Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
Music festivals are cherished events worldwide that bring people together through energetic vibrations and classics tunes to create fond memories amongst friends and family. Well, the 2017 California Roots Music and Arts Festival in Monterey is no different, but unique in the fact that the theme is all reggae with a focus on overall wellness and fitness. To that point my partner and I drove down one of the fittest performance SUVs on the streets otherwise known as the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 4X4.
The journey began with a 5-hour flight from Maryland to San Francisco and then a 90-minute drive to the pristine city of Monterey which sits along the rugged central coast. Since we could get from point A to point B in minimal time with the powerful SRT 6.4-Liter HEMI V8 engine at our disposal Gary and I found ourselves traversing the various neighboring areas including Carmel, Big Sur, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach in search of delectable eats, festival shopping and running gear and equipment for the Cali Root’s Inaugural Fun Run which our sister company Fit Fathers manifested and hosted for the group. Moreover, active lifestylers such as myself adorn adventurous SUVs like our Velvet Red Pearl Coat Jeep so both subjects were a match for the occasion.
On the drive down we stopped at a few farmers markets and stores to load the truck with fresh vegetation before reaching the Hyatt Regency Monterey. Uconnect 8.4 also helped us find a local veggie restaurant in Santa Cruz which was the midway point to our final destination. Even with the check-ins it didn’t take long to arrive to the resort. Being that the Grand Cherokee SRT is one of the most potent SUVs on the market you can imagine why we kept the aggressive “sport mode” on the majority of the drive time. It was simply too exciting not to. Only once did I engage the Adaptive Cruise Control.
Paired with Jeep’s 8-speed Paddle-Shift automatic transmission, an Active Damping Suspension, Quadra-Trac Active On Demand 4WD, an Electric Rear Limited-Slip Differential and Selec-Trac System the vehicle was a thrill on both the highway and curvaceous Cali mountain roads and probably is the culprit for why we spent more time behind the thick, flat-bottom, multi-function performance steering wheel (heated) than at the festival. Just a flick of the metal pedal ignites the truck’s growling and fierce firepower. The only setback is that the thirsty HEMI manages a mere 13 city MPGs.
Interior admiration resonated from a Black and Sepia leather cabin, perforated SRT suede seats (heated), carbon fiber trimmings, a wide dual-pane panoramic sunroof ($2,095) that also adds the suede-like headliner and the amazing 19-speaker Harman Kardon ($1,995) SRT high-performance surround sound with an 825-watt amplifier that kept us elevated as we rotated new tracks from the key artists performing.
Aesthetically gifted, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is physically blessed with 20×10” light-weight “spider-arm” forged wheels ($1,295) tucked in 295/45 ZR20 Pirelli P Zero 3-season run flat tires ($895), red high-performance Brembo brakes ($1,295), SRT black sill with platinum chrome, LED tail lamps, sporty tailgate spoiler and large, circular twin exhaust tips in black. Our vehicle was a joy showing off in the quaint Monterey district. When visiting the strip of gift shops downtown we had no problem parking with the help of the ParkView Rear Back-up Camera and Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist. Additionally, loading up was simplified with Keyless Enter-N-Go and the Power Liftgate. Basically, just keep the key in your pocket and the SRT will do the rest.
For the Saturday kickoff event it was a beautiful runner’s morning along the coastal Monterey trail with Fit Fathers and Fleet Feet’s Run Crew. After meeting at their flagship store we ran a refreshing 5 miles to scenic Lover’s Point where life feels timeless. After the energizing activity participants were invited to check out our Jeep on display as well as treated to organic fruit and steel cut oatmeal for nourishment and to ready them for the fun-filled day of music ahead. Our formula was distinctive but simple and consisted of healthful habits and positive vibrations right before the festival’s magic.
After cruising back to the Hyatt for a wardrobe change it was now time to enjoy the explosive sounds of HEMI, Protoje, SOJA, Tribal Theory, Yellowman and of course the King of Queens aka Nas. Expect an MSRP of $66,795 for the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 4X4 and $78,355 if you wish for the aforementioned upgrades and packages in our vehicle. It’s a movement!