Month: January 2017

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The Birth of a Mountain Rig – 2004 Honda CR-V

The Birth of a Mountain Rig – 2004 Honda CR-V

2004 Honda CRV Offroad

When living out of my car for two weeks, after I converted my Subaru wagon into a camper, I realized that having a vehicle that was built to suit my adventurous lifestyle was absolutely ideal. I also realized that converting a vehicle that spent the majority of its life as a racecar left a lot to be desired as far as amenities go.

stock 2004 Honda CRV EX 5 speed

This left me on the lookout for a vehicle that was stock, had a full interior, functional cruise control, and preferably air conditioning – simple enough. One brisk morning in Missoula, Montana I came across an ad for a 2004 Honda CR-V EX 5-Speed 4WD for sale. Long story short, it was in my driveway by early afternoon.

honda crv with offroad tires

Priority number one was maintenance: spark plugs, oil, upstream oxygen sensor, and replacing the knock sensor were all taken care of. The tires were also shot, so I opted for Mastercraft Wildcat A/T3 tires in a 215/70/16 to aid in traction and durability while taking on mountain passes. They were mounted on DRIFZ 308GG SPEC-R 16×8 +25 wheels that previously lived on my Subaru wagon camper.

honda crv lightbar

The wheels and tires completely transformed the look of the Honda CR-V, and that’s when the modding bug bit me. Along with everything mentioned above, these also found their way onto the vehicle within the first week:

  • LED Light Bar / Mount
  • Rally Armor Mudflaps
  • Spare Tire Cover
  • Key Fob
  • Scangauge II
  • Floor Mats
  • Roof Cargo Carrier
  • Buffed / Cleared Headlights

rally armor mudflaps on honda crv

While this is where the list ends as of now, it will be growing over the next few months. The ultimate plan for this vehicle is to purchase a rooftop tent and then create functional storage in the rear.
This CR-V even has a folding table made by Honda that secures under the floor in the rear. *Bonus*

swan valley montana
Jessica Ruth

After a week of driving, I am hooked on the Honda CR-V – even after I considered picking up a Subaru Outback. So far this has provided me everything that I have desired in a mountain rig – capable enough with 4WD/AWD, spacious, decent fuel efficiency.
The real test will start in a couple months when my aggressive spring travels start up!

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A Night of Craft Beer & Artisan Cheese – Draught Works Brewery & Tucker Family Farm

A Night of Craft Beer & Artisan Cheese – Draught Works Brewery & Tucker Family Farm

draught work brewery in missoula montana

On a snowy, slightly bitter, Wednesday evening in the ever-so delightful mountain town of Missoula, MT – two local businesses joined together for a night of palette pleasing. Draught Works Brewery hosted Tucker Family Farm to pair their craft beer with local artisan crafted cheese. To be upfront, I am no master when it comes to describing beer or cheese – so I’m not going to pretend to be. Rather, I enjoy indulging in both immensely and I let my tastebuds tell me if they approve or not.

man pouring beer at draught works brewery in missoula mt

This was my first year partaking in this event, but it most certainly won’t be my last. This sold out beer and cheese tasting was a delightful way to kick off my evening after a day of sitting in front of a computer screen for work. While Missoula is mediocrely sized, events like this feel right at home here. Residents take pride in Montana Made products– and judging by the amount of craft breweries, and restaurants offering cheese boards, they also enjoy locally produced beer and artisan cheeses. At least, I know that I highly appreciate it.

man and woman with beer in missoula

The setup of the event was simple: a punch card was given with the numbers 1-6 on it; you would walk up to each station, which displayed the type of beer and cheese, they would mark off a number on the card, and you would retreat back to your table with a taster of beer and slice of cheese in hand.

draught works brewery beer and tucker family farm cheese information

A pamphlet was also given out so you could read in-depth about the creations you were about to put in your mouth. This was also very much appreciated, as I can’t always rely on my palette to decipher the code that goes into complex creations, such as these.

girl drinking beer at Draught Works Brewery with tuck family farm cheese

This night was not me working, it was an enjoyable way to have a date night and dive deeper into what Montana has to offer. As much as the focus was on craft beer and handcrafted cheese, the night was really about being immersed in Missoula’s culture. Two local companies joining together to not only gain awareness of their brands, but to host an event for their community to come out and unite together for an evening of fun and delicious treats.

tucker family farm cheese slices

About Tucker Family Farm :

Tucker Family Farm was founded by Tyler and his wife Kendra after their previous career paths weren’t quite what they desired out of life. Tyler’s family orchard on Flathead Lake and Kendra’s family farm down the Bitterroot had instilled a love for the land and utilizing their surroundings to produce something fruitful. After not agreeing with the way that mass farms were producing and raising food, they decided to take a stand and create a business that believes in ethical ways of going about the process. After a trip to Germany to experience a farm that was in line with their beliefs, they returned to Montana and began a farm of their own. They aim to offer food that is raised in the manner of a true family farm that focuses on healthy upbringings and products. You can read the in-depth story on the Tucker Family Farm website.

tucker family farms cheese and draught works beer

All in all– Draught Works Brewery and Tucker Family Farm hosted a night in Missoula that was not only refreshing, but slightly eye-opening to the phenomenal products that are created in Montana. We may be a large state with minimal population, but that is the beauty of this place (aside from the mountainscapes). The fact that this state continues to inspire and house immensely creative and passionate individuals will never cease to amaze me.

Draught Works Brewery is a must visit for anyone that finds themselves in Missoula
– great beer, phenomenal atmosphere, and live music on a regular basis!

Tucker Family Farm should be an essential staple for anyone that enjoys high-quality artisan cheeses.
My palette has never been more pleased.


Click on the image below for full resolution if you’d like to read about the select beers and cheeses of the night.

darught works brewery and tucker family farm pairing menu


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