the cooler is staying home.
marketing claims to the test. With a retail price a little under $800, the Fridge
The interior volume is 50 quarts and weighs in (empty, Freezer is not cheap and doesn’t make a lot of sense if
of course) at a not insignificant 50 pounds; the exterior you’re just heading out for afternoon drives. If, however,
is 20” high, 28” long and 15” wide. Not huge, but it took your trips are multi-day affairs and you need to be fully
up a pretty fair amount of space, though they fit easily self-sustaining, the ARB is invaluable. Beyond the
in the back of a Wrangler with the back seat removed. practicality of not having to worry about ice, having the
The unit plugs into any generic cigarette lighter/DC freedom to expand your menu to include fresh foods
power outlet, but also comes with a 110 plug so you makes the entire experience just that much more
can plug it in at home. There is an integrated battery enjoyable and essential for any overland journey.
protection system that will shut the fridge off long
before it drains the battery; it will fall on its own sword
· For more information, please visit www.arbusa.com
rather than leave you stranded somewhere.
With the anticipation of having a guaranteed supply
of cold, we stocked up on steaks, eggs, bacon, milk,
cheese, and other items that can be sketchy after nearly
a week in a cooler. I have never eaten so well on the
trail; having the confidence to stock up on perishable
FALL 2009

items freed us from the usual regimen of chili and other


canned goods. The ARB has a very easy to use control
system that allows you to adjust the temperature
according to what’s in the fridge. For beverages, keep-
ing it above freezing is obviously a must unless you
want beer slushies. On the other hand, the temp can be
lowered to well below freezing. We had frozen Otter
Superchips
Programmer for
Jeep 4.0L & Jeep JK
Text & Photos by Frank Ledwell

You know those late


night commercials for
products that tout their
ability to make you
perform better in one
simple little step? I was
reminded of these irritat-
ing infomercials when I
heard about Superchip’s
first foray into the off
highway market with a
programmer for the Jeep
4-Liter inline six: 24 hp
and 28 lb/ft of torque from
a simple chip? While we
didn’t use a dyno to verify
the results, our seat of the
pants impression is that
there is some more power
to be had as well as
improved throttle
response.
It’s important to note that those numbers are achieved with the highest level of tune and 91-octane fuel. If you
don’t want to spend the extra money on gas, there are several different settings; it’s as easy to change as plugging
into the OBD II port and following the prompts on the programmer. Another very handy feature is the code
reader; in the middle of nowhere it’s very handy to be able to read the check engine code and clear it.
Superchips also debuted a product for the JK, and this application really makes sense. It adds much needed
power and adjusts the drive-by-wire throttle response to eliminate lag, eliminate some of the more annoying
nanny settings on the 4WD, and can even be used to calibrate the speedometer to match larger tire sizes. Both
FALL 2009

Jeep applications have plenty of different settings to keep the die-hard gadget geeks busy for weeks. For a rela-
tively modest outlay ($379.99) there are some really clever and useful features for Jeepers of every persuasion and
besides, who doesn’t want a little extra power?
Available for most late-model Jeep models.
www.superchips.com
Out with the Old, In
with the New:
Goodyear’s new MT/R
Tire with Kevlar
Text & Photos by Matt Adair

It would have been the new tire in California’s Johnson Valley “Hammers”
easy for Goodyear to Trails; this was an ambitious move because the
do a few upgrades to Hammers are known for chewing up and spitting out
their premier off-road tire sidewalls. Despite the 20 some-odd (and some
tire, the Wrangler really odd) journalists driving rental JK Rubicons, not a
MT/R. Change the single tire failed (though several Rubicons suffered
tread pattern slightly, rental-car-itis related damage). My initial impressions
slap on a new sidewall were very positive and I couldn’t wait to try them on
design, and trium- some different types of terrain.
phantly announce the A couple weeks later a set of 37x12.50R17 showed up
‘new’ tire to the world. on my doorstep (much to my UPS guy’s chagrin),
Instead they chose to followed a day later by a set of Walker Evans 17” Bead-
pursue a radical and locks.
potentially very risky
In the following three weeks, I put 4,000 miles on the
course of action. From
tires and can report that, in this writer’s opinion, the
a completely clean
MT/R is the best all-around off-highway tire currently
slate they threw out
available. In the rocks, they are simply unstoppable;
conventional wisdom
there was so much grip that at Easter Jeep Safari I
and design and went back to the drawing board…so
broke two driveshaft u-joints; I was able to conquer
to speak. In actuality, they went to Sandia National
trails and optional
Labs, the guys who designed the United States’ nuclear
lines that I would
weapons arsenal and among other things, houses one
never have thought
of the most powerful Super-Computers in the world.
possible in the past.
They used the expertise of Sandia’s engineers and the
power of the Cray computer to run myriad of computer One area the previ-
models, trying to figure out the best compromise ous generation MT/R
between strength, weight, mud-clearing ability, and always was criticized
on-road manners. The result is a tire that looks like in was performance in
none other out there: unique to be sure and making no mud or sloppy wet
apologies about it. Most obvious is the fact that the trails. This alone is
FALL 2009

tread pattern is asymmetrical; the look of the tire is why I had never been
highly polarizing and extremely different. What the eye a fan myself, as living
can’t see is the addition of a DuPont Kevlar sidewall ply. in the Pacific North-
Yup, the same stuff bulletproof vests are made from. west that’s pretty
Goodyear claims this increases the sidewall strength much all we have. I
35% over that of the previous generation MT/R. was highly skeptical
of the new MT/R with
The design raised a lot of eyebrows at the release of
Kevlar, but with the
new design’s massive voids it looked like Goodyear may finally have addressed
this issue. One trip into the woods of the PNW confirms that Goodyear’s immod-
est claims about the tire’s mud capabilities are, if anything, modest. Not only do Now
they stick to wet rocks like glue, they clear out the huge side voids and provide
serious forward motion when you hit syrupy mud. Even
Anybody can make a tire that can get you out of a mud bog; if your only goal is Mappier!
sticking to rock, the task is relatively easy.
Making a tire that can perform superbly in both
conditions and be a quiet companion on the
road is nearly impossible; yet here it is, the new
MT/R. If you can get over the looks, you’ll find a
class leading, competitively priced Mud Terrain
that works well in all conditions.
Stay tuned for updates as we wear these tires
in and try to find a chink in their Kevlar armor.
www.goodyear.com
FALL 2009

