Justa Bronco Journey #1

TorgSurv

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Jul 13, 2020
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Blake
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Torgersen
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185

On January 1st, 2021 my wife, my son, and I drove our 1991 Bronco to Bronco Knoll for the first time, launching a year of adventure and change.
On January 1st 2022 our family began a whole new series of adventures in our recently acquired 2021 Bronco. This is the story of the first Justa Bronco Journey.

"Justa" is a carbonized gray two-door base series Bronco with a 2.3L engine and manual transmission. When my wife and I happened to spot this perfectly basic Bronco abandoned on a dealer lot two weeks before Christmas, we just couldn't resist adopting it and giving it a good home while we continue to wait for our ordered Black Diamond to be built. On the way home I stopped to show Justa the beautiful view of Fisher Towers from Highway 128, and then of course we stopped by the Moab Bronco Off-Roadeo Base Camp as well.
20211207_135151.jpg 20211208_122623.jpg
Over the next few weeks we couldn't get enough of Justa, driving it everywhere and loving every minute of it. The week before Christmas, we took it on a family trip to Brian Head Ski Resort. Loaded down with four people, our luggage, our snow gear, and a few Christmas presents, not to mention a couple of snowboards strapped on top, Justa impressed us with it's smooth highway performance and efficient overall average fuel economy.

Several months ago, I made plans to tackle as many of the 80 routes listed in the "Guide to Moab Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails" by Charles A. Wells as I could. Since moving to Moab last summer, we have taken the 1991 Bronco on several of the trails, including Sand Flats Road, Onion Creek, Chicken Corners, Dome Plateau, Behind the Rocks, Hell's Revenge, and even (accidentally, while in pursuit of the perfect Christmas Tree) Strike Ravine and Area BFE. Since we now have a new Bronco, we decided to start over, beginning with the easiest backroads and working our way up to the more difficult trails over time. When the trails prove too difficult for Justa Bronco's capability, then we'll know it's time to upgrade with bigger tires, taller suspension, locking differentials, etc.

Our first Justa Bronco Journey took us back to Sand Flats Road, route #44 in The Guide. This 19 mile route is a fairly well maintained dirt/gravel/sand road through the Sand Flats Recreation Area, serving as a connector from Moab to the paved La Sal Mountain Loop Road, and provides access to several campgrounds, world-famous hiking and biking trails, and other incredible 4x4 trails (Hell's Revenge, Fins & Things, & Porcupine Rim). There is a pay booth for the Sand Flats Recreation Area. A day use fee is $5, or you can pay $25 for the year, but if you're just driving through you will not need to pay.

On New Year's Eve there was a fairly heavy (for the area) snow storm, leaving a dusting of snow on the ground in the valley, and several inches at higher elevations. About a mile past the pay booth, the pavement ends at about 4700 feet in elevation, about 700 feet above the town of Moab, and the snow was already a couple of inches deep when we got to that point. But we weren't worried. Yet.
20220101_124146.jpg
Since the high point is about 7800 feet, we knew we might not make it the entire way this time. As we pushed on, the fluffy white snow began to gradually deepen as we climbed continually higher, providing stunning contrasts with the red rock fins and the dark green junipers and pinions.
20220101_125859.jpg
There is a very narrow pass with a steep grade between two sandstone fins at mile 3, but traction was still good and we carried on.
20220101_124807.jpg
At mile 7 the grades get steeper as the road climbs along a canyon rim. Several vehicles had been up the road before us, creating ruts that helped prevent sliding sideways off the road, but the further and higher we went, the fewer tracks there were to follow. But we weren't worried. Much.
20220101_131307.jpg
By mile 10 the only tracks were from a couple side-by-sides, and the snow was 8 to 10 inches deep.
20220101_131726.jpg
At mile 11 (elevation 7350) we reached the turn-off to Porcupine Rim Camping Area, and decided that would be a good place to turn around. The snow was now 12 inches deep or more in spots, and we lost momentum trying to make the turn across the ruts. We were now sideways on the road, unable to move forward or backwards. After several attempts at rocking backwards and forwards, turning the steering wheel back and forth, utilizing various GOAT modes, and switching between high and low range, the 30" Bridgestones just couldn't get any bite. But we weren't worried. Maybe some of us were worried.
20220101_132426.jpg
We then aired down the tires to allow them to get more surface area in contact with the snow, and used our handy shovel sled to dig out some of the snow in front of and behind the tires, and from under the frame, fuel tank (have you noticed how low they sit on the two-door Broncos?), and differential. This time we were able to back up a foot or so, giving us the room to build a little more momentum for another forward push into the turnoff, then back up again to complete the three point turn.
20220101_135451.jpg
Now that we were finally free and able to move, we of course immediately parked the Bronco, and proceeded to use the shovel/sled to play in the snow.
20220101_141607.jpg
Once all of our toes were sufficiently frozen, we threw out a ski rope and took turns pulling each other as we made our way back down the hill. Our family has always enjoyed boating, wakeboarding, water-skiing, and knee-boarding, but I don't think I have ever had more fun on the lake than we did that day carving back and forth across the road though a foot of fresh powder while kneeling on a toboggan behind the Bronco! I highly recommend it. At one point while I was driving, the toboggan got stuck in a hard-packed rut and began to pass the ski rope, going faster than the Bronco, carrying my wife closer and closer to the rear bumper. Now I was worried. Luckily she was able to slow down time in time, and we all made it back home safe, tired, and happy.


