Author: Nicole Honstead
"Nicole has some off-road experience on her local trails, as well as at Tierra Del Sol where she has learned many off-road skills as well as developed her love of off-roading. She is pursuing a job in local law enforcement, and has shot competitively at the American Criminal Justice Association's Regional conference where their team brought home 9 trophies. Nicole is has four kids and currently works as a substitute teacher, a bookkeeper, and a bartender at Del Mar Race track during race season. She also has a passion for horses."
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Tell us about yourself, hobbies, etc:
“I am a substitute teacher and a bookkeeper living in Lakeside, CA. I am a mom to four amazingly smart kids. I also bartend at the Del Mar Racetrack during the race season. I enjoy serving others and being around horses. I competed for the UCSD Equestrian Team while I was there. I have a life long passion for horses and horseback riding. I am a UCSD alumni and I also have my degree in Forensic Science from Grossmont College. I have been pursuing a job within local law enforcement’s Forensics Division. That is how I got my firearms experience. I shot competitively at the American Criminal Justice Association’s Regional Conference. My team brought home 9 trophies. I also love working on my CJ7.”
How long have you been offroading?
“I have been off-roading since I first took my CJ-7 to Tierra Del Sol in 2002. As a kid, I was the passenger on my dad’s off-road treks quite often.”
How did you get into offroading?
“My father enjoyed road trips and would regularly take us on weekend drives throughout the states. He always wanted to travel on roads that he hadn’t driven on before, and he never really liked to back-track. Since his 1980 Scout Traveler had 4-wheel drive, it didn’t matter if the road was paved or not, he would take it!”
Tell us about your vehicle:
“She is an ‘84 Jeep CJ-7, 286 in-line 6 with 4-inch Skyjacker lift, 2-inch body lift, KC HiLites, Bilstein shocks, and 33-inch tires. Her name is Christine. The most memorable part is her ‘Cattle Catcher’ front bumper.”
What has been your favorite off-road experience?
“My first Tierra Del Sol experience in 2002.”
What was your most exciting off-road achievement?
“Going straight up a five-foot dirt wall without stalling, and keeping up with the other, more built-up, Jeeps.”
What excites you about off-roading?
“Maneuvering through a challenging course and making it through in one piece.”
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of off-roading?
“Your rig’s actual capability is probably the most challenging part. I don’t have detachable sway bars, so that limits the extension of my tires. Therefore, I have to know if my rig will physically be able to navigate a difficult part of the course. It is also carbureted so I have to consider the incline of the course to prevent it from stalling out and putting me in a risky situation.”
Which aspect of off-roading do you think is the most fun?
“I love driving, I always have. My dream as a kid was driving down a desert road in a Jeep, with my dog by my side. I made that a reality. I love the wind in my hair and the desert air. I love experiencing dawn and dusk on the trail. I love the sound of my tires and the bumps in the rad. I love the camaraderie and the challenge of going off-road. (I think I just wrote a poem!)”
What does prepping for an adventure look like in your world?
“Making sure the rig is in a reliable state is pretty much how I prep. I would practice with all my gear before trying it out in the field. I would take everything I needed and leave the extras at home. I make sure that I am self-sufficient and organized.”
What is on your off-roading bucket list?
“The Rebelle Rally, Rubicon Trail, Moab, and Tierra Del Sol (not miss a single year of it).”
Tell us about your typical off-roading companions:
“I went to TDS alone, but I spent my time with the ORW employees. I do like to be a part of off-road clubs, and I have been a part of the Jeepaholics and the Creeps n Jeeps off-road clubs. I usually go off-roading with my husband.”
What is a piece of advice you have been given that you instill in your offroading adventures?
“Be prepared for anything.”
Do you have anything else you would like to add?
“I’m inspired by motivated people and feel like Charlene is a highly motivated individual. I can’t help but be drawn to her and to the Ladies Offroad Challenge. Thank you so much for this opportunity and bringing us passionate, off-roading women together.”
Click here to see all the 2017 Ladies Offroad Challenge Entries.
Author: Nicole Honstead