Upon first glance, you might be tempted to be skeptical or even dismissive of nothing but 5-star reviews on here, but let me just clarify that there is a very good reason for that. Jake has to be one of the most relaxed professionals in the overlanding and guiding industry.
I have always enjoyed road trips and overland travel in the wide open west. Combine that with his passion for his backyard, the Gila National Forest of which he enjoyed growing up, shining through in the historical anecdotes, and it just adds richness and enjoyment to the whole experience. He has a precise attention to detail, and you will see this in the extensive pre-trip preparations, whether through carefully constructed articles or simple advice to make the trip safer and more enjoyable.
He was always available and gladly willing to help, whether I needed some adjustments under the hood, or there was a better way to secure my shovel on my tire carrier. His guidance is not just about how to overland travel, but how to do it WELL. I have not only gained valuable overlanding knowledge and attention to detail from him, I have also gained a long-distance friendship that I intend to maintain.
I will absolutely be returning for a new journey on New Mexico Backroads. If you ever have had interest in how to properly go about self-sufficient overland travel, with a pressure-free and supportive small group, this is it.