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Discussion Starter #1
I maintain that this post is ON topic by the fact that I drove my Insight TO the Jeep rental facility in Sedona. Now with that said, I'll dive into my cleverly disguised off topic discussion.

Yesterday, a friend of mine and myself experienced a truely life-changing experience on a spontaneous day trip to Sedona, AZ. At first, the most exciting part of the trip was the challenge to maximize my mileage on the ~170 mile drive from the Phoenix area to Sedona. When we got to Sedona, however, we had no idea what we were about to experience.

Sedona, for those who don't know, is an area known for old Western movie backdrops. It is desert land with huge explosions of redrock monoliths and mesas that inspire a sense of wonder and visual awe that has few geological equals. It is also home to some amazing off-road trails.

We stopped by Farabee Jeep Rental (located on 89A, about 3 miles from the intersection of 179). After a surprisingly brief introduction of the finer principles of Jeeping, the man handed us a key to a bright and shiny Jeep Wrangler and saw us on our way. Mind you, the combined off-road experience between myself and my friend at that moment equaled exactly zero. We were expecting a lengthy safety lesson and lots of warnings of where NOT to go, lest we injure ourselves. Instead, we were waved off with nothing but encouraging words to go have fun and push our limits. He even through a cooler with an ice bag in the back so we could pack a lunch.

We followed the map he gave us to the first trail head just down the street. This was supposed to be the "easy" trail. The Easy Trail (aka Soldier's Pass) began with an "obstacle" that was roughly the size of the Catskill Mountains. This was to keep the non-off road equipped vehicles from accidentally wondering onto the path. After we scaled the Catskills, and only because we saw the Jeep in front of us do it successfully, the trail evolved into the second most fun I've ever had inside a vehicle (the first being driving my Insight, of course). We bounced around like popcorn and defied every rule I had learned about material strengths from my engineering classes in school. But somehow the Jeep survived surmounting obstacles that no sane person would believe could be done by any vehicle.

After the Easy Trail, we found our way to the Flipping Ridiculous Trail (aka Broken Arrow). In the 2 1/2 hours it took to get from the beginning to the end, I do not believe the Jeep was ever horizontal. Nor were any of the 4 wheels ever on the same geographical plane with each other. We were bounced, jostled, jirrated, and once, I think we were flying. The experience is best described as twice as thrilling as the most gut-twirling roller coaster you've ever been on.

For anyone that lives in the Phoenix area or anywheres near Sedona, AZ, this is an experience you should not live without for much longer. I hope you enjoyed my little anecdote as much as I enjoyed reflecting upon my experience yesterday. If anyone wants any specific details, feel free to contact me.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The suburbs at least, in Chandler. It's about 20-25 minutes southeast of Phoenix. Et tu?
 

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Haha, I should probably finish reading all of the text of your post before asking a stupid question. Now I see you're from Glendale. I'm new to this area, how far from Chandler is that?
 

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Ohh about 20 to 30 min depending on traffic at least. More like 40 if I drive for mileage. Longer if there is traffic, which I avoid like the plague whenever possible.

Why don't you add your location to your profile so people will know where our members are.
 

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Welcome to the Jeep world! My other car is not a car, it's a Jeep Wrangler. When I get the chance to take the thing off road, or rather, on something that could never be mistaken for a road, I remember why I keep the thing. Wranglers are truly amazing.
 

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Can someone tell me how much something like this is? I'm gonna be taking my 16 year old cousin out west next summer and this sounds like a cool thing to do, I just need to budget it in first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The place I rented at (Farabee Jeep Rental) had a rate schedule of $125 for 4 hours and $145(or $165 was it?) for 8 hours. The 4 hours was thoroughly exhausting, so that's what I'd recommend for a first-timer. You could also keep the Jeep for the night if you wanted for another $20. He called it the sunset rental, so you didn't have to worry about rushing it back by a certain time. The price may seem high, but keep in mind these Jeeps are retrofitted for off-roading. They've got a beefed up suspension and meaner tires to handle the rough conditions. And believe it or not, insurance companies actually cover this under your normal rental car coverage. They don't change their coverage because it's consider "high risk".
 

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I took a Pink Jeep tour with my father when I lived in the Phoenix area.

We took the route where they make you sign a waiver and a minimum of four passengers are required.

It was a BLAST.

Another great thing to do on your Insight-powered trip to Sedona is to go for a horseback ride. The two-hour ride at the ranch takes you to cowboy ruins, close to Cathedral Rock.

Also, a drive up to Jerome (anyone do it in their Insight? I know they used to run auto and bike races there, and they ended as it was too dangerous) with its small parking spaces made for Insights is heartily recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I should have specified. There's two kinds of jeep rentals. If you're more in the mood to let a processional do the driving and get a guided tour along the way, there's a bunch of Jeep tours you can do. They cost around $35 I think and the Jeeps are retrofitted to hold like 6 people in the back. You're at the mercy of where the driver takes you, but you get the full historical tour.

If you're more in the mood for roughing it up yourself, you can rent your own Jeep and take it wherever you like (that's in the $100+ range). The tour places will tell you that you shouldn't just rent your own jeep without some professional training, but that's just because they don't like the competition.

Enjoy!
 
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