Forum User Name: Sarah Caldwell
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"My name is Sarah Caldwell and I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area. My off road life began some 10 years ago by accident. I had just recently had major upheavals in my life, leaving a marriage to my 2nd husband and selling my interest in a family business. I joined corporate America and moved to Chattanooga, TN, where I joined a hiking club to make new friends. I quickly found myself traveling the forest service roads of Tennessee and Georgia in my Mercedes convertible. One day I popped into a co-workers office and announced I needed to buy a “beater Jeep”. My co-worker promptly said “I don't see you in a Jeep, I see you in a classic Land Rover”. At the time I had no idea what he was talking about, so he offered to take me to see one. Later that day I stood in front of a 1976 Land Rover Series II 109 and I was hooked. Long story short, I bought that truck, never truly off-roaded it, married that co-worker, sold the truck and bought my 1st LR Discovery. Since then I have joined the off-road community with enthusiasm, becoming a trail leader and volunteer organizer for the club that taught me the basics of off-roading. I currently am working towards my certification with the I4WDTA. It’s an amazing journey for a lady who used to quip “my idea of camping is the Red Roof Inn”. I now do some consulting for small businesses in between travel and working on my six British cars."
Birthday: February 10, 1959
Read Sarah's Articles
Questions & Answers
Q: What is your favorite color?
Q: What is your favorite food?
Q: Do you have kids?
A: "I have one daughter named Julie, she is 32."
Q: Do you have any pets?
Sarah's Off-Road Facts:
Q: How old were you when you first started wheeling?
A: "I was 49."
Q: Are you usually the driver or the co-driver?
A: "I usually drive."
Q: Do you have any off-road traditions or rituals?
Q: How often do you get to go off-roading?
A: "Unfortunately, only several times a year when we can load up and head out west. The southeast does not offer a lot of wheeling locations that I enjoy."
Q: How did you get started in the off-road world?
A: "In 2009 I bought a 1976 Land Rover Series II 109 to ferry my hiking club on forest service roads. It's a long story."
Q: Where is your favorite place to wheel?
A: "Ouray, Colorado."
Q: Do you belong to an off-road club? Which one? What is their motto/mission?
A: "I am actively involved with the Land Rover club community and I am a member of Texas Rovers, SOLAROS and Carolina Rovers Owner Club. I am a member of Tread Lightly."
Q: What is on your off-roading bucket-list?
A: "I want to complete the TransAmerica trail and I want to reach the Arctic Circle. I plan to participate in the Rebelle Rally and I want to get to know desert environments better."
Q: How are you active in the off-road world?
A: "I am currently working on achieving my I4WDTA training certification."
Sarah's Off-Road Stories:
Q: What is your most memorable offroad moment?
A: "My husband and I were in Colorado on our first solo trip. I was driving up Governor’s Basin for what seemed like an eternity. I remember all I could see off the passenger’s side of the truck was sky. I was nearing the end of the trail and could see the turn around about 20 feet in front of me, when I stopped. My husband said you have plenty of trail on my side - and I sat there. He opened the door and looked out and repeated himself that there was plenty of trail and I responded “I can’t”. He repeated something along the lines of you have pretty of trail, and again encouraged me to drive the 20 feet where we could turn around, get out and enjoy the view. That was the day I learned all about adrenaline and how it can physically freeze you in place. My head knew I had plenty of trail, but my body would not respond to make my foot operate that truck. I got out of the truck, my husband jumped in and 5 seconds later the truck was turned around and waiting to make the trip down. The picture we took hangs over the fireplace mantle in my living room and I remember that moment like it was yesterday. It is, by far, my favorite photograph ever taken in my off road adventures."
Q: What was your first wheeling trip?
A: "We took our stock 2004 Land Rover Disco (with bald street tires) to a Texas Rovers event. Club members led us out on the trails and the truck did everything that their highly modified trucks did. I was hooked."
Q: What was your longest wheeling trip?
A: "Wheeling in Colorado and Utah."
All About the Ladies:
Q: Who do you look up to in the industry? Why?
A: "Bill Burke has been a mentor to me. I was lucky to have the opportunity to take a class of his early in my wheeling life, and safety has been emblazoned on my brain ever since. I never miss an opportunity to spend time with him or take a class with him."
Q: How do you feel as a woman in the off-road industry?
A: "I feel the off road community as a whole embraces individuals for who they truly are, and not for what they have or what they do for a living."
Q: Give us a story, any story, about educating, guiding, empowering ladies in the off-road, past or future:
A: "I am a trail leader for the Texas Rovers club and 3 years ago I started an annual Ladies Only trail run at the SCARR event – The Barbara Toy Tribute Trail Run. The trail run is successfully mentoring women to get out of the passenger seat and behind the wheel."
Q: What advice do you have for ladies who want to get started off-roading?
A: "Take a training class or find a mentor. This isn’t rocket science, but there are basic principles involved in off-roading that your buddy or your boyfriend or husband may not be able to teach you."
"2003 Land Rover Discovery II"
Q: Does your vehicle also serve as a daily driver?
Q:What is the best modification you have done to your vehicle?
A: "It probably sounds silly, but we ran a beer tap to the back door of our truck that hooks up to our 13 gallon water tank. It gets quite a lot of attention, especially from law enforcement."
Q: Do you work on your own vehicle?
A: "I don't work on any of my vehicles that are newer than 1976."
Vehicle Type: Discovery II G4 challenge truck
Builder: Land Rover
Tire Make/Size: Cooper STT Pro 265/75R16
Front Suspension: 2” Terrafirma
Front Shocks: Terrafirma heavy duty
Rear Suspension: Koni
Rear Shocks: Terrafirma heavy duty
Front Differential/Locker: ARB Air
Front Steering Components: Heavy Duty Overtym Fabrication Steering Arms
Rear Differential/Locker: ARB Air
Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s): Stock 3.54:1
Engine Manufacturer: Rover 4.6L low compression
Air Intake: Mantech Snorkel with breather kit
Winches - Front/Rear Brand & Capacity: Superwinch