Taunya Jones – Ladies Offroad Challenge Featured Entry
"Taunya Jones, Rogers, AR – Taunya loves to do anything offroad. She used to always ride in the passenger seat but that has been changing over the last couple of years with the help and encouragement of her husband, son and awesome friends. She knows a lot about everything in, on and around her Jeep and how it works and what it does, and is learning more hands-on. The joke around their house is that she hates getting her hands greasy but doesn’t mind playing in blood and guts all day long! By day she is a Certified Surgical Technologist. She loves diverse terrain, it is mostly forest where she lives but loves the slick rock of Moab and the dunes too!"
Tell us about yourself:
I’m Taunya Jones, a wife, mom and a Certified Surgical Technologist. I love to do anything offroad. I used to always ride in the passenger seat but that has been changing over the last couple of years with the help and encouragement of my husband, son and awesome friends. I work at a pretty high stress job, so offroad time is when I get to decompress and relax. It allows me to not think about anything other than what I am doing at that moment. It’s my ME time. I want to do more hands-on stuff when it comes to my Jeep. My mechanic and spotter has always been my husband, he has taught me so much. I know a lot about everything in, on and around my Jeep and how it works and what it does, etc. I’m learning more hands-on stuff now so hope to put some of it to use. The joke around our house is that I hate getting my hands greasy but don’t mind playing in blood and guts all day long because I work in surgery! Yes, I know that they make gloves so I don’t have to get greasy!
How long have you been offroading?
I have been going off-roading since I was young but almost always a passenger. The last few years I have been doing a lot of off-roading but riding passenger again. I finally got to the point where I knew I could drive myself. The last 2 years I have stepped up my game as a driver.
How did you get into offroading?
When I was young my mom's boyfriend had an old military Jeep, we would head out to the desert and it was always so much fun! Throughout the years going to the mountains or dunes in California was so relaxing and I always wanted to do it more. In the last few years, I have decided that I have to find something to do to relax a little, live a little and getting off-road checks those boxes for me.
Tell us about your vehicle:
My Jeep is a 2014 Rubicon aka Sexy Beast. Slightly modified with a 4" lift sitting on 35's. She has full skid plates, JCR bumpers with a stinger and tire carrier. Most importantly a working winch!
What has been your favorite offroad experience?
We went to Moab, Utah in 2016 for Easter Jeep Safari and man it was incredible! The climate, scenery and people were so awesome. I got to check that one off of my bucket list. I always want to go back.
What was your most exciting offroad achievement?
Since I am not super experienced behind the wheel I would say that last Saturday was pretty exciting. I drove the entire day! I also encountered a quite impressive hill with a rock obstacle about half way up. It took me about 7 tries to get over the obstacle and my Jeep got a little sideways when it slid back. I almost gave up, I composed myself and ended up getting over the obstacle and making it up the hill the rest of the way. It was pretty great to hear everyone cheering me on. I thought I was going to die, but I lived! Ha!
What excites you about offroading?
Meeting all of the awesome people (especially the women) that love doing the same thing I do. I love the fact that most everyone is supportive and encouraging. I also love to listen and learn from the more experienced people and take a little or a lot of knowledge and use it while I'm out on the trails.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of offroading?
Being a woman in a male dominated sport seems to really be changing and woman are being taken seriously. Which leads to the whole confidence aspect. When you are trying to learn and you're worried about what everyone else is thinking about your driving skills. Most people are more than happy to help and encourage you, but that's not always the case, I know I get very self-conscious. I am breaking out of my shell finally.
What aspect of offroading do you think is the most fun?
Finding new places to go and have fun! Really getting out with friends, old and new and getting away from the stress of everyday life.
What does prepping for an adventure look like in your world?
Prepping for an adventure depends on what kind of adventure it is going to be. I always have a first aid kit, water, food, toilet paper, baby wipes, trash bags and I always have a fire extinguisher in my Jeep.
What is on your offroading bucket list?
I would love to do the Rubicon Trail! We have talked about it so maybe at some point, we will get to do it. That is the big one for me.
Tell us about who you go offroading with:
I go off-road with my friends. I always seem to be meeting new people wherever we go. We keep in touch with everyone and meet up at different parks and events. I will go offroading with anyone that wants to go!
What is a piece of advice you have been given that you instill in your offroading adventures?
Never go alone! If you are not sure what you're driving into or over, you had better get out and walk it first! That's really 2, isn't it?!
Do you have anything else you would like to add?
I would really like to thank my husband and son for truly supporting me in my off-road adventures. My husband is always willing to lend a hand with his mechanical and technical expertise. Being patient and making me truly believe in myself that I can, in fact, do whatever I want when I want to.
Click here to see all the 2018 Ladies Offroad Challenge Entries.