Back in February, my beloved and fully-paid-off 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport started making a horrendous noise. I quickly limped it to the dealer, hoping against hope that it would be something simple, or at least survivable. I was unprepared for the news I received later that day: the engine was shot and a new one would cost more than the value of the entire vehicle.
By the end of the week I had secured a loan and purchased a new, used car (my newly beloved and far more fuel efficient 2009 Ford Focus), but I was now faced with the difficult decision as to what to do with the Jeep. To say that its sentimental value outweighed its monetary value is a severe understatement. I entertained a few offers that were fair considering its current condition. But I just couldn’t let it go for $500. Eventually, we found a junkyard engine at a decent price and had one of the guys down at Shadetree Automotive do the work. My Jeep, which was dead, is now alive and enjoying its new life as a dedicated off-road vehicle at our place in the desert!
It was in the middle of all this upheaval that I realized that, in the 8 years that I’ve had it, I have never made a proper photograph of my Jeep in its native habitat! So what better way to celebrate its return than to depict it with a fire-breathing red glow emanating from its engine compartment as it paws the earth, raring to attack the trails that await!