I’m a Jeepless Jeeper.
For the first time in almost 25 years I don’t own a Jeep. I bought a 1966 CJ5 from my dad when I was 18 - one that he had purchased when I was 9. I owned it for nearly 18 years, buying and selling other Jeeps along the way. In 2004 I bought a 1964 CJ6 and began modifying it with the intent to keep it until my kids used it to haul my dead body to the graveyard.
All that changed with this trip when a year ago March I sold the CJ6, matching trailer and all my spare parts.
Somewhere in that period, about 10 years ago, I started hanging out with other “Early” Jeep owners at EarlyCJ5.com. The forum there got busy and at some point I become a moderator along with Patrick Harlow who lives in Los Alamos, NM. We’ve been in almost daily contact since, trading simple “Morning!” messages to getting and giving advice on Jeep projects, to sharing more personal details of our lives. We finally met in person a few years ago down in North Carolina, but hadn’t seen each other in person since. Detouring through Albuquerque before heading north to Colorado meant we could possibly camp with the Harlows - so a few weeks ago I started touching base with Patrick to see if our schedules could line up.
Luckily we found that a campout over Mothers Day weekend would work for both of us, so we scheduled a visit to the Lake Abiquiu area - just an hour or so from where Patrick lives. We had a great casual weekend just hanging out in the campground, playing with Patricks 4WD RC truck, gathering wood for a campfire, getting the kids acquainted and playing together (which they did very well), enjoying the Harlows dogs (especially Storybird), watching the sunset over the reservoir, and talking shop/family life/school.
When we set out on this trip MsBoyink and I agreed to try and be purposeful about it being more than just seeing the natural wonders this country has to offer. We wanted people to be a large part of it as well. I’m glad we were able to make this weekend happen!