Forum User Name: Northern Jeepher
Chat with Trisha
"I’m 29 years old and have lived in Upstate NY all of my life. I enjoy wheeling my Jeep, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and cooking, especially wild game. I have been dating an amazing man for 2 years, who happens to share a love for Jeeps, he even has a sick 82 Scrambler! I also have 2 adorable little fur babies named Banshee and Hachi, they are Shiba Inus and they love to keep me on my toes. I currently work as an administrator for a large university, but previously worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for a local veterinary hospital. I have 4 degrees total…and only use 1. I also value health and enjoy cooking healthy and working out at the gym. My New Year Resolution a few years ago was to lose 100 pounds, and I ended up losing 126! Since then I have been working on lifting and becoming more strong versus being a toothpick, but I love being fit and healthy! My dream is to move out west to enjoy all of the hobbies I love so much, with the man I love (I know, I’m a cheeseball)."
Occupation: Heavy Equipment Operator
Birthday: July 3, 1994
Read Trisha's Articles
Questions & Answers
Q: What is your favorite color?
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: "Asian stir-fry."
Q: Do you have kids?
A: "None yet, but I’m trying!! If I buy a 4 door Jeep Wrangler then you’ll know I’m expecting"
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: "2 fur puppies, Banshee and Hachi. They are both Shiba Inu’s. I would have at least 10 more but I’d be single forever."
Q: Do you take your pets off-roading?
A: "Yes, typically I take Banshee, my older pup. She has been wheeling with me since she was a puppy (she’s 12 now). She sits perfectly on the center armrest but she prefers to ride in the co-pilot seat."
Q: How old were you when you first started wheeling?
A: "Well if you count passenger riding, about 8. But driving…I didn’t get my Jeep until I was about 22, so about 8 years maybe?"
Q: Is your whole family into off-roading?
A: "I wish! My dad only had the worst of the worst old CJ’s that he’d take us kids out, get stuck almost every time, and end up walking home. I’m very much the black sheep of my family. Most of them think I’ve lost my mind, I think that’s a good thing!"
Q: Are you usually the driver or the co-driver?
A: "I have only rode with a handful of people, as I really prefer to be the driver. Call me a control freak, but I really enjoy being behind the wheel, especially if it’s my own rig!"
Q: Do you have any off-road traditions or rituals?
A: "No, but it would be fun to incorporate one!"
Q: How often do you get to go off-roading?
A: "I wish I could go several times a week, but unfortunately life gets in the way! I would be more than happy to even go offroading every weekend, but even that is sometimes difficult! We don’t have a lot of trails to choose from around us, and most of the time we are dependent on events taking place. During the warmer months this is a much more common thing, but things really slow down in the winter. We recently bought a gooseneck trailer so that we can haul our Jeeps further, hopefully to warmer places so we can still wheel year around!"
Q: How did you get started in the off-road world?
A: " I bought a Jeep Wrangler after I saved up all of my money from selling all of my junky vehicles. I had wanted one since I was little, and could finally afford one when I was about 22. I then started going to Jeep shows and realized all of the potential my jeep had in modifications. At first I only upgraded what I could afford and what I felt I could install myself. Then I started actually wheeling my Jeep and slowly realized what I really needed to invest in—tires, lift, bumpers, winch, and the list goes on."
Q: Where is your favorite place to wheel?
A: "I honestly love the times when a group of really good friends get together and drive the old four-wheeling trails in NY and PA. We would go up some difficult spots, but it was more about seeing the countryside. Everything from dirt roads, overgrown ATV trails, stone quarries, creeks (shhh), you name it. It is more of a bonding time than anything."
Q: Do you belong to an off-road club? Which one? What is their motto/mission?
A: "Yes, STORC (Southern Tier Off-Road Club). We are big into letting everyone and anyone in to the club and making them feel welcomed. Any make, model, or driver skill level is welcome."
Q: What is on your off-roading bucket-list?
A: "I would love to wheel the Rubicon Trail, or some other longer-distance trail ride. It would be a dream to take the west-coast down through Mexico. As for goals, I really would like to gain more confidence in my technical driving abilities, especially when it comes to rock crawling. "
Q: How are you active in the off-road world?
A: "I’d say I’m hit or miss. I have a lot of other hobbies, such as hunting and fishing that keep me away from the off-road community a couple months out of the year. I try to stay active in the local groups, along with the Ladies Offroad Network. I really enjoy participating in wheeling events and have recently been traveling to events that take place quite a distance away. It really is exciting to visit new places and to experience a new terrain and meet new wheelers."
Trisha's Off-Road Stories:
Q: What is your most memorable offroad moment?
A: "When I broke my arm and ribs wheeling one of my buddies rigs. I had an event scheduled that I didn’t want to miss out on. So I drove my Jeep 3 hours away and started wheeling it. I quickly found that the trails were extremely tight, and with one arm, found it very difficult to maneuver. My best friend was co-driving with me and together we managed to drive through all the courses, my good arm on one side of the wheel and his on the other. He passed away about 6 months later, and that memory will be special to me forever. He helped me get in and out of my Jeep every single time, and showed me that I was capable of anything, broken or not."
