by Nicole Edmenson
I have always loved things with wheels no matter how many it had, I wanted to ride it or play with it. I grew up riding everything I could from trikes to tractors. I have always loved adventure, going places and seeing things. I learned that if it had wheels it could take me places that would provide adventure and generate a lot of fun. In September of 2013, my husband took me to a dealership to test drive a Jeep Wrangler. My first impression was overwhelming. I fell in love with the adventurous ambiance of it before we left the parking lot. I didn’t get that Jeep, but I did get a brand new, shiny, black Wrangler that night from a different Jeep dealership. This Jeep has provided adventure, excitement, friendships, and a ton of fun! I have become obsessed with the Jeep lifestyle and I am addicted to anything Jeep. My friends and family are convinced, I’ve gone over the “Jeep-end”!
Off-roading has an energy that I like to describe as, “a blast of adrenaline”. The feeling of happiness every time I climb in my Jeep, especially when the top is off and my hair is flying all around, it sends me into overdrive. Whether it’s a planned adventure or impromptu turn-off onto a dirt road, I get a thrilling sensation knowing I get to escape for a while. The initial pushing down of the pedal and grabbing a hold of the steering wheel gives me a feeling of empowerment. I love going up and down hills, taking a trail through the forest, splashing through mud puddles and plowing through the snow. As soon as I hit the trail, I smell the microbes in the dirt and I know immediately that its time for fun. I see beauty all around me and hear nature speaking through the wind and trees. These new experiences stimulate the desire to explore more places and learn more about where I’ve been. My Jeep is a major manufacturer of the endorphins in my brain.
Adventure for me equals living. It’s all the “ings” in life like climbing, learning, photographing, feeling, seeing and laughing that make up having an excellent adventure. Having a Jeep takes me there. It has opened up a whole new world of exploring the backroads, the highest mountains, the deepest valleys and all the places in between! Being in nature, someplace I’ve never been, or places few have been before is definitely my favorite. I love to see the animals in their natural environment, a crazy rock formation, trees that have formed to fit into nature, and flowers that are vibrant and unique to their location. I enjoy photographing and sharing the incredible views you can capture from the top of a mountain. Trailing takes me to abandoned places that intrigue my curiosity and interest of the surrounding area. Whenever I venture out with my Jeep, I seem to always find something new and interesting to explore. It doesn’t matter if I have been down that trail 10 times, the weather or season can change the trail to enhance the scene and skill level. It is so much fun to take friends and family out to enjoy the incredible places I find, and share the trails with my off-road friends. Jeeping takes me on an escapade!
I had no idea that there would be a fabulous, unadvertised addition to this already incredible Jeep journey that I was on. The Jeep aficionado’s! These people are incredibly helpful, resourceful and so much fun! I get to go to all kinds of events, go on organized trail runs, be in multiple clubs and wave at strangers driving down the road that are also driving Jeeps. My Facebook and Instagram friends list has grown immensely and I have gained so many new friends that seem like family now. These like-minded people seem to be obsessed with Jeep also, so I feel like I belong in these groups. The women especially, build each other up as we build and modify our Jeeps together. I have learned so much from my peers and the groups I have joined, we share trail adventures, ideas, laughter and sometimes tears. I love my Jeep community and the restoration/clean-up programs we are involved in.
Being a Jeep fanatic has helped me in so many positive ways. I have overcome my fear of heights, redirected addictive dispositions and gained lifelong friends. I am now able to lead a group of vehicles through a trail and pull out my winch and recovery tools confidently to help someone in trouble. I would have never imagined that I would be someone who only requests Jeep related gifts for every occasion, has gained interest and knowledge in mechanics, and focus primarily on how to get the back way to everywhere I go. I feel determined to find out where every dirt road leads to. Being a Jeep enthusiast and living this intriguing lifestyle is keeping me physically, mentally and emotionally fit as well as feeling spry!
Posted by: Dulcy Rojas