Find everything Offroad


www.offroadatlas.com
Off Road Trail
Tools Broken
Axle Tool
Text and photos by Mike Fissel,
Jeep Expeditions.org

Crawling over that rock or waterfall, one eye on the road, the other on your spotter. Rubber starts squealing, you
start getting some wheel spin and in that last second you give it some more gas to try to get it over. BANG, SNAP!
You get this sick feeling in your gut as you just broke one of your rear axles. What to do now?
One of the worst things that can happen on a trail is for an axle to break. Unfortunately the Dana 35 rear axles
that come stock on Jeep Wranglers, XJ Cherokees, and other Jeeps have a way of snapping after you add larger
tires, lockers, and a little too much pedal. While I mention D35 axles, this tool can be used on any C-Clip type axle
such as the Ford 8.8 and other corporate axles like the Chrysler 8.25 and even the Jeep D44A, which has c-clips
unlike other D44s.
Up until now when this happened, you either had to have a spare axle with you and the tools and time to
replace it or leave your Jeep in the middle of nowhere. The problem with the middle of nowhere option is that
there are many Jeeps that have been left there only to be found stripped of parts or even worse, used for a bon
fire.
When I saw this device at the Overland Expo this spring, my first thoughts were how ingenious it is. See it, touch
it, and feel it. The quality of construction and the simplicity of use are evident. The rollers move smoothly thanks
to bearings. And the price, I don’t know how they can sell it so cheap! It will fit most size tires ordinarily used on
trail Jeeps, even 35” monsters.
When there are no spare parts available,
which is the case more often than not with a
broken axle, this tool can be a lifesaver, liter-
ally. Even if you have a spare axle, it is not
always safe or easy to do the repair where you
are. With the broken axle tool, you can move
the Jeep to a safe area to do your repair or
limp back slowly to civilization. It is easy to
carry, easy to store, and even if you never have
to use it on your Jeep, you can be the hero
when someone else in your group breaks their
axle.
FALL 2009

No matter if you are an individual or a club,


this is one tool you should have on every trip.
For more information and other great prod-
ucts, please visit ORTT’s website at
http://www.offroadtrailtools.com.
Off Road Trail
Tools Wrench
Wrap
By Mike Fissel

How cluttered is your toolbox? Where is that


wrench at, under all the rest of them in that sea of
chrome? One of the neat things that I picked up
at the Overland Expo in April was yet another
item by Off Road Trail Tools, a locally owned
Arizona company. My only mistake is I should
have bought two.
The toolbox in my Jeep is my trail toolbox. This
simple plastic box has most of the essential items
that one needs to make emergency repairs on the
trail. It began as an empty shell that I literally
tossed in many of the duplicate tools in my
garage. Now that it is full of wrenches, pliers, and
other important items the fun is trying to find one
of my tools by digging to the bottom. You got the
picture? Of course you do, especially if you have a
toolbox like mine.

Enter the Wrench Wrap. A score or more of


various sized pockets and a zipper pouch on
the side. I dumped my toolbox out, opened
the Wrench Wrap, and sorted out what I
wanted to go in there. My most used items
so to speak. After you pack it with tools you
just roll it up, secure it with the adjustable
snap buckle, and you have a well-organized
tool tote with a handle.
Made of quality materials and heavy-duty
stitching, this neat product will give you
FALL 2009

years of good service and easily found tools.


Now I need to go online and order a second
one.
For more information on this or other
quality made in the USA products by ORTT,
visit their website at
www.offroadtrailtools.com.
Clearview
Proprane
Tanks
Text & Photos by Mike Fissel

Most of us watch a movie or read a book that deals threaded BBQ connections. Being 12” wide and 15.25-
with the future and we see all kinds of new technology, 18” tall, they can be stored just about anywhere. For the
gadgets, and products and think “It would be nice if techies out there, they are pressure-rated at 294psi and
had that NOW.” they have a burst pressure rating of 2200psi. The empty
While searching the web for some 10lb propane tanks weight of the 11lb tank is 7.5lbs and the 17lb tank has
for my off-road trailer, I came across something that an empty weight of 11lbs. In addition, the HDPE liner
caught my eye. One of the hits said, “Our LP Gas tanks and composite pressure vessel have sufficient
are translucent for fuel-level viewing. Never run out of translucency for you to view the level of fuel in the
propane gas again during a barbecue.” Wow, really? It tank, and they have no possibility of corrosion since
gave me thoughts of Star Trek IV where Scotty made they are resistant to acids and solvents and are
transparent aluminum to hold the whales in the ship. manufactured for maximum UV stability.
So I clicked on the link and read on. But what about a direct hit to the cylinder while
My browser brought me to a company called Ragasco off-roading? I explained to Matt that I do lots of long
USA Inc. out of Sarasota, Florida. As I glanced over the distance overland driving and the cylinder would be
page in front of me I thought, “How very cool and mounted on my custom off-road trailer. While it had
futuristic looking” and I decided I needed more never happened to me, what if the trailer were to slide
information. sideways on the trail and the cylinder took a direct hit
by a tree or boulder? Matt told me that unlike a steel
Many new and futuristic products, and the substances
tank that would most likely split at the seams and have
that come to us, are usually the result of research and
the potential to explode, the composite tanks would
development for either NASA or the military. This
have more give, are cushioned and protected by the
product can easily fall into this category. Like many of
outer plastic covering and in the unlikely event of a
you, I am most interested in safety and durability of a
breach, the fuel would release slowly without an
product that will be used in sometimes hostile
explosion. Matt also told me that they are selling these
environments many miles from home, including the
more and more to overlanders due to their weight and
Arizona desert where temperatures can reach 120°F
safety.
plus in the summer to the part of the journey where
you could be a days ride or more from anything that Ok, so I ordered two tanks and waited with
could be considered civilization. anticipation as the order arrived and I opened the first
box. It was light, really light. I placed the tank on the
FALL 2009

