Conversations with Big Rich

Your Off-Road Connection, Keith Bailey on Episode 89

December 16, 2021 Guest Keith Bailey Season 2 Episode 89
Conversations with Big Rich
Your Off-Road Connection, Keith Bailey on Episode 89
Show Notes Transcript

Your Off-Road Connection, Keith Bailey, from Alabama shares off-road, wheeling and Ultimate Adventure with Big Rich on Episode 89.

4:22 – It’s called fishing, not catching

13:37 – Gray Rock came along at the best time

20:30 – I don’t know if the mods ever stopped on that ‘84

26:43 – Debbie gave me the confidence to quit and go full-time

32:26 – Since ’03, I haven’t missed a UA since

44:02 – if you have more room, you bring more things

46:05 – bolt-on things are not that simple 

52:39 – what’s your recommendation for an 18-year-old who wants to get into the offroad business?

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.

www.maxxis.com

www.4lowmagazine.com 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)


[00:00:01.030] - Speaker 1

Welcome to The Big Rich Show. This podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing you may know the name. You may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now is the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.

 


[00:00:29.370] - Keith Bailey

Whether you're crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability, four wheels or two, Maxxis tires are the choice of Champions because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis Tires deliver. Choose Maxxis Tread Victoriously.

 


[00:00:55.990] - Speaker 2

Why should you read 4Low magazine? Because 4Low magazine is about your lifestyle, the four wheel drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle build and DOITYOURSELF tech, all in a beautifully presented package. You won't find 4Low on the newsstand rack. So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.

 


[00:01:16.550] - Big Rich Klein

On today's episode of Conversations With Big Rich. We have Keith Bailey. You may know Keith. He is out of Alabama. He is one of the guys. I don't know if you'd call him Cronies or the crew for Ultimate Adventure. If you've ever been to Gray Rock outside of Birmingham, you have probably met Keith, and he's the owner of Offroad Connection, and we're going to sit and learn all about Keith. Keith, thank you for coming on board today.

 


[00:01:52.700] - Keith Bailey

Good morning. Well, thanks for having me appreciate the opportunity.

 


[00:01:56.830] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, it's great. I haven't seen you in quite a while. I think the last time was probably at one of our dirt riot races there at Grayrock.

 


[00:02:06.550] - Keith Bailey

I believe you're correct.

 


[00:02:08.070] - Big Rich Klein

But let's go ahead and jump right in. And where were you born and raised?

 


[00:02:13.750] - Keith Bailey

I was born right here, right in Birmingham, Alabama. Jefferson county, just a few years ago. It seems like.

 


[00:02:24.310] - Big Rich Klein

It'S amazing how time flies, doesn't it?

 


[00:02:27.040] - Keith Bailey

Yes, it does. Doesn't stop.

 


[00:02:30.130] - Big Rich Klein

So growing up there, did you grow up in the city or was it more rural?

 


[00:02:37.690] - Keith Bailey

It's a rural town outside of Birmingham. Not far. Grew up in Gardendale, went to school, graduated in Gardendale, went to a trade school as well, started off roading or actually being around four wheel drive before I was able to drive. Hanging out with some guys is older than me. It had big trucks and it kind of started from there.

 


[00:03:05.530] - Big Rich Klein

So when you were in school, this is a question I ask everybody and we can expand into it if you wish. Were you studious? Were you athletic? Were you outdoorsy and did your own thing?

 


[00:03:22.390] - Keith Bailey

I definitely wasn't athletic. I did play sports. I think I was more there for support for my better teammates. I was definitely outdoorsy. I loved to Hunt, riding around in the old coal mines, reclaim land area that surrounds Birmingham did a lot of things outdoors, hunting and fishing. Yes. I love to fish. Yeah. I really got into fishing when my parents bought a place on the Lake Smith Lake. It's about an hour from where I grew up, and I guess that was the start of my really enjoying fishing.

 


[00:04:10.290] - Keith Bailey

Really getting into it.

 


[00:04:12.990] - Big Rich Klein

Was it the act of catching the fish, or was it the act of just kind of being able to zone out?

 


[00:04:22.750] - Keith Bailey

Well, I guess to this day, I'm still fishing. I'm not a catcher. I still call it fishing every now and then I get lucky and pick the right tackle or the right day. But I enjoy it. I enjoy water moving water, Creek, Rivers. Anything like that is enjoyable.

 


[00:04:53.280] - Big Rich Klein

So if you're a fisherman and not a catcherman, does that mean you do not have one of those sparkly bass boats?

 


[00:05:01.610] - Keith Bailey

That's exactly right. I do not have one of those. The closest thing I have to that is a sit on top kayak. There you go. Which I really enjoy that. It reminds me of offroading when you're going down a moving current, picking your line and just enjoying outdoors.

 


[00:05:21.080] - Big Rich Klein

Awesome. Yeah. We got a lot out here in the Corpus Christi Bay Area. There's a lot of fishermen that use those kayaks for fishing. I myself stick to larger boats just for the fact of I don't want to fall in and have to try to get my ass back out and on the boat.

 


[00:05:48.590] - Keith Bailey

I understand. Yes. Then it becomes swimming.

 


[00:05:55.190] - Big Rich Klein

Survivaling.

 


[00:05:56.930] - Keith Bailey

Exactly.

 


[00:05:59.210] - Big Rich Klein

So let's talk about those early days romping around 15, running with some older guys that have pickup trucks. Was it kind of like just climbing Hills, or did you guys those reclamation areas with the coal mines? Actually, it was strip mining wasn't in most of that part.

 


[00:06:21.490] - Keith Bailey

It was strip mining. Yeah. Actually, when we were doing that when I was 1516, it was big trucks, big tires, deep mud holes, and just kind of running around. And you couldn't do a whole lot because not any of us had lockers. We didn't even know what a locker was for positive traction, but we spent a lot of nights digging ourself out of the mud hole. We just tried to go through.

 


[00:06:56.810] - Big Rich Klein

That'S all part of it, though.

 


[00:06:58.510] - Keith Bailey

It was. It definitely turned me against going mud ride, for sure.

 


[00:07:05.260] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. I'm not a big fan of wet soil.

 


[00:07:09.650] - Keith Bailey

No, not at all. Not anymore, anyway. But that seemed like that was the thing to do, right?

 


[00:07:16.970] - Big Rich Klein

Getting those frame rails filled with mud. If you ever have to cut one open, you're cutting through rock rock.

 


[00:07:26.150] - Keith Bailey

Exactly. Making bricks.

 


[00:07:28.390] - Big Rich Klein

There you go. So what was your first vehicle that you drove? Maybe not the first one with a driver's license. Was there any vehicles before you had a driver's license that you got to bash around at all?