As I plan future trips (hopefully about once a month), I will create Round-Up events for them here on Bronco Nation ahead of time in case any others would like to join in on the fun.

Thanks to FunTreks and Charles A. Wells for The Guide and downloadable gpx tracks of the routes (Hint: For those of you with a Mid package or higher in your Bronco, the trails provided by FunTreks and others will be built into the Ford Pass Performance App to give you turn-by-turn trail navigation for your future bronco journeys).
 

Deano Bronc

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May 20, 2020
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On January 1st, 2021 my wife, my son, and I drove our 1991 Bronco to Bronco Knoll for the first time, launching a year of adventure and change.
On January 1st 2022 our family began a whole new series of adventures in our recently acquired 2021 Bronco. This is the story of the first Justa Bronco Journey.

"Justa" is a carbonized gray two-door base series Bronco with a 2.3L engine and manual transmission. When my wife and I happened to spot this perfectly basic Bronco abandoned on a dealer lot two weeks before Christmas, we just couldn't resist adopting it and giving it a good home while we continue to wait for our ordered Black Diamond to be built. On the way home I stopped to show Justa the beautiful view of Fisher Towers from Highway 128, and then of course we stopped by the Moab Bronco Off-Roadeo Base Camp as well.
View attachment 25267 View attachment 25268
Over the next few weeks we couldn't get enough of Justa, driving it everywhere and loving every minute of it. The week before Christmas, we took it on a family trip to Brian Head Ski Resort. Loaded down with four people, our luggage, our snow gear, and a few Christmas presents, not to mention a couple of snowboards strapped on top, Justa impressed us with it's smooth highway performance and efficient overall average fuel economy.

Several months ago, I made plans to tackle as many of the 80 routes listed in the "Guide to Moab Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails" by Charles A. Wells as I could. Since moving to Moab last summer, we have taken the 1991 Bronco on several of the trails, including Sand Flats Road, Onion Creek, Chicken Corners, Dome Plateau, Behind the Rocks, Hell's Revenge, and even (accidentally, while in pursuit of the perfect Christmas Tree) Strike Ravine and Area BFE. Since we now have a new Bronco, we decided to start over, beginning with the easiest backroads and working our way up to the more difficult trails over time. When the trails prove too difficult for Justa Bronco's capability, then we'll know it's time to upgrade with bigger tires, taller suspension, locking differentials, etc.

Our first Justa Bronco Journey took us back to Sand Flats Road, route #44 in The Guide. This 19 mile route is a fairly well maintained dirt/gravel/sand road through the Sand Flats Recreation Area, serving as a connector from Moab to the paved La Sal Mountain Loop Road, and provides access to several campgrounds, world-famous hiking and biking trails, and other incredible 4x4 trails (Hell's Revenge, Fins & Things, & Porcupine Rim). There is a pay booth for the Sand Flats Recreation Area. A day use fee is $5, or you can pay $25 for the year, but if you're just driving through you will not need to pay.

