by Tiffany Morgan
I’ve always wanted a Jeep. A yellow Jeep, to be exact. It wasn’t for off roading or rock climbing. I was 16 and I thought Jeeps were “cool!” My mom offered me a bribe of sorts when I was 16; she would buy my coveted yellow Jeep for me if I moved to Virginia (I lived in the Florida Panhandle with my dad). Tempting as it was, my dream did not come true as a teenager.
Fast Forward to the Fall of 2017. My husband is very mechanically inclined and has always had some sort of vehicle as a hobby. In October, he added a Jeep to his “car” hobbies. I was jealous, simple as that. This is what I always wanted! When would I get to fulfill my dream? Later that year, we took the new Jeep offroad for the first time in the North Georgia mountains. I drove for a bit on the descent from a mountain and immediately said: “I don’t want to always ride as a passenger! I want my own Jeep!” My yellow Jeep dream was alive again! I began looking for the Jeep style I liked; what I now know is the TJ. During my search, I learned of the highly sought after TJ Unlimited: The “LJ.” I knew I had to have it. In February 2018, I found my LJ a few hours away. It was not yellow, but I was in love. I drove it home, and so began my love for all things Jeep!
My first few off road experiences were at an off road park in Central Florida and a little trail riding through the Ocala National Forest. I was amazed out how capable my new vehicle was. We went to a nearby Jeep event, and the entire family had a blast. I was so proud of myself when I made it through obstacles that others couldn’t!
Here in South Georgia, there aren’t a lot of places to just go offroad. I joined several Facebook groups and kept my eyes peeled for any new event or location to take my Jeep. One of these groups was Jeep Girls of Florida. In July of 2018, Jeep Girls of Florida had their All Girls Wheeling Weekend. I loaded myself up and drove a few hours to Swamp Off Road Park in Chipley, FL. What a fantastic weekend! The Jeep Girls of Florida were incredibly encouraging, and I came home that weekend with the confidence to climb the highest mountain (in my Jeep, of course).
This time of the year, a portion of the Alapaha riverbed dries up and several miles of sandy and hilly terrain is available to ride. This is one of our favorite off road places and is very easy to pack a lunch and spend the day riding. We have taken both my parents and my husband’s parents for a ride in the riverbed. We loved being able to share a little bit of our off roading hobby with members of our family, and they have enjoyed it as well.
In recent months, I’ve continued to build my Jeep to be more capable. In addition, I’ve taken every opportunity I can to make myself a more capable driver. In 2019, the same Jeep event that I left feeling proud the previous year left me feeling like I needed to just sell my Jeep because I didn’t know how to drive it. I got stuck in the same obstacle that my Jeep was so capable going through just a year earlier. I was extremely discouraged and thought I’d never reach the “rock crawler” capabilities I’d like to achieve. Us women can be so hard on ourselves. I was just ready to give up. Until this past Mother’s Day, when I joined the Jeep Girls of Florida again for a Mother’s Day event at The Jeep Ranch. My Jeep again impressed me with it’s capabilities and my confidence has returned.
Another wonderful event that happened around Mother’s Day was my decision to trade in my daily driver for...you guessed it...another Jeep. I fell in love with the new 2019 color for the Jeep JL - “Bikini Pearl.” I made up my mind on Thursday afternoon that it’s what I wanted. I called a dealership that had one with all the options I wanted. Over the phone, I negotiated trade in value for my “mom car,” a Chevy Suburban. I also negotiated the sale price of the Jeep. I took a day of vacation from work on Friday, drove 3 hours to the dealership, and came home with my brand new Jeep! The entire process was empowering, as I have never done anything like that without someone’s help. And, let’s be honest, this DD is a lot cooler than a Suburban. Of course, in true off-road fashion, I took the new Jeep offroad one week after taking it home. With the temporary dealership tag still on the Jeep, I stopped by the Alapaha riverbed and tested out the 4 wheel drive.
I do enjoy being a passenger as well. We try to incorporate the Jeeps as much as possible when taking family trips. My husband’s JKU has made several trips to North Georgia with the kids riding in the backseat. We purchased copies of the State Forest maps and just go and see what we can find. We enjoy the adventure and the kids do too! My offroad story is mine, but it wouldn’t be complete without my family. As a wife and mom, I am thrilled to have a hobby that brings joy to each of my family members. What spare time we have is spent with something Jeep related. But it is not a chore or a hassle. My husband and I have grown closer with a common interest and hobby. My kids enjoy helping and riding along and always talk about our Jeeps. The past year year and a half of being Jeep owners has been full of back roads, off road parks, and driveway modifications. Every step of the way has been supported by my family, and the kids love to ride in “Momma’s Jeep.”
Posted by: Dulcy Rojas