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Life Begins Where The Pavement Ends

by Jamie McCarty

Jamie-M-ladies-offroad-challenge1My story on how I found my love for off-roading. It all began in 2015 when I got a divorce. For once in my life I was searching for something more. However it wasn’t until summer of 2016 when I met a friend who was heavily into off-roading with his custom jeep, it only took that first adventure to have me hooked. It was Fourth of July weekend and the place was Crested Butte, Colorado. He took me over Scholfield Pass and by the infamous Crystal Mill. The weather was terrible but the views were incredible. It was an all day excursion with excitement thrown in. I felt so free and had not a care in the world. HOOKED FOR LIFE!!

Jamie-M-ladies-offroad-challenge1My Adventures went from 0 to 60 in nothing flat with the next voyage. Where was it you ask? It was the most extreme journey still to this day, Silverton/Telluride Colorado, the well-known trail Black Bear Pass. This was an anxiety filled, thrilling climb over the mountain to Telluride. Apparently I hadn’t told my friend that I was afraid of heights, however I quickly overcame my fear to embrace the best views I have ever encountered. The rush of the fear soaked exhilaration mixed with excitement. It is to this day my most favorite adventure. We finished the day with climbing back over the mountain on Imogene Pass. This trail is my most favorite trail, mostly likely because I am too scared yet to drive myself over Black Bear Pass.

Jamie-M-ladies-offroad-challenge1As several months passed I went on a few more adventure to many trails across Colorado.  With each new adventure I fell more and more in love with off-roading. I loved the way it made me feel. I am longtime Emergency Room nurse and with that passion for my job comes the difficult days of always dealing with tragedy. Every day for the patients I compassionately take care of, it is a bad day. So when you deal with this day in and day out, you have to become resilient and find an outlet. I found my outlet in off-roading. It was there and then I decided that I was going to start looking for a jeep to buy. I needed this in my life all the time. I needed the option to go out to my garage and take my own jeep for an adventure when I needed that release. This became my new passion.

Jamie-M-ladies-offroad-challenge1It wasn’t too long after that, that I had my first adventure to Moab, Utah. Moab is a whole new different type of off-roading. That week was one of the most fun times I have had. The days were filled with trails, meeting new people and connecting for life. The mornings were early and the nights late. It was solidified that trip, I was buying a jeep and no one could stop me.  At this point in my life I was a single mom of two little boys. My family thought I was crazy. I remembered hearing “you just can’t go out and buy a jeep! You have bills to pay, house to care for, as well as two little boys to take care of”. I had just paid off my truck and my grandmother had recently passed away and left me a little money to do with what I pleased. My grandmother was huge on family and I wanted to do something with that money that would honor her. So I did it, I took that money and I put a down payment down on a newer jeep. I looked at it like this was something my boys and I would enjoy together. We could go on our own adventure and spend quality time together as a family, like my grandmother would have liked.

Jamie-M-ladies-offroad-challenge1Enter my love “Free bird” (my jeep), ok so she didn’t wear her name proudly for almost six months but she had her name from day one. She represented a few things. The freedom that I felt in the mountains, the love of my country which also includes my gratitude I have for our US military. My boys were super excited. We spent many summer days driving trails in southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. I truly had found a new passion in life and a great way to release stress.

Jamie-M-ladies-offroad-challenge1With my new found hobby I needed to find and connect with more friends in my area. Most the friends I had that were into off-roading were in northern Colorado. I found a New Mexico jeep group on Facebook that has members all over the state, which lead me to the all-women’s chapter. The all-women’s group introduced me to LON last fall when I went to training in Albuquerque. That training taught me some important basics for the “trail”.  I hope to continue learning and growing with my new passion and love. This is just a chapter of MY STORY - to be continued…..

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Posted by: Dulcy Rojas

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