When I spoke to Matt at Ragasco, they told me the


dining room table and I ran my hands over it like a
tanks are half the weight of a steel tank, are DOT
magic lamp, waiting for the Genie to pop out. Well, no
approved, they won’t explode (sounds like the Scepter
Genie but I really liked it. This could be a head turner
plastic Mil-Spec fuel cans which many of us already
out in public.
use), they won’t rust, won’t mar the surfaces they are
mounted to, and are stackable. They also use the latest So I placed the tank in the back of the Jeep and I
OPD valves that can accept both male and female stopped by my normal propane supplier. I left the tank
in the Jeep next to the filling station and walked
towards the front door. The attendant poked his notice any change in the fuel level at any time
head and said they were waiting on repairs and during the 14 days it sat out. Not sure what
could not dispense propane. He directed me up that means but I am satisfied that if it can sit out
the street to another location so up the street I in the direct sun, it can sit on its mount on my
went. off-road trailer just as well.
At the 2nd dealer there were a few people lined The next test was to climb up a ladder and
up already to get their tanks filled. It was July 3rd drop the cylinder from about 8-10 feet onto the
and I am guessing that people were getting hard, dry Arizona dirt. While I expected that
ready to BBQ on the 4th. So I pulled my Jeep up nothing would happen based on my talks with
to the line of customers and I got out, opened Matt and what I had read, I still wanted to know
the passenger door, grabbed my tank, and said that the cylinder would be reliable on the hard
“Save some for me.” All eyes are moving to my ride down the trail.
right arm that is now holding something that it Up the ladder I went, cylinder in hand. Now
is obvious that no one has ever seen before. don’t try this at home, especially with a steel
The attendant said, “What is that?” I told him it is cylinder, as they are way too heavy to drag up a
the newest in propane tanks. He stopped what ladder. In order to get the tank from the point of
he was doing to check it out. He lifted it to release to the point of impact in pictures, even
inspect and said “Dang this is light.” Three other with a super fast Canon D50, it took four drops
people gathered around to check it out too. One of the tank. Each time it hit the ground I winced.
of the guys in line had a rusty looking tank next But nothing happened. Just a kind of a
to him and said, “It don’t look like it will rust.” I thumping sound and the proof that the vessel
answered a few questions and got things and the protective outer cover absorbed the
moving again. The people in front of me waited impact was the fact that it really didn’t bounce.
until my tank was full so they could see if the
So with the intention of just one drop for the
gas level could be seen. The answer is yep; we
final torture test before taking it out on the
could see the gas level change as we rocked the
road, I am pretty well convinced that after four
tank back and forth. A few days later, I took the
drops from about nine feet to the concrete hard
second tank to my regular dealer to see the
Arizona dirt, these new space age tanks will give
reaction there. It was the same as the first time,
me excellent and reliable service from the
everyone there wanted to hold it and check it
deserts of southern AZ to the tall pine and
out.
aspen forests to the north.
Now that the novelty part of the review is over
Technical Info – Two Sizes available:
it is time to check this out in the real world. Tank
#1 was the guinea pig so to speak. One of my 17 lb tank – holds 16 lbs of Propane
concerns was how this will do in the 350 days of 10 lb tank – holds 11 lbs of Propane
Arizona sunshine with temperatures well over
100 degrees for 90 straight days over the
Contact Information
summer. Test #1 would be to sit the container
about four feet off the ground in the middle of Ragasco USA – www.lpgastanks.com
FALL 2009

the back yard for two weeks. I would check the


fluid level periodically to see if it had changed. For questions and information contact Matt
With the tank on top of my backyard smoker, I Hughes at 800-823-6677 or email
let Mother Nature have her way with it for 14 sales@ragascousa.co
straight days.
Everyday I went out and checked the cylinder
exposed to the hot Arizona sun. The temps had
been running 115 degrees everyday. I didn’t
Nemo Equipment FILLO
Compact Camping Pillow
Text by Xerxes “Zak” Patel

Besides enjoying the scenery, the second most important part of camping is
relaxing. The FILLO™ Compact Camping Pillow by Nemo Equipment assures
that you will be well rested when it’s time to hit the hay. You can inflate the
memory foam to the desired stiffness and can increase the standard 4” height by
pulling extra clothing through the elastic straps on the bottom of the pillow. The
soft suede-like microfiber covering is comfortable
on your face and can be removed and washed.
The integrated sack compresses the FILLO to the
size of a 1-litter bottle. The FILLO’s light weight
and quick inflation make this an essential item to
pack for your trip, and is one of the coolest new
camping products we’ve tested in quite some time.
A JPFreek camping essential!

