*Members Jeep Profile highlights members and their Jeeps. It replaces the Jeep of the Month page.*
Jeep of the Month
Ben and Donita Matchett
1984 gray Jeep CJ7 Renegade
Modifications list: 4.2 L with modified TF999 transmission, Clifford aluminum intake and header, Weber 32/36 DGEV carb, HEI distributor, Detroit E-Z locker rear, Yukon Grizzly locker front, Yukon chrome-moly 4340 axles front, Moser Racing axles rear, 4.10 gears , Dana 300 LowMax 4.1 conversion with twin stick, FourXDoctor differential guards front/rear, Missouri Off-Road Outfitters rear axle truss, Warrior u-bolt skid plates, OYR black steel diamond plate rockers and rear corners, TJ rear fender flare conversion, "Tank" bra and grill, Metal Fusion tube fenders, dash and exterior lights converted to LED, Steve's Fabrication front and rear bumpers, GenRight gas tank skid plate, Mile Marker SE9500C winch, Mile Marker hubs, Outback CO2 tank, 6-point modified roll cage, 140/80 amp alternator, 2.5 Superlift, M.O.R.E 1" bodylift, TeraFlex Revolver shackles front/rear, JKS Quick Disconnects, Alumni-Flex tire rod, Big Daddy steering box bracket with Currie brace, Borgenson steering shaft, 33x12.5 B.F.Goodrich KM2 tires, 15x8 Mickey Thompson Classic Lock wheels, two KC Daylighters, and two KC flood lights.
Ben bought his first and still current Jeep CJ7 on March 12th, 1993. Ben has often said "Jeeps are never finished, but in a constant state of evolution....Jeep Evolution!" This has been true during his past 22 years of Jeep ownership.
The top photo is from the First Expeditionary Black Hills Run in June 2003. Two Jeeps and a Buick made the first trip. Merrin's Jeep broke down the night before the run. During the expedition Kevin Shelhammer, Merrin Matchett, and Ben sat around an evening campfire at Wild Bill's campground. During much "discussion" the concept and creation of Canyon Man...A Jeep Club materialized in the Black Hills and then continued to form in Nebraska. Ben says it is truly remarkable the positive direction and growth the club has taken since that time. It has become an organized, first-rate, quality Jeep Club. Ben is very proud of the club and all its members.
Ben and Donita have really enjoyed the club's many trips and activities. They especially like Camp Drobny, and the awesome Nebraska Challenge it presents to our Jeeps! They are very thankful to have many good Jeep friends made possible by the club. Ben and Donita look forward to many continued years of Jeepin' with the club!
Jeep of the Month
Dennis and Paula Mitchell
1990 black Jeep Wrangler YJ
Modifications list: six-cylinder, auto transmission, 4" Rough Country lift, 2" body lift, 33X12.5 Pro Comp Xterrian tires on Dick Cepek DC 1 wheels, 4.10 gears, Detroit True-Trac in front Dana 30 with vacuum actuator eliminator, Ox locker in rear with USA alloy axles, differential skid plates, roll cage with additional support bars, Smittybilt front bumper, Smittybilt XRC 8 winch, custom rear bumper with swing out tire carrier, Rugged Ridge 7" flares, and always more to add in time.
Dennis bought his Jeep from Jack Wynn, a fellow club member , four years ago. Jack invited Dennis to join the club. Dennis says he and his family have met and become friends with a lot of great people. They really enjoy getting out, hitting the trails, and learning from others experiences.
Jeeping has become a family thing for Dennis, Paula, and sons, David and Derek. Dennis bought the Jeep for something to do with his boys other than riding atv's. The Jeep was stock and needed paint, along with some "TLC". Dennis painted the Jeep and realized it needed upgrades to enhance trail performance and give it a better look.
David and Derek, as well as Paula, have gotten behind the wheel of the Jeep. They have climbed rocks, ledges, and spent many hours on the trails. David is now a club member and is on his 2nd jeep, a 1998 TJ, which is quite an impressive trail rig.
Dennis and his family have taken many trips to Tuttle Creek in Kansas. They have also made two trips to the Black Hills and have attended numerous club events. Dennis is looking forward to the ALL-4-Fun Jeep Rally in Colorado with Jack Wynn, Terry Ball, and hopefully other members this year.
