On a cold and wet September weekend, I headed out to Thermopolis, Wy for an off-road tour in a Jeep. Justin Sandback from Fremont Motors (who builds custom Jeeps for the dealership) was to be my driver. Will Morgan and Erin Helms are the organizers of the off-road tours. Their company is also based out of Casper Wy, 307 Adventures. You may remember a previous article we did on Will, who has formerly worked for Jeep. If not, you can find it here.
Jeep(ers) talk in code
I arrived on Fri evening, just in time for dinner at the Stones Throw restaurant, where I was met with a group of people that own Jeeps; Jeepers, who like to talk in code. Eaves-droppers might confuse the conversations for being about pop singers and boys names, but no. JK and TJ are Jeep model codes. Another conversation at dinner consisted of gently poking fun and reminiscing about a time on another trip where a fellow Jeeper had to get winched out by another Jeep due to not putting in his own Jeep in 4WD. Everbody laughed and smiled, its part of the lifestyle. We live, learn, and have something to talk about for next time. Welcome to Jeep culture.
Good food before driving
Early the next morning, we had breakfast (at quite possibly the best greasy spoon in the State, The Black Bear Cafe). Then we had a drivers meeting, talked about snakes and bears, then hit the road. It had rained the entire previous day. It was decided there was too much moisture on the ground making the planned route dangerous.(That sure is weird as a Scottish person writing that). So we went on a scenic and historic overland route instead.
A local Thermopolis historian came with us (in a Jeep)
Will’s mother happens to work at the local museum in Thermopolis. She is drenched with knowledge on the history of the local area. Whilst we were driving, she told us stories over the walkie-talkie radios. Fascinating stories about ranchers, outlaws, flora and wildlife. In-between each story came a wisecrack and/or funny comment along with a, “breaker breaker”, or “that’s a big 10-4” across the radios.
We visited areas of interest such as;
The petroglyphs at Legend Rock.
The ghost town of Gebo, Wyoming.
It was such a beautiful trip, with amazing scenery and great to be part of such a great experience. The Jeeps, made the roads look easy, and whilst it was what Jeepers would consider an overland tour, some of those are only accessible by a Jeep, truck or SUV with a high ground clearance that can troll through the water.
The local policeman
A sense of belonging was hard not push away when you overhear someone in the distance say, “wow look at all those Jeeps, I’m in love!”. Will even talked to a local policeman in Thermopolis. We were curious how the conversation was going. Will come over and said, “he has a Jeep he wants to come too”. These are the moments that make Jeep owners proud, I can’t deny, it warms the heart. A group of very different personalities, with one common goal and everyone, smiled, All. The. Time. It’s great to just get away, forget about life. Enjoy some freedom, the mountains, off-roading, wildlife, and just touring the wide-open country. There’s really nothing to not like about it.
Representatives from AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) and Terraflex Suspensions came with us. These guys are like the equivalent of the Jeep Lords. I can’t tell you enough how friendly and knowledgeable these guys are. If you’d like more info on their builds or parts, find them at Terrflex.com and AEV-Conversions.com. For more information on Jeep off-road tours, check out 307Adventures.com, and for more info on Wranglers or custom Jeep builds by Fremont, contact us at Fremontmotors.com.