John-Paul Clark

Mapping Crew - Texas
Trail Reviews: 2400 points
Questions Answered: 450 points

My Profile

Off-Road Experience:
4-5 years
Off-Road Style:
Overlanding
My Garage:
  • (3" lift, 37" tires)
JP began his off-road adventures as a "Toyota guy", then later crossed the dark side when he bought a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Describing himself as a 'heavy overlander / moderate crawler', he enjoys everything from long beach runs, to the mountains of Colorado, to the rocks of Moab.

My Garage (1)

Lift Size: 3"
Tire Size: 37"
Originally conceived as a custom order vehicle in August of 2015, the overall approach for “Ms. Elsa Hard Rok”; a tank green Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock Edition, was to build a solid wheeling vehicle; capable of both crawling and overland runs, that would also provide the reliability and comfort necessary for long distance runs and daily driving commuting. During the ensuing weeks of her manufacture build, plans were put in place with her doctor, to immediately implement her first round build immediately upon arrival. On October 1st 2015, she arrived – one of the very first 2016 models in Houston – and was quickly swept away for her first build. Round 1 included a Synergy 3” lift, fully adjustable King 2.5” shocks with remote reservoirs, Synergy HD drag link, full Rock Hard 4x4 skids, AEV tire carrier, Maximus 3 front bumper kit with a Warn Zeon 10k winch, Poly Performance 1310 front drive shaft, and 35” BFG KM2s on Method “The Standard” rims. Over the following several months, additional armor was installed including AEV diff covers, Warrior license plate bracket Poison Spyder body armor and an Arizona Driveshaft 1310 rear drive shaft. Other ad-hoc upgrades included CB communications and a factory OEM rear camera integration. Elsa quickly earned her name after several of her initial runs when she brought extraordinarily cold temperatures – all well below freezing – to the runs she attended… including a blizzard to the Big Bend region of southern Texas. With her runs going farther and farther from home, her lighting was upgraded to include JW Speaker 8700 J headlights, JW Speaker 6145 J fog lights, a-pillar mounted Rigid Industries D2 LEDs and IPD 900XS Xtreme Sport series lights. Round 2a build included several components in preparation heavy wheeling on (the upcoming) 37” shoes. In June of 2016, Synergy LCA mount gussets and skids were installed, as well as a Motobilt front axle truss, Synergy inner C gussets, Synergy HD ball joints, RCV front axle shafts, Ten Factory chromoly read axle shafts and Motive Gear 4.88 gears. Round 2b was completed the overall effort in December 2016, when she took on her MCE narrow width fenders and 37” BFG KM2s. Round 3 of her build included additional armor and hardening including a King steering stabilizer, Synergy HD tie rod, PSC big bore XD steering box, Rock Hard 4x4 sport cage and TBM high performance brake calipers and rotors.

My Trail Reviews (9)

(within last 6 months)
Croton Springs Road (11/25/2021)
We made the trip down Croton Springs on Thanksgiving 2021 to enjoy the short hike at the end of the route. Like many of the other routes in the park, it's apparent that rangers had remediated any damage from the rains... the road was a comfortable as ever to drive.
Paint Gap Road (11/25/2021)
We visited Paint Gap on Thanksgiving 2021 when we were needing a quite place for lunch. We zipped down the easy section, then made our way down into the gap to find a remote spot we could park, eat lunch and enjoy the view. As always - the trail didn't disappoint. This being a more trafficked route, it was apparent that the park had already remediated any potential erosion damage from all the rains.
Christmas Mountain (11/24/2021)
We made the trek up Christmas Mountain (again) for Thanksgiving 2021. The heavy rains of 2021 had washed away much of the dirt off the trail, leaving a bit more rock exposed, ultimately making the trail a bit more bumpy. Overall however, I wouldn't say they trail had become more "difficult". The first time we came here, there was no "rock pile". Now however, it's become a tradition that each visitor add to the new rock pile (formed roughly in 2019).
Dagger Flat Auto Trail (11/24/2021)
We ran the full length of Dagger Flats Auto Trail for Thanksgiving 2021, as we were also headed to Old Ore. While some other routes seems to have taken damage from the heavy rains of 2021, this trail seemed to have already been remediated by the park. Interestingly, the area (usually a bit 'grey' in winter) was surprisingly green due to all the rains.
Terlingua Ranch Road - Road to Highway 385 (11/24/2021)
Wanting to save time to get to Old Ore after running Christmas Mountain, we decided to run the Road to 385. This cut a huge chunk of time off of our trip AND gave us some great scenery along the way. As it has been in the past, this route remained a VERY easy journey. We aired down slightly, making the nearly 1 hour long drive a smooth as a highway.
Mustang Island State Park (07/17/2021)
Having tried to get into the park a couple weeks ago, but was turned away because the park was at capacity and we didn't have a reservation. This time we had a reservation. Surprisingly, the drive back to the beach was partially flooded due to all the recent rains. 2WD vehicles were still making it through as long as they had a bit of clearance, but few inches of water and/or mud would not have been good on very low 2WD vehicles. Once we got onto the beach, you couldn't even tell that the area had such heavy rains lately... was a GORGEOUS day on the beach!
North Padre Island Beaches (07/03/2021)
The third of 3 beaches we visited over the 4th of July weekend, we had to again laugh when we cam across those on horseback along the beach. (Only in Texas!) Being more of the off-road/overland type, we appreciated the transition to the more remote sections of the beach. (We had visited Padre Island National Seashore prior, but wanted to explore this area for the first time.) I have to admit... I've a new appreciation for North Beach... something tells me I'll be back when I just want to get away, but don't want to bother with the 60 miles one-way associated with the national park.l
Mustang Island Beaches - South (07/03/2021)
We ended up spending a bit more time on this beach since we weren't able to enter the state park since it was full. We noticed many others being turned away from the state park doing the same. We drove to where the bollards prevented us from moving further into the state park and enjoyed the beach for a while. On the way out, we had to check out the jetties on the southern end.
Mustang Island Beaches (07/03/2021)
We visited Mustang Island on 4th of July weekend... talk about a packed beach! Temporary booths were set up a key entrances where beach goers could purchase parking permits as they entered the beach. We had to laugh at the different modes of transportation we saw... only in Texas would you see horses, a limousine, RVs, and tractors / graders all on the same stretch of beach. lol

My Trails (44)