Cross-Coun­try Re­count

Jp Magazine - - Mailbag -

Read­ing Trail Head (May ’18) brought back an awe­some Jeep mem­ory for me. It was the sum­mer of 1996, my friend Bill and I had some mildly out­fit­ted Jeep XJs. We de­cided to load up his ’87 XJ Pi­o­neer sport­ing a Tomken Ma­chine 6-inch lift, 33-inch BFG Muds, 4.56 gears, ARB Air Lock­ers, Tomken bumpers and tire car­rier, and a Con-Ferr sa­fari rack. We headed west from south­east Penn­syl­va­nia. We drove on a mis­sion-like time­line and pulled into Moab on the third day of driv­ing. We spot­ted an­other lifted XJ in town at the lo­cal moun­tain bike shop and in­tro­duced our­selves. I can’t re­mem­ber his name, but he took us out for a day of wheel­ing. A few days later we loaded up again and headed to Lake Ta­hoe. We hit the Ru­bi­con Trail a cou­ple days later. Luck­ily it was a Sun­day and a small group from a lo­cal club was head­ing out from a week­end of camp­ing. I say lucky be­cause our Jeep was not deal­ing so well with the al­ti­tude changes and we were hav­ing is­sues with oxy­gen sen­sors. The Jeep wouldn’t run and those guys strapped us off of the trail. One of the guys had a real nice flat­fender and tried to drive up a tree. He put it on its side, so we all gave a hand and got it back on all fours. We limped the XJ up to Idaho Falls and had new sen­sors put in, then headed east. We hit up Yel­low­stone on the way back to Penn­syl­va­nia and racked up about 6,700 miles round-trip. Even though we didn’t ac­crue a ton of dirt miles, I have a ton of good mem­o­ries. Twenty-some­thing years later we are still the best of friends and have each had a long list of Jeeps.

Take care and safe trav­els!

Jason Sk­iles Lan­caster, PA

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