2012 JKX American Heartland Trailer (2:42)
Born and raised in Southern California, our idea of off-roading has always been about exploring the wide open desert, high mountain peaks and crawling over big rocks. Of course, there is really is so much more to off-roading than just that and, thanks to the Off Road Evolution JK-Experience, presented by Nitto Tire, we got a chance to experience for ourselves how the Heartland of America plays.
2012 JKX American Heartland - Redbird, Indiana Part 1 of 3 (16:31)
In this first of a 3 part WAYALIFE film series, you will see the beginning of our week long adventure which started in Terra Haute, Indiana and got us playing out in the hills of the Red Bird Off Road Park. For most of us, this was our first time playing in real Heartland of America mud and, thanks to a little storm known as Hurricane Isaac dumping 6" of rain before we got there, it was one hell of an experience.
2012 JKX American Heartland - IMS, Jeep Plant, Silver Lake & Rocks and Valleys Part 2 of 3 (24:07)
Because there is so much more to the JK-Experience than just wheeling, our 2nd day would be what is known as a "road day" as we would be doing a lot of on pavement driving but, it was also what I like to call a "tour day" as we got to do a lot of that as well. To start off our day, we headed over to the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway where we soon found the reason why we needed to have the undercarriages of our Jeeps clean and completely devoid of mud - we were being grated a chance of a lifetime and, would be running a lap around the Brickyard!! After all the fun we had at the IMS, we headed over to Impact Racing where we got a private tour of their manufacturing facility and, got a chance to visit the Don Schumacher Racing facility where they gave us a VIP tour as well. Leaving Indiana, we made a long trek out to Perrysburg, OH, and wrapped up the day by hosting a meet-n-greet and having a great time with fellow Jeepers in the area.
Being in Ohio, I think there there must have been some kind of a calling to our Jeeps... a calling to come visit their place of birth. And, as if by destiny, that's exactly where Day 3 of the 2012 JK-Experience would take us to - the Toledo Assembly Complex. Now, I should point out that public tours of the Jeep plant isn't something that Chrysler typically does or even allows for that matter and the fact that we got to go at all was really amazing.
Day 4 would take us about half way up the state of Michigan and out to a wonderful little beach community known a Silver Lake. Here we would get to spend the first part of our day playing on the only dunes that allow private motorized vehicles to play on this side of the Rockies. The second half of our day would be spent at a relatively new off-road park called Rocks and Valleys and it boasts over 200 acres of hills, rocks, mud, tightly planted trees and other obstacles that offer a great time for wheelers of all skill levels. It would also be where most of us would get our first experience wheeling on tires.
2012 JKX American Heartland - Drummond Island & Turtle Ridge Part 3 of 3 (17:55)
Our last two days on the 2012 JK-Experience would take us over the Mackinac Bridge to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and then to its eastern most point where we would cross the St. Mary's river by ferry to the largest fresh water island in the United States, Drummond Island. In addition to having an awesome off-road park like Turtle Ridge, Drummond Island hosts over 117 miles of trails that meander through boreal forests, across glacial rock deposits and stone ridges carved out by Lake Huron. It truly is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see and, we were happy to relax, explore and end our JK-Experience there.