- For more information, please visit www.nemoequipment.com


FALL 2009
Off Road Trail
Tools Gnarly
Grip Grab
Handles
By Mike Fissel

Most of us have them in our Jeeps and some of us, like me, keep
looking for the perfect ones. You know, the ones that won’t
collapse and won’t fall apart after a few months.
Having owned 20+ Jeeps over the last 30 years I have bought all
kinds of grab handles and eventually had to replace all of them,
many sooner than later. At last I might have found the pair that will
outlast my Jeep!
I have tried them all over the years. The cheap ones that go on sale at the local
parts or catalog store, the ones online at places like eBay that claim “the best there
are” and so far, none of them have held up to my standards. Some have lasted less
than a year. After a few months with these grips on my Jeep, I am pretty certain
that they will be the last grab handles I will ever need to buy.
Unlike the cheaper competition, these are made in the U.S.A. with quality materi-
als and obvious pride in design and workmanship. These grips incorporate a
non-stick material with thermo-molded handles, and a built-in stiffener. Due to
their unique design, “Gnarly Grips” will not collapse in on you like Brand-X and
they won’t slide around on your roll bar. Combine this with MilSpec thread and
stitching, and you can be ensured of a safe, long lasting product with a very
natural feel. They come in three sizes to fit nearly any vehicle or size roll bar from a
CJ to a TJ, Tube Buggies, Rhinos, and more. In addition, they can be used just
about anywhere in your Jeep and for a number of different purposes, from
passenger assist to a place to keep your shirts on hangers for the more civilized
Jeeper.
But don’t believe me, heck out the YouTube video of one being attached to the
front of a Jeep and used as a “tow hook.”
FALL 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inzdw1_dWA8
If it can pull a Jeep, it can handle a 4000lb gorilla! Are you a believer now?
For more information on this and other great products, visit ORTT’s website at www.offroadtrailtools.com.
The Elements Tour Heads to the Ocean
Nature Propelled, Part IV – The River Phase
(Above) Live performance art piece by gravity free
Text by Shawn Carkonen
from Japan. Was recorded live for Nature Propelled.
Photos by Seth Warren

When we last checked in with JPFreek for the previous issue, Seth
Warren and the KAVU Elements Tour crew were in Missoula, Montana
editing film footage and waiting for the snow to melt so they could get
the kayaks in the water and begin the fourth and final phase of the tour.
Begun in August 2008, the yearlong Elements Tour, which is sponsored
by KAVU, KEEN, and Clif Bar, followed the complete life cycle of water
across western North America. The mission of the tour was to educate
students and others about what they can do to satisfy their energy needs
using renewable sources and how to live more sustainable lifestyles.
The final section of the tour got off to a stellar start with Garden City
Localfest in Missoula. Organized with the Sustainable Business Council of
Montana, Localfest celebrated Missoula, encouraged people to shop
locally, and also spread the message of sustainability through informative
booths, presentations, and guest speakers. It also turned out to be the
FALL 2009

Element Tour’s biggest event ever with about 3,000 people in attendance.
Seth was MC of the event and “Baby,” the Japanese fire truck that he
converted to run on any kind of natural oil, served as one of the main
stages for live music and presentations. During the week leading up to
Localfest, Seth, Baby, and the crew visited 11 Missoula schools and did
sustainability presentations for about 1,000 enthusiastic students and
their teachers.
Micah Wolf performs live on BABY
Along with being a memorable day filled with sunshine, good
folks, and fun, the entire event was off-the-grid! The University of
Montana’s mobile biomass gasification unit, one of the biggest
and most advanced systems of its kind in the world, was brought
in to supply all of the power needed for everything from PA
systems and amps to restaurant equipment and lighting. This rig,
about the size of an RV, blew people away and showed the kind of
energy solutions that are currently possible. Wood scraps go in
and clean power comes out with just a small amount of charcoal
as a byproduct. Truly impressive. Elements Tour visited 12 schools in 5 days in
the greater Missoula area.

In early June, as the snowmelt began flowing into the rivers in large volumes, the crew headed for Bozeman, MT
to begin what would eventually turn into a nonstop 21-day kayaking bender. The first stop was Big Timber Creek,
one of the rivers that Seth pioneered in the late 1990s when he was a professional kayaker. This time he was on
the other side of the lens filming local rippers as well as Silje Skorve, a Norwegian pro and old pal of Seth’s that
joined the tour for a stretch.
Leaving Bozeman, they hit the famous waves along the Yellowstone River where Seth and Silje got some sweet
rides on their surfboards in the middle of the river. Surf Montana! It was then off to Sandpoint, Idaho.

Parked behind Endless Adventure, British Coloumbia


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The Idaho panhandle is a wonderland for kayakers. There are slides moving into kickers leading to more
slides down smooth polished rock and granite secrets galore. It’s kind of like a water park. Seth considers
Lion Creek to be a “must do” and Boundary Creek is a 15-mile long Class IV+ rapid that’s totally out of this
world. Kayaking, filming, and amphibipong (a ping pong table that doubles as a raft) all day, brews and
campfires on the riverside at night – you can’t beat that.
We next followed the Kootenai River all
the way from Libby, MT up to Nelson, British
Columbia hitting up big waterfalls, huge
rapids, and world class play waves along the
way. The locals at the kayak shop outside of
Nelson showed us much love and gave us a
tour of all the local creeks. We even got to
witness local paddler Mikkel Duncan run
60-foot Big Beaver Falls! He had so much
fun, he decided to jump in and finish the
tour with us. We pointed Baby west and set
out for the coast.
The last leg of the journey was a doozie.
Baby was getting tired and our passage
through the Canadian Rockies to the coast
did not come without incident. She didn’t
take too well to the 9-10% grade on the
passes and required a fair amount of
roadside tweaking to keep her rolling.
Along with running on anything from
restaurant grease to fish oil to commercial
biodiesel, Baby also captures solar, wind,
and kinetic energy that is stored in 14
on-board batteries for later use as
electricity. It’s basically a sustainability
machine and a proven road warrior. That
said, even beasts like her need some R&R at
some point and we were pushing it as it
was. But Baby performed like the superstar
she is and came through yet again.
And good thing she did because the last
stop on the Elements Tour proved to be
among the most memorable of the entire
journey. We reached the Skookumchuck
Tidal Narrows on the summer solstice
during the biggest tidal difference of the
year – 18 feet! The ocean was cranking
through a small inlet along the Sunshine
Coast of B.C. The classic Skook wave starts
flowing when the lunar energy drives big
tides and we caught the biggest flow of the
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year as it forced its way through the


passage at over 17 knots! When such a mass
of water starts flowing this fast it creates
features one can’t even dream of. Waves
start forming and collapsing out of nowhere
Big Beaver Falls, Nelson and boats can be sucked completely below
British Colombia the surface. The power is overwhelming.
Surfing the tidal rapids of
Skookumchuck Narrows

