Karma in the Jeep World

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Recently, I was on a camping trip with my son and we were sitting around the campfire telling stories. He’s only 9, but a very bright kid and we talk about some pretty amazing concepts. The subject of Karma came up (if you do good things, good things will happen to you — if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you) and I shared with him this story from my own Jeeping experiences.

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He understood the concept right away, and is now pretty sure that somehow, somewhere, the world’s harmonic balance will be restored with a Craftsman ½” combination wrench. He also didn’t hesitate telling me that this story should be the next column I
write for JPFreek. I hope you enjoy the tale as much as he did.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away (OK…it was 2004 and took place at Paragon Adventure Park in Pennsylvania which is still technically a long way from Minnesota), there was a broken down Jeep. It was a good Jeep that had just enjoyed a fantastic couple of days wheeling, but now needed to get back on the road. A plane was leaving from Philadelphia, and I was supposed to be on that plane. With the steering wobbling furiously and the airport a couple of hours away, things were not looking so good. But, let me back up a few steps to fill you in on how this Jeep got to be broken down on the side of the road…

For 19 years I have been a Big Brother to 3 different young men. One of them happened to be my “Little” when the Jeep bug bit me for the second time. Not surprisingly, Kevin fell in love with Jeeps as well and even wrote his school report on my Scrambler project. He and I wheeled together around Minnesota and Wisconsin, but eventually Kevin grew up and moved away. He never lost the love for Jeeps though, and still drives one every day. He ended up in Delaware, and joined a local club that would regularly trail ride at Paragon. It wasn’t too long before I had an invitation to join him for some East Coast wheeling.

The club was planning a Saturday run, so I flew in on Friday night. By Saturday morning we had a convoy of Jeeps heading down the road. Great people, great fun, great trails… everything you hope for on a wheeling adventure.

A quick sidebar about this club: they are working to restore the “Jeep wave.” If any club member is found guilty of driving their own Jeep and not waving to another Jeep on the road, they are forced to wear a “monkey on their back” (actually it’s a stuffed monkey attached to the spare tire). The monkey stays until someone else forgets the wave. It was kind of funny watching as everyone in the convoy waved vigorously enough to be noticed not only by the oncoming Jeep, but also by others in the group.

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