 


[00:07:47.750] - Keith Bailey

Well, my buddies let me drive their trucks. But that was about it back then. It was big trucks, big tires, square body. Chevrolets early model Fords never named their truck. There was a ditch digger, and there was a night crawler, and there was a Brown bear. It was a big thing around here, and we would even go to the mud races as a group, as a club. Kind of. Okay. But my first vehicle, actually, my first four wheel drive was a CJ five. It was an early model late model 76 304, three speed fenderwell headers.

 


[00:08:42.410] - Keith Bailey

That's when I really started enjoying the offroading or the trail riding.

 


[00:08:49.030] - Big Rich Klein

Right. And did you work on parents rigs or when you were younger, or did you find things to take apart and put back together? How did you get your interest in the mechanical side of it?

 


[00:09:06.890] - Keith Bailey

Watching my dad or helping my dad?

 


[00:09:09.290] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:09:10.110] - Keith Bailey

I have two older brothers along with two older sisters. And watching my dad help my brothers with their cars holding the flashlight.

 


[00:09:24.450] - Big Rich Klein

You really learn a lot about flashlights, don't you?

 


[00:09:27.320] - Keith Bailey

You do. And I remember it just plain as day me just being distracted in that flashlight, not even pointing where he was working. That famous words right here where I'm working. But I guess that was it dad. He didn't take anything to get it repaired. He did it himself. And and I guess that's where I got that initiative to. Well, I don't know how, but I guess we'll learn, right.

 


[00:10:05.470] - Big Rich Klein

Did you spend any time in the military?

 


[00:10:08.290] - Keith Bailey

I did not. I came close. I got laid off from Fab shop, and I decided that was where I was going. So I fill out all the paperwork and I was scheduled to come back and take a test. And then I got a job and I didn't go take a test. So I came real close. And sometimes I wish I would have not found that job and continued with that. But I missed not having that experience growing up, right.

 


[00:10:46.290] - Big Rich Klein

I think for a lot of us that are close to the same age group, I know I'm older than you, but there wasn't a lot of need for the military. Vietnam was behind us, no more draft, no real world conflicts going on. There was no pressing need. And so a lot of us ended up working or going to College or just getting married younger, whatever. And it's interesting that then all of a sudden you get to the guys that are in their 40s and they're back in the military.

 


[00:11:27.180] - Keith Bailey

Yeah. I think you're right on with that for sure. I have a lot of good friends in the military, and I respect their decision for sure. It's great to go through that. I had some that was suggested to go to the military by a judge, and they've done real well in their career.

 


[00:11:53.610] - Big Rich Klein

That's a good way of putting that. So growing up in that mid South Alabama area, there's a lot of Lakes, a lot of Rivers. There was a lot of strip mining going on. And in a fairly rural, that Gardendale area is still pretty rural. Has it been a big change for you watching it change from the 70s to nowadays?

 


[00:12:31.270] - Keith Bailey

Oh, for sure. The ability or the able to just drop off any paved road onto an old trail or access to some large land areas which were owned by the coal companies. All of that's gone away. The roads are still there. The areas are still there for the most part. But the hunting clubs have taken over to police. It stopped a lot of that, which there's a lot of trash throwing a lot of dumping of illegal dumping on those roads. So the hunting clubs have stopped that by gating them off.

 


[00:13:23.100] - Keith Bailey

But it has changed that part of it, for sure. But the offroad parks in the area has taken a place of that top wheeling.

 


[00:13:33.610] - Big Rich Klein

Right. And Gray Rock is one of those.

 


[00:13:37.810] - Keith Bailey

Yes. Gray Rock came along at the best time. I'm sure it's not the very first one in Alabama, but it sure was. It was right at the beginning of them.

 


[00:13:50.890] - Big Rich Klein

And that's Tony and Myra cousins property. Correct.

 


[00:13:54.920] - Keith Bailey

Correct. Yes. Tony and I have been actually, he was one of the guys that had one of those big trucks years ago in high school. It was a Toyota, but it was a big Toyota. But you have been midnowing Tony and friends with Myra and both of them for years. And his property or Gray Rock was right in the middle of all the coal reclaimed coal land, which made excellent offroading.

 


[00:14:28.010] - Big Rich Klein

Right. Because they'd go in and they'd strip it all out and then they push it all back in after they got the coal out of there. Correct.

 


[00:14:36.990] - Keith Bailey

Correct. Yes. And years ago, they didn't reclaim as like they do now. And a lot of it was just left a lot of piles of overburden, which become really actually good, challenging trails and obstacles. So it really makes for a good offroad park.

 


[00:15:02.870] - Big Rich Klein

Well, excellent.

 


[00:15:06.870] - Speaker 5

Let's talk about your life.

 


[00:15:11.010] - Big Rich Klein

Getting into the Wheeling. Where did you meet your wife at?

 


[00:15:17.890] - Keith Bailey

I don't know if I should say this, but I met my wife at those places. You're told never to meet your wife at. We met at a country bar. Western Dance in Western Bar was real popular. And we met there one night and been having fun ever since.

 


[00:15:42.420] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. Sometimes that works out.

 


[00:15:45.810] - Keith Bailey

It does. It really has for coming on 26 years now. We've been married.

 


[00:15:54.280] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. Glad you found a good one or one that would tolerate you. Is that what it is?

 


[00:15:58.940] - Keith Bailey

Well, I knew I had something going for me, so when I went to her house for the first time to pick her up, there was a Jeep in the garage, and she had never mentioned that, and I had no idea. So that was a plus right then.

 


[00:16:19.510] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. It's amazing if you share hobbies or interests, it really helps a relationship go a lot farther.

 


[00:16:31.040] - Keith Bailey

Oh, no doubt. I run into a lot of guys, a lot of customers and guys at the shop that has the hobby. But the wife completely is the opposite. And I just couldn't imagine they're having to hide money and pull out cash, fold it up in really small parts of their bill, fold to pay for things. And I'm very fortunate to have a wife, a friend and a daughter that really enjoys the off road.

 


[00:17:06.250] - Big Rich Klein

So when you got into offroading and you were out of school, did you do any trade school work or how did you how did you jump in?

 


[00:17:21.490] - Keith Bailey

I went to vocational school in Gardendale. I went to the high school for a half a day, and then you could go to the trade school the other half, morning or evening. And I took sheet metal and fabrication at the vocational school in Gardendale. And the last two years there, you actually, Coop, you actually could leave school and go to work. And I did that and went to actually, it wasn't sheet metal. It was a full blown Fab shop where I learned to do a lot of Fab work, a lot of welding layout work.