On New Year's Eve there was a fairly heavy (for the area) snow storm, leaving a dusting of snow on the ground in the valley, and several inches at higher elevations. About a mile past the pay booth, the pavement ends at about 4700 feet in elevation, about 700 feet above the town of Moab, and the snow was already a couple of inches deep when we got to that point. But we weren't worried. Yet.
View attachment 25271
Since the high point is about 7800 feet, we knew we might not make it the entire way this time. As we pushed on, the fluffy white snow began to gradually deepen as we climbed continually higher, providing stunning contrasts with the red rock fins and the dark green junipers and pinions.
View attachment 25273
There is a very narrow pass with a steep grade between two sandstone fins at mile 3, but traction was still good and we carried on.
View attachment 25272
At mile 7 the grades get steeper as the road climbs along a canyon rim. Several vehicles had been up the road before us, creating ruts that helped prevent sliding sideways off the road, but the further and higher we went, the fewer tracks there were to follow. But we weren't worried. Much.
View attachment 25274
By mile 10 the only tracks were from a couple side-by-sides, and the snow was 8 to 10 inches deep.
View attachment 25275
At mile 11 (elevation 7350) we reached the turn-off to Porcupine Rim Camping Area, and decided that would be a good place to turn around. The snow was now 12 inches deep or more in spots, and we lost momentum trying to make the turn across the ruts. We were now sideways on the road, unable to move forward or backwards. After several attempts at rocking backwards and forwards, turning the steering wheel back and forth, utilizing various GOAT modes, and switching between high and low range, the 30" Bridgestones just couldn't get any bite. But we weren't worried. Maybe some of us were worried.
View attachment 25276
We then aired down the tires to allow them to get more surface area in contact with the snow, and used our handy shovel sled to dig out some of the snow in front of and behind the tires, and from under the frame, fuel tank (have you noticed how low they sit on the two-door Broncos?), and differential. This time we were able to back up a foot or so, giving us the room to build a little more momentum for another forward push into the turnoff, then back up again to complete the three point turn.
View attachment 25277
Now that we were finally free and able to move, we of course immediately parked the Bronco, and proceeded to use the shovel/sled to play in the snow.
View attachment 25278
Once all of our toes were sufficiently frozen, we threw out a ski rope and took turns pulling each other as we made our way back down the hill. Our family has always enjoyed boating, wakeboarding, water-skiing, and knee-boarding, but I don't think I have ever had more fun on the lake than we did that day carving back and forth across the road though a foot of fresh powder while kneeling on a toboggan behind the Bronco! I highly recommend it. At one point while I was driving, the toboggan got stuck in a hard-packed rut and began to pass the ski rope, going faster than the Bronco, carrying my wife closer and closer to the rear bumper. Now I was worried. Luckily she was able to slow down time in time, and we all made it back home safe, tired, and happy.


As I plan future trips (hopefully about once a month), I will create Round-Up events for them here on Bronco Nation ahead of time in case any others would like to join in on the fun.

Thanks to FunTreks and Charles A. Wells for The Guide and downloadable gpx tracks of the routes (Hint: For those of you with a Mid package or higher in your Bronco, the trails provided by FunTreks and others will be built into the Ford Pass Performance App to give you turn-by-turn trail navigation for your future bronco journeys).
Thanks for the great write-up. Sounds like a great time. I know my wife would have been chewing on my ear if we ever got stuck out in the middle of nowhere. My hats off to your whole crew for making the best out of what ever situation you're in. Makes for a lot of memorable moments. :)
 

Starkman

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Jan 4, 2022
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Hey Blake! I enjoyed meeting you at the Super Cel West. I have my 89 sort of done (always a new project) and plan to do as many Moab runs as possible. I saw Kelly up on Dome Plateau last fall, I was in my Expedition doing a little overlanding and saw all those bad ass new Broncos doing their thing. Looking forward to joining so of your trips. Rich
 
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BuckYeah

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Oct 24, 2021
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Great photo essay, @TorgSurv! I can see the wheels are already turning about what simple things you can do to ready "Justa" for more challenging terrain. ;)

I'm looking forward to hearing (and seeing) more of your Bronco-driven adventures in that wild terrain. It's a far cry from where I grew up. It's like another world. Bravo!
 