(Right, top to bottom) 1-3, Super Wave, Kootenai River,


Kootnai Falls, Kootenai River in NW Montana, Brett
Ferre doing a front flip in his kayak

Tube Stake is a wave that appears out toward the middle of the
channel once a year when the tide reaches maximum velocity. A
massive tube starts to form, and only a few kayakers have
braved the challenge of surfing it. To date, almost no one has
received a consistent ride in the barrel. I worked with a couple of
talented locals, Emily and Dru, to capture the first ever still and
video footage down the barrel using a jet boat out in the center
of the channel. What a ride!
The Elements Tour was an epic journey. Nearly an entire year
spent following the life cycle of water while hanging out with
inspiring characters, experiencing stunning scenery and endless
outdoor adventure, and educating students and others about
renewable energy sources and how to live more sustainable
lifestyles. Overall, the tour put on more than 100 public events
in over 40 cities and spoke directly to about 10,000 students and
their teachers.
Seth is now back in Missoula working on producing his next
documentary, Nature Propelled (www.naturepropelled.com),
the follow-up to the award-winning Oil + Water (www.nrpw.
FALL 2009

com). Nature Propelled will premiere at the Wild & Scenic


Environmental Film Festival in January 2010 in Nevada City,
California. We are thrilled with all of the great footage we were
able to capture and pleased that actor Patrick Stewart has
agreed to narrate the upcoming film.
Many thanks to JPFreek for sharing the entire Elements Tour
adventure with us and to all of you for following along wherever
you are. See ya down the road!
WHITE WATER,
KAYAKS, &
GOOD TIMES
Text by Will Morgan
Photos by Will and Tina Marie

The return of spring each year brings the excitement and planning for all my upcoming adventures. Too
often when we talk about or think of Jeep trips we associate it with a wheeling adventure or expedition.
Some of my favorite moments in my Jeeps have been while traveling to or from a camping or hiking trip,
kayaking excursion, and even wintertime ski trips.
So the time had come when the temperatures had melted the snowcaps off of the mountain peaks and
it was time to trade the skis for kayaks and camping gear. Thus, we then needed to decide which direction
to head for some paddling. This year we headed out to the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming and the Black
Hills of South Dakota for some paddling. This part of the country had an enormous amount of snowfall
earlier this year so we knew we would be able to find the creeks and rivers full and flowing. It just came
down to rounding up a few friends and deciding which direction to head.
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FALL 2009
The Black Hills have several great spots in and around the scenic town of Spearfish. Spearfish is only 20 miles
away from the historic town of Deadwood where many of the famous outlaws of days gone by would spend their
time drinking, gambling, and thriving during the days of the gold rush. Some of the kayaking that can be found
around the area is on the Red Water, a class 1-2 waterway about five miles north of town. Spearfish Creek runs
through town and depending on the time of year, it can provide some good class 2-3 rapids and a scenic setting.
During the spring runoff, Spearfish Canyon located just outside of town also has some short season paddling
offering class 3-4 rapids.
Wyoming also has many places that offer some good water for all classes of kayakers. On the east side of the Big
Horns, the areas around Sheridan, Buffalo, Dayton, and Story offer class 1-3 paddling along certain areas of the Big
and Little Goose, Piney Creek, Clear Creek, and the Tongue River. The west side of the state has several areas
around Cody and the entrance to Yellowstone which can give kayakers who want class 3-5 rapids a place to play.
FALL 2009
FALL 2009
White water kayaking is a great way to get out and enjoy natures
surroundings, and there is a certain spirituality about being taken
downstream by the force of the water and yet being able to quietly
come upon wildlife in its natural habitat, as well as get the chance to
observe them in their natural surroundings. Being able to see what
millions of years of water flowing through a canyon creating sheer cliff
walls where the eagles fly, or paddling through a heavily treed creek
creates a timeless sense of tranquility that can’t be found in any yoga
class, book club, or self-help seminar. It can only be found outdoors.
Other times it’s simply being out and enjoying the day or weekend
with friends and having some fun.
When it came time to transport our equipment from one creek or river to another,
we utilized our Yakima “Big Stack” kayak rack that we decided to test this season. I was
very impressed with the quality and ease of use with this universal kayak carrier
system. Yakima is one of the widely recognized names in the carrier industry with
their product line of kayak, ski, and bike racks and we wanted to really see how their
product held up for our demands. We have been pleasantly surprised at the quality,
pricing, and overall design of the rack and how it held up to our use of it and how well
it transported our boats as we traveled around looking for the next place to put our
kayaks in. So if you are a kayaker yourself and are in need of a rack system to transport
your boats, check Yakima and their product line out at www.yakima.com.
The next time you’re looking for an adventure to have in your Jeep,
don’t limit yourself to trying to find a trail to go wheeling on. There
are so many destinations and opportunities to enjoy every season
that a Jeep can take you to. Although wheeling in a Jeep is one of my
favorite pastimes, I have found that these great vehicles can provide
so much more. So until the next adventure, happy wheeling, safe
travels, and “Get out there.”
FALL 2009
Our mission is to empower generations to enjoy the outdoors
responsibly through education and stewardship. So join us. Try
to use existing campsites, camp at least 200 feet from lakes and
streams and pack out what you pack in. For more ways to
minimize your impact while camping, go to www.treadlightly.org
or call 1-800-966-9900.

©2005 Tread Lightly!

The Gas Can


Designed to Work, Built to Last

Approved to 64,000 BTU


www.campfireinacan.com
702-355-9338
patent pending
FALL 2009

August - Photo of the Month - Tennessee Mountains, by Bryan Bezpiaty


FALL 2009

JEEP JAMBOREE
PHOTO ALBUM
July - Photo of the Month - Moab, by Tom White
FALL 2009

June - Photo of the Month - Moab, by Dennis Wong


The 411 on Converting to Disc Brakes for
Your TJ’s Rear End
Text by Ken Damico, Photos courtesy of Stu Olson & William Tarrh

As you may know, there are numerous advantages to doing a


disc brake upgrade to your TJ. From increased backward braking
power (you won’t roll backwards anymore!) to not needing to
readjust or clean your drums after every outing, these upgrades
go a long way to giving peace of mind on safety when wheeling
with your family. Therefore, when my drums wore our recently,
resulting in some backwards rolling in Colorado, I decided to go
forward with the upgrade. You can go about this a few different
ways.

#1 - If you have the time, visit a junkyard and search for a 95-98
ZJ Grand Cherokee rear disc brake system as this is a direct bolt-
on to your TJ (D35 or D44 axle) and can give you disc brakes
in the rear for about $200-$300 depending where you find your
parts. Make sure to salvage and/or purchase the following:

(2) Braking Plates/Caliper adapters


(2) Calipers
(2) Emergency Cables
(2) Rotors
(4) Brake Pads
(4) Bolts to attach the Calipers to the Baking Plates/Caliper
adapters

#2 - Crown Automotive (an OE manufacturer of Jeep parts) puts


the ZJ assembly together for you with all new parts and will save
SUMMER 2009

the time and hassle of looking for option #1. The kit costs about
$450-499.

#3 - Teraflex manufacturers a similar kit that is slightly more


expensive at $539.95. I do think this kit is slightly better
manufactured than the Crown kit though the rotor size and basic
performance specs are the same. They do, however, give you use
of a dual bolt pattern on your rear between 5x4.5 and the 5x5.5
bolt pattern.
I decided on the Crown kit because it is cheaper and they said
it would work with the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) currently
installed in my 99 TJ. BE WARNED: This isn’t true! After installing
the kit, I discovered that there is no way to mount the ABS sensors
from the drum brakes onto the backing plate of the disk brakes.
Quite simply, there is no room. So, if you have ABS, you will need
to disable it by yanking the relays in the PDC (power distribution
center) under the hood.

How did the installation go, you ask? Well, for the most part, pretty
well. For someone who knows his or her stuff, this is a two-three
hour conversion. For me, working alone, it took slightly longer
(mostly because the diff cover bolts on my new Riddler diff cover
could not be torqued up to spec without breaking). The Riddler
diff cover is great if you want to take this chance to reinforce your
pumpkin... just use your stock bolts (or, new grade 8s from the
hardware store).

I found that the instructions provided with the Crown kit were a
bit lacking, so I used a combination approach which made use of
Stu Olson’s write-up (if you haven’t been to his site, he does great
write-ups on all things TJ) and another one I found at links4jeeps.
com.

All in all, my braking power has improved dramatically from my


finicky drums. My brakes won’t gunk up anymore, and I won’t roll
backwards again. I highly recommend making this change to your
TJ!

· If you have any questions, ask me at ken@rompalicious.com

SUMMER 2009
m a in th e
Kar
d
Freek Techniques

Jeep W or l
Text and Photos by Mark Filonowich
N 47° 28.320’ W 092° 27.070’

Recently, I was on a camping trip with my son and we were phia, and I was supposed to be on that plane. With the
sitting around the campfire telling stories. He’s only 9, but a steering wobbling furiously and the airport a couple of hours
very bright kid and we talk about some pretty amazing away, things were not looking so good. But, let me back up a
concepts. The subject of Karma came up (if you do good few steps to fill you in on how this Jeep got to be broken
things, good things will happen to you — if you do bad down on the side of the road…
things, bad things will happen to you) and I shared with him For 19 years I have been a Big Brother to 3 different young
this story from my own Jeeping experiences. He understood men. One of them happened to be my “Little” when the Jeep
the concept right away, and is now pretty sure that somehow, bug bit me for the second time. Not surprisingly, Kevin fell in
somewhere, the world’s harmonic balance will be restored love with Jeeps as well and even wrote his school report on
with a Craftsman ½” combination wrench. He also didn’t my Scrambler project. He and I wheeled together around
hesitate telling me that this story should be the next column I Minnesota and Wisconsin, but eventually Kevin grew up and
write for JPFreek. I hope you enjoy the tale as much as he did. moved away. He never lost the love for Jeeps though, and still
Once upon a time in a land far, far away (OK…it was 2004 drives one every day. He ended up in Delaware, and joined a
and took place at Paragon Adventure Park in Pennsylvania local club that would regularly trail ride at Paragon. It wasn’t
which is still technically a long way from Minnesota), there too long before I had an invitation to join him for some East
was a broken down Jeep. It was a good Jeep that had just Coast wheeling.
enjoyed a fantastic couple of days wheeling, but now needed The club was planning a Saturday run, so I flew in on Friday
to get back on the road. A plane was leaving from Philadel- night. By Saturday morning we had a convoy of Jeeps head-
ing down the road. Great people, great fun, great trails…
everything you hope for on a wheeling adventure.
A quick sidebar about this club: they are working to restore
the “Jeep wave.” If any club member is found guilty of driving
their own Jeep and not waving to another Jeep on the road,
they are forced to wear a “monkey on their back” (actually it’s
a stuffed monkey attached to the spare tire). The monkey
stays until someone else forgets the wave. It was kind of
funny watching as everyone in the convoy waved vigorously
SUMMER 2009