 


[00:18:01.950] - Keith Bailey

So that's how I got started. I guess the Fab part of the offroad world.

 


[00:18:09.420] - Big Rich Klein

And what were you building at that Fab shop?

 


[00:18:12.070] - Keith Bailey

It was a number of different things. That company, they did it all. They did a lot of aluminum work, a lot of large heavy iron structure, a lot of, I guess, exhaust industrial type exhaust. But during lunch and in the mornings, I was making Nerf bars and bumpers and different things like that.

 


[00:18:38.110] - Big Rich Klein

Utilize your time.

 


[00:18:39.930] - Keith Bailey

I did. I sure did. I got there early, stayed late and worked through lunch, sometimes on building something for my CJ.

 


[00:18:49.510] - Big Rich Klein

Nice. And so how long did you have that? Have you had that CJ, or do you still have it?

 


[00:18:55.220] - Keith Bailey

Well, my first one, my CJ five, actually traded it in on the one I have now in. I guess I had that black CJ five for two years and completely worked on it every day from front to back, top to bottom and got it all nice and fixed up. And my dad suggested for me to go get a new one, and we traded it in that night. He cosigned with me, and I left there with a 1984 CJ seven V eight. It was not a matter of fact, it was a 2.52 .5 oh, my God.

 


[00:19:42.100] - Keith Bailey

Yeah, it's 2.5 with low back seats. It didn't even have a radio as far as carpet. It only had a piece that went across the hump in the front. It did have a hard top, though, and had some nice wheels and tires on it. I think some 30 ones. Big ones, big ones, big ones. But it didn't take long to realize that 2.5 was a friend of mine. He happened to I think he slung a Rod in his and he wanted to buy one. So outcome the Tick 2.5 and went a 4.2.

 


[00:20:29.010] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:20:30.110] - Keith Bailey

And the modifications started. And I don't know if they stopped since 84 is a vehicle ever really done? I don't think so. This six months ago or eight months ago, I was preparing to go on the UA, and I was laying under doing something. I was like, you would think I'd be done by now. I still enjoy it, though.

 


[00:20:57.570] - Big Rich Klein

Well, that's amazing. You're going on? Damn, that's. Almost 40 years now owning that Jeep?

 


[00:21:06.930] - Keith Bailey

Yeah. There's not too many stock parts. I think the dash and the Vin number, the pay code. There's a few things left.

 


[00:21:19.470] - Big Rich Klein

So how did you get involved with having your own shop? What was the process? When did you go from, like, Fab shop or working for others to just going, okay, I'm going to do this on my own.

 


[00:21:36.450] - Keith Bailey

Well, I started. So there was a group of us. I had Jeeps high school friends, and I started buying Jeeps that were in backyards or beside the garages. And I collected up a large amount of used Jeep parks, all models. And I would put a little Advertisement. And this is at my house. This is at the house I was in at that time. So the basement was like a salvage yard. But I started advertising Jeep parks for sale in a little local paper called The Thrifty Nickel.

 


[00:22:20.770] - Keith Bailey

Right. You could put ads in there. I think it was free. But I started and got a pretty good clientele that way. And later on opened up a little small commercial. Very small. It was actually a game room on the side of a convenience store. This little storefront, I guess you could say, okay. And I moved a lot of the parts up there, the ones that were small and it could fit and then had a canopy out front where the gas pumps used to be. Because the convenience store now was a consignment store for clothing.

 


[00:23:08.670] - Keith Bailey

And heck, that's when I got my first business license. And I did that part time. For a long time. I would open up after work. I'd open up on Saturdays and just kept building a clientele.

 


[00:23:27.270] - Big Rich Klein

And approximately what time period was that?

 


[00:23:30.270] - Keith Bailey

That was around 91. I advertise that I've been open since 92. So there was a lot of years there without business license, I guess you could say. But once I got that storefront, naturally, I had two or I did. So that was about 91 early 92.

 


[00:23:55.280] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. And was it called off road Connection then?

 


[00:24:00.310] - Keith Bailey

Actually, it wasn't. It was called the Jeep Connection.

 


[00:24:04.100] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:24:05.350] - Keith Bailey

And I knew the trademark part of that. But I was like, who is going to care about me in this little small storefront. So I named it the Jeep Connection. And that lasted until one of the lawyers from Jeep came and told me differently. At that time, I was going on a lot of Jeep Jamborees, and I had my little magnetic stickers on my Jeep. And I guess that's where I exposed myself to the Jeep Corporation.

 


[00:24:46.370] - Big Rich Klein

You exposed the name of your company?

 


[00:24:50.390] - Keith Bailey

Yes.

 


[00:24:51.030] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. Good. Because saying you exposed yourself down the wrong path.

 


[00:24:57.120] - Keith Bailey

Yeah, for sure. No, not at all. Yeah. They were cool about it. They said it's kind of like a catch 22 for them. They love the Advertisement. But if they do not protect it, like all trademarks, they'll lose it. So I went from the Jeep connection to the off road connection.

 


[00:25:18.990] - Big Rich Klein

Was that a hard transition in that area, or were you established enough to where people caught on real quick?

 


[00:25:28.290] - Keith Bailey

It was that I don't remember any difficulties from changing. I think it was such early on. It didn't matter.

 


[00:25:39.450] - Big Rich Klein

And then how many locations did you have until you get to where you're at now?

 


[00:25:46.410] - Keith Bailey

Well, that one was in, actually. So the first one, I guess you could say, was my house, my basement. The second one was in Gardendale, at the arcade, connected to the convenience store that was in Gardendale. And then now I'm in Fultonale.

 


[00:26:03.400] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:26:04.710] - Keith Bailey

I was doing the work out there in Gardendale. I was having to do my installs under the canopy where the gas pumps were, which wasn't anything major at that time. But if I couldn't do it there, I was doing it at the house. And then the move from Gardendale to Fultondale was actually a garage. It was a four Bay garage, a little small showroom or storefront. And that's where I am still.

 


[00:26:40.110] - Big Rich Klein

At what point did you get married along that process?

 


[00:26:43.830] - Keith Bailey

Well, almost 26 years ago, I was still doing it part time. I was still leaving after work, going to my full time job, going and opening up when Debbie and I met. And then, actually, she gave me the confidence to quit and go full time.

 


[00:27:09.570] - Big Rich Klein

Very nice.

 


[00:27:12.150] - Keith Bailey

And she did. She gave me that confidence. And she still does. She still encouraged me to own all kinds of things. So if I had a calculator, I could tell you about what year that was. But Debbie and I only dated six months before we got married. So it wasn't long after we met, we got married. And then shortly after that, I quit my sheet metal job, my fabricating job, and then went full time.