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Mattwings

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Dec 1, 2021
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On January 1st, 2021 my wife, my son, and I drove our 1991 Bronco to Bronco Knoll for the first time, launching a year of adventure and change.
On January 1st 2022 our family began a whole new series of adventures in our recently acquired 2021 Bronco. This is the story of the first Justa Bronco Journey.

"Justa" is a carbonized gray two-door base series Bronco with a 2.3L engine and manual transmission. When my wife and I happened to spot this perfectly basic Bronco abandoned on a dealer lot two weeks before Christmas, we just couldn't resist adopting it and giving it a good home while we continue to wait for our ordered Black Diamond to be built. On the way home I stopped to show Justa the beautiful view of Fisher Towers from Highway 128, and then of course we stopped by the Moab Bronco Off-Roadeo Base Camp as well.
View attachment 25267 View attachment 25268
Over the next few weeks we couldn't get enough of Justa, driving it everywhere and loving every minute of it. The week before Christmas, we took it on a family trip to Brian Head Ski Resort. Loaded down with four people, our luggage, our snow gear, and a few Christmas presents, not to mention a couple of snowboards strapped on top, Justa impressed us with it's smooth highway performance and efficient overall average fuel economy.

Several months ago, I made plans to tackle as many of the 80 routes listed in the "Guide to Moab Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails" by Charles A. Wells as I could. Since moving to Moab last summer, we have taken the 1991 Bronco on several of the trails, including Sand Flats Road, Onion Creek, Chicken Corners, Dome Plateau, Behind the Rocks, Hell's Revenge, and even (accidentally, while in pursuit of the perfect Christmas Tree) Strike Ravine and Area BFE. Since we now have a new Bronco, we decided to start over, beginning with the easiest backroads and working our way up to the more difficult trails over time. When the trails prove too difficult for Justa Bronco's capability, then we'll know it's time to upgrade with bigger tires, taller suspension, locking differentials, etc.

Our first Justa Bronco Journey took us back to Sand Flats Road, route #44 in The Guide. This 19 mile route is a fairly well maintained dirt/gravel/sand road through the Sand Flats Recreation Area, serving as a connector from Moab to the paved La Sal Mountain Loop Road, and provides access to several campgrounds, world-famous hiking and biking trails, and other incredible 4x4 trails (Hell's Revenge, Fins & Things, & Porcupine Rim). There is a pay booth for the Sand Flats Recreation Area. A day use fee is $5, or you can pay $25 for the year, but if you're just driving through you will not need to pay.

