A few months ago we bought a Jeep Wrangler to play around with. It’s so different than anything we’ve ever owned before and for many reasons, we had both always wanted one. I got a wild hair one weekend (probably after too many beers) and we pursued shopping for one for quite awhile before we landed Big Red. We have enjoyed many sunny drives in it so far (mostly to Crossfit on the weekends) but we also took it to the Nantahala Outdoor Center a couple of weeks ago for a family reunion/car gathering. We hadn’t really taken it off road yet though, and Rob was itching to do that. I mean, if he didn’t love his front yard so much, he’d probably drive through it just to get a quick bumpity bump.

So Sunday we set out to a place called Hale Mountain OHV Park which is about 30 minutes from our house. You pay a fee and basically have free reign on this private land to drive around and run over stuff. I have no real experience with trail riding, but I already know I’m very wimpy so I warned Rob that I didn’t want to do anything “scary”. He assured me it would be fun and no big deal.


redWell, despite it’s beauty, some of the trails were cray cray!! I had to acutely work on deep breathing to avoid anxiety and clutched the door handle and my seat in a full on death grip. I tried to smile and nod enthusiastically every time Rob asked if I was okay and having fun.

But when he wasn’t looking, I was


There was a lot to see even though we were out there alone. The stillness of the mountain was incredible, and it was relaxing to appreciate how beautiful the day was…when jungle mountain mosquitos weren’t biting me.



Rob was having a great time. He’s a very skilled driver no matter the automobile or situation he’s driving in, so I never felt unsafe with him steering, but it was definitely uncomfortable not knowing what was coming around the bend. They give you a very primitive map and there are trail markers…mostly. Other than that, it’s fair game. If you can drive over it, it’s yours to conquer. Here is a perfect breakdown of the difference in my experience Sunday vs. Rob.

Here is how he thought it was going:

Yay, smiles and happiness! Fun memories!

IMG_6926 IMG_6918 red2

Here is how it was really going (for me):

We may die and no one is out here and there is no cell service.



Proud to say after two hours of major jostling, we bumped back down the mountain and drove away to gorge on BBQ for lunch. We probably only traversed 20% of the total amount of space out there; the place is huge! Also, it seemed for every 5 minutes worth of driving, Rob would pull it up and say “Ooh! This would make a great picture!” And he would hop out and scurry all around snapping away. Once, I wandered away to pee. I don’t even think he noticed. A mountain lion could have eaten me!! But hey, what a shot:


On the way out, I found these two sweet angels. I adore cows.IMG_6941

All in all, it was a fun time (we didn’t once get stuck!!), but I am a pathetic trail partner, SORRY BABE! I will try and get better. In the meantime, I fell even more in love with the beautiful place on this earth that we call home. (and more in love with Rob).



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