Dennis currently serves as Club Vice-President and Paula is the Club Historian. They have both contributed much to the club in planning and coordinating the annual Tuttle Creek Run. Dennis is now coordinating the All-4-Fun Jeep Rally. This is a new event for the club and should prove to be an awesome Jeep adventure. The club greatly appreciates all that Dennis and Paula do in promoting the club and expanding our trip/event horizons. Dennis spent time researching and selecting only the best parts to build his dual purpose Jeep. His black YJ is an excellent example of a tough Jeep that is very trail capable and can still turn many non-Jeep heads on the street. Dennis and Paula are great Jeepers and good friends! It is great to have them as valued club members!
Jeep of the Month
Marlin and Julie Drobny
2000 yellow Jeep Wrangler TJ/1999 blue Jeep Cherokee XJ
Marlin and Julie's yellow Wrangler TJ is stock with the factory 2.4 liter engine and five speed transmission. I have been witness to Marlin's extraordinary off-road prowess with his yellow TJ. At the Halsey National Forest, Marlin successfully climbed the highest, steepest, and most immense hill of sand ever climbed by a Jeep in Nebraska. Those present were awestruck; it was truly a breathtaking sight! Marlin's Jeep sounded like a "bumble bee" as it made the ascent. Everyone else declined an attempt at the sand "mountain". I took a small and safe side trail to the top and looked down. It was truly a humbling experience. We all lacked the Jeep Spirit that Marlin and Julie displayed at Halsey.
That same "go anywhere, do anything" Jeep Spirit has been displayed in the Black Hills for many years. Marlin can read a trail; know the capabilities of his Jeep; and make it through every time. He is able to do this with out destroying his Jeep. In fact, despite many years of Jeeping, his Jeep has sustained no damage or broken parts while on the trail. Very few can make that claim. Marlin and Julie also have a 1999 Cherokee XJ that has proven to be just as trail-capable in the Black Hills.
Each year Camp Drobny is hosted by Marlin and Julie at their farm in northeast Holt County . This has proven to be a premier Nebraska challenge event. It is unlike anything else you will find in the state. Camp Drobny has "spanked" many Jeeps that have done quite well in the Black Hills. "Oh My God Hill" is infamous and will check your nerve! On many trails the ground is constantly shifting while you attempt a tight turn, a steep descent, or intense hill climb. The creek crossings will "claim" any Jeep - you better have a winch! Julie makes the very popular camp favorite, "Fart Surprise", that is enjoyed every year in the Black Hills and at Camp Drobny.
Julie has been the Club Treasurer since the club was first started in 2005. She has done an awesome job in keeping track of the club's funds and resources. Julie also orders and handles all of the club's t-shirts, caps, flags and related merchandise. Marlin is the official club Jeepsmith. He is able to fix or cure any Jeep problem or ailment. Marlin has helped many of us with a contankerous Jeep issue, be it simple or complicated. Canyon Man...A Jeep Club is very fortunate to have Marlin and Julie as dedicated members and Jeep friends. They seldom, if ever, miss a club event. We look forward to many fun filled and adventurous years of Jeeping with Marlin and Julie. We thank them especially for allowing Camp Drobny to be the base camp of Canyon Man...A Jeep Club
Jeep of the Month
Jeff and Crissie Winings
1999 black Jeep Wrangler TJ / 1983 blue Jeep Scrambler / 1988 white Jeep YJ
1999 Wrangler TJ modifications: Dana 44 with ARB locker, Dana 30 high-pinion with ARB locker, 4.88 gears, Chrome-moly front/rear shafts, 4.1 transfer case, 4.5" ProComp lift, 1" body lift, on board air, Poison Spyder full cage, Poison Spyder gas tank skid plate, Poison Spyder tube flat fenders, custom steel rockers, custom rock bumpers front and rear, tucked transfer case and skid plate, Warn 9000 lb. winch, 37X12.5 Maxxis Creepy Crawler tires on steel bead lock wheels, and more.
