Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

20,000 Miles in Year one with the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

20,000 Miles in Year one with the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

1-year Jeep Anniversary

I have now had my Jeep Renegade Trailhawk for one year. It has become as integral a part of my photography business as anything in my camera bag. I put almost exactly 20,000 miles on it in that year’s time! I regularly travel to all corners of New Mexico for photography work, often with the last few miles of each of those trips being off road. Switching from a compact sedan to a Jeep has allowed me to do more photo work without having to rush to get a rental vehicle back so when I am at these remote places, I can add on a visit to places like City of Rocks. In this past year the Jeep has also taken me through Monument Valley, Durango, Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona, and more! No matter where I have driven it, and what I have driven it over and through, the Renegade has not let me down!

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Tierra Amarilla New Mexico turns to Autumn Drone Video

Tierra Amarilla New Mexico turns to Autumn Drone Video

Leaves Changing in Tierra Amarilla New Mexico

Back out on assignment for Hemingway Land Company in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico near a small town called Tierra Amarilla, I was treated to the beginning of some fall foliage and distant snow capped mountain views. Rio Arriba County is my favorite in all of New Mexico for its majestic beauty ranging from mesas to lakes to mountains to forests. It was peaceful out here and the sweeping landscape was not a bad office for one late afternoon’s work! The only thing was the mud! See the photo at the bottom for what the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk looked like after just a brief drive in down the dirt/mud road!

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New Mexico Jeep Renegade Trailhawk real off roader

New Mexico Jeep Renegade Trailhawk real off roader

Not a shopping mall Jeep!

Those that know me, know that I love cars, well, special cars.  Not all have to be as special as my beloved Aston Martin Vanquish (some day!), but even just the ability to go anywhere, do anything is enough.  Getting serious speed in a car is not that affordable, especially for newer models.  However, getting serious offroad ability is.  When I traded in my faithful and much loved Mazda3 sedan in March for the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk you see here, I was giving up great, affordable on road driving dynamics for the ability to drive offroad anywhere a stock vehicle could.  

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Mexican Hat teetering rock formation in Utah Drone Video & Photos

Mexican Hat teetering rock formation in Utah Drone Video & Photos

Utah is amazing

I imagined being able to find places totally not on the agenda during a recent 5-day whirlwind Western Road Trip with eldest friend Terry and his wife, Beth, visiting from Florida, and of course also with Jessica, her dog Artie, and my beloved puppy Kiki.  Mexican Hat rock formation was one such place.  This day Jessica and our dogs got up at 5:15am to see the sunrise in Monument Valley, then we all reconvened and visited Forrest Gump Point and then Goosenecks State Park.  Seeing a sign for Mexican Hat and having time, and a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, we turned down an unknown dirt road and started exploring.

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Monument Valley Utah Sunrise Professional Photographs

Monument Valley Utah Sunrise Professional Photographs

6am in Monument Valley Utah

I have been to many places around the world, some considered wonders of the world, like Angkor Wat in Cambodia, some hard to reach, like the jungles in Borneo, as well as famous wonders in the U.S. like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.  Monument Valley in Utah ranks up there with the most wondrous places I have seen.  I bookended my time at Monument Valley first with a sunset visit, then the next morning at 6am with a sunrise explore.  The photos you see here are all from that very early even-pre-sunset time in Monument Valley.  So early, no one was at the gate to even pay to enter!  No one else had yet driven into the valley that morning.  I had the view of the two Mittens and Merrick Butte all to myself for awhile.  

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Views of Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico

Views of Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico

On the way to Las Cruces, New Mexico for a rural land photography shoot, I got to make my second visit to Elephant Butte Lake.  This was actually the very first non-Albuquerque place I visited when I first moved to New Mexico in February 2017.  Therefore, this is my only "old memory" of New Mexico (technically, in 2000 I visited Roswell and Carlsbad Caverns and Bandelier National Monument too, but that's a whole other lifetime).  

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Driving off road in a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk in New Mexico respectfully

Driving off road in a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk in New Mexico respectfully

I have only put 1,500 miles on my Jeep Renegade Trailhawk since I got it last month and have not taken it more than an hour outside of Albuquerque, but I have been offroad a lot already.  Nothing crazy like Moab-like trails or anything, but I have been using it as the Jeep, especially the Trailhawk version, was intended.  I really like knowing I can go anywhere, do anything with this vehicle.  However, I would not do everything you see in Jeep and other offroad vehicle commercials like driving down and across streams!  Or causing tumult by trying to "crawl" over big rocks.  To me this is destroying Nature.  I do want the Jeep to help me reach places just not possible on foot, but by staying on established fire roads and unmaintained roads.  

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