by Heather McCallay
I am almost 40 (I know the BIG 40!) and have been really in to Jeeps since 1997. I bought my first Jeep in 2002, a 1988 Wrangler. I have had many over the years, and recently stepped up my game into my first buggy, a 1972 Jeep Commando. I am looking forward to starting with this project and learning to wheel it/ wheel again, as I’ve taken a two year hiatus to save up for the buggy. I most recently had a 2015 Hard Rock Rubicon (The BossIcon) and wheeled all over the west with it. My oldest daughter even has an 06 LJ and will be leaving for the service soon. I am retired military, disabled, although I am currently getting around far better than I expected. I started out Active duty Army in 1999 and retired from the Air Force in 2014.
I am a member of many groups, and I also have my own group Rock Candy. It is an invite only group and we are nationwide. I love to participate in altruistic events that give back to the community especially in regards to veterans like Honor Flight and Wheelers For The Wounded. I have been involved in groups like Colorado 4x4 Rescue and Recovery. They go out to rescue people/ vehicles at altitude, coordinated with the Forest Service, but also around Denver when there is bad weather. Some of them have been rather hairy. I also helped to create 4LO4LEO after a string of terrible events in Denver and it has turned into quite the group. We often do events in the community for law enforcement, but also are a group that brings a neutral space for other events.
I love being a part of Ladies Offroad Network because of the vision of the group and the support it offers. It’s more than fantastic to see other ladies getting out there going offroad! The amazing support we get from companies is awesome as well. I would love to spend all of my free time offroading and working on my Jeep. My goal is to have a nice big garage to do that in soon. I am working as an intern right now for Cartotracks making offroad maps for them. They are an amazing map company and I’m very fortunate to have had that opportunity.
I am nearly finished with my Bachelor’s degree in Geography. I have recently started branching out into more Geospatial Science classes. My background is construction, and utilities infrastructure, with an emphasis in electrical, water, and fuel specialties. I love to play around with photography and often take pictures of events and peoples vehicles to send to them. I have a wicked sense of humor sometimes, but love to laugh. I take life seriously, but also want to live a YOLO life. I try to appreciate the small things, and get quite a reprieve when I’m out wheeling taking in the beauty Mother Nature has to offer us. Offroading is truly my therapy. I’m in a major personal growth place in my life, removing unnecessary and troublesome things, and filling it up with accomplishing goals and checking stuff off I’ve always dreamed of and wanted to do. I’ve been called tenacious more than once and this year is no different.
I have been truly gifted so much over the last couple of years with excellent friendships and experiences that blow my mind all because of the Jeep life. I have people I’m so grateful to know, and this year especially after a health scare. I love to wheel at Trail Hero which is where I first met Charlene, and Set Them Free, here in Salida where we raise money to stop human trafficking. I have many events I still want to attend across the US and hope to do so soon. I haven’t been able to wheel as much as I’d like to recently, but nearing the end of college, it’s coming!
I’m just a little to addicted to automotive stuff. I have done many things in my past, I have trophies from burn-out contests and car shows, I’ve raced imports in So Cal, I’ve driven tractors and semis, had a few very fast cars and some low and high trucks, even motorcycles here and there. I’ve had to replace entire axles in the rain and dirt midwinter. I’m proud to say I’ve replaced a thermostat with a full set of nails on without breaking one. I’ve changed carburetors four times in one week, and spent hours reading about duration.
I love to go to the races and watch new school and old school stuff. I love classic cars and hot rods. I like to talk about mechanical things while drinking my coffee in the morning, and spend my evenings watching some great offroading videos when I’m not out wheeling. I think tires are sexy. I might say the wrong thing, there’s your warning, but I really try to live with great values daily. I do my best to keep my word. I push myself to do too much all the time. Not really sure what all is on the horizon currently but I’m so looking forward to what the future holds. I guess that’s me!
Posted by: Dulcy Rojas