 


[00:27:44.490] - Big Rich Klein

Well, it's nice to have a woman like Debbie behind you, seeing that you had the potential to do more and encouraging you to do so.

 


[00:27:58.050] - Keith Bailey

Oh, yeah, for sure. There's no doubt that's the only way to succeed, I would think, is to have or surround yourself not only have to be a wife, but it works out a lot better if it is your wife for sure.

 


[00:28:14.680] - Big Rich Klein

Right.

 


[00:28:15.620] - Speaker 5

Let's talk about how you got involved with Ultimate Adventure oh, man.

 


[00:28:24.190] - Keith Bailey

Let's see. That was in. It was probably early ’03, myself and a few friends had taken a trip out to Moab and we were at the bottom of Potato Salad hill, and we were taking turns trying it and watching it. And there was a photographer from Peterson's up there taking pictures. And it wasn't long till he came down and introduced his self. And that was Trent McGee. And we became friends. Seemed like instantly he got along really well with the guys with us. And then not long he left a magazine and moved to Louisiana, right.

 


[00:29:22.170] - Big Rich Klein

He went to work for Superlift for Superlift.

 


[00:29:26.990] - Keith Bailey

So he was really close to home then. And after that he came up and wheeled with us on the weekends and we got to know each other and became better friends. So in three, he called three and asked if I'd be interested in hosting the UA. The UA was really young. Then I think there may only have been one actually official and maybe another one that was unofficial. I know three. So he and Rick came through and I took him around Gray Rock, which was not really Gray Rock.

 


[00:30:11.360] - Keith Bailey

Then it was an area that you could wheel with permission. And then they left and went on and routed out the rest of the adventure. So that was my beginnings. They started in Tellico, North Carolina, right outside Murphy, and I went there along with Sam, a friend of mine, Sam Gillis. We went up there and help guide or tailgun or midgun the UA in Tellico. That year I met Fred Williams for the first time at Telecom Boyd. I met him at the first time. And then after that day of wheelin and Teleco, which was a very long day, we traveled back to Alabama to wait for their arrival here.

 


[00:31:12.330] - Keith Bailey

That was my beginnings of the UA, just meeting all those guys. Rick Pewe, of course. But that was the start of what I thought would never continue. And I'm still able to go even now.

 


[00:31:30.270] - Big Rich Klein

That's pretty awesome. That's kind of one of those punch list or life goal type things for a lot of wheelers out there is to get on a UA trip for sure.

 


[00:31:44.010] - Keith Bailey

A little story. Prior to three, Trent McGee asked me to ride with him on the UA in two. And I think it was two. It may have been one. And it was going to be out West Midwest somewhere. And our daughter just had been born. And as far as my work, it was just me up there maybe along with another hand. And I couldn't leave for a week to go attend a UA. And I said that was probably going to be my only opportunity to ever go on a UA.

 


[00:32:26.850] - Keith Bailey

And that was prior to three. And then in three, Trent came here and I hadn't missed one since.

 


[00:32:37.050] - Speaker 5

So let's talk about that.

 


[00:32:39.320] - Big Rich Klein

You guys get to go to a lot of different areas. Some of them are parks. Some of them are not parks. It might be just private property or even what we call BLM Bureau of Land Management managed government properties out here in the west. What are some places that really stand out?

 


[00:33:02.610] - Keith Bailey

Well, there's so many, I guess, growing up and reading the magazines the year we went to the Rubicon Trail and Fordyce. This probably was a huge check Mark. That was something I read about dreamed about, and there was running it in my own rig, so that really stands out. But there are so many I enjoy every one of them. It's always something new. It's new. Meet different people. Definitely wheel at different places. We've done, I guess every state, but three now.

 


[00:33:50.180] - Big Rich Klein

Wow.

 


[00:33:50.630] - Keith Bailey

And one of those being Hawaii.

 


[00:33:53.310] - Big Rich Klein

Which is going to be more difficult to do not only because of travel there, but there is not a lot of areas to wheel.

 


[00:34:01.890] - Keith Bailey

Really?

 


[00:34:02.680] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. You would think you could get onto those lava fields and everything, but you can't. I spent a Christmas there two weeks and hooked up on the Big Island with some people from the Big Island Jeep Club. And they took us out wheeling and went to different trails and different things that they'd done. And yeah, there's not a lot of stuff that would I think that would facilitate an event like UA.

 


[00:34:45.190] - Keith Bailey

Right. I guess it would have the cool factor of saying Hawaii the year we went to Alaska just a few years ago, there's a lot of Outback just desolate areas to wheel, but far as rock crawling as we enjoy it more. So there wasn't a lot of that. But just being in Alaska made up for it.

 


[00:35:12.580] - Big Rich Klein

Right.

 


[00:35:14.150] - Keith Bailey

True. So that's maybe like Hawaii, but it's such a great experience and this home to be able to go or be a part of it, because like you said, a lot of people think about it and would dream about it. But you have to send your application in. First, I'm to even up those chances.

 


[00:35:39.710] - Big Rich Klein

And then they only pick a few from because normally it's industry, the guys that are helping, like yourself and then Boyd and some of the others and then they bring what they call the readers. There's only a handful of those every year. Is that correct?

 


[00:36:01.330] - Keith Bailey

That's correct. Yeah. We've had up to, I think, five readers one year, maybe six, six counting the return reader. So if you get chosen and able to attend being a reader, if you really have the right attitude, the breaks off the vehicle and just kind of fit in and just don't whine you really enjoy the whole week of wheeling, there's a good chance you get to return for a second year. And that's the return reader.

 


[00:36:42.590] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. Awesome. Since I know quite a few of the staff, I'll call them instead of the cronies. Who's the craziest? Is it Tom.

 


[00:37:04.410] - Keith Bailey

The Craziest.

 


[00:37:08.070] - Big Rich Klein

Now the one that's always say pushing the limits.

 


[00:37:15.270] - Keith Bailey

I would say Tom is like the ringleader of crazy, but there's a lot of followers of Tom Verne just tracks me up, and Fred is right there with him. He and Fred and Dave. I guess I can't just say one. I really enjoy their company. And Trent is unbelievable in his knowledge and how he puts the trips together and that little core and being right there with Chris Durham, there's so much to learn from all those guys. It's kind of like I get together for friends. We don't get to see each other that often, but that week, we really catch up and enjoy our time together.

 


[00:38:11.230] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. And I know that every time you guys go someplace like this last year, you guys were in Mason, and I know you went to K Two, where Randy and Shane run the park there. Did you guys get over to Wolf Caves as well?

