by Amanda Barnard | Jul 9, 2020 | Everything Else, Jeeps on the Rock
This was an amazing Badge of Honor trail that yielded zero disappointments! It was the first one with a company of friends. We had viewed videos and other research to ensure this venture would be accessible to us. We haven’t built the jeep up as much as others have.
Metal Masher Review
This trail has a beautiful array of scenery. From the high, cliff, shelf roads to the long valley trails the majestic, creation exhibits the Hand of God!
At around the mid-point of the route, is Arth’s Rim. It is 1300 ft up and overlooks highway 191. It is absolutely, breath-taking! But stay away from the edge. I do not like “heights” so I just stayed close to the jeep.
There are many, very, challenging obstacles, but most of them have a bypass around. If you don’t choose the detour, just be aware. You are going to want a lift and better-than-stock tires. I recommend at least a 2.5 inch lift. Also we are running 35 inch tires and still smacked our rock rails>
We also may or may not have squished our tailpipe. Ok we did, but we didn’t buy the jeep to sit in a garage or to simply be a mall-crawler! Just use caution, pick a line, and don’t regret it!
If you have dared to attempt it, drop a comment below! I would LOVE to hear about it!
Metal Masher will be a MUST do over for us!
by Amanda Barnard | Oct 7, 2019 | Everything Else, Jeeps on the Rock
So now what? We have a Jeep and there are so many adventures to take! Our maiden voyage = NEW MEXICO!
Our original plan was a trip to Colorado, but some health issues stood in the way. Brad, nor I had ever been to New Mexico and after much research (mostly on Brad’s part), we found this to be attainable.
After much mapping was accomplished, this just the type of venture Brad had always wanted to take. While I had much input for each night’s destination, it took effort from us both.
We talked out the possibilities, along with the current life factors, and started planning. Most of our adventure was to include some off-roading in the Jeep.
There is so much to see in the beauty of all that God has created. I know many people who enjoy traveling the world. I have had the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, but I have always been of the mind-set that there is so much right here in our own back yard, that most of us will live our lifetimes and never witness a fraction. This excursion covered 2300 miles in less than a week and, yes we were fortunate to experience many places, we still missed so much.
Expeditions are always fun with friends, so our first day of travel included an airport stop, then on to Midland, Texas for some sleep. The land in West Texas is extremely flat. My travels had not taken me that far West, so this was new terrain. As far as the eye, could see…. flat land, oil, and gas.
On to New Mexico! Day 2 included a visit to Roswell, New Mexico – the home of an alien crash and the former, Walker Air Force Base. Then on to Socorro, New Mexico for some sleep because the next day would be a busy one. I found “District 2”, but Katniss Everdeen was no where to be found.
Every day was given to early rising and late nights and day 3 would be no exception. But the enjoyment of this day would not disappoint! Our first stop was to the VLA – Very Large Array. Then on to the Quebradas Back Country Byway for some off-roading. We did make a mini stop at the road to Box Canyon, where we realized our gas wouldn’t hold out to explore here. So we shall save it for another trip, maybe after we are able to get our rooftop tent, because this area is jam-packed full of things to do.
After all the previous day had to offer, this is the day we woke up in Alamogordo, New Mexico. I want to stop here and make mention that we have a cluster of amazing National Parks in the United States. As I have already mentioned, our own garden has so much to offer! Our first stop was WhiteSands National Monument. Today would include lunch in at L&J Cafe in El Paso, Texas for some authentic Mexican food and to see where the United States and Mexico meet. After an interesting trek from 92 degrees to 62 degrees, over the mountains, we would find our way back to NM and land In Carlsbad, for the night.
Today a visit to Carlsbad Caverns was on the agenda, then we would start the journey home. Before we ventured the path to the caverns, we made a pit stop, just in time to see some Bighorns at the entrance up on the ridge. The caverns have many tour opportunities, but we chose the self-guided. But who knew a course that is set to take 1-1.5hrs, would turn into more than 4. Anyone remember Gilligan’s Island and the “3 hour tour“? lol
At the conclusion of the massive miles traveled, we found our way home to the sweetest babies and our precious children, who spouted the perception of abandonment, as cell phone service was completely, non-existent for hours on end and sketchy at best, even at our sleeping quarters.
Even more now, I recognize the vastness of the beauty around me. Living off the grid (for a short time and as long as I could take my kids and grand babies), wouldn’t be so bad. Traveling is still always fascinating and I am certainly looking forward to foray the next endeavor.
Check out the first video of our West Texas/Southeast New Mexico Adventure and stay tuned for more adventures!
by Amanda Barnard | Oct 5, 2019 | Family, Jeeps on the Rock
Ok maybe that is a little extreme, but hear me out and be sure to read the disclaimer at the end of this post.
After 16 years of marriage, Brad and I still are complete opposites.
They say, “opposites attract”, but who knew it would be so extreme?!
We are as different as day and night.
I also know this is well said, but if you only knew the realities of the statement.
Back many moons ago, there was a song that Amy Grant sang, called Good For Me.
The lyrics are full of antithetical personalities, yet the title gives hope that love can evolve.
When you are this differing, personalities clash like gasoline and matches.
However, Psalms 133:1-2 says, “How good and pleasant it is to dwell together in unity.
For harmony is as precious as sacred scented oil!” If only we would apply the Word more, lol.
Brad and I have very few things in common.
Like almost none.
Our first passion is to love God, so there definitely is hope for us.
We also dearly love our family – especially our kids and grandbabies!