On New Year's Eve there was a fairly heavy (for the area) snow storm, leaving a dusting of snow on the ground in the valley, and several inches at higher elevations. About a mile past the pay booth, the pavement ends at about 4700 feet in elevation, about 700 feet above the town of Moab, and the snow was already a couple of inches deep when we got to that point. But we weren't worried. Yet.
View attachment 25271
Since the high point is about 7800 feet, we knew we might not make it the entire way this time. As we pushed on, the fluffy white snow began to gradually deepen as we climbed continually higher, providing stunning contrasts with the red rock fins and the dark green junipers and pinions.
View attachment 25273
There is a very narrow pass with a steep grade between two sandstone fins at mile 3, but traction was still good and we carried on.
View attachment 25272
At mile 7 the grades get steeper as the road climbs along a canyon rim. Several vehicles had been up the road before us, creating ruts that helped prevent sliding sideways off the road, but the further and higher we went, the fewer tracks there were to follow. But we weren't worried. Much.
View attachment 25274
By mile 10 the only tracks were from a couple side-by-sides, and the snow was 8 to 10 inches deep.
View attachment 25275
At mile 11 (elevation 7350) we reached the turn-off to Porcupine Rim Camping Area, and decided that would be a good place to turn around. The snow was now 12 inches deep or more in spots, and we lost momentum trying to make the turn across the ruts. We were now sideways on the road, unable to move forward or backwards. After several attempts at rocking backwards and forwards, turning the steering wheel back and forth, utilizing various GOAT modes, and switching between high and low range, the 30" Bridgestones just couldn't get any bite. But we weren't worried. Maybe some of us were worried.
View attachment 25276
We then aired down the tires to allow them to get more surface area in contact with the snow, and used our handy shovel sled to dig out some of the snow in front of and behind the tires, and from under the frame, fuel tank (have you noticed how low they sit on the two-door Broncos?), and differential. This time we were able to back up a foot or so, giving us the room to build a little more momentum for another forward push into the turnoff, then back up again to complete the three point turn.
View attachment 25277
Now that we were finally free and able to move, we of course immediately parked the Bronco, and proceeded to use the shovel/sled to play in the snow.
View attachment 25278
Once all of our toes were sufficiently frozen, we threw out a ski rope and took turns pulling each other as we made our way back down the hill. Our family has always enjoyed boating, wakeboarding, water-skiing, and knee-boarding, but I don't think I have ever had more fun on the lake than we did that day carving back and forth across the road though a foot of fresh powder while kneeling on a toboggan behind the Bronco! I highly recommend it. At one point while I was driving, the toboggan got stuck in a hard-packed rut and began to pass the ski rope, going faster than the Bronco, carrying my wife closer and closer to the rear bumper. Now I was worried. Luckily she was able to slow down time in time, and we all made it back home safe, tired, and happy.


As I plan future trips (hopefully about once a month), I will create Round-Up events for them here on Bronco Nation ahead of time in case any others would like to join in on the fun.

Thanks to FunTreks and Charles A. Wells for The Guide and downloadable gpx tracks of the routes (Hint: For those of you with a Mid package or higher in your Bronco, the trails provided by FunTreks and others will be built into the Ford Pass Performance App to give you turn-by-turn trail navigation for your future bronco journeys).
Great story and pics! Thanks for sharing.

We have had some "street tired" Bronco's out on trail rides and they are very capable! I have owned 4 and loved them all, but this generation is really cool!
 
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1Five1 Garage

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Apr 26, 2021
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On January 1st, 2021 my wife, my son, and I drove our 1991 Bronco to Bronco Knoll for the first time, launching a year of adventure and change.
On January 1st 2022 our family began a whole new series of adventures in our recently acquired 2021 Bronco. This is the story of the first Justa Bronco Journey.

"Justa" is a carbonized gray two-door base series Bronco with a 2.3L engine and manual transmission. When my wife and I happened to spot this perfectly basic Bronco abandoned on a dealer lot two weeks before Christmas, we just couldn't resist adopting it and giving it a good home while we continue to wait for our ordered Black Diamond to be built. On the way home I stopped to show Justa the beautiful view of Fisher Towers from Highway 128, and then of course we stopped by the Moab Bronco Off-Roadeo Base Camp as well.
View attachment 25267 View attachment 25268
Over the next few weeks we couldn't get enough of Justa, driving it everywhere and loving every minute of it. The week before Christmas, we took it on a family trip to Brian Head Ski Resort. Loaded down with four people, our luggage, our snow gear, and a few Christmas presents, not to mention a couple of snowboards strapped on top, Justa impressed us with it's smooth highway performance and efficient overall average fuel economy.

Several months ago, I made plans to tackle as many of the 80 routes listed in the "Guide to Moab Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails" by Charles A. Wells as I could. Since moving to Moab last summer, we have taken the 1991 Bronco on several of the trails, including Sand Flats Road, Onion Creek, Chicken Corners, Dome Plateau, Behind the Rocks, Hell's Revenge, and even (accidentally, while in pursuit of the perfect Christmas Tree) Strike Ravine and Area BFE. Since we now have a new Bronco, we decided to start over, beginning with the easiest backroads and working our way up to the more difficult trails over time. When the trails prove too difficult for Justa Bronco's capability, then we'll know it's time to upgrade with bigger tires, taller suspension, locking differentials, etc.

