JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
Most that know me, know that I am a huge fan of using Midland 2-way radios for all of my explorations. They are simple, reliable and work great, why wouldn't I use them?? On the top of the Midland 2-way list...the MXT400. This beast offers up 40 watts of power and has a range like no other.
The MXT400 is not just for Jeepers though. Thanks to the crew over at OC Motorsports we rigged up my buddy's Toyota 4Runner with a MXT400 and guess what? He loves it too!
Check out the Midland MXT400 at: https://midlandusa.com/product/mxt400-micromobile-2-way-radio-2/
Day 3: Ok, ok, I'd say from Bodega Bay, heading north along HWY 1 is probably some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever scene. Think about it for a minute here...this gigantic Country literally ends right there on the edge of California. The the last steps of Americans right there where the Pacific Ocean begins, and that seem to go on forever. To give a little perspective here...if you were to be dumped just 500 yards off the coastline up there, you would disappear forever. If nothing else, appreciate the significance of nature and our place in it.
No campground for night 3 though folks. I have a great friend from my past life that has an amazing slice of paradise up there so, not only did I get to hang out, laugh, and share life with him for the night...I had all the comfort a guy could ask for.
Day 4 will be a long one, nothing to see really, just getting about a thousand miles in to get back home. I wish I could have had another week out here, but...there's a YJ to build back home AND I happen to have a WONDERFUL package from TeraFlex being delivered and I HAVE to be home for it.
All in all though...the trip was amazing! The new CVT Trailer and tent combination is perfect for this keep bad of stuff and I can't wait to do it again.
The world is so beautiful if we just take the time to get out and see it.
Well, the coast line was pretty beautiful coming up. Still a lot of people though. On the grid is definitely different than off the grid, that's for sure. I can't say I don't love it though.
Night two we had to pass through our planned destination because of the amount of campers in the sites. (Take note...if you know where you want to stay, make a reservation). Turned out it was a good thing though, the Northern California Coast Line at 9 pm is amazing! It will let you know how small people really are in this world. Kind of funny how much we screw things up considering.
We pull in to a super dark field...I mean "campground" and it is cold, dark and late! Guess what though? It couldn't of been more perfect timing, because the skyline was full of stars. Early to bed and early to rise for me.
The morning came and I had to see where the heck I was! I stepped down the ladder of the CVT tent and WOW! This place is beautiful.
I'd love to share where you could find this gem of a campground, but...I still have NO idea where I am. If you can find it, you'll be amazed!
Day 1 -
Against all odds we Finally made it out of the house! Yup, just in time for some good ol' LA traffic too. This place is so over populated, you can't get anywhere anymore with sitting on the freeway with everyone else!
Finally, just past Oxnard we are rolling again. Just in time too, because the 103 temps through the valley, IN TRAFFIC, were making me feel like a caged animal. (One more reason to hate the zoo).
Not really a whole lot to see until you push into the Santa Barbara area, so if you're looking for a scenic drive...be patient. Consider it a commute to a scenic drive up to this point.
Continuing north you'll cut away from the beach for a while, the rolling hills are beautiful but still to populated to stop for a scenic picture, at least for my taste. I did find a little taco place that had some good carne asada tacos though. Ok, we are almost to the first stop...let's keep going!
The weather was insane as we rolled in and out of a heavy marine layer. The temperature would flux 20 plus degrees in a span of 10 minutes. Odd, but something to experience for sure.
Although I haven't seen any yet, this place is perfect for a little bike ride around the grounds. The small hiking trails are full of photo opportunities and the one I'm on now takes you down to the beach.
I would say that the San Simeone Campground is a keeper! Definitely a great way to get away for a few days.
Ok...the journey continues.
Again I drag myself out of bed. Lethargic, unmotivated, feeling very...grey. I sit in my same chair, in my same living room and turn on my same television to see what else the humanity will do to prove how screwed up we are. As I turn my heavy head to see what a beautiful day it is outside, (you know, that place outdoors people go to seek adventure and exploration?? Yeah...that outside), Anyway, I look out past my usual dream of finding that new, perfect place where nature greets me with open arms to see another visual of my what seems to be new life.
That's when it hits me! That's when I realize what must have happened! I begin to rack my brain thinking. I retrace every step. I re-walk through every move to try and figure out when it happened. I mean, I didn't even believe in this place until this very moment, but it has to be! It's my only explanation. Why else would I be stuck in a perpetual state of mediocrity? Why else would I be frozen in time feeling like a wild animal caged for the very first time?? Clearly something happened that ended it all for me. I can't figure out what or when it was, but what else could explain this?? At some point, under some circumstance, I've died! Now, I must be stuck in what some religions call...Purgatory. That horrible place of nothingness we go when we die while waiting for our fate to be revealed. Yup, that sucks...and I'm here.