 


[00:38:29.230] - Keith Bailey

We did not. Okay. We did not. But the guys around here, we're trying to go somewhere every month, somewhere different. And I'm really pushing for us for our long trip. We don't do one long trip, which would be a three day wheeling trip. And I'm really pushing for Katemcy and Wolf Cave for us to go do both in one trip.

 


[00:38:57.430] - Big Rich Klein

Right. When do you think that long trip will be?

 


[00:39:00.670] - Keith Bailey

Well, I told them, though, I don't know how it is in the spring. Imagine it's going to be would be fine. But the time of year that we did the UA there was excellent. And I don't know if the weather was just abnormal or that was normal, but it was perfect. Wheeling camping time of the year. So it may be even then.

 


[00:39:24.500] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. Spring and fall are pretty good there in central Texas, the whole country.

 


[00:39:28.960] - Keith Bailey

Okay. Right. And I guess it really depends if you're going to happen again. I'll have to plan it around. That for sure.

 


[00:39:40.050] - Big Rich Klein

Right. And UA is always around the same time of the year. Right.

 


[00:39:45.430] - Keith Bailey

Well, it has been the last four years. It used to be in July. I wasn't home for the 4 July for, like 14 or 15 years straight.

 


[00:40:02.940] - Big Rich Klein

Wow.

 


[00:40:04.010] - Keith Bailey

Yeah. Because it started that weekend or it ended that weekend of the fourth. And when Christian Hazel took over, him being a family man or more family oriented, he just moved it away from the 4 July, and it's been easing on into the fall time since then. Actually, the cooler temperatures have been welcomed because we had some very, very hot UAS.

 


[00:40:37.750] - Big Rich Klein

I can imagine.

 


[00:40:40.790] - Keith Bailey

You'Re driving up oven down the road to start with.

 


[00:40:47.910] - Big Rich Klein

We call our XJ, the wood stove. There's no AC. And ever since we put that Atlas in, it's just like this big heat sink in there. That just is just radiates.

 


[00:41:04.450] - Keith Bailey

Oh, yeah, for sure. One year we went across Death Valley the 127 degrees. Oh, guys, we've taken our hoods off. It was great experience, not whining at all. I'm glad we all made it and nobody died. No one died. And what was so awesome, I guess you would say or a great experience was we went across there that day and that evening we had jackets and gloves on where we ended up encountered. So the temperature change was unreal.

 


[00:41:55.590] - Big Rich Klein

That's an interesting thing about the desert, especially that area, because you go from way below sea level and you can get up to seven, eight, 9000ft. Pretty easy.

 


[00:42:07.610] - Keith Bailey

Yeah. And that's what happened. It was crazy. We went from a desert, and then we dropped down into a Valley to get supplies for that night and the next day and it was just green grass and trees and just went over a mountain pass, went up out of the desert and then dropped back in probably definitely a higher elevation, and it was completely different. It's awesome to experience that, especially in an open rig. No windows, nothing, no doors. You get the full effect for sure.

 


[00:42:46.290] - Big Rich Klein

Especially the heat. Yes.

 


[00:42:48.960] - Keith Bailey

Especially the heat.

 


[00:42:53.170] - Big Rich Klein

Have you taken your seven, then on all the UAS, or have you taken other vehicles?

 


[00:42:59.650] - Keith Bailey

I have taken other ones. I have a bruiser chassis that I bought from Poison Spider, the early Poison Spider. When Clifton, I've taken it and the trip to Alaska, I took my LJ, but it's only been on one. The LJ's only went to Alaska, and then the CJ started out strong, and when the Buggy was finished in three, I really enjoyed it. But it's not comfortable at all. And it's real small for two people to live out of it for a week. It's difficult, but I enjoy wheeling it more so because I'm not concerned about the paint and the body like I would.

 


[00:43:54.090] - Keith Bailey

The CJ.

 


[00:43:57.890] - Big Rich Klein

The LJ must have afforded you more room.

 


[00:44:02.030] - Keith Bailey

Oh, gosh. Yes. And Trent, I asked Trent. He said, if you ever was going to bring the LJ, the Alaska trip would be the trip you need to bring it on. So since he said that it was awesome, but like, if you have more room, you bring more things and sure enough.

 


[00:44:22.790] - Big Rich Klein

You still fill all the nook and crannies we did.

 


[00:44:26.000] - Keith Bailey

I had that thing loaded down so much because we were prepared for rain every day. So I had these canopies all over it. Like I said, more room. You don't fill it up. And we did. Tom and I, but it was very comfortable driving heat and wipers and windows that you could roll up all the comforts. Oh, yeah, that I don't have in the CJ or the Buggy for sure.

 


[00:44:59.510] - Big Rich Klein

So let's talk about off road connection and the kind of work that you do there. What would you say your specialty is?

 


[00:45:07.490] - Keith Bailey

Well, I started out with Jeeps. Our specialty is the Jeep vehicle, and I started out doing a lot of Fab work a lot of springovers years ago, one ton conversions and engine swaps that was in the CJ YJ era, did a lot of axle swaps when the YJS came along. For sure. I've done a little bit of everything, and I'm glad of it. We sell floor mats and we install bug Shields, but I've never turned away any of that, any of that business. But our main vehicles are Jeeps, and it slowly got into trucks and lift kits, tires, wheels.

 


[00:46:05.710] - Keith Bailey

I backed off of the fabricating a little bit than what we used to do. We used to do have three or four projects in there at one time, and I just kind of slowed down to having one at a time, not stopped doing it, but just backed off because all the JK's. I hate saying Bolton stuff because it makes it sound so simple. But Bolton things aren't that simple. They're not as hard as a five three swap, but the Bolton, the accessories that come along with Jeeps.

 


[00:46:49.950] - Keith Bailey

That's a big part of paying the bills.

 


[00:46:54.750] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. I think the JK actually saved our industry when they were released, and I think the aftermarket did a really good job of chasing that vehicle and by taking them and just figuring out every little thing that they could modify.

 


[00:47:17.430] - Keith Bailey

Oh, there's no doubt I've mentioned that a time or two in eight when the industry really took a hard hit, especially the truck world. The JK was released in seven, and if it wouldn't have been, it would have. I don't know what would have happened, but it did save the industry hands down, I believe just what you said. I agree.

 


[00:47:42.030] - Big Rich Klein

So Jeep, thank you for creating the JK. Even though all the TJ and the CJ owners hated it, I think most everybody has now migrated to it. Not everybody hates the JL or the Gladiator, right?

 


[00:48:01.420] - Keith Bailey

Correct.

 


[00:48:01.940] - Big Rich Klein

And now they're going to have more to hate with the four by ease.

 


[00:48:06.750] - Keith Bailey

Yeah, for sure.

 


[00:48:10.990] - Big Rich Klein

It's amazing how Jeep owners do that.

