So this past weekend at Rausch Creek, Scott and I had a conversation…
Scott and I both drive our Jeep’s to the trail, wheel, and drive them home. Scott still drives his daily. I would if I didn’t have this nice fuel efficient commuter car. We’re sitting at camp, looking around the parking lot, and we see all these tube chassis, far from legal buggies and then our inspectable, streetable, YJ’s. Scott’s explanation, in his usual comical form, “We old school!”.
That conversation was backed up a little with an article I read in the most recent 4-wheeler magazine. The head section at the beginning of the magazine, the editor is talking about their trip to EJS this year, and now there were fewer buggies, and more full bodied, street driveable rigs. They blamed it on the economy, and they might be right, but they too mentioned how it took them back to earlier days. When getting your rig to the trail meant driving it there, and preparing it for a day of wheeling meant engaging the transfer case. These aren’t their words of course, I’m just throwing my opinions into what they wrote.
When i bought my first Jeep, in 1999, buggies were the exception, not the rule. When i started hitting Paragon in 2001 or so, you’d show up, and see a sea of other vehicles that drove there, just like we did. In various sizes. Guys that were on trailers were the ones with the money, or the ones that owned trailers for their business.
Someday I’ll probably own a trailer, but there’s really something to be said for loving your rig enough that you can drive it daily, and still hit the trails. I’ve always been something of an outsider, and it looks like the off-road crowd is moving in a direction I can’t afford, at least not right now, so I’ll continue to keep it old school for now.