For a split second, Flo comes on the zombie creating box, known as television and starts pitching me insurance in the most ridiculous way possible. My vision starts to focus. Things start to become clear again. I look out into my driveway to see my beautiful Jeep up on jacks, waiting for some folks that CLEARLY don't have the same urgency to life I do.
Yup...Jeep parts! That's what caused all of this! Well, the procrastinating people behind the Jeep parts anyway! I'm sitting here stir crazy, watching my life slip away before my very eyes because of a few people that don't understand I NEED to be out there. I NEEEED to continue to search, to explore.
I understand the "reality" of a job most really don't want and for pay that is barely enough to cover all the crap we don't need. I understand most of us have spent a lifetime thinking that happiness looks like a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house, full of kids that take things for granted, bills that never seem to get paid, and a dumb dog that won't stop barking at everything that walks by, all wrapped in a white picket fence. AND I understand that the vast majority of society lives their entire lives in a 10 mile radius of their house and a government that wants to keep it that way because it's easier to control. I understand all of that and also understand that life does not have to be that way. We can go further. We climb higher. We see and do things that we dreamed of as children. I guess what I'm trying to say here is...COME ON GUYS!!! JUST SEND MY THE FREAKIN PARTS I NEED BEFORE I GO CRAZY!!!
Dan Fresh from OC Motorsports has his past. No, no, no, you weirdos...I'm not talking an arrest record, I mean as an Off-Road super hero. Well, good ol' Dan might seem a little more Peter Parker than he does Spider-Man these days, but..the guy still crazy skills and watching Dan in action is a whole lot of fun!
When venturing the wild safety and communication should be your top priority. There are two types of communications that you need to be prepared for. Long distance communication and short distance communication. We will be discussing long distance communication today and that is where the Garmin inReach comes to the rescue.
How many of you have been out exploring only to have no reception on your phone? Heck I can’t even really get reception in my home. What do you do in an emergency? The Garmin inReach can give you peace of mind that you will always be connected to help and your loved ones no matter where you are in the world. The Garmin inReach uses the Iridium satellite system which guarantees 100% global coverage with no fringe zones or blackout areas unlike other products such as SPOT that uses the Globalstar satellite system and does not guarantee 100% global coverage. The following paragraphs will go a little bit more into detail on why I chose the Garmin inReach over it’s competition for my go to long distance communication tool in my overland rig.
While most satellite communication devices on the market allow only one-way communication the Garmin inReach always for two-way communications. The SPOT allows you to push an SOS button in an emergency but will not let you communicate what your emergency is. In an emergency situation every second counts and being able to let your rescuers know exactly what the problem is will expedite the process. With the SPOT you have an SOS button but you can not send any more information about your problem and you can program a pre-written message incase of a non emergency for example to let your family know you made it to your destination or that your car broke down but there is no further communication once that message is sent. With the Garmin inReach you can create pre-written messages for convenience but you can send texts messages and emails to continue the conversation. The Garmin inReach connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet to allow full use of your keyboard, contacts and to use your device as a giant map. I currently have mine connected to a Samsung Galaxy Tab A which is a perfect size to use as a map and keyboard.
An awesome feature of the Garmin inReach is its ability to plan and track your trip, share your location, and let others ping your device or follow your journey via MapShare. Recently we ran The Arizona Peace Trail which brought us out of the state for a couple days. I created a MapShare so loved ones at home could following along and see how we were doing and if they needed to get a hold of us in an emergency situation they could simple send us a message. When you get back from your adventure you can log into your account and look at all the data from your trip and share your route with others.
Garmin inReach uses the 24/7 monitoring center called GEOS. Once you trigger the SOS you will receive a delivery confirmation (SPOT does not let you know if your SOS has been received) that help is on the way and a maintained 2-way text conversation with the GEOS emergency monitoring center. They track your location and notify the most appropriate emergency response for your situation. The GEOS team will stay in communication with you until the situation is resolved.
Weather has a funny way of changing drastically at any given moment. Even if you researched your weather conditions before you left there is nothing stopping a freak storm to head your way. With the Garmin inReach you can receive weather forecasts for your location with a click of a button.
With all satellite communication devices there are subscriptions so please visit their website https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/ to see which one fits your needs and to read more about all the awesome features.
When traveling off the beaten path you owe it to you loved ones and first responders to have the proper communication tools.
Stay safe and prepared my friends.