Loosened from the mud, I find myself floating in a world of possibility.

So can you.

the last of the TJ?

Both of us, in different stages of our lives, wanted to drive a Jeep. Both of us, for one reason or another, were deterred from our desires to own a Jeep. Even when we married and moved away from the influence of other people's decisions, we shied away from buying a Jeep. Then finally I got a full-time job with the University, we had some extra cash and so decided to take the plunge. We bought our Jeep in 2006, but never could we have imagined how much it changed our lives.

Now, I hear that 2006 was the last year that Chrysler made the TJ model. Is this an instance of serendipity? I know that it was extremely fortunate that we got our Jeep when we did. And to tell you the truth, I don't like the new models, they are boxy, hummer-like.

For us, this was an investment in our future. This would enable us to roadtrip and roadtrip in a way that led off the road to places I only imagined I could get to on a horse. It was an investment for our safety. How many times had we wandered into a muddy situation, a questionable road with only a rental car or the truck? Too many, I say.

But what about the environmental impact of our purchase? Well, I can tell you that the Jeep gets the same gas mileage as our old Saturn. When we bought the Jeep we also made the decision to travel the US, see more of this beautiful country and forgo plane tickets. So, buying the Jeep offsets the carbon foot print left behind by big airliners.

When will Chrysler come out with a Jeep that gets better gas mileage? Why not a hybrid of some sorts? It seems to me that the development focus has been to compete with the Hummers. A bad decision I think. Especially now when there is an urgent need to find alternative energy sources, trying to break our collective dependence on fossil fuels.