Hi Rusty57, I've just joined, too. No JK, yet, but it's my primary goal of the new year.
You only live a short spin from great terrain to take your ride to. Get into an OHV club or take advantage of the local OHV state parks classes and learn how to take care of your JK while it takes you places.
Tehachapi is my gateway to the Mojave, Panamint Valley, Death Valley, Amargosa and points beyond.