I mean, who is crazy enough to take a non-negotiable, family vacation half way across the United States, with 11 adults, a toddler, a baby, AND counting?!
Yes that would be us!
So definitely we have that in common.
Don’t judge, but we also enjoy being marksmen. (This involves guns and shooting them, so if this offends you, just move on,)
Although we should spend more time and make this more of a priority, unfortunately it isn’t as possible as we would like.
THEN CAME THE JEEP
So then came the Jeep.
Brad actually was on board way before I was, but the more we talked about it,
I could see the picture of what could be.
Our Jeep is just simply fun!
We know alot of people who ride Harley-Davidson‘s and Brad had one, back in the day (before me).
But neither of us are interested, because we both feel like, being in the Jeep is more “together”.
As we conversed more and more about the Jeep, the Lord started showing me people that we could love, thanks to having the Jeep.
All the while having something we could enjoy together, pretty much on a daily basis.
Every person who calls themselves a Christian (remember – “Christian” means to be a Christ-follower) is supposed to be a minister.
We are called to love God and love people.
Thus we have become – Jeeps On The Rock. The Rock is Jesus!
We hope to share a little Jeep-building, off-roading, trail-riding, and eventually some overlanding videos through Jeeps On The Rock.
Why don’t you tag along to see where the next 16 years (and the many, many more) takes us?
We hope to see you out on the trail!
Disclaimer: The answer to the original question is NO! A Jeep cannot save a marriage anymore than a having a baby can. Marriage simply takes work! Blessings! ~Amanda
by Amanda Barnard | Oct 4, 2019 | Everything Else, Jeeps on the Rock
Brad said he had once heard the acronym for JEEP was – J(Just) E(empty) E(every) P(pocket). I have made it my personal mission for this to not be truth in our case. When we bought our Jeep in May of this year, we immediately started planning some modifications.
Part of the purpose for the mods were to eventually take the Jeep on some adventures. Some of which included getting muddy, trail riding, do some rock crawling, and eventually some overlanding. We discussed in detail some options of the mods, but money was still – as it is with anyone – a hard, core factor.
Brad really likes personal customer service, so he is the one that wants to find a store to get just that. I’m the one that prefers to shop online. He went to 4 Wheel Parts, which is online, but they have several store locations. In order to get the personable, customer service that he was looking for, he went to a local store for several items on our list and because they were having a sale. Then some other parts we ordered from Extreme Terrain.
That being said, I am the realist, and therefore know, while there are good sales out there; some sales are just not worth the hassle. I’m just going to say, it was a good thing that Brad was in charge of ordering and retrieving the pieces. A considerable amount of the pieces took, what seemed to be, an eternity. (Ok there is a little exaggeration there, but no order should take months.)
I am over it now, and there are a few more things we would like to do to the Jeep, but we are very happy with what we have so far!
by Amanda Barnard | Sep 23, 2019 | Everything Else, Jeeps on the Rock
Now to be technical, it isn’t the first Jeep we have ever owned, but is the first Jeep we have ever purchased together, on purpose, with the one of the main reasons being to find something to do together. This time it was going to be a Wrangler.
So we did it! We bought a Jeep Wrangler! This is something we have talked about for quite some time, but hadn’t taken the plunge. So through some more talking and looking, mostly Brad talking and looking. He laboriously probed all avenues in hopes of finding the right one.
He inquired, explored, and uncovered every stone that could possibly have the perfect gem tucked underneath. Then when we had time to sit down together (which isn’t often enough), he would show me all of the treasures he had found. Now just to give a tad bit of background, I went into this completely blind. I am not the car guru. Brad bought me a Honda Odyssey, a vehicle that I had wanted since 2001, but the truth is, there was never much consideration in regards to a Jeep. But through a series of events and maybe a little nudging from the inner most part of my being, I found myself on board with buying a Jeep.
After much research and sifting through many ads, taking time out of our already busy schedule, and driving many Jeeps, we had to decide on some non-negotiables. So we went down a list together. It had to be a Rubicon and Brad had specific reasons he wanted it to be a Rubicon, which were all fine with me. Through the years, I had never had a Wrangler before, so I was just along for the ride in many of the decisions and a Hard Rock Edition would be a bonus.
Another 100% definite was for the Jeep to be a 2012 or newer. Again this had to do with some research Brad had done and he had several reasons for this being on the list. This was something else I was very agreeable to, as I really wanted it to be as new as possible.
It also had to be an Unlimited. Four doors was an unequivocal certainty. I enjoy loading up my grandbabies, as often as life allows me to and it would be much more difficult to pack them in with only two doors. Not to mention, we might want to take some of our kids or even friends along; as well as have the extra length and space that the four door offers.
We moved from that to chose color; or rather colors we absolutely didn’t want. This part was very interesting because both of us had colors we didn’t want AND we had reasons why we wanted them on our do not buy list; from this reminds me of a not so happy time in life, to simply “I just don’t like that color”.
Then came interior; would we choose cloth or leather and why? Jeep doesn’t offer a ton of options when it comes to interior color, so this was more limiting in some respects. But after we almost bought the wrong Jeep, I was pretty adamant about the interior. I was pretty set on leather and it had to be black.
As the pursuit continued, it wasn’t long, until the right one – for us – was found, and I cannot tell you just how much I actually have found myself enjoying the Jeep!
That day, we became – Jeeps On The Rock – the two of us….. wanting to find something to do together, to LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE….. all while enjoying our Jeep!
We bought a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited!