by Katherine Becker
Jets skis and snowmobiles...and now my Jeep...Oh My!!!
Growing up in the jungles of Venezuela and growing up with a family that loves the rugged outdoors, I was blessed to have some awesome memories. From tent & hammock camping on the Orinoco River (swimming with piranhas) with multiple families, and learning to waterski on a large wooden table top we found in the jungle (weird, huh!?), to spending most of our weekends cheering my older brother as he raced in rough motocross terrain races. I learned early on to love the outdoors. But while in Venezuela, I was too young to join my family on their long motorcycle jungle trips and was always left with the desire to join with my own motorcycle, but it never happened...not while still living in Venezuela. Then our family moved to the U.S. in ‘79 and we left that awesome jungle fun behind.
Our summers were spent in the beautiful island of Grenada in the Caribbean, where my mother’s mom lived. Here we roamed the island in a Buggy, we would pile EVERYONE in this cute little open 4-seater vehicle, and we would hit the town and beaches of Grenada. It was so much fun seeing how many people we could squeeze in without losing passengers, lol. And I believe this is where my desire to own a Jeep came from. A Jeep Wrangler that I could undress completely, and roam whatever town I lived in while driving an open vehicle that allowed me to enjoy the wind blowing on my face, and the freedom to jump in and out as I pleased. But as expensive as they are, I didn’t think I would ever be lucky enough to own one...as I drooled over every single Jeep I ever saw!
Now living in the U.S, in Florida, our outdoor activities continued but the terrain was a bit tamer. We now boated in the channels between keys in Florida. No piranhas here, only dolphins and sharks, and we rode our motorcycles in our own property outside the city. No giant poisonous frogs and black scorpions, now rattlesnakes and alligators. But oh, what fun we had.
At age 13 I got my very 1st 3-wheeler and rode it on every trail, swamp and mud puddle possible. We still loved to camp and took trips to Moab, Utah with our motorcycles. We rented houseboats on Lake Powell, where we also took multiple jet skis and ventured into every little opening, (called arms and fingers), within the great canyon walls of Lake Powell, seeking hidden oases that could only be reached by small jet boats and skis. We moved around the U.S. a bit, taking advantage of the outdoors wherever we lived...snow skiing in Aspen and California, jet skiing and tent camping with family and friends in the beaches of the Columbia River in Washington, and snowmobiling on the mountains of Idaho and Montana, also with lots of family and friends. White water rafting in North Carolina, to riding razors in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and boating every summer on Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho. The most challenging outdoor sport for me was snowmobiling, learning to control the snowmobile off the trail and on the sides of the mountains as we created our own trails through the trees and mountain sides. But I had an excellent teacher, my husband, who took the time to teach me to ride. We took annual trips to McCall and West Yellowstone with friends from multiple states, and we snowmobiled for days all over the mountains. These were awesome trips. But then the babies came along and most of the girls in our group stopped riding and started raising kids.
Still drooling over every single Jeep Wrangler that crossed my path, my desperate desire to own one never subsided. But now I was raising two wonderful kiddos. God had truly blessed me with the best gift ever, two awesome kids and a wonderful husband! We have an incredibly loving family and we do everything together. So...I did not feel I could possibly feel sorry for myself for not having ever owned a Jeep, I had been blessed with so much already. My husband and I were now busy raising our kids and cheering them on in their sports and traveling with them and preparing them for life. I had given up on the idea of ever owning a Jeep, and that was “ok”!
But alas, two and a half years ago the opportunity presented itself and my husband, who has been with me most of my life and knows my desire to own a Jeep, encouraged me to “Just do it”! And so...I did! I am now the proud owner of a 2016 Jeep Rubicon!!! Yay! ...Now what? Well, I am enjoying the heck out of it. I got my lift and super sharp wheels & tires and am dressing it up with all kinds of fun accessories. I undress it every summer, no doors or top...yup, I go topless every summer! Lol. But I want to “ride”! So, I talked my husband into going on a Jeep Jamboree with me last summer. Feeling intimidated by this awesome machine that can do so much but has features I have never used before, I did not want to go alone. We had a blast! I learned to drive it through some really cool terrain but refrained from the tougher sections and let my husband tackle them. It’s incredible how easily the Jeep handles all the different terrains, we were truly impressed. But now I want to ride all the time but still feel intimidated, so I know I need to take the bull by the horns and learn to handle this awesome machine I have. And that is when I found this really cool Ladies Offroad Network and am SO EXCITED to meet other lady Jeepers and learn while having fun! I am excited about the training class, can’t wait to get started!
And now, let my Jeeping memories begin....
Posted by: Dulcy Rojas