Most of the time when I am out driving my lifted XJ I see other XJ’s, TJ’s, YJ’s and the like being driven by guys. Every once in awhile I will come across a female driver. Lately whenever I have passed other lifted XJ’s I get the “Jeep Wave” by guys which does make me feel like I am a part of the “group.” I have to admit that this past week I did drive as if I were in a tunnel and no other vehicles expect Jeeps existed. Several times I would pass XJ’s particularly lifted ones. I nearly ran over a car in front of me because all I could see were two lifted XJ’s that were giving me the Jeep wave. I wouldn’t mind getting together with some of these drivers to have some fun.
An issue I have come across is whenever I meet up with a group of people that talk about upcoming trips to go wheeling it usually consists of guys driving and their girlfriends or wives riding shotgun. As a female, if I attempt to join in the local group gatherings it is usually responded with hesitation or a cold shoulder.
I am a part of a group of XJ’ers that communicates through Yahoo’s XJlist that meets twice a year mainly in Harlan, KY at Blackmountain Off Road Park, Putney Trailhead. Most of the guys are from Kentucky in the Louisville area along with some who are from Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, etc. Typically there are about 20 people that join in the Spring Flings and Fall Crawls held every year.
According to one of the guys that manages Black Mountain Off Road Park, I am one of the only females he knows has driven her own rig on the trails. Most of the time the girlfriends or wives will drive the rigs down to the restrooms and showers. The rest of the time they are riding shotgun.
Almost five years ago with a completely stock XJ I proved myself to the group that I can do just about anything they could do and wasn’t scared to do it. Below is a picture of me on Trail 39 at Windrock OHV park in Oliver Springs, TN in October 2007.
In 2010, I really proved myself when my XJ nearly slid off the ledge of a trail known as Rail Bed in Black Mountain. This trail was mostly consisting of debris from mining in the area so the ground would give away, which is exactly what happened in my case. Approximately eight feet below was a massive pointy boulder. Every time we visit that trail the guys look down in awe and tell me they could have never handled that situation as well as I did. Luckily for me I had an awesome group of guys that immediately knew what to do and get it done quickly.
The next time I was at Black Mountain I proved I was not intimidated by Rail Bed and actually lead the group into the trail which the group has nicknamed “Jenny’s Trail.” Rail Bed has actually become one of my favorite trails when I visit Black Mountain. Trail 15 and the Lower Rock Garden would be my next favorite places. One day I would love to have a rig built enough to get through Mason Jar.
Every time I do visit Black Mountain there are people in other rigs and ATV’s that do double takes when they see me driving a rig. It brings a smile to my face especially when I can over hear them say there is a girl driving that Jeep!