 


[00:48:13.990] - Keith Bailey

It is. I've always compared a Jeep owner to the guys that rode motorcycles. The Harley owners. You've got to love the product to put up with it, just like the Harley guys did it. It definitely was not the best motorcycle, but it didn't stop people from owning them. Just like the Jeep. It's never been the best, but that's what's fun about only one. You can make them into the best vehicle and enjoy doing it right.

 


[00:48:52.250] - Big Rich Klein

And then what was nice about all of those? The CJ XJ, YJ, all of those, except for the XJ, I should say is they all loved to hate on the XJ.

 


[00:49:06.530] - Keith Bailey

I know in the XJ is such a good offroad vehicle.

 


[00:49:11.010] - Big Rich Klein

Especially right out of the box.

 


[00:49:13.130] - Keith Bailey

Exactly. It was amazing here and even the TJ as well. But the XJ with the longer wheel base when we were doing outings, we have a trail rides around here often, but every weekend and then the XJ started showing up, and here we were with lockers and springovers and this and that and the other. And here comes this Cherokee coming right up behind us. And then so did the TJ. It was definitely an eye opener as far as the coal Springs and the four link. And that's what started the different modifications.

 


[00:49:50.060] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So what's your favorite vehicle out of the Jeep lineup?

 


[00:50:02.330] - Keith Bailey

Well, definitely partial to the older iron, the older CJ and Prior two. I think the best one out of the box. Longitude. Simple modifications. Lot of Tronics is the TJ era, right? From 97 six. It seems to be holding its own in value and easy modifications. Like I said, out of the box, disconnect those sway bars and things would go true.

 


[00:50:39.210] - Big Rich Klein

Especially with that Rubicon model.

 


[00:50:41.280] - Keith Bailey

Yes.

 


[00:50:44.090] - Big Rich Klein

So where do you see off road connection going over the next, say, five years?

 


[00:50:54.770] - Keith Bailey

Well, I hope we're still doing the same along with something new. The industries in the last three or four years have blown up for us. The Boltons, like you'd mentioned, the JK, we continue to be strong in that aspect. I hope I just keep everything the same. It's working. We only work four days a week. They're long days. But if we can get it done in four days, why not? I guess I'm happy right where it's at? I wish I could do better for websites and different things like that, but I don't know.

 


[00:51:45.120] - Keith Bailey

It's hard for me to change. I guess I could, but it would be a struggle for me to modernize the offroad connection. I guess I'm just stuck in house, always being an honest wage and good work. Just continue to do that and then enjoy it. Still, just keep enjoying it.

 


[00:52:16.550] - Big Rich Klein

What would be your recommendation to say? 18 year old just coming out of high school and wants to get into the offroad business? What would your recommendation be to that individual? Whether it's man or woman or identifies as whatever.

 


[00:52:39.030] - Keith Bailey

Yeah, I don't guess that would matter as long as they showed up for work and care about their work. Take pride in what they do and that goes along with anything. But as far as the offroad industry, just jump in and hang with it. Don't try to be the best at everything. Pick one or two things that you feel like you're good at and be the best at it. At RC or the Offer connection. We're real rounded. We've never said we specialize in anything, but I've decided years ago you can't be good at everything by no means.

 


[00:53:26.890] - Keith Bailey

I think a lot of shop owners or a lot of guys make mistakes trying to be that way. Just stick with what you know and be the best at it.

 


[00:53:39.550] - Big Rich Klein

I agree. You have more than just the one daughter, correct?

 


[00:53:49.770] - Keith Bailey

No, we just have one daughter. She's 21. She's like every dad's daughter. She's the best one. She's very enjoyable. She's an excellent driver off road. She doesn't do it as often as we used to. But when we do get together and go, she's good because she listens to her spotter. She wants to be something to do with the medical field. She's taking a break from College right now, but hopefully start back soon. She's not an online student at all. She needs to go to a classroom. And so she's taking a break right now.

 


[00:54:41.110] - Keith Bailey

As far as the COVID stuff.

 


[00:54:46.450] - Big Rich Klein

And speaking of COVID, how did that affect your business? Did you guys have to shut down at all, or is it just a supply chain issue now?

 


[00:54:58.030] - Keith Bailey

We did not have to shut down at all. Fortunately, no one has been infected at the shop during shop hours. Josh Sanders has been a long time friend and employee. He was actually my co driver this year on the UA. His wife actually came down with it and he left the shop, obviously at that point that he heard and that was during the Christmas holidays. So he actually didn't miss, but maybe two days of work and then he was over and came back. But far as everyone else, we've been real fortunate and I don't know what kept us from being exposed because I really haven't changed a whole lot.

 


[00:55:53.810] - Keith Bailey

I took out the stools in front of the counter, put the hand sanitizer. I didn't require mask. I don't know, just some common sense stuff, but as far as affecting it, we did slow down for one week. We actually had everything in the parking lot inside working on it for one day, if not two. And by the end of the week, we were packed house again and has been that way ever since. It hasn't stopped.

 


[00:56:25.460] - Big Rich Klein

That's good. Before we started the recording, you talked about the supply chain and being able to get parts and stuff. Is that starting to ease up at all.

 


[00:56:37.380] - Keith Bailey

Or is it getting worse in some products, it's easing up a little bit. It's a little bit of false feeling about that because for a while I could not get shocks. Shocks was holding up every lift kit that we was selling. And then all of a sudden we're able to get shocks with Fox and Billstein. And now it's a little bit of a shortage. We do a lot of gear changes, a lot of gear changes, ranges and bearings and ring opinions. I've used sources. I'm having to use a lot of different sources to keep the job going, but it's a big delay.

 


[00:57:28.870] - Keith Bailey

We'll get four or five vehicles in, can't get parts, they get pushed out. We'll bring four or five more in, they need parts. We push them out. And then about the time I love to shop up again, parts come in for that first five, then parts come in for that second five. So it's a lot of juggling to keep everybody happy and actually get things out, get vehicles back to their owners and so we can get paid and continue on.

 


[00:57:57.790] - Big Rich Klein

And is your clientele mostly from your area or do you have clientele that come in? Do you have customers that come in from out of the area?

 


[00:58:07.190] - Keith Bailey

Both mostly obviously the Arca. But we have a lot of guys that come a couple of hours away. I've had customers bring the rigs up from Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, just really all over. But most it's local in the area.

 


[00:58:30.110] - Big Rich Klein

Cool.

 


[00:58:31.310] - Speaker 5

Let's talk about Gray Rock.

 


[00:58:32.790] - Big Rich Klein

Is Gray Rock still open for business? Do you guys still putting on events out there?