1983 Scrambler modifications: 4.88 gears, Moser rear axles, Lock-Right lockers front/rear, Ramsey 6000 lb. winch, Dana 300 with twin-stick, TF999 transmission, 4" Skyjacker lift, Woods drive shaft, 32X11.5 BFG mud tires on American Racing wheels, Warrior corners, custom rockers, and custom flat fenders. (Sold and has found a new home.)
1988 YJ modifications: 4.88 gears, 8.8 Ford rear, Dana 44 front, Chromemolly axles, Detroit E-Z locker front/rear, 2.5" spring over lift, 1" body lift, Custom differential covers front/rear, custom 6 point roll cage, custom front/rear bumpers, Poison Spyder tire carrier, Ramsey 8000 lb. winch, 38x15x50 Nitto Mud Grappler tires, Marsh bead-lock wheels, Holley Pro-Jection, MSD ignition, Tom Woods shafts, rock lights, 2 KC Daylighters, and 2 KC flood lights. (Sold and has found a new home.)
Jeff's Scrambler is a tried and true veteran of Moab. Jeff and Allan flew to Las Vegas, Nevada on November 11, 2005 to puchase the Jeep. They then drove the Jeep back non-stop over 1,200 miles and crossed the Continental Divide in the process. It was a test of Jeep endurance. On February 16, 2010, Jeff purchased his JeepYJ in Albany, Georgia about 50 miles north of the Florida border. The trip was quite an adventure; Ben rode shotgun.
Jeff and Crissie think Jeeping is a great family orientated way of life and a whole lot of fun. They enjoy the comradery with the fellow members of Canyon Man...A Jeep Club. Jeff will always remember the infamous 2011 "1 mile" poker run at Wild Bill's. He likes the various trails and rocks in the Black Hills for the extreme challenge, and has experienced an added element of Jeep adventure. Jeff and Crissie also appreciate the scenic trails for their extreme relaxation factor.
In June 2006, Jeff took on Hal John with his Scrambler. He had never experienced rock crawling before that time. Jeff made Hal John look easy and appeared to be a veteran rock crawler to those present on the trail. Since then Jeff has never looked back, but continues to tackle harder and more technical trail sections. He is a great spotter and can be trusted in any difficult rock situation. He served as Club-President during 2010-2011 and has greatly organized and promoted the club. Crissie, as our very dedicated club secretary, has done an excellent job in scheduling and documenting the meetings and activities of the club. Crissie has also created the popular and first-rate Canyon Man...A Jeep Club facebook. Jeff and Crisssie are truly good Jeep friends and valued club members.
Jeep of the Month
1986 red Jeep CJ7
Modifications list: 401 "warmed over" with Edelbrock Performer intake and cam, Holley Truck Evenger carb, headers, MSD ignition and coil, T18 transmission, Center Force clutch, indexed Dana 300 with twin sticks, 4.10 gears, 4130 Chromemolly axles front/rear, Lock-Right locker in Dana 30 front, Power Trax locker in AMC 20 rear, Warrior u-bolt skid plates, Rock It sliders, Tom Wood shafts front/rear, 4" Superlift, Teraflex Revolver shackles, 33x12.5 B.F.Goodrich KM2 tires on American Racing 15X10 Gambler wheels, six-point cage, Metal Fusion tube fenders, vented hood, Radioactive Roach moutaineer style cargo rack, Warrior modified rocker guards and rear corners.
Thirteen years ago Merrin bought his first jeep. The Jeep, a 1978 blue CJ7, came equipped with a 304 v8 and a manual transmission. Merrin used this CJ7 for several years and covered many of the Black Hills trails. He then purchased his current 1986 red Cj7 and began by tearing it down to a bare frame and tub in his garage. Merrin rebuilt the Jeep with a combination of factory upgrades and highly modified parts. Everything has come together over time, and Merrin now has a very trail worthy Jeep capable of taking on the most advanced trails.
Merrin says Jeeping is a way of life and a good source of stress management. He has spent many evening hours and weekends in his garage working on Jeep projects. He thinks everyone should try Jeeping. Merrin would like to live in the Black Hills and have more time to explore new trails. He is truly living the Jeep way of life! Merrin is very handy with a wrench, winch, or skillet. He is a co-founder of the club and very much a part of the unique Jeep Culture!