“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”-Ernest Hemingway.
We are Ruff Roads Overland. Created by Jon & Nicole in January 2019. It all started with the tale of a transitioning United States Marine Corps officer in transition.
Watch RRO: Ode to the LJ to learn more about the importance of this Jeep
Upon transitioning out the Marine Corps I was a jobless homeless veteran who lived out of his 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, the unicorn of Jeeps, with my 90 pound pitbull. Most nights during this period of my life involved driving to remote locations to park the Jeep for the night. I’d brush my teeth, rise with water I refilled while at the gym earlier that day, and laid down in the back of the Jeep to read while Zeus, my pitbull, stood watch in the front seat.
As with most stories there was a girl who took a chance on this vagabond. Nicole and I first met at a dog beach in Del Mar, California knowing full well that if our dogs did not get along we wouldn’t either. Turns out they were perfectly content with one another leaving us the time to get to know each other. Soon thereafter I took Nicole on adventure after adventure in Slave 1, the Jeep Wrangler LJ, where she began to understand the importance of basic survival skills highlighted in the episode above. She learned how to drive stick, start a campfire, and ‘pick a line’ while off-road driving increasing her survivability in remote locations.
As things between Nicole & I got serious I had bought a house, we had moved in together, and we began fostering dogs in need. No surprise from a couple of dog lovers. One litter of puppies we were fostering got adopted out while we were away snowboarding up in Big Bear. The only male in the litter, named Snog by Labs and More, was adopted by a man who had his reservations because the mother was a pitbull. Two days later we got a call from the rescue that Snog was being relinquished back to us. We couldn’t see him go to another home so we adopted him and renamed him Diego.
With three large dogs in the back of the LJ it got pretty cramped. Not to mention with no rear windows it was also very hot during our remote camping trips. Therefore, Nicole expressed her desire to get rid of the LJ and purchase a new 4-door Jeep Wrangler as FCA just released a new line of Jeep Wranglers, the JL. I sold the old Jeep for $18,000 and set out to place an order for our new rig to go on new adventures in style! On the JL Wrangler Forum I was patiently waiting for the diesel JL to hit the ordering sheets, but as the months slogged on with no platform to hit the trails we decided to place an order for a JLUR with the 3.6L Pentastar gasoline engine, custom order to our specifications. We ordered the Jeep through Kent, a dealer in Idaho, Peterson Fiat Chrysler Dodge who gave us a deal we couldn’t refuse!
In February, 2019 we bought one-way tickets to Boise, Idaho where Kent picked us up to bring us to White Fang, our new JLUR. We signed all the papers and started the long adventure back home to Southern California (see Episode 3: Hello, White Fang for the whole story).
Once home we began the arduous process of building the Jeep to meet our expedition-capable specifications: 500 miles no resupply.
Eager to hear more? Check out more of our adventures posts below.