enough to be noticed not only by the oncoming Jeep, but


also by others in the group.
The club ride was Saturday only, so Sunday morning found
us in the parking lot, waiting for someone else to show up.
Paragon’s rule was “minimum group of three”. The two guys
that showed up next were equally happy to find us so we
could start exploring together.
It turned out to be another great day that wrapped up with
us following a creek bed down to a lake, then turning around
and needing to pop out up on the core road. The popping out
part of my plan wasn’t working, however, and it required a bit
of creative driving to get Kevin’s Jeep up and out. Once there,
we quickly strapped the others up and headed for the gate.
Plenty of time to catch my plane…
At trail speeds, Kevin’s Jeep drove just fine, but as soon as we
pulled out onto the highway it was clear something was
wrong. A quick inspection identified a missing track bar bolt…
a critical component to the steering gear. Kevin grabbed his
“tools” (a screwdriver, a pliers, and an adjustable wrench) and I
started looking for a non-critical bolt the right size that we could pirate from some other part of the Jeep. About that time, one
of our new trail buddies saw us on the side of the road and stopped to see if he could help out. He dug around in his tool box,
found a nut and bolt and handed me his wrench. Perfect fit, problem solved.
Then he reached into the box and found another nut and bolt. “You might need a spare,” he said. When I handed back the
wrench, he put Karma into motion for me. “Keep the wrench. If that bolt comes loose again, you’ll need the wrench a whole lot
more than I will.” A quick look at my watch reminded me that we had to get going if we were going to get to Philly in time to
make my flight.
As I sat on the plane later that evening, I thought about that wrench,
now sitting in Kevin’s toolbox. I have half a dozen just like it at home,
in my shop, or in the console of my truck, but at that moment in time,
sitting on the side of the road, it was a priceless gift that sent me
homeward bound. Somehow, somewhere, I will be called upon to
loan a tool to someone. I will give away that tool freely, with no
regrets, because I was lucky enough to have someone give me one
when I desperately needed it.
If Karma is real, I surely don’t want to be on the wrong side of it. My
son understood the concept and agreed it would be best to do good
things often and bad things never. As the campfire burned down, I
knew that quality time like that, with a successful outcome (he’ll be a
teenager soon enough) was time well spent. I hope the story works
for you as well.
And if you happen to be driving along in Delaware and see a white
TJ with a monkey on the spare tire and broken down on the side of
the road, please stop and help him out. I’m pretty sure Kevin still
doesn’t carry a toolbox with anything more than four pieces!

Iron Range Offroad offers a comprehensive training course geared toward entry level Jeepers that stresses
safety and environmental responsibility. The classroom setting is the spectacular Iron Range OHV park, 3 hours
north of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Trail riding is integrated with class modules covering trip preparation, vehicle
maintenance and repair, driving skills for different terrain, extraction techniques, vehicle upgrades, and much
more. Learn more about offroad driving classes at:
s e a n d
Land U Along”
e Ribbon Coalition
Land Use & Access

e “ R i d
th Stacie Albright, Blue
&
By Del

Getting to know our politicians so that we can get them congressperson and ask for an appointment with a Field
on our side is probably the biggest challenge we face as Representative. Come prepared to introduce yourself,
off-highway enthusiasts in the upcoming years, and your concerns, and the objectives of your local club/
especially as we move into the future. Without their group. Be concise; be accurate; and be
support and active involvement in our sports, we’re non-confrontational.
doomed. Leave them with an invitation to join you/your group
I know that might sound harsh to some of you; but the on a club run. I like to think of it as a ride-along. Pick
handwriting is on the wall. There’s only so much our something scenic but not too rough. Follow up your
local, state and national organizations can do for us. invite with a phone call to ensure they make it. Be
We’re extremely out-numbered by those who would persistent. Get them on the trail! There’s nothing more
rather see us park anything with motors. We need to get convincing than an actual experience. The ride-along
our elected officials on board and singing our tune! idea has no equal in my book. They’ll feel what we feel;
Federal lands are being “closed unless signed open.” smell what we smell; and learn what it is that rings our
Roads are being closed by the thousands of miles per bell!
year. Our opponents are swaying legislators and public Attend a few of their fund raising or “town hall” type
officials to reduce the use of motorized equipment all meetings. Wear your club patch/hat. Get a vest and sew
over the nation. If you start adding up the figures, there’s patches all over it that represent the organizations you
no one sport that’s safe (save walking). Boating is under belong too. Show them you’re proud of what you do and
major attack. Dirt biking and four-wheeling are targets of believe in. Make sure they know you’re “out there.”
obliteration. Even mountain biking is prohibited in We must make these efforts to get our politicians
wilderness areas. Snowmobiles are being pushed out of involved in our sports. They don’t have to be
the high country in the west. motorheads; but they do need to understand the thrill
Where will it end? Your guess is as good as mine. But and excitement, as well as learning, that we experience
we’ve got to whip up our fight to a new frenzy. And that as we adventure out into the wilds of this great country.
means politicians. The folks we elect are the folks who Good luck.
can keep our sports alive.
How do we get them involved? It’s not that hard. First
off, get involved in an organized group that represents
what you like to do. Send some money to a national
group that is working to enhance your sport. Donate to a
FALL 2009

legal defense fund. THEN, start making a concerted effort


to know your local politicians. Call the field office of your
Because the shirt
you’re wearing

Land Use & Access


is ugly.

FALL 2009

Introducing the JPFreek Apparel Line


Now available through Allthingsjeep.com
Congrats Diane Zalman (DZ Jeep Chic): Arizona U.S.A.!
You won the Epicurean cutting board give-away. Thanks
for sharing your awesome recipe!

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_____________________________
Variations: ________________________
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_____________________________ d of meat; try it with chopped leftover
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________________
FALL 2009

_____________________________
_____________________________
________________
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________________
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________________
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________________
Epicurean Cutting Board
Give-away
Recipe Winner
Sponsored by:

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Congrats Alison! You won the Epicurean
cutting board give-away. Thanks for sharing
your awesome recipe!

_____–_– __Ad
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_____________________________
Variations: ________________________
_____________________________
_____________________________
This dish is delicious with any kin ________________
_____________________________ d of meat; try it with chopped leftover
_____________________________
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_____________________________
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FALL 2009
7 Bar Grille
Chef Gear Review
Real items for real adventure
and real trail use!
MAN PANS
By: Chef Mark DeNittis

Move over Julia Child and Betty Crocker cooking clubs of yesteryear, today’s chefs
and food enthusiasts aren’t just Suzy Homemaker anymore. Enter the Man Pan.