 


[00:58:39.890] - Keith Bailey

We are not Gray Rock, I guess, has been shut down for five years now. Six, maybe time flies. So maybe wrong on that in this state, you may own the land, but you do not own the mineral rights. And so the coal company decided to come back in and strip mine an area that they had stripped before, but they were able to go deeper, cost effective to be able to go deeper than they did 30 years ago. So that put a damper on the park because it cut the park right into.

 


[00:59:23.190] - Keith Bailey

We're talking 2200 acres, and this was probably about three or 400 slice right down the middle. And it made it dangerous because in strep money you have high walls. They call them high walls. They're 102 hundred 300 foot drop offs. So with all the mining, the new mining going on, it was just too big of a risk. So we've had real small events. The rock bouncers have come and held event there, but it wasn't for riding. It was just to come spectated event to come watch cable heel.

 


[01:00:08.150] - Keith Bailey

But I still go down there. I still ride what trails are there just to enjoy that area. It meant so much to me. I still enjoy just making the trails clear. If there's a tree down, I'll make a way through, but just mainly just get down there and enjoy the peace and quiet in the Woods.

 


[01:00:33.090] - Big Rich Klein

Right. How long does it take or when do you guys find out what the next UA adventure is going to be? Where it's going to be?

 


[01:00:49.690] - Keith Bailey

Well, that's been a big secret since day one, where the UA is going to be held, even for us. Cronies we do not get the location, really, but for about two months prior, maybe some information will come out. Yes, there will be one. And then from there it trickles down. So we don't get a lot of info, which I kind of like that because it keeps an adventure myself.

 


[01:01:25.930] 

Right.

 


[01:01:26.910] - Keith Bailey

Even during the UA, I try to well, I do. We get the full route downloaded to a tablet or to our phone, but I don't even look ahead to see where we're going, because I just love not knowing that's just a huge part of it is not knowing. And it's just actually fun because you'll pull up 26 vehicles to completely take over a gas station and the people there that's the public saying, Where are you all going? And nobody knows. It's like, we don't know, and that's a good part about it.

 


[01:02:09.110] - Keith Bailey

They look at you kind of funny, but we said that guy right over there, he knows where we're going. That was Christian and Trent with points, and we're just following him. And that's the fun part about it.

 


[01:02:23.990] - Big Rich Klein

Let's walk through a typical day on a UA. Let's say not the first day, but let's say, like third day, you've already wheeled at least one park or one area, and you're getting ready to move on. What's the day look like?

 


[01:02:44.150] - Keith Bailey

Generally, you have an early driver's meeting. If it happened to be a camp night, you're actually up early that morning breaking camp. You have a driver's meeting. Generally, you have about 15 to 30 minutes after the driver's meeting to be ready to pull out the itinerary is given to you. Look, the night before prior to getting to the camp site, you're going to need one breakfast, one lunch, two suppers or whatever. And we stop and get that supply prior to that morning. We take off generally not on the best roads, usually dirt, a lot of dirt, but we get to see things that people generally don't see, which I definitely enjoy even around here when I go somewhere, I always try to come back a different way just to see different sites.

 


[01:03:52.930] - Keith Bailey

So I guess that's what I enjoy most about it is seeing things that people don't get to see or wouldn't take the time to go see. And we may just go 200 miles that day, but it takes us 12 hours, and it's because we're seeing things that you generally wouldn't see.

 


[01:04:14.250] - Big Rich Klein

We just drove from Minneapolis to Las Vegas, and until we got to Laramie, Wyoming, we took no interstate and no major highway. It was all back roads, frontage roads, dirt roads, Dang. And that was so cool.

 


[01:04:39.510] - Keith Bailey

I bet it was.

 


[01:04:40.430] - Big Rich Klein

It took us five days, and then we had to jump on the interstate. Once we got to Western Colorado and got down into Rifle. And then that's when we took the 70 to the 15 and into Vegas because we only had that one day to do it right. And we just run out of time. We planned on making it even longer and going down through Grand Junction and then hitting some of the trails that cut across into Utah and then down into Nevada. But we just ran out of time.

 


[01:05:20.110] - Keith Bailey

That's cool. One goal is to have time Monday to not be on a schedule. You're always will be on a schedule of some sort. But the UA, I generally don't have a lot of time prior, so we drive all night or we get there and the UA starts and then we turn in and drive home. But I'm looking forward to those days. I can take some extra days and do what you're talking about just see the sites, hit a trail or a park or whatever it may be because I do enjoy.

 


[01:06:11.050] - Keith Bailey

I enjoy that aspect of all of the UAS. It's just going somewhere I never would have planned to go. And there I am there doing it right. I'm looking forward to those days where I can have extra time. But being a business owner and a small business owner, it's hard to be away from work.

 


[01:06:34.030] - Big Rich Klein

It is because if you're not there, it's not generating income, right?

 


[01:06:39.380] - Keith Bailey

And it's expensive. This last year I chose to close and I've done that before. So I close because I generally had office help and it was in between having someone there. So if I'm not there, there's no one to answer the phone or Greek the customers or order anything. The guys I could have lined up some work for them out there. But being away from work is expensive. Everybody got an extra paid vacation during the UA. I was out spending money, definitely wasn't making any money, but I wouldn't change a thing by no means.

 


[01:07:22.520] - Keith Bailey

But it's hard to get away.

 


[01:07:29.930] - Big Rich Klein

How many more years are you going to continue to do this? Do you have an exit strategy?

 


[01:07:39.030] - Keith Bailey

I don't see myself stopping. I'd like to see myself not having to be there every day. It's hard to say that, but the property that the building is on, it'll be worth something. And hopefully it'd be worth a whole lot more in ten years. I'll soon be 60. So strategy maybe to continue doing what we're doing, but maybe have a little bit more extra time to do something other than be at that shop. My wife's retired, but she's gone back to work. She's retired from the school system and she went back to work in the school system.

 


[01:08:34.190] - Keith Bailey

And she said she's going to continue until she can't physically and her job is very physical. She works with a special needs kids. So I imagine by the time she gives up, I'll be about ready to throttle back. And maybe we can have some extra time to take those back roads.

 


[01:08:58.730] - Big Rich Klein

It's definitely worthwhile for sure. I think that's one of the things that putting on the event series that we've put on, whether it was the offroad racing, the rock crawling, the rock racing, whatever. What it's afforded us to do was the travel, but especially the last 1011 years, when we made it full time, we were able to get on the road, live on the road and take the time between the events to actually experience what America has to offer.

