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Merideth Evasew from ExtremeTerrain has produced her most recent Throttle Out episode, published just the other day, featuring a very lucky and very green Mojito JLU Sport. Mer’s goal was to create a daily driver that wouldn’t break the bank while incorporating some nice functional styling pieces like Armor, Bumpers, and rock sliders—because that beautiful Mojito Green is too pretty for tree and rock rash!
This Week In Jeep:
Long Time Rubicon Veteran Passes Away
Many of you may not be familiar with the name Steve Morris. But he left this world in a way any of us Jeepers could be proud of…. on his own turf doing what he loved most. Morris, who lived in Sacramento, owned part of the Rubicon Trail and had been on 65 of 67 Jeepers Jamborees there. Morris was born on June 7, 1930, and bought his first Jeep in 1954, a Willys CJ2A. In that same year he participated in his first Jeepers Jamboree on the Rubicon Trail and hasn’t missed one since. He literally became a living legend out on the trail. One of the trail’s most difficult obstacles, Morris Rock, is named after him. Rock Rollers in the Rubicon are people who help Jeepers get through boulders on the trail. Stationed at key points along the way, Rock Rollers not only guide drivers, they often help lift and maneuver stuck vehicles and help prevent rollovers. As a rock roller himself, Steve would help vehicles get through that challenging part of the trail that had his namesake. He had an unparalleled eagerness to help people whenever they needed it. El Dorado County parks manager Vickie Sanders remembers Steve like this: “When my father passed away (five years ago) Steve told me he always wanted a daughter, so he adopted me. He was always kind and he would do anything I needed.” Sanders has known Morris since she began managing the Rubicon Trail about 20 years ago. She said he worked closely with her on various trail issues, volunteering his time to help keep the history and trail intact. “He was the most amazing, giving man that I’ve ever met,” Sanders said. In 1985, a group of 12 people (including Morris) purchased part of Rubicon Springs on the Rubicon Trail just three days before it was going to be taken over by the U.S. Forest Service. Not only a trail-blazer for the Rubicon, Morris also founded the California Association of Four-Wheel Drive Clubs in 1959 and served as its president until 1961. In 1966, he started the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo club where he and other volunteers in the community adopted and maintained trails in the Tahoe National Forest. All of his off-roading led him to be one of six inducted this year to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 3 at South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame announced that they will also honor Morris’ life and legacy at the awards ceremony.
Morris devoted his entire life to helping people, improving trails and forests and being a pioneer on the Rubicon Trail. As he got older, Morris had to be talked out of working with the Rock Rollers. He then turned his energy to giving history talks about the complete history of the Rubicon Trail dating back hundreds of years. His son, Rick Morris, wrote a book in 2011 called, “Rubicon Springs and The Rubicon Trail: A History.” Rick has committed to giving the history talks in his dad’s place, ensuring the legend and memory of the man and the region live on for another generation. Steve Morris passed on July 27 after giving his annual Saturday morning history talk out on the famous trail. Jeepers Jamboree office manager Lacey Stiles walks us through his last moments. She said. “After he did his talk he ate lunch. They asked if he wanted something to drink, he said, ‘I would like some scotch,’ …he had a sip, ……and went through the pearly gates.” Rest In Peace Rock Roller, you will be missed. From all of us at the Jeep Talk Show, our deepest sympathies go out to the Morris family.
“Mad-Max” Like Jeep Confiscated At Border
This story is a more than a few months old, but it was so buried and hidden, we actually had to do some digging to find the whole story. (look at us working on our investigative journalism.) Apparently, at one point in February, Border Patrol agents seized a heavily modified Jeep Cherokee after smugglers fleeing southbound got stuck on a vehicle barrier. So, according to reports, The agents working a stretch of desert about four miles north of the U.S / Mexico border discovered evidence of tracks from an off-road vehicle on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. This is not an area where off-road vehicle tracks are supposed to be. So they called in additional Border Patrol agents, along with a helicopter crew to begin the search. The helicopter crew spotted the off-road vehicle in question speeding toward the international boundary. The reports say that the entire roof of the SUV was gone, and most of the body work had been stripped away. The windshield had been replaced by a metal screen, and the whole thing was outfitted with some sort of a custom-made roll-cage.
((QUOTE))”It reminds me of ‘Mad Max’,” one officer said in his report. Inside the vehicle, the crew spotted 11 people and what was thought to be several large bundles of marijuana …..go ahead and let that sink in a minute. An older Jeep Cherokee, …modified or not… there were ELEVEN ADULTS in a frickin XJ! PLUS bundles of weed. No wonder the roof was gone, they were probably stacked and piled in there like a game of “pot-n-people-Jenga!” The driver headed to a part of the border, more than a dozen miles west of Lukeville, Arizona, where two large makeshift vehicle ramps were already in place over the border barriers. The driver attempted to drive over the barrier fence using the ramps, but failed, dropping one of the rear tires off the ramp as he went up. The Jeep obviously became critically stuck on the large steel post and rail barrier.
In one of the reports it says, it was at that moment, all 11 occupants exited the vehicle, (which was still halfway up the ramp) and fled into Mexico with the suspected marijuana. U.S. officials asked Mexican officials to deploy military law enforcement to the area, but ”officials are officials” and officially, no one ever found the suspects or the drugs. Authorities have “officially” seized the vehicle however… So there’s that at least. This particular smuggling attempt may sound familiar to many of you….. It resembles a similar incident back in 2012, in which (the photo that went viral) shows a silver Jeep Cherokee which got high centered on a massive 14-foot-high section of border wall. That one was near Imperial Sand Dunes as the driver attempted to drive it down another makeshift custom-made ramp. Granted, that one was a lot bigger. But still. It’s Interesting nonetheless, why they keep coming back to the XJ as the preferred “wall climbing vehicle.”
Interview: Amy Granat – CORVA (California Off-Road Vehicle Association) https://corva.org
Amy has been Managing Director of the California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA) since 2011. Amy rediscovered her love for 4-wheeling after becoming disabled, and even met her husband Joe on a trail. His Jeep followed her truck, and the rest was history! When Amy started wheeling around the state and saw all the roads and trails threatened with closure, she knew she had to find a group that would fight for her right, and the rights of everyone else, to travel off-road. CORVA is the organization that is dedicated to fighting for OHV in California.
CORVA is celebrating their 50 Year Anniversary in 2020 of advocating for off-roaders and off-road opportunities throughout California. CORVA preserves, promotes and protects off-road recreation by working in the legislative, legal and political arenas with all levels of government, from local to federal.
For all our jeepers up north, (or if you just want an excuse to get out of the country….)
Who/What: Niagara Jeep Fest 2019
When: August 24th (all day)
Where: Niagara Regional Agricultural Society, Welland, Canada
More Info: Fundraising Jeep and 4×4 show with RTI Ramp, Teeter Totter, Mud Pits, prizes, awards and more
Who/What: Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion
When: August 23rd – 24th
Where: LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, TN
More Info: Over a hundred vendors will be featured within and outside of the LeConte Center. Enjoy a variety of events, including a Show and Shine competition for those wishing to impress with their build. There will be something for everyone to enjoy!