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