An Unexpected Toledo Jeep® Fest Adventure

Categories: Jeep® Life 

Written by: Ashley & Brittany Hill

Photography by: Ashley & Brittany Hill

Growing up in the Midwest, summer was always the best! As children, it was about spending time with our dad, since he worked hard Monday through Friday often leaving home well before the sun rose. On the weekends we’d watch baseball and eat burnt grilled cheese sandwiches.

As we grew older, we could stay out with our friends until dark, so the long July and August nights kept curfew at bay. When sixteen came around, we’d pile in a six-cylinder Jeep® Cherokee, put it in drive and cruise for miles with classic rock turned up on the radio. Those Midwestern summers were sticky and hot. We didn’t have smartphones. Just half an hour away was busy Chicago and classic Chicago dogs with green relish. In an hour and a half we could be in Shipshewana, Indiana, Amish country. Fewer cars, a slower pace, homemade bakery items and amazing handcrafted furniture drew us onto this road. We didn’t have to travel very far, or even leave the pavement to have an amazing adventure in our Jeep® 4×4.

two women eating lunch

This August, we celebrated summer with road trip from Chicago to Toledo. Our six-hour drive turned into nine as we meandered toward The Toledo Jeep® Fest. We always enjoy taking a break, stretching our legs, and finding unique treasures from the road.  A good road trip is really about the adventure, not the destination!  We love picking up new sunnies (sunglasses), hats and adventure gear!  We stopped to see the beautiful gold dome at the university in South Bend, Indiana, and grabbed delicious matcha lattes at the cutest coffee shop!

Once we made it to the Toledo, we had a whole new adventure in front of us!  The downtown was filled with Jeep® 4x4s cruising the streets.  We had a great time at The Toledo Jeep® Fest, and when it was over, we checked out a Toledo Mudhens game. Years of traveling on-road, visiting cities across the United States have taught us to always seek off-the-beaten-path experiences that give us a sense of what a city or town is all about. We’ve seen some things, but never have we seen a baseball team with Jeep® 4x4s on their jerseys!

empty stadium

About the Toledo Mudhens

The Toledo Mudhens is a professional minor league baseball (MiLB) team affiliated with the Major League Baseball team the Detroit Tigers. It’s a Triple A Team, or the highest level of MiLB, and about 30 teams make up the league. The Mudhens have their own deep-rooted all-American history beginning in 1896, playing just outside the city of Toledo at Bay View Park, because this area, outside of the city limits was not subjected to Sunday laws, which restricted activity on a day of rest. Near this park, American coots, or mud hens lived in the marshland. Hence the name the Toledo Mudhens was born.

two women imitating statues

In 2002, artist Emanuel Enriquez from nearby Bowling Green, OH dedicated this iconic statute titled Whose Up? to the ballpark, featuring a statue of a “knothole gang,” a nod to the early days of ballparks with wooden fences. Then, kids who didn’t have the admission fee often watched the games for free when the wood popped out of these holes in the fence.

Now the Toledo Mudhens play near the heart of downtown Toledo. The stadium seats 10,300 people and the game we attended was packed! Every seat seemed like the best in the house, and fans were really into the game.

baseball player
Toledo Mud Crawler was written across the chest of the jersey, and on the right arm a mud-splashed graphic image of the Jeep® Gladiator and the icon heart-419, which is stamped in the tailgate of all Gladiator Trucks

The Toledo Mud Crawlers

In honor of Toledo Jeep® Fest, the Mud Hens got in on the action to share their support and enthusiasm by rebranding their jerseys for the weekend with none other than the all-new Jeep® Gladiator Truck! The specialty jerseys were auctioned off at a silent auction throughout the weekend. We purchased t-shirts in their souvenir shop with the Gladiator across the chest. We really bummed we missed the Off-Road Muddy Bobblehead, a bobblehead of the team’s mascot riding a 2020 Jeep® Gladiator!

toledo mud crawlers logo

Toledo Jeep Fest was a great summer jaunt, full of wonderful people and fun activities. After we got home, we were sitting around a campfire and the conversation turned to the feeling of getting behind the wheel, and going for a drive. We talked about the joy of piling in a Jeep® 4×4 with your dog or a few friends and seeing where the road leads.  Not only does a great American road trip teach us something new, but it reminds us how important it is to appreciate the little things, like hard work, freedom to own and drive a Jeep® 4×4, and of course, catching a baseball game on a hot day!

two women with a mascot

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1 Comment

LionelJeeper

How fun. The Mud Hens stadium is really nice. Makes for a some great games.