Tellurian

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Great continuation on the build and travel log. I like to think of it as "The Adventures of Bear and His Jeep Driver, Bud".

If ever there was a time when current generations could relate to unexpected life challenges, perseverance, and carving out new paths, it would be in 2020. Quite fittingly, finding these new paths is something we share in the Jeeps we drive and the lives we live.

As a fellow soloist adventurer (long before buying my Jeep), I completely understand your viewpoint on when things go slightly askew out there. Being your own offense, defense, referee, and cheering squad forces you to play an overly cautious game at times; yet, the point for us being out there is to test the outer-bounds of our own limitations - both mentally and physically. I could easily see myself saying the same thing about the flat tire in the moment only to then decide hours afterward to hit some new trails with an inherently invincible mindset that more often than not proves to be worth it.

Wishing you all the best on those new paths in life with Bear and Evelyn.

Cheers!





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BroncoHound

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Great write-ups, you have given me so many ideas for my new JL. Still happy with the ARB install or would you do something different?

Thanks,
Larry
Sorry for the delay in my response; so far I'm still reasonably happy with the ARB install. Having it inside the Jeep isn't at all a niusance since Bear and I are outside the Jeep any time we're messing with tire pressures anyways, and the all-around central location of the compressor has made it convenient to access from the rear doors as well as the tailgate. It still looks kinda wonky up there, and I'm a fan of stashing gear between the roll bars and the hard top sides so having it there makes me more critical of what I stash in that area for fear of damaging it, but so far I haven't seen an alternative mounting that I like more and I can't really think, offhand, of a better place to mount the compressor if I were to design it myself. Real estate comes at a premium in a Jeep and the compressor doesn't really seem to have a "just right" place for it on the JL platform (yet).
 
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BroncoHound

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Loved watching the story/adventures unfold with the pup, man, wish I was bold enough/had the time to do that with my dogs (I have two though so sleeping in the JLUR might be harder, haha). Respect/props for taking on the medicine journey too!
Depending on your height and how big your dogs are (and how "big" they like to sleep), it might still be doable in the back of your Unlimited. Aside from the overall height issue with me being 72", there really was a deceptively large amount of room for Bear and I in the back. If i were 5'10" or under and could sleep straight up rather than at a diagonal, there could be 2-3 dogs back there with me and we'd all still have room. Conversely, I've seen posts on this forum about building a platform with a hinge section that, when the passenger seat is reclined back all the way, can fold up over the passenger seat and provide a flat platform all the way up to the dashboard. That would REALLY open up the sleeping space for multiple dogs (or a better half and some dogs) and the hinge idea would allow it to fold back into the rear area so the passenger seat can still be used when not sleeping. It's definitely an idea I'm thinking on trying to make my own as a spring project. I've built several platforms for the back seat area of pickups and Jeeps with MDF and indoor/outdoor carpet before and like the idea of making something kinda modular.
 
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BroncoHound

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Great story, loved the drive. I too am a Montanan, spent a few childhood years in Helena...mostly Missoula though. The military had kept me away for nearly 30 years now...your post just makes we want to get back even more.

In a non-jeep question, what is the front bumper / skid you have on the Ram? I have 2003 Ram Cummins, to match my 2020 JLURD, and it needs bumpers...front one is all scratched up from creosote bushes and rocks while running chase and rescue duties in BitD and Mojave Desert Race Association, and the back one has had close encounters with a couple too many poles.

Again great post, happy to see a fellow Montanan home...no better place in the world!
Thanks...I thought it was the ADD but noticed some differences. That explains it.
Sorry for the brief response earlier; I had stepped out and was replying from my phone. The front plates definitely changed the look of the bumper as the side plates from ADD were much thinner gauge steel and had little round holes in them since there is bracketry behind those panels for little cube LED lights to serve as foglights. I didn't have any intention of mounting foglights there and there is so much air moving past this bumper to the intercooler that the holes really were unnecessary. When the deer crumpled the front plate and I had the new one fabbed up out of thicker aluminum, we just cut the new side plates to match. I wasn't super thrilled with the look of the bumper when I first installed it, but it has certainly grown on me. I wish there was a way to adapt a front winch plate to it, but with the intercooler there simply isn't the real estate without making the winch stick way too far out in front of the pickup.

ADD also makes a rear bumper for our 3rd gens, but for what it is it is waaay too expensive. I figure I'll likely one day put fiberglass fenders on Kort (the pickups name) and either a flatbed or a fabricated tube rear bumper and trimmed bed sides.

Nearly 30 years, Uncle Sam has to be about through with you by this point right? Do you intend to move back home after you retire? If so, what part of the state are you eyeing? While I've been dreaming of owning land in the upper Flathead since I was about 10 years old (the first time I was exposed to Montana and where the love affair began), I think that land has moved well out of my reach of affordability, even before I walked away from my previous career.
 