Q: What was your first wheeling trip?
A: "My first official wheeling trip was when I was maybe 8 or so. My father had an old CJ that he took the doors and top off, and of course lowered the windshield. We bombed around the woods until we found a nice mud hole and ended up walking home a few hours later, after trying to get out! But since then I have gone on several “successful” wheeling trips!"
Q: What was your longest wheeling trip?
A: " I wish I could say this was longer, but my longest wheeling trip was only a day and a half…something I aim to change for sure!"
Q: What was your favorite wheeling trip?
A: "My favorite wheeling trip was at Rausch Creek, when a good group of us got together and spent an entire weekend wheeling the toughest trails we could get our Jeeps on. This was also the first time I had ever rock crawled with my Jeep, or even experienced it at all! I was so naive that I even DROVE my Jeep there (it’s about 3 hours away from home), not realizing that the possibility of it breaking on the trails was high, especially with me being a new driver. I was scared to death probably 60% of the time, but in the end I learned so much about the capability of my Jeep and also about myself as a driver. I was very happy I pushed myself a little further than I was comfortable with."
Q: Who do you look up to in the industry? Why?
A: " I really look up to Jessi Combs, she has been an inspiration to me for a very long time, as she was always such a cute tiny thing, yet she was so empowered to do anything and everything that would be considered impossible by others. She not only is a master metal fabricator, but she is also a professional driver, and a land speed record holder. She is smart, daring, beautiful, and most importantly, down to earth. She has always empowered other women by reaching out to ladies through the RealDeal ladies network, a program that teaches young women how to do everything from weld, to pinstripe, and fabricate. A few years ago I was lucky enough to meet Charlene Bower, who I had previously saw on Poison Spyders video recap of KOH. I have a ever-lasting memory of her crushing the back door challenge and her amazing reaction afterwards. She has given me so many opportunities that I never would have had the past couple of years, that I am forever grateful for. Charlene is so smart, powerful, and dedicated to helping other women succeed in the off-road industry. These two ladies have so many qualities that I would like to work towards, and are truly an inspiration to many"
Q: How do you feel as a woman in the off-road industry?
A: "I feel like we are in a different era now. When I first started wheeling there was only a handful of ladies doing it, usually I was the only participating in any competition. Now I feel that more women than ever are participating in off-road events. I feel like there is still room to grow as far as the industry goes, but more and more companies are jumping on to encourage women and to welcome them. Many thanks to women like Jessi and Charlene!"
Q: Give us a story, any story, about educating, guiding, empowering ladies in the off-road, past or future:
A: " I have been lucky enough to be a part of the first Ladies Offroad Challenges, along with Ladies Garage, both that were amazing, life-changing events. These were the first events I had ever been a part of, that opened my eyes to the all opportunities that were possible to motivating women. This past spring I was part of the Ladies Wheeling Day at Broome Tioga, NY. It was a very successful event, that had a great turnout. It was so exciting to see women doing things they had never done before, and the excitement in their eyes. I am excited to contribute next year, and hope that even more women will be in attendance. I am also looking forward to other events that teach women more skills such as welding or off-road maintenance."
Q: What advice do you have for ladies who want to get started off-roading?
A: "Be open and ready to try something new, something that might be outside of your comfort zone. Always be willing to chip in and contribute where help is needed, as many people respect this. Be strong and confident, and most of all, have FUN."
About Trisha's Jeep:
"2007 Jeep Wrangler JK, 1965 J200"
Q: Does your vehicle also serve as a daily driver?
A: "The 07 JK is my daily driver, but I recently bought a 2011 Chevy 2500HD to help haul her around…or when the Jeep is in need of repairs!"
Q:What is the best modification you have done to your vehicle?
A: " I would have to say my lockers (and re-gearing) made the most difference in my off-road capabilities. BUT, the custom front axle that me and my friend built is the best modification. Scooter was an engineer by day and master mechanic by night. He came up with an idea in his head to design a “junk-yard” front D44 axle out of a 1979 F250, where we gutted it out and replaced everything with the best-of-the-best parts from numerous vehicles. Together we built the axle, spending countless hours in the garage. I learned SO much by building that axle with him. I learned about regearing, lockers, chromolys, trusses, and best of all, welding. It was truly a custom build, and I treasured that time I got to spend with him more than anything. He passed away unexpectedly right before we were set to install it under my Jeep. Thankfully, I had good friends to help make the install happen. That piece of metal means more to me than the entire Jeep put together."
Q: Do you work on your own vehicle?
A: "You bet! I by no means am a master mechanic, as I consider myself a YouTube Mechanic through and through. I try to learn as much as I can from others, but most of the time it’s a self-taught skill. My good friend, Scooter, taught me more about fixing my Jeep than anyone has my entire life, and I am forever grateful for that. The more that I learn, the more I want to do, and have confidence in doing. It feels so good to fix something myself, especially when I had previously felt non-confident about. My Jeep has only been in friends garages where I am present and helping, the majority of the time has been in my driveway or in my garage. Thankfully my boyfriend has helped me to build up our own garage so that we are pretty much capable of doing anything we’d like. I love having that independence."