 


[01:09:40.250] - Keith Bailey

Right years ago doing the Jeep Jamborees. I'm talking like in 85 86, we were actually able to go out of town and enjoy different States. Then I guess that's why I still enjoy the time away or the time traveling. I guess that's one of the UA has been such a huge part of it is going different places, even though it's just a week or maybe ten days. Alaska was 26 days away from work. I never had done that. Yes. And we didn't mess around. We didn't cut the truck off until we got into Canada, which was about 32 hours.

 


[01:10:32.670] - Keith Bailey

It was Chris Durham myself and Tom in the truck, and that was the longest time away from work for 26 days. My daughter and Debbie was able to come up and enjoy Alaska prior to the event ending. And then after the event, we us three a few excursions. And I guess that's the only year after the UA, I hung out instead of jumping in the truck and busted tail to get back to work.

 


[01:11:09.870] - Big Rich Klein

So that trip, the Alaska trip. It's pretty iconic or epic, you might say, kind of an adventure. Where did it end up finishing at it started in Wasilla.

 


[01:11:27.030] - Keith Bailey

And then it actually looked back around to Wasilla. It was a big circle and we hit it at a good and bad time. It was bad for Alaska because it was a lot of forest fires because it had been so dry, but it did not rain and we had zero mosquitoes. Wow. Yes. And then that made it even more special. The host family there was just unreal that whole winter family, the two brothers that went on the UA attended the UA with us. This awesome family originally moved from Kentucky.

 


[01:12:13.330] - Keith Bailey

I think it was Kentucky. Pretty sure it was Kentucky to Alaska, and they've been there ever since. It's a great family.

 


[01:12:22.630] - Big Rich Klein

And when your sightseeing with your family, did you go down into Anchorage or Anchorage because Wasilla is just north, isn't it? I think that's correct.

 


[01:12:37.520] - Keith Bailey

I think it's about an hour, maybe outside Anchorage. We did not. We took the railroad and went into a couple of towns. Dog sled. We went dog sledding, but without snow, the sled had wheels. That was a great experience. We took a river boat up the river, just sightseed. It's just a great all around experience. We rented a couple of bicycles and rode around. Definitely. I want to go back. And hopefully when I do go back and I would drive again. But I would want a month to get there.

 


[01:13:32.970] - Keith Bailey

Not six days.

 


[01:13:37.290] - Big Rich Klein

Did you have any wildlife encounters?

 


[01:13:41.610] - Keith Bailey

We did. We saw every animal there was, I believe, more so in Canada than Alaska. But in Alaska, we saw the Moose Badgers. I don't think we saw bear in Alaska, but we saw where bear had been at our campsite prior to us getting there. One morning, a Moose went through our campsite. It was fun. I got to fish. I wanted to catch a fish in Canada, and I wanted to catch a trout, a fish in Alaska. And we were able to do that. And that was another check Mark.

 


[01:14:29.960] - Keith Bailey

We were fly fishing. Enjoyed that. There's just so much to do up there, but you got to enjoy the outdoors to enjoy Alaska for sure.

 


[01:14:39.170] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. Well, cool. So is there anything that we haven't touched bases on, or do you want to tell any good stories about Verne or Trent or Rick or Christian or any of those or Chris Durham? I think Christian and Rick are the only ones I haven't out of the names I just mentioned that I have not interviewed yet. So maybe something about one of those two that I can make sure that they know it's coming.

 


[01:15:13.370] - Keith Bailey

There's so many good times, good stories. I don't know. I may not get invited to come back if I tell all the stories, but there definitely has been some great times and some good friendships made out of this industry, meeting people just like you. For instance, when you and Josh and you all came to Gray Rock, that was no, we hadn't seen each other. We haven't spoken in a long time, but here we are speaking.

 


[01:15:54.750] - Big Rich Klein

It is special. The friendships that we have made in this industry by visiting everybody and hanging out and having that, like interest of wheeling has made my life since I turned 42 really special, for sure.

 


[01:16:19.030] - Keith Bailey

And it's hard to explain to people because through Debbie's work, we have a lot of friends outside the offroad world, the industry, and we're going Jeep ride that weekend. You're doing what? It's just hard to explain how good of a hobby industry it really is. They see the videos, they miss. The writing part of it is definitely enjoyable. I still enjoy it, but the time spent at the campground at night, in the mornings, during the day away from the trail is just as important. Or it's just as fun as going over a big rock.

 


[01:17:10.310] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, I agree.

 


[01:17:15.390] - Keith Bailey

It's the whole pie. It's just not a piece of it.

 


[01:17:18.930] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. Well, Keith, I want to say thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed. I know that you were concerned about talking about your life and doing this interview, but I think you did a great job, and I really appreciate you coming on board and spending some time with us and talking to our listeners. And I think people will enjoy it.

 


[01:17:48.030] - Keith Bailey

Well, I appreciate the opportunity. And you're correct. I was very nervous, but you made it easy. One thing I could think of when you were asking me to do it was on the UAS when Michael Harrington, one of the video producers that filmed the UAS for years. Right. When I was at the wrong moment, I say, but it was at the Trek moment, but wrong moment for me. He would stick a camera in my face and he'd want to ask me all these questions and I just would freeze up and I had a really hard time doing that sometimes.

 


[01:18:26.500] - Keith Bailey

And that's all I could think about when you asked me to do it. But you made it very easy. And I appreciate the opportunity again.

 


[01:18:35.280] - Big Rich Klein

Well, I appreciate you spending the time. And so say Hello to the family for me. And I hope your business is all that it can be and successful and that you get more time to enjoy the rest of the world.

 


[01:18:53.550] - Keith Bailey

I appreciate that. And you as well. Enjoy that boat. Enjoy that salt life.

 


[01:18:59.910] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. Salt life. Today we've got rain and it's kind of drizzly out. But tomorrow it will be back in the 70s. And it's not real bad. We're 66. 67 degrees. But any day on the water is a good day.

 


[01:19:20.280] - Keith Bailey

Oh, I agree. Just looking at water. Just watching it. Yes.

 


[01:19:24.730] - Big Rich Klein

So true.

 


[01:19:25.510] - Keith Bailey

It's very enjoyable.

 


[01:19:27.510] - Big Rich Klein

All right, Keith, thank you so much. And, yeah, have a great life. We'll talk to you later.

 


[01:19:34.760] - Keith Bailey

All right, rich, thank you. I really appreciate it.

 


[01:19:37.480] - Big Rich Klein

All right. Bye.

 


[01:19:38.610] - Keith Bailey

Bye. Bye.

 


[01:19:40.290] - Speaker 2

If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating. Share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end.

 


[01:19:52.870] - Big Rich Klein

Hope you enjoyed.

 


[01:19:53.830] - Speaker 2

We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Ridge.

 


[01:19:57.000] - Big Rich Klein

Thank you very much.