Off-roading is a way of life where I grew up, and I've had a blast keeping up with it here in Montana. My dad's generation had their GTOs but my pickup is my baby.

I take a break during the winter, but as the snow melts and we see more and more mud, we're starting to hit my favorite time for off-road adventures. Places that just weren't accessible due to snow and ice start to open up. It's an exciting time for me!

I've had a 1995 Toyota pickup since October 2017, and Mike's Off Road (80675 Gallatin Road #B, Bozeman) is the only place I take it for any work I need. Last year, they installed a new set of mud tires and a new Warn winch, and this spring, I'm taking the pickup in for a general tune-up.

They'll check the shocks and struts, change the oil, top off the fluids and do an all-over inspection to make sure I'm not surprised by a problem when I'm 100 miles from cellphone service.

If you're planning to off-road this year, I suggest you do the same. Summer's too short in Montana to let your pickup sit in the garage needing repair. Now's a great time to get the upgrades you've been thinking about, too. Why not use your tax refund on something fun that will pay dividends for years to come?

In addition, from now till March 31, get 10 percent off Rigid Lighting at Mike's Off Road.