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Great story, really enjoyed following along with Bear. I am in my mid 50s and really wish I could do something like this before I get too old. Looking forward to more from you and Bear...
Hey Larry,

It's never too soon (or too late) to start! You have all the tools at your disposal, all you need is a direction. I look forward to hearing about your own adventures in the future!
 
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BroncoHound

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Great continuation on the build and travel log. I like to think of it as "The Adventures of Bear and His Jeep Driver, Bud".

If ever there was a time when current generations could relate to unexpected life challenges, perseverance, and carving out new paths, it would be in 2020. Quite fittingly, finding these new paths is something we share in the Jeeps we drive and the lives we live.

As a fellow soloist adventurer (long before buying my Jeep), I completely understand your viewpoint on when things go slightly askew out there. Being your own offense, defense, referee, and cheering squad forces you to play an overly cautious game at times; yet, the point for us being out there is to test the outer-bounds of our own limitations - both mentally and physically. I could easily see myself saying the same thing about the flat tire in the moment only to then decide hours afterward to hit some new trails with an inherently invincible mindset that more often than not proves to be worth it.

Wishing you all the best on those new paths in life with Bear and Evelyn.

Cheers!
Hey Matt, well said and coming from a place of obvious wisdom; thanks. You're right, Bear certainly seems to be calling the shots most of the time, though if he could pick up his own crap or lug his own food container every once in a while that would be sublime!
 

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Sorry for the brief response earlier; I had stepped out and was replying from my phone. The front plates definitely changed the look of the bumper as the side plates from ADD were much thinner gauge steel and had little round holes in them since there is bracketry behind those panels for little cube LED lights to serve as foglights. I didn't have any intention of mounting foglights there and there is so much air moving past this bumper to the intercooler that the holes really were unnecessary. When the deer crumpled the front plate and I had the new one fabbed up out of thicker aluminum, we just cut the new side plates to match. I wasn't super thrilled with the look of the bumper when I first installed it, but it has certainly grown on me. I wish there was a way to adapt a front winch plate to it, but with the intercooler there simply isn't the real estate without making the winch stick way too far out in front of the pickup.

ADD also makes a rear bumper for our 3rd gens, but for what it is it is waaay too expensive. I figure I'll likely one day put fiberglass fenders on Kort (the pickups name) and either a flatbed or a fabricated tube rear bumper and trimmed bed sides.

Nearly 30 years, Uncle Sam has to be about through with you by this point right? Do you intend to move back home after you retire? If so, what part of the state are you eyeing? While I've been dreaming of owning land in the upper Flathead since I was about 10 years old (the first time I was exposed to Montana and where the love affair began), I think that land has moved well out of my reach of affordability, even before I walked away from my previous career.
Yeah, my time in uniform is about up. I really want to get back to Mt. Missoula is home for me. Love the area up around Flathead...Seeley lake and the Swan are just amazing. I remember when I was growing up land up there was really cheap, but now it is crazy unless you get something remote...then you have to pay for access and utilities and it all comes out about even in the end.

However, the jobs just aren't in Mt for my wife and me. The jobs are in DC ... but man am I getting tired of the East Coast. No open space, no wilderness, getting harder and harder to stay here.

Your thoughts for Kort about about the same as mine. Aluminum flatbed and maybe fiberglass front fenders. I have a Kore/ Carli suspension on mine and 35" Toyo's that are about done...I may go up to 37s and had a touch more height. We will see...Jeep is expensive enough and the Dodge is double that for anything. Right now priority is getting the JLURD up to standards for hitting the trails. Then I think start working on the Ram.
 

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Sorry for the delay in my response; so far I'm still reasonably happy with the ARB install. Having it inside the Jeep isn't at all a niusance since Bear and I are outside the Jeep any time we're messing with tire pressures anyways, and the all-around central location of the compressor has made it convenient to access from the rear doors as well as the tailgate. It still looks kinda wonky up there, and I'm a fan of stashing gear between the roll bars and the hard top sides so having it there makes me more critical of what I stash in that area for fear of damaging it, but so far I haven't seen an alternative mounting that I like more and I can't really think, offhand, of a better place to mount the compressor if I were to design it myself. Real estate comes at a premium in a Jeep and the compressor doesn't really seem to have a "just right" place for it on the JL platform (yet).
i have my twin under the passenger seat. which i really like because its out of site and the way. i havent aired up with it yet so i dont know if it will get to hot under there or not. just a thought though.
 
