The story of how I became a Jeep fanatic overnight.


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Never buy a Jeep from a fellow asking $5500 when he jumps at your offer of $4500. I've put almost $3000 in it and have another 3 grand to go before I'll be comfortable turning over the keys to my son Brenden when he turns 16. His grandfather had a jeep, and having lost him to early in his life to cancer, Brenden associates Jeeps strongly with his grandfather. He didn't care one whit that the Jeep was kind of a beater. He said it gave it "character". Brenden is 14 1/2 and I'll be driving it for the next year and a half until he gets his license. Having had a 6 level lumbar fusion, I am no longer able to wrench, so I have to take my Jeep to a specialist for any work that needs to be done. Harmon Four Wheel Drive is the most reputable place in town, so that's where I go. While I was there one day waiting to pay for the current work being done, I noticed a flyer for a group called "Extreme 4 Wheelin" that was having a novice run in Disney OK by Grand Lake. I thought this would be a great chance to take my son and his best friend out for a "test drive". Now his best friend is a great kid, but he comes from money, and told my son Brenden, "Man, that thing is a real POS!". But, nevertheless, he joined us for our maiden voyage. There were plenty of expert 4 wheelers to keep an eye on us novices (that's a laugh. Is there a name for someone below a novice on the food chain?). We ended up at the back of the pack with a very helpful man and his wife, who had an ungodly rig, but were right there with helpful advice if it was needed. We got so far back of the pack that I could no longer see the vehicle in front of us, and we reached a big circle in the trail that seemed to be a dead end. I drove around the circle while he waited at the entrance. When I came back around I made the shoulder shrug gesture as if to say, "Where to now?" He pointed to a trail of loose dirt that ran about a hundred yards up an incredibly steep grade- certainly not one for a novice! I shook my head "NO FRIGGIN WAY!!" He gestured again at the trail like "No problem! Go for it!" So, I dropper her down in to 4 wheel low and pulled up to the bottom of the trail. Both boys where saying, "We're not really going to do this are we??", but I was committed now. Taking a deep breath and saying a silent prayer, began the ascent. We were going slow, letting the Jeep do the work, but Holy Crap we were actually climbing it! We got to the top with a white knuckled, heart pounding sigh of relief, and saw the end of the line of the other Jeeps. I turned around to our expert guides and gave the arm pump with a big "We Did It!!". He just smiled. Now I didn't know if he was saying I told you so, or just wait and see what's coming up next. For the next two hours we climbed hills, each bigger and more challenging than the next, and drove trails that were of the sort that were just waiting for one false move to take out a tranny, an axle, or any other part under the Jeep if I didn't keep a perfect line. At the end of this two hours of terrifying, exhilarating, adrenalin pumping ride, I felt a confidence, not only in the junk heap we called our Jeep, but in myself. I did not feel that this was a novice ride since several people people got themselves in to predicaments that called for winches and tow straps to dislodge them, but I truly felt that I have some kind of knack for this sort of thing. That was it. I was Bitten by the Bug! My son's friend admitted a new-found admiration for my son's soon-to-be-his Jeep. He (and my son) admitted that with every new twist, turn, uphill and downhill section, they both thought, "No Way!" The fact that we made it without breaking any parts (or any heads) gave them the same exhilaration that I felt. I turned to my son and asked, "Are you a Jeep owner, or an Off Roader?". Without hesitation, he turned to me with the most serious look I've ever seen on his face and said, "An off-roader". So, to end this tale, I told my wife that we can forget boats, jet skis, and every other weekend plaything. From now on we are a Jeep family. I can't wait until the new leaf springs and tires have been installed so I can take her to the same place and the same trails. My wife loves 4 wheeling, also a love she shared with her dad, and laughs and squeals with delight when off-roading. So when Brenden gets this Jeep, I get to go buy my own, and we can be each other's spotters. I cannot wait until that day!. I've watched your videos on YouTube, and read your posts, so I'll get the Rubicon Unlimited I've been drooling after. Probably with automatic transmission, though that goes against every fiber of my being. Please tell me how strong and problem free and trail-tough they are before I change my mind. :thumb:. Until then, I'll enjoy waving at every Jeep I pass, bonding with others who share this love of nature and machine united as one. My bucket list is now filled with nothing but trails I mean to conquer, like Moab and Rubicon, and a thousand other famous as well as unknown trails. I can't wait to drive 1600 miles down I-40 to meet you all, and to join you on these adventures that so few have the honor and privilege of experiencing. I look forward to the day that I am the expert, guiding a novice up, down and through the seemingly impossible. Until then, keep the muddy side down, and happy trails! I'll be with you in spirit until I can join you in ernest.

Sincerely, Nlitend, aka David


New member
Helluva story (look another hella reference :rock:) Welcome to the addiction and thanks for sharing that with us. :standing wave:


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Having owned our Jk only 2 1/2 years. I did get the chance to share the first year and a half with son. We started riding dirt bikes together when he was seven years old. We got this Jk when he was 17. One year or going camping, off-roading and exploring trails we used only talk about. We did try and take a trail in our F-350. Boy was that ugly. I tell ya, during that year we both learned a lot. Not only about off-roading. But that we both truly enjoy being with each other. Now my son is 19 and is a Marine. We got lucky and he was stationed here in San Diego. He is about 2 1/2 hours from home. As you can imagine, we are very thankful. Not a day goes by that we don't talk or text each other. He loved our jeep and what we did and the places we went, he purchased one for himself. I sold out truck and gave him all the money so he can mod his JKU. He is one happy guy right now.

I woe have never thought a jeep could help a father and son become so close. Had I known that, I would have owned a jeep from day one. Brother, enjoy the great times that lay infront of you and your son. I know I do.
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