Risk & Reward: Growing New Mexico Backroads

Growing New Mexico Backroads

Virgin River Cottonwoods at Zion National Park - Five years ago, this photo was featured in the Overland Journal; it was one of my first published images. Beyond the tangled branches, dying light, and radiant rock, the photo represents the humble beginnings of New Mexico Black Range [NMBR]. Back in 2008, I was challenged by my brother-in-law Phil Byrne to start a blog that featured my images and explorations of New Mexico, to build a presence in the 4WD community and inspire enthusiasts and companies to enlist my services. At the time I was struggling to build a niche business from nothing and looking for guidance. It would take a few hundred NMBR blog posts, accompanied by a few thousand photos, before I received my first photo purchase inquiry. That first inquiry fell through, but soon I began selling $35.00 8X12 prints [printed at Sam's Club for $1.99] steady enough to keep my ambitions kindled and bank account in the black. It would be a few hundred more blog posts before the Overland Journal reached out to me for photos. 

As for the guiding and scouting, during the early years (2004 to 2008), I was learning the ropes of building, breaking, fixing, and maintaining a 4WD vehicle. I was leading small trail runs and weekend trips across the backcountry with my local club and other enthusiasts. I was traversing and learning the backroads along the US/MEX border—now one of my biggest specialties. Driving and vehicle recovery were skills that were earned over the tens of thousands of miles of dirt travels. Cutting my 4WD teeth was a long, painful and rewarding period. 

With constant forward motion, determination and ample blessings I've been able to turn it all into a livelihood. Most importantly, I’ve had unfaltering support from my wife Meghan. The Virgin River Cottonwoods image represents the start of a professional career I once dreamed about—a reality now. NMBR services have expanded to include: adventure and landscape photography [for commissions, prints, digital media & publication]; photojournalism [including wildland fire, US/MEX Border and other high-risk assignments]; scouting and consulting for backcountry film productions and commercial photography; overland, expedition/overland and rock crawling guiding services [for New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Texas]; and off-road driving and vehicle recovery skills training. While each job I do in the field is unique, all of it is rooted in providing strong customer service and support. 

Imagine loving what you do so much that you don’t constantly watch the clock, wait for the weekend, surf the net for hours looking for a visual fix, or yearn for vacation days to arrive. Life is too short to dislike your profession. Take a risk, work hard and go boldly. If the job isn’t out there, make a career where one does not currently exist. Going out on your own will likely double your work hours, slash your income and may result in failure and/or divorce, but the rewards (even with failure) will be immeasurable. Are you ready for your next great adventure? It’s out there…

Published on: 
November 19, 2015

Scheduled Overland Adventures, Expeditions & EXP-4WD Training

September 2021: Fall Camino del Tesoro Overland (CDT) – Monday, September 27th through Thursday, September 30th – Spectacular Fall Scenery Northern New Mexico Traversal Read More
September 2021: Ghost Divide Expedition [GDE]: Monday, September 20th through Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 - Adventure to the Overland Expo West Read More
October 2021: Fall Gila Overland [FGO]: Friday, October 22nd through Sunday, October 24th, 2021 – NMBR'S Golden Season Gila National Forest Traversal Read More
November 2021:Fall Expedition & 4WD Training [EXP-4WD]: Friday, November 12th through Sunday, November 14th, 2021 – NMBR's rugged, remote, and immersive skill building experience Read More
February 2021: Winter Gila Overland [WGO]: Friday, Feb 26th through Sunday, Feb 28th, 2021 – NMBR's Winter Season Gila National Forest Traversal Read More
March 2021: Spring El Coyote Expedition (ECE) – Friday, March 19th through Sunday, March 21st – New Mexico Gila National Forest Ultra-Traversal Read More
April 2021: Spring Expedition & 4WD Training (EXP-4WD) – Friday, April 16th through Sunday, April 18th – Southern New Mexico Training Traversal Read More
May 2021 – Spring Gila Overland (SGO) – Friday, May 14th through Sunday, May 16th – New Mexico Gila National Forest Traversal Read More
June 2021: Summer Expedition & 4WD Training (EXP-4WD) – Friday, June 11th through Sunday, June 13th – Southern New Mexico Training Traversal Read More
July 2021 – Summer El Coyote Expedition (ECE) – Friday, July 9th through Sunday, July 11th – New Mexico Gila National Forest Ultra-Traversal Read More
July 2021: River to the Sky Expedition (RTS) – Monday, July 26th through Thursday, July 29th – New Mexico and Colorado Traversal Read More
August 2021: Banditos Expedition (BEX) – Monday, August 2nd through Thursday, August 5th, 2021 – Full-size truck tour and rugged backroads traverse of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico Read More
August 2021: Overland Expo Mountain West Based Adventure: Rockies Road Trip (RRT) – Monday, August 23rd through Thursday, August 26th – Colorado Traversal to the Overland Expo Mountain West Read More

Go Boldly, Prepared, and with Confidence - Go with NMBR!

Ready for your next great adventure?