November Member of the Month - how I got here.....

Cottontail

New member
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
First off - I am so honored! I truly love the sport of rock crawling, so thank you for thinking of me in this manner!

The path that brought me here really begins with my country upbringing.....I grew up on a small place in the country, so being outdoors working and playing is how life was for me. My dad taught me at an early age to drive stick in an old 47 Dodge truck with those cool wrap around windows. Wish I had that truck today! Anyway, basically I was always a tomboy! When I began dating my husband as a senior in high school it really was a perfect match! He loved everything outdoors also! He and his dad ran cattle on several leases of large property, and we loved driving around them in his 46 Willys Jeep - we even made it home several times without walking! lol

After we married we lived in San Antonio, but spent every weekend back home in the country terrorizing the dirt roads on dirt bikes or whoopies Artie made (nothing but frames and engines!), or jumping terraces in the old army jeep. It was great times --- but then came houses, bills and other obligations. He sold the old jeep and dirt bike and we acted like grown ups raising our two daughters and building our metal fabrication business. Not much time, or money for that matter, for play time in those growing years.

But we finally got back into off roading when Artie bought his pride and joy - a 77 Ford Bronco. We spent a week every summer we could in Colorado driving that Bronco on the logging/forestry roads. The mountains were cleansing and rejuvenating and we could not wait for the next years trip.
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When several of our friends bought side by side UTV's to play around in, we thought the Suzuki Samurai would suit our needs better. We wheeled this little rig at Texas Twister 2 at Trees Ranch and Rough Canyon in Del Rio. We got addicted to wheeling as we went to more and more events and parks.
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Move on to 2003 and Jeep's introduction to the "Rubicon" package on the TJ. Artie said, "Now that is the jeep I would love to have!" I reasoned that it could be my daily driver - so when they came out with the "Unlimited - LJ", I went out and bought one in 2005!
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The lease property had long years been let go and we had no property of our own to play in our new jeep, so we joined the San Antonio Jeep Exclusive Club so we could wheel on a ranch they had access to that was in Utopia, Texas - Artie's old stomping grounds and right in our backyard. As luck would have it however, we only went to the ranch ONE TIME before it was abandoned by the club. But it didn't take but that one time to realize we loved this thing called off roading and realized the Rubicon, as capable as it was, was not going to provide all the fun we wanted without modifying it more. Artie installed a 6" Nth Degree Lift Kit (I helped by reading the 50 page instruction manual), upgraded axles and added custom made (by Artie of course) bumpers, tire carrier and wench. Then off we went and proceeded to scratch and dent that brand new jeep.

From the beginning of our wheeling we have always enjoyed scouting new trails and cutting them for all to enjoy. I have to admit though, this is hard work at Trees Ranch that has tons of cedar........but a piece of cake at K2 with mostly rock and not much cutting at all! You win some - you work your butt off on some! I am also the daughter of a surveyor, so I have always been fascinated with maps and the process of making them. So when the need presented itself, I began collecting coordinates of all the trails and putting them to paper. I love a good map! And without good signage - maps are basically useless - so I have made trail signs to hopefully give everyone an easy time of finding trails.

As time went on we realized we wanted to do more extreme wheeling - but not destroy our Rubicon - so we began looking for a used rig that was well built and affordable. Enter Blue Balz - bought in 2007 on Ebay. Even though it was capable to begin with, Artie has spent countless hours changing and perfecting this rig. I owe all the fun I have wheeling to his excellent skills as a mechanic, fabricator, teacher and spotter! He has taught me so many things about driving, but I must admit I am hopeless when it comes to mechanical stuff! In one ear and out the other! I consider this my rig and i have had an absolute blast driving on pretty much every obstacle in area parks. We have traveled to Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Utah and Arizona - and loved every second of the off roading experience! I love the extreme stuff and am easily bored on less challenging terrain - unless the scenery is new and captivating! There are so many more places I want to go to also!
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So much of the fun of any sport is the people around you. And this group of folks that make up this forum are some of the best! I feel lucky to be a part!
 

OleCoot

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Very nice blog, Bunny :) and a great story.

thanks for sharing with us.

:thumbsup:
 
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Awesome Bill

Heysus Rojo
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
I've always thought of you guys as legends. Up until I meet y'all I referred to y'all as "the folks who made trails". Keep up the good work and thanks for all you've done for this sport so far!