Sure, I’d like to see someone say “cooking is for girls” these days to somebody like
Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen…or even say it to me for that matter! Bring it, and
that is just what Man Pans has done!
Having this pan myself since it was still in the prototype phases, I have trail-tested
this pan on numerous occasions both out on the trail as well in my home kitchen. It
is a useful tool for sauté, wok-style cooking, boiling water, cooking pasta as well
pasta dishes, soups, stir fry, or even one pot meals such as stews or braised dishes. It
performs in the house just as well as it does on the trail.

Adventure usefulness and/or Jeep usefulness:    


The Man Pan fits fairly well in an off-highway camp kit much more easily than it
does in a backpacker’s trail kit.
The handle, which has a great purposeful design, has its own slight issue being that
it’s in a fixed location and might potentially lend to it taking up extra space or
making it slightly tougher to pack. Nonetheless, The Man Pan’s superbly designed,
lightweight nature and overall handle design usefulness does balance it out as an
adventure savvy trail companion.

Durability of the item in the field:     


Lightweight it might be but I would consider it to be a heavyweight
contender in durability. Construction is geared towards commercial use,
and anybody that has worked in a restaurant/hotel/food service kitchen
can attest to the beatings that pans take. Similar, cheap imitation pans
made overseas might be considerably less expensive but guess what,
you get what you pay for! Similar cheap pans would become loose and
FALL 2009

breakdown easily under pressure.


The Man Pan has been industry proven as it is used in several national
chain restaurants. It can “Take a high heat licking and keep on ticking!”
The one-piece handle itself is attached/riveted at four points from the
inside with the handle integrated attachment point on the outside. This
means your wife can smack you upside the head multiple times and the
handle will not loosen from the pan.
Value of product in relation to competitors’ product:     
The fact that these pans are made in the good ole’ USA and secondly in an Eco-Friendly
manner is of significant value within itself. As far as what the product costs, it certainly may
seem expensive to the average Joe or Jane but by far there is no comparison in the quality of
the finished product. Placed side by side with other contenders in this particular pan category
the cost is comparable. The exceptional and added value amongst its competitors in the same
range is certainly strength, durability, and design.
Additionally, the design itself incorporates methods of material forming for impressive H.E.T.
(heat-energy-transfer) efficiency (like an R.T.I. ramp but for pans). This process gives the ability
of lowering the heat source by up to 40% while still generating the same effects as if it were a
full, high heat flame. This is the Man Pan claim and trail-tested and proven result. The Man Pan
won’t sit in the garage or storage unit lonely with your other camp cookware. The Man Pan
demands more than that. Its value is additionally shown in the ability to have it as an everyday
home use pan. The wife just might actually get jealous if she doesn’t use it to smack you
upside the head (remember, it is durable).

Quality of product:     
Designed by “a team of top industry engineers and experts” (possibly including wives, just a
theory I have), the materials and design factors that went into the Man Pan shine through
when in use and it shows. From the technologically superior design components such as the
ultra durable cool grip handle and natural non-stick nature (Gen-X2, see information in
manufacturer specifications), the Man Pan delivers (insert Tim the Tool-Man grunts here).
Similar cheap imitator pans use Teflon for non-stick. Let’s be honest here: How many Teflon
pans have you thrown out (I HOPE YOU HAVE) because of flaking Teflon surfaces?
The integrated natural non-stick surface of the Man Pans comes from the pan making and
metal forming/layering process itself. The claims of scratching with a coin hold true, I have
done it myself, try that on a Teflon pan!
The cool grip handle design is purposeful and two fold.
The design itself and metal used keep the handle from getting the O.S.T.H.H.G. Factor (Oh
S&%T that’s a Hot Handle Grab Factor) you have experienced while being camp chef. C’mon
you know those “Wish I had the video camera AFV home video moments.”
The handle is further designed to be non-slip, which is a great added benefit. Industry pans
often have “handle rubbers” that are just plain worthless and make the pan even more
dangerous to handle.

Ease of use:     
Pretty simple here. Put over medium - high heat, add in a cooking
medium (such as cooking oil not 30w or 40w), some food, and …
FALL 2009

cook away! Don’t worry about delicate clean-up either. Get in


there and “Git ‘er Done!” without worry of scratching that
precious Teflon coating!

For more information about The Man Pan,


please visit www.lloydpans.com
Find it
On the Blog
RECIPES

• Roasted Green Chile Pepper Sausage, Cheese


and Egg Burritos

• Pinwheels of Hot Smoked Salmon Tortilla Wrap


with Las Cruces Green Chile Challenge Sour
Cream and Spring Onions

• Seared Pork Cutlets with Creamy, Porcini Laced


Chef Mark DeNittis Cabbage and Potato Stew
Host & Director of The 7 Bar Grille, • Torpedo Farms Roasted Pepper Sausage Frittata
JPFreek’s Camp Cooking Video Series
Chef Mark M. DeNittis, President of Rocky • Alaskan Cod a la Moab
Mountain Trade Enterprise, oversees
multiple businesses and has been a • Many more recipes from the 7 Bar Grille staff!
longstanding Chef Instructor at Johnson &
www.7bargrille.wordpress.com
Wales University, Denver. His accolades and

Find it in
recognitions in both the Culinary and
Off-highway world have created the
framework to bring Jeep vehicles and

7BG Kitchen
cuisine to new heights. Chef D joins forces
with the JPFreek family to further the
grand vision of the Jeep lifestyle and
“wicked killah” food.

Buy Chef D’s Offroad inspired cookbook:

FALL 2009

The 7 Bar Grille Culinary Modification Tools!

A “Trail Proven” line of original spices and drink mixes.


CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW
Now for sale @ www.rompalicious.com
Base Camp with Style
Snow Peak has been the innovator of getting your whole family
Roughing it just got a lot more comfortable. outdoors for 50 years. Set up a base camp for all your needs.

For more information please visit: www.snowpeak.com