McDaddy and I typically take a weekend trip for our anniversary. One year, he took me to Charlotte for Dancing With The Stars Tour. For our tenth anniversary, he surprised me with the trip of a lifetime when he told me to pack a bag for temperatures in the 70′s and lots of walking. As it turned out, he had booked two airline tickets to Minnesota and we went to the Mall of America.
My boyfriend Maks one year.
The largest shopping mall in America another year.
It would be hard to top that.
I had been throwing out some hints and ideas about this year’s romantic getaway, and I was excited to see where we’d end up.
Back in December, McDaddy mentioned the idea of the two of us attending the Jeep Jamboree in Farmington, Pennsylvania.
Um, not quite the romantic getaway I had in mind. And I can’t imagine there’d be much shopping there, unless of course you count the Jeep Jamboree clothing corner.
He purchased the tickets, saying that this trip was his due.
Yes, I suppose it is.
I was happy to find out a couple from our church had purchased tickets to the Jamboree too, so at least I’d have a girlfriend to pal around with. The Jamboree was being held at a fancy schmancy resort and spa, so I had it in my head that Kelley and I would have time for a pedicure or a massage. Or both.
That is, until I received this e-mail from McDaddy. Apparently he and our friend Brian had a different idea about this JEEP Jamboree weekend.
Yep…they better get that stuff out of their system!….this ain’t no FRU-FRU weekend…it’s about getting mud on the Jeep…not hotsy-totsy mud baths at a spa….ha-ha
Aside from the obvious JEEP trail rides, I had no idea what to expect. I figured there’d be lots of talk about winches, suspension lift kits, lockers, sway bar disconnects, airing down, high-lift jacks, skid plates, rock rails, blah, blah, blah.
These JEEP Jamboree folks did not disappoint. They mean business. I was surprised to discover that many of the JEEP drivers were women, and even more surprised that there were so many women at the Jamboree.
On our way out-of-town on Thursday, there was a problem with our brakes. Not something you want to hear on your way to the Jeep Jamboree for sure. Thankfully it was a pretty quick fix and between McDaddy and our friend Brian, we were back on the road headed to Pennsylvania in no time.
There was this whole JEEP vehicle evaluation process and following that there was the trail selection process, but honestly, no matter what spin I put on it, I can’t think of one way to make it even the least bit interesting. The trails guides basically spent ten or so minutes evaluating each JEEP, asking the driver what types of modifications their JEEPS had. Then, based on the evaluation, drivers are asked to sign up for trails rated for their JEEPS.
Like I said, boring.
And now on to the interesting part.
This here is a shot of McDaddy and I before the smile got wiped off of my face.
The good time was short-lived.
Approximately 45 minutes into our first day, we came to a big, honkin water hole that appeared to be about three feet deep. When it was our turn, McDaddy put the pedal to the medal and floored it. We barreled through that friggin’ hole for about six seconds until coming to an abrupt stop.
That’s when all heck broke loose and I screamed like a crazy person.
And by heck, I mean this:
And because I was in the passenger seat, it also meant this:
Now let me ask you this.
What kind of idiot holds her $700. camera on her lap when barreling through a three-foot mud hole with the top down?
Apparently, this idiot.
Why I thought bringing my good camera along on this trip instead of my point-and-shoot is beyond me.
I have babied my beloved Canon Rebel for almost two years. And in a matter of six seconds, the case was covered in mud and the camera itself was splotched with mud.
As it turns out, there is a reason that *most* of the JEEP Jamboree people left the tops up on their jeeps. One would think it would have dawned on us that this was the case before heading out for the day.
As you might imagine, it took a bit for me to regroup after that incident. And if I’m being honest, the only reason I didn’t throw a bigger fit is because I could tell that McDaddy was aggravated about it too. I decided to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. MUD. and All.
When I said I was really wanting a massage or a mud-facial, I was actually hoping to get it at the Nemacolin Resort and not out on the Grinder Trail.
All that mud covering our JEEP, its contents and its passengers was staight-up PURE CRAZINESS.
The motor is not supposed to look like this.
I was not one bit happy about the mud, but thankfully, that incident was the worst part of the entire weekend.
We actually had a great time crawling over rocks, climbing hills, straddling ruts, barreling through deep mud and sludge, and laughing at the events of the day.
The Grinder Trail.
Thanks to a tree, this was the worst hit that our JEEP took over the weekend.
After a great first day out on the trail, we headed to the ballroom for a fancy dinner. Unfortunately there was not a lot of time to get cleaned up.
As you can see, there was plenty of mud to go around.
As an added bonus, we met a lot of great people and saw JEEPS of all shapes, colors and sizes.
My favorite JEEP colors are surf blue, dozer (think Caterpillar bulldozer orange), Mango Tango Pearl (think bronze pearl), and crush (think orange crush soda).
There is at least one car-wash owner in the Farmington, PA area who’s happy the JEEP Jamboree came to his town.
He may also be a bit aggravated that his car-wash bays were covered in mud.
And thankfully, after a great day on the trails, I found my smile!
And after a good 90 minutes of cleaning at the hotel, IN THE DARK, I was pretty proud of the progress I made on the dash. It is interesting to note however, that McDaddy has since spent at least four more hours cleaning out vents and visors.
McDadddy and I had a great weekend. I hope it is everything he had hoped it would be.
After all, it was his due.
Oh, and McDaddy, if you’re reading this, it is time to LIFT THAT SUCKER. I didn’t like being told that we “might not make it.”