Monday, February 18, 2013

Camping for Valentine's Day

Sure, that's what we'll say. We decided to celebrate Valentine's Day camping. Not really, but it sounds more romantic and thought out. In reality, we just opted to spend an overnight, relaxing in Superior with friends.

A short jaunt up to Superior, a brief drive off road and one perfect camp spot later..

After camp was set up, I took off with the dogs to explore. Mike hurt his ankle the day prior to he kept watch over camp with Pete. We climbed a few hills to get a overview of our valley.

I moseyed back to camp to tell Mandy where we should hike to photograph tonight's sunset. Unfortunately when we climbed back up several hours later, the sunset was a complete disappointment.

The "kids" enjoying the sunset. Nah, they were watching camp, making sure Mike didn't go anywhere.

After Arizona's worst sunset, we went back to camp to have dinner, bake apples over the fire, and just relax. Elly was chilly, so napped on Mike's lap.

With ember's going out, we all turned in.  Chilly nights camping are the only time Elly will tolerate Rommel cuddling with her.

The next morning I wandered off to get some shots of the morning sun on the mountains.  The dogs came along and the girl's had a blast playing tag.

With exhausted dogs in tow, back to camp for breakfast. Thank you chef Mandy.  Unfortuantely, time was wearing on and we had to pack up to head home.  By this time, the girls were pooped.

It was a great weekend.  A gimpy dog and husband (hyper extended shoulder and twisted ankle, respectively), made for a quiet and relaxing camp trip.  No expectations, no plans, just bumming around in Arizona's beautiful winter weather. I love my life.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Upgrading the Jeep - AEV style

So we sold the Bronco.  Mike had to have a 1971 Bronco last summer and I agreed to indulge his whim.  Unfortunately he realized that it would take more money than he originally thought it would to get ti to where he wanted it.  On top of his work-in-progress-Chevelle, KTM, camp trailer....just too many irons in the fire. We decided to put any profit made into the Jeep.

So now I got to indulge.  We did some research on bumpers.  I wanted steel bumpers that were chunky and looked in the same manner as my stock ones.  We decided on AEV.  American made, quaility, and estecially what I was looking for.  The rear bumper came equipped with a tire carrier that swings with the talgate, as well as built in water tanks.  That's right, I can carry 10 gallons of water in my rear bumper.  We got a high lift mount with the option of carrying a pull pal if we ever get one.

Note Rommel helping Mike.  I guess he is taking on the role of supervision.  The front bumper has a Smittybilt winch with enough capacity to pull the Jeep + the weight of the trailer. 

I wanted to do a build report, but someone got excited and put the 2.5" AEV lift on while I was at work.  The mass majority of the front bumper build was done at night in the driveway and I kept busy with miscellaneous work in between helping with the rear bumper.  

But once the 2 day project of installing both bumpers and the Rock Hard 4x4 skid plates, we went to the back lot to try it out. As happy I am with how the bumpers look, I'm thrilled about the skid plates.  Super beefy steel to protect the undercarriage of the Jeep.  Jeep didn't take any consideration into protecting the underbelly of their premier off road vehicle. 

Of course the dogs felt the need to show off their handy work.  Its tough laying around watching mom/dad sweat in the driveway.  I'm super exited with how it looks and can't wait to take it out on a trail to get dirty.