Sunday, January 22, 2017

RockMonster Run

Mike and I have been talking about hitting RockMonster for a while now.  We both used to frequent the Sonoran Desert National Monument daily for work.  It's been several years and we yearned for an adventure in our backyard.

I hit up our new JeepFriends and had a few takers for today's adventure, including our AdventureFriends in their FJ.  So there we were, a big white PowerWagon leading a line of Jeeps and a FJ.  It looked like pop was out taking the kids for a stroll.

This time, I drove my Jeep too, so there are less photos.

We peaked RockMonster (no that is not it's name, but one we gave it), and were disappointed.  I think they've done maintenance since the last time we were out here and it made the jaunt up to the peak kinda bland.  But we did have amazing views for lunch!

The weather was incredible, the company killer and the trail a blast.  We popped out at Big Horn and made our way back east.  A quick pit stop to air up and we parted ways.

It's so awesome to have connected with a group of people who love to explore and get out as much as we do.

Link for video in case embedding fails.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year, New Friends, New Trails

2017 started out with me stepping way out of my comfort zone and making new friends.  A few months back I started following a couple who was renovating an Airstream and posting their progress on Instagram.  Around Christmas they posted a picture of one of their Jeeps on a soggy trail on their way to find snow.  I commented, asking them to let me know where the snow was as Mike and I had already planned on Jeeping New Years day.  Little did I know that that post was an accident - it was meant for their other Instagram account I wasn't currently following.  Regardless, Brett reached out and said that they were planning on wheeling New Years day and invited us along.

The rest is history.

We left home at 7:00 AM and made our way to their campsite near Lake Pleasant.  It was raining and would remain cloudy and rainy all day.  No one cared.  About 13 rigs met up and took off just before 10AM.  The plan?  Crown King only on dirt.  Well, the Mill Restaurant, because stomachs always win during planning.

Off we went!

Until we hit a raging wash.

It wasn't worth the risk.  The power of water is unmatched and we turned back.
This shot was inspired by Liz.  I spotted her using this small puddle for creative shots and totally stole her inspiration.

The sun peeked out for a few minutes giving me adequate light for some pictures.  And Heather picked up on my unique was of taking pics on the fly: I sit on the window sill, hanging onto the roll bar with one hand and using my abs to keep me steady.  She called me a National Geographic Photographer.  Ha!  I wish!

The next plan?  Tiny bit of slab and off road at BumbleBee.  We lost a few folks to other plans and the herd started to thin out.

Elly and Rommel got a bit of rest on our way up north.

It pretty must misted on us all day.  But the farther north we went, the thicker the fog.  Climbing up towards Crown King, we lost a lot of the good landscapes.  A bit of a bummer for sure, but it made for some interesting overlanding.

We crested the mountain and started to see snow.

We stopped into the Mill Restaurant and had a killer meal among our new friends.  Kindred spirits, all of us.  Sharing stories of camping and wheeling and, of course, dogs.
A video posted by Amanda (@the_adventure_wife) on

From Crown King, we started our way towards Prescott.  I honestly couldn't tell you our route, as we were at the tail end of the group and just enjoying the trek.

The snow got deeper the higher we went and it was amazing!  A snow play break was in order.  The gaggle of dogs (and kids) had a blast.

The pittie and black dog were found by Brett and Liz the day prior. No tags and no owners in sight.  And they were amazing pups.  They spent the weekend with the crew, getting loved on and thanks to a spotted flyer were reunited with their people on Monday.

Heather made a sweet little snow man

Onwards up the trail!

We got out of the snow and right back into the fog.

Pit stop:

And then back into the snow! It got deep.  It got cold.  It got interesting.

Finally we popped out into Prescott and stopped in town for some libations.  It was a great way to end a fantastic day.

I think we started 2017 off on the right foot.  We made several new friends.  We had an amazing time beating on the Jeep and playing in the snow.  We hope to have more fun overloading trips with the gang, and will surely head back towards Crown King to explore more.

Check out my SmugMug for the full album of the days adventures!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016: Where Did the Year Go?

Social media is full of posts exclaiming excitement to be rid of 2016.  I don't quite understand the prevailing sentiment behind hating an entire year.  Yes, my house has experience personal loss of a friend and beloved coworker.  Yes, my house has seen its share of medical issues and surgeries (both human and canine).  Yes, the election cycle was horrendous and the state of society seems to be crumbling.  But to hate an entire year?  No.

A Moment Frozen - Candid Photo by Mandy

I've always considered myself a pessimist but I refuse to hate all of 2016.  Wonderful things still happened this year.  Good days outnumbered the bad.  Triumphs came along with failures.  And, most importantly, adventures of all kind were had.

We had our annual camping trip.  As always, Colorado and Utah didn't disappoint.
Left to Right: Colorado, Silverton, CO & Sedona, AZ

We had a few short camping trips, small adventures at home, canoeing with friends, hiking with the dogs

Camping at Reynolds Creek (we hope its still there after fire season)

Controlled Chaos

Bartlett Lake, AZ

Home <3

I started a fitness journey and began running consistently for the first time in 9 years.  And recently, thanks to an early Christmas present from my parents, I have taken up biking again. 

We took a small step back from off road adventures so Mike could start racing his Chevelle in the local SCCA autocross series. He has done quite well and impressed many people with how quick the giant blue beast is.  (He owes me a considerable amount of off road travel for the last 5 months....)

Good Guys Duel in the Desert, Scottsdale, AZ

At the end of this year, we're celebrating health and happiness at home.  I am looking forward to 2017 and embracing the things in this world that I can change while not expending too much energy on those that I can not.

Life can be amazing, if you only take the time to live it as fully as you can.

Silverton, CO

May 2017 bring you peace, happiness and many adventures.

-The Adventure Wife