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i have my twin under the passenger seat. which i really like because its out of site and the way. i havent aired up with it yet so i dont know if it will get to hot under there or not. just a thought though.
That was actually the first mounting location I considered, but having Bear in the Jeep ~90% of the time means there is a TON of German Shepherd hair that tends to collect in the floorboards. My previous career was mechanical engineering based, so I've seen firsthand how heat and contaminants in intake are the two worst enemies to pneumatic and hydraulic pumps. I figured I'd get paranoid and wind up changing filters before every time I turned on the compressor if I left it down there, which just isn't realistic. The mounting on the tub looks a bit wonky and it makes me think a bit before throwing gear on that side of the Jeep, but otherwise is about as ideal a mounting solution as there can be for me. I don't see any reason, at present, to look for any alternatives.
 

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Your way of storytelling is great. Adventures look fantastic and I'm excited to see more!
 

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It's so amazing to travel with your dog and your car. Your jeep is just nicy. There are amazing photos. It's one of the most interesting stories, that I have ever seen. I have a question: what is the breed of your dog? It has such smart eyes
 

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Love your build and your trip! Looks awesome.

Btw - I'm one of those Angelinos in the process of getting out and heading to Montana (Whitefish). Have been going every year now for around ~7 years and just fell in love with the place. Targeting around mid-2021 to move.

Also just about to start my own build on my 2019 2DR JL Rubi. It's my first Wrangler, I've had it stock for a bit over a year, and I've been out on the trails enough now that I know what upgrades I actually want & will use. You've inspired to document my journey too!
 

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Thank you for your service and thank you for the write up!
Enjoyed reading it all the way through.
Agree on Houston in August. Feels like your walking through pea soup and you can break a sweat walking through a parking lot at 830 at night. 9 years of that was enough for me!
As far as medical school, the people who do well are the ones who know how to stay focused and know they are the only ones responsible for their own success. It’s not easy, but neither are many things in life. From what I’ve read of you, sounds like you’re going to do well.
-Eli (BCM c/o 09’)
 
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BroncoHound

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It's so amazing to travel with your dog and your car. Your jeep is just nicy. There are amazing photos. It's one of the most interesting stories, that I have ever seen. I have a question: what is the breed of your dog? It has such smart eyes
Thank you for the kind words. Bear is 25% Husky, 25% German Shepherd, 25% Collie, and 25% mixed bag mutt. I like to describe his breed as "All American."
 
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Love your build and your trip! Looks awesome.

Btw - I'm one of those Angelinos in the process of getting out and heading to Montana (Whitefish). Have been going every year now for around ~7 years and just fell in love with the place. Targeting around mid-2021 to move.

Also just about to start my own build on my 2019 2DR JL Rubi. It's my first Wrangler, I've had it stock for a bit over a year, and I've been out on the trails enough now that I know what upgrades I actually want & will use. You've inspired to document my journey too!
Sounds like you have a pretty major life milestone coming up. If I could offer up a word of advice: if you want to avoid static from the locals, be sure you're moving to Montana for the right reasons and understand your very presence is contributing to hardships for the folks that were born in this area. The housing crisis is a real problem in Montana, where the value of land and homes have skyrocketed due to transplants artificially inflating the market with over-list cash offers sight unseen. It has created a situation where, due to a lackluster state economy and relatively low industry job market, a born Montanan will likely never be able to afford to buy a home in Montana and is quickly getting priced out of the rental market as well. Compounded by the inflated housing market is that many transplants move to Montana with an idea in their head but quickly realize that "Montana life" moves much slower, is quite harsh at times, and requires sacrifice and change to their daily routine and how they view community. These folks then try to terraform Montana into the place they left, creating urban areas and subdivisions and pushing for government programs and intervention and chopping up the land to support this population boom. The effect of this is strangling the thing that makes Montana what it is. Sure, Montana is gorgeous landscapes, but plenty of places have gorgeous landscapes. The true magic of this place is the people and the culture and the attitude. Folks value their independence and their privacy above all else. There is very little in the way of crime, drama, government intervention, and all the silly little sociopolitical idiosyncrasies that plague metropolitan areas in other parts of the country. Moving to Montana, in my opinion, is about adapting yourself to this, in many cases, foreign lifestyle and leaving the things behind that made you want to move away from where you came from. Just about every single bit of vitriol I've seen from native Montanans towards transplants has been due to the transplants trying to turn Montana into the place they came from, and the lions share of that happens to be from southern California.

To summarize, show empathy to your new neighbors that your moving to Montana contributes to a problem where multi-generational Montanans are being forced to leave because they can't afford to raise their families there anymore, and take steps to help your neighbors and fix the problem. And, be prepared to change the way you look at life around you and how a community functions and works. If you do these two things, you'll most likely be welcomed with open arms. Don't, and expect some cold shoulders and closed doors in your new community.

Oh, and get rid of your California license plates as quickly as you possibly can. It's a running joke throughout the state that anything bad that happens in the state can be traced back to California license plates.
 

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