My First Jeep Wave…

I finally walked out with the keys to Liberty Belle (who didn’t have a name just yet) on December 29, 2015 around 8pm. I had no idea how much my life was about to change. If you haven’t realized it yet, a Jeep is not just a vehicle. It’s a lifestyle. It’s open air, sunshine, dirt and adventure. Having no idea I was actually going to walk away with my Jeep, I called my best friend to tell her the news (hi Caitlin!!). 
“Guess what?! I just bought a Jeep!”

“What? No way! I have off tomorrow, you should drive it up here so I can see it!”

“Umm….. okay!”

So, after stopping at a gas station and struggling to get my freedom tip off for the first time, I drove the two hours home just to share my excitement! Once I got there, I made her hop in so we could take it for a spin. 

As we’re driving down some back roads to the beach, we see a super hott guy driving a TJ (not like I had any idea what a TJ was at that time). We do our typical girl thing, trying to pull up next to him and grab his attention. Finally, we have to turn left, and, as we get into the turn lane, Mr. Hottie Tottie waves out his window. 

“OMG! He just waved at us!” Caitlin said. 

“What? No way!!! Should we keep straight?”

But as it was getting late, we turn around and head home. Hours later, I’m sitting on Caitlin’s couch, posting pictures of my Jeep on facebook, reading through my owner’s manual, and trying to find some cool jeep #hashtags. Then, my cousin and fellow JeepHer comments “Learn your Jeep wave now!” 

“So Caitlin. That hot guy WASN’T waving at us because he thought we were cute.”

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The Vehicle that Changed my Life…

Silly isn’t it?

The day I bought my Jeep- a year and a half ago- I never would have thought that it was anything more than my next car. I never would have imagined that it would change my lifestyle, the adventures I take, the friends I make, or simply make me WANT to drive to work. With “Liberty Belle” (we’ll get to her name on a future post), I want to drive everywhere. The feeling of driving down a back road on a beautiful spring day and feeling the wind wrap around you, the sun kiss your skin and the smell of the fresh country air envelop you: the perfect cure for whatever ails you.

The only problem is, no one maps it all out for you. No one tells you if you want to replace your hard top with a soft top, you have to buy hardware for it. No one tells you why every jeep you pass is waving at you (I thought I was just having a good hair day). No one tells you that there are clubs full of adventurers like yourself just itching to use their jeeps for what they’re really made for- exploring Mother Nature like no one else can.

I’ve never been a big ‘car girl’. When I was sixteen, my dad showed me how to check my oil, but did I ever do it? That’s funny. So, when I bought my first Jeep, I knew nothing. If I hadn’t sent a link to my friend with the wheels I had fallen in love with, I would have been an unhappy camper $800 later with five wheels that don’t fit. Luckily for me, he replied with “Danielle, Jeeps have a 5×5 bolt pattern.” A what?

I can now happily say I can walk into 4 Wheel Parts and sound confident talking about the backspacing I want, the suspension kit I’m interested in, and what size tires I can fit under it. I can say that I took part in installing my suspension and can tell you what a sway bar, bump stop, shocks and brake lines look like. We haven’t even gotten into the world of off-roading yet. For many of you, this is common sense. But for beginners like me, it’s like learning a foreign language. It’s taken me pages of reading and wearing out my YouTube app to learn the things I know. Most of the things I’ve learned, I’ve stumbled upon by accident. There is no one place that tells you everything you need to know about becoming a Jeeper (or Jeepher). That’s why I’m here. I want to share the things no one told me, and maybe save some Jeep Novices like myself a little time- and possibly a little heartache. I’m still learning these things every day, and I’d like to bring you on that adventure with me.

So… You bought your first Jeep?


Liberty Belle and I on Day 1.