EJA trip to J.E.E.P Fall Trail Ride 2022

I’m at Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) with Evolution Jeep Alliance (EJA). It’s a beautiful day and I’m guessing there are at least 200 Jeeps here for the event. The groups are about a dozen each, and I’m in one of the blue trail groups. Be right back, gotta air down.

Early view.
A quick walk around.

Off we go! Welp we lost a 1985 CJ at the start. As it turned out his U-joints failed when he was trying to shift into 4L. He turned around and hopefully got back home safely, hope we see him again.

Many ways to deal with deep muddy ruts like this one. I prefer to climb up one side to avoid having the side of my Jeep drag against the muddy wall and potentially losing a fender flare or two (ask me how I know). The pitch and roll meter never went over 15 degrees, so the video looks extreme due to the angle of the camera.

“I never had anyone go that way Don!” – EJA lead
“There’s a method to my madness!” – Me

Ok it’s getting gnarly now. Hello Barney Rubble. How can this be a blue trail?!

This is the last stretch of Barney Rubble…the part before was ^%}[+}=€\#%@$!!!

Urban legend has it there’s a hairy Sasquatch in the bushes. If you take a selfie with it you can get a sticker at the front office (see below).

All good things must come to an end. I had a blast, can’t wait to join y’all again!

UPDATE: I discovered on the way home that my steering stabilizer lost a fight with a Barney Rubble trail boulder. I drove home at 20mph and got home late in the evening. It’s Monday morning and I’m heading to the dealer to get a new one. Luckily I have a Clayton relocation kit waiting to be installed. Here’s a picture of my previous Jeep, where the shock was mounted low and it died on Crawl Daddy (Rausch) last year. It was mounted low on my current Rubicon and was in much worse condition. I’ll be installing the new up higher up to protect it.

MLO New England 2022 Trail Ride Series

What a weekend! When Main Line Overland shop told me about the upcoming MLO New England 2022 Trail Ride Series (in partnership wtih Ridge Back Guide Service LLC), I signed up right away. I have so much to learn about overlanding.

I’ve done a number of cross country solo trips to Moab, UT, to the Colorado Rockies, Texas, Sturgis, Sedona, AZ, and more. They were all awesome experiences, but it was all about the destination. When it comes to overlanding, it’s all about the journey.

Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.” – Wikipedia

When I was in the US Army (79-85), I drove my M151 (aka Mutt) through anything our commanders sent us through. I got pretty good with the 4-speed, even with the horrible suspension (pucker moments), with or without the 1/4 ton trailer. So I think I got an early start off road.

On Friday I had to re-mount my front bumper skid plate the night before. I removed it when I relocated my steering stabilizer. I snapped two bolts when I tried to remove them using an impact wrench. I was able to get the broken pieces removed (images). I attached the skid plate using the six bolts around the front edge. I figured it’s safe to go on this weekend trip without the rearmost bolts. I was right, it held together fine.

I packed the Jeep that night. I figured with my iKamper out of commission (needs repair – don’t ask), I packed my ground tent stuff and enough supplies to last three days. Well as it turned out I forgot to bring my 2.5 gallon water container, my stove lighter, my coffee mug, and all my utencils. I really should have followed the list I use for all my other trips.

When I got to the camp, I pitched my tent by the water. It was getting dark, so I set up the kitchen. I realized I forgot to bring water and the stove lighter. So I packed things up and went to the local store. Came back and set up the kitchen again.

Then I realized I didn’t bring utencils or a coffee mug. You guessed it. I packed things up again, back to the local store I went. I was lucky, they were closing in 20 minutes. Came back and finally started cooking dinner.

The folks on the trip started their campfire, while I was starting to get low on blood sugar. I remember being asked if I planned to join them. I responded “I have to eat”, but it came out a little louder than I wanted. I sounded a little like Chris Farley at the end of this infamous SNL sketch. #hypoglicemia

Saturday’s blue trail was downright awesome. Beautiful scenery. Challenging terrain. Ok, for the Toyotas. Not so much for the Jeeps. Sunday’s green trail was even more beautiful, with easier terrain. I can’t remember seeing so much beauty in only a couple days. Overlanding is indeed about the journey.

I had a blast. I learned a lot. I understand why overlanding is a thing. I can’t wait to do it again!

My GMRS antenna snapped. It was a 5/8 wave that worked great. Luckily I carry spares, so I replaced it with a 1/2 wave. Works well on a trip with a dozen or so vehicles, but isn’t great for long(er) distances. I posted to the Expedition Portal to see what folks there think.


Stopped at a no touch pressure wash on the way back. That Virginia mud came off on the first try!