Geez, Thanks Dan- What an honor….Well, I think I know some of you, I’m Nichol, the girl with the jeep that needs bigger tires!
My parents were members of the Bobtails and then they moved to the Cascade 4x4’s in 1970. I am an only child but grew up with many of the jeeping kids- Kelda Hagemeier(Hansen), Stafford’s, Whitney’s, Green’s and Moody’s. We all camped at Harry’s property out in Elbe. Our club had Playday’s out there for many years. I mostly remember getting free cookies from Karen Stafford at the SnackShak and watching the jeeps race up a really steep hillclimb that most jeeps had issues with making it all the way up! Some rolled, some stalled very few ever made it to the top. These are my earliest memories of jeeping. I think I was 4 years old.
My first memory of trail jeeping was the Shoestring. I sat in the jumpseat in the back but my parents piled up stuff on the top and to the sides so I couldn’t see a thing so I couldn’t really tell you much about the trip at all- I think I was 10 years old.
My Dad started out with a CJ-5 and then built up a 3B Highhood that had a monster Buick engine. Our neighbors hated us because he would work swing shift and then come home in the morning and start working on that jeep to get it ready for the weekend camping and racing. He would only let me drive that jeep in Granny gear, I think he was just too scared that I would hit the gas and kill us all. The only other kid that drove it was Rob Stafford. My dad sold that jeep when I turned 16 and never again did we jeep as a family and shortly after we dropped from our club.
My Dad passed away in 2005 and in one of our last conversations he told me that I had to find something in life that I loved to do and that was just for me. I didn’t really put much thought into it. As it turned out one of my best friends had a Rubicon that she just bought and she let me take it on a run with the Cascade 4x4’s to Evan’s creek, I was just a guest and that run was all I really needed to convince myself that I needed a jeep and soon. My jeeping friends gave me criteria of things that I needed to find in the jeep I was looking for – thing like Fuel Injection, Llockers, Warn Winch, etc. It took me just a few short months and I found it on Craigslist a ‘91 YJ with a Hardtop and front ARB lockers and a winch- the rest would/could be modified! I bought it from a guy who didn’t really want to sell it to me. He confessed to me later that he really thought I was only going to drive it to the mall. The guy’s name was Hank and I gave him cash and towed my jeep home and parked it in the upper driveway hoping my husband wouldn’t notice my new purchase as I really had not consulted with him about this. I think he was a little surprised when he saw it the next morning and even more surprised that I went out and joined my old jeep club. I decided to name the jeep Hank after its previous owner and I send him pictures of our adventures every month. He says he looks forward to them and is always a little surprised at the things I can do with his old jeep. Of course Hank has been modified and of course I will never be done with the modifications, but then who ever really finishes their rigs anyway?
I have to say, I love going jeeping, it’s that thing my Dad was talking about- the thing I love to do on my own. My Dad would be so proud I rejoined our old club and kept in touch with our old friends. He would most likely not be impressed with some of my off roading skills. I have been rescued a few times by my trusty club members from tipping over in deep puddles and pulled over a few muddy, tree roots (Thank you Rob, Willy& Deb, Bill, Dan, Marty and Daryl). I look forward to meeting more of you. See you out on the trail or at the races.
Cascade 4x4's Tacoma
El Dorado Dust Devils
Last edited by Nichol; 07-16-2010 at 06:39 PM.