Back in March, I bought my dream car, a True Blue Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I’d been drooling over this weird four-door convertible ever since I first saw one back in 2007.
Growing up we’d always had 4x4s. In North-West Minnesota, it seemed likely everyone in the country owned at least one 4-wheel drive vehicle. During the winter, there were days when the only thing getting out of the driveway was my dad’s 98 Silverado.
I remember riding along the Pembina Trail with my mom in the back of her teal Geo Tracker. While she drove my brother and I would peer out the windows at the great expanse of prairie, dear, rabbits and, on more than one occasion, a Moose or two would come in the view.
Here and there, my mother would pull off and we’d pile out and run up and down the sand dunes that dotted the trail or head off on a hiking trail, our little plastic cameras in hand.
So, when my job called for a more capable vehicle than my 2002 Chevy Camero, I knew exactly what I wanted.
The Jeep was every bit a practical choice as it was a personal choice. I could have driven my dad’s old truck into the ground, and he’d probably have let me, but I wanted this Jeep.
“Have Space Suit – Will Travel”
When I bought the Jeep, I don’t think I realized yet how a vehicle like this would change me.
Heinlein’s “Have Space Suit, Will Travel,” comes to mind when I think about what owning such a vehicle has meant to me during the short time I’ve owned it.
Heinlein’s 1958 classic told a story of exploration only possible with the right equipment.
This classic, published in 1958, tells the story of a young man who dreams of a future exploring the stars. After a failed attempt to win a trip to the moon in a contest off the back of a bar soap wrapper, the main character finds himself in possession of a vintage space suit. This space suit and a little dumb luck eventually takes the main character to the moon and beyond.
Now that I’ve revealed my guilty pleasure, some of you may be wondering what a space suit and Jeep have in common. A Jeep obviously won’t take me too the moon, but neither will a space suit. Before you can go somewhere beyond the reach of conventional means, you have to have the means to get there. In Heinlein’s classic, this was a space suit, for me, it was a Jeep.
When I bought the Jeep, I was buying the freedom to explore the world beyond the pavement, and that is exactly my plan. Speaking of plans, I’ll be planning a few short overland trips for early next year.
I’ll continue to build and refine the Jeep as the opportunity arises. Notably, a winch and a bevy of other recovery equipment have jumped to the top of my list following a few misadventures this summer.
Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks.