Jeep Wrangler JL Makes Incredible Journey from Alaska to California

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YouTuber showcases the awesome power of Jeep & Nitto tire by enduring a long, grueling cross country trip.

We love road trips, but some are just better than others. It depends on the vehicle you take, the people who go with you, and the places you see along the way. Matt Moghaddam from the Youtube channel Driving Line went on a road trip we’d love to take: Alaska to California in a JL Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

In this installment of the series called “The Long Road Home,” Moghaddam starts off in Banff, Alberta, Canada and intends to make it to Great Falls, Montana. It’s a 6.5-hour drive. No passengers. No pets. Just him and the sounds of the Jeep’s radio and the Nitto Tire Ridge Grappler tires below. Moghaddam doesn’t end up needing the JLU Rubi’s extreme capabilities because the long trip is mainly over a seemingly endless strip of straight road that shoots through quiet countryside and open farm land.

jk-forum.com Fairbanks to SoCal in a JL Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

Moghaddam eventually crosses the border into the U.S. and promptly switches the JL’s gauge readout from kph to mph. He soon finds himself at the northern tip of I-15, which runs through Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and California. Given his ultimate destination, he’ll be on it for a long time, but he probably won’t mind because he considers starting at the top of I-15 something he can cross off of his life’s to-do list.

jk-forum.com Fairbanks to SoCal in a JL Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

Much of Moghaddam’s trip seems to be hours of driving on unpopulated roads. However, at one point, he crosses paths with a woman and her children in a Hyundai Santa Fe. One of her front wheels becomes detached from her vehicle and flies into a field. Moghaddam is kind enough to go get it for her, but there’s no avoiding the fact that her vehicle is out of commission. Luckily, no one is injured and Moghaddam is able to make it to his stopping point in Montana.

He can rest easy knowing he did a good deed, although he can’t rest for too long because the next morning he has to get up and drive through the mountains, across Idaho, and into Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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