Our first Justa Bronco Journey took us back to Sand Flats Road, route #44 in The Guide. This 19 mile route is a fairly well maintained dirt/gravel/sand road through the Sand Flats Recreation Area, serving as a connector from Moab to the paved La Sal Mountain Loop Road, and provides access to several campgrounds, world-famous hiking and biking trails, and other incredible 4x4 trails (Hell's Revenge, Fins & Things, & Porcupine Rim). There is a pay booth for the Sand Flats Recreation Area. A day use fee is $5, or you can pay $25 for the year, but if you're just driving through you will not need to pay.

On New Year's Eve there was a fairly heavy (for the area) snow storm, leaving a dusting of snow on the ground in the valley, and several inches at higher elevations. About a mile past the pay booth, the pavement ends at about 4700 feet in elevation, about 700 feet above the town of Moab, and the snow was already a couple of inches deep when we got to that point. But we weren't worried. Yet.
View attachment 25271
Since the high point is about 7800 feet, we knew we might not make it the entire way this time. As we pushed on, the fluffy white snow began to gradually deepen as we climbed continually higher, providing stunning contrasts with the red rock fins and the dark green junipers and pinions.
View attachment 25273
There is a very narrow pass with a steep grade between two sandstone fins at mile 3, but traction was still good and we carried on.
View attachment 25272
At mile 7 the grades get steeper as the road climbs along a canyon rim. Several vehicles had been up the road before us, creating ruts that helped prevent sliding sideways off the road, but the further and higher we went, the fewer tracks there were to follow. But we weren't worried. Much.
View attachment 25274
By mile 10 the only tracks were from a couple side-by-sides, and the snow was 8 to 10 inches deep.
View attachment 25275
At mile 11 (elevation 7350) we reached the turn-off to Porcupine Rim Camping Area, and decided that would be a good place to turn around. The snow was now 12 inches deep or more in spots, and we lost momentum trying to make the turn across the ruts. We were now sideways on the road, unable to move forward or backwards. After several attempts at rocking backwards and forwards, turning the steering wheel back and forth, utilizing various GOAT modes, and switching between high and low range, the 30" Bridgestones just couldn't get any bite. But we weren't worried. Maybe some of us were worried.
View attachment 25276
We then aired down the tires to allow them to get more surface area in contact with the snow, and used our handy shovel sled to dig out some of the snow in front of and behind the tires, and from under the frame, fuel tank (have you noticed how low they sit on the two-door Broncos?), and differential. This time we were able to back up a foot or so, giving us the room to build a little more momentum for another forward push into the turnoff, then back up again to complete the three point turn.
View attachment 25277
Now that we were finally free and able to move, we of course immediately parked the Bronco, and proceeded to use the shovel/sled to play in the snow.
View attachment 25278
Once all of our toes were sufficiently frozen, we threw out a ski rope and took turns pulling each other as we made our way back down the hill. Our family has always enjoyed boating, wakeboarding, water-skiing, and knee-boarding, but I don't think I have ever had more fun on the lake than we did that day carving back and forth across the road though a foot of fresh powder while kneeling on a toboggan behind the Bronco! I highly recommend it. At one point while I was driving, the toboggan got stuck in a hard-packed rut and began to pass the ski rope, going faster than the Bronco, carrying my wife closer and closer to the rear bumper. Now I was worried. Luckily she was able to slow down time in time, and we all made it back home safe, tired, and happy.


As I plan future trips (hopefully about once a month), I will create Round-Up events for them here on Bronco Nation ahead of time in case any others would like to join in on the fun.

Thanks to FunTreks and Charles A. Wells for The Guide and downloadable gpx tracks of the routes (Hint: For those of you with a Mid package or higher in your Bronco, the trails provided by FunTreks and others will be built into the Ford Pass Performance App to give you turn-by-turn trail navigation for your future bronco journeys).
Jill and I are looking forward to getting to drive in the off roadeo, going to see the salt flats, and going on a sunset ride to hell revenge. I can't wait to see her smile like never before. Feb 26 starts our adventure.