Harald Pietschmann quite possibly has one of the best jobs on the planet. You see, he's a trail guide/outfitter on the Rubicon, which means he's on one of the most famous wheeling trails on the planet a lot.
A couple of weeks ago I met Pietschmann while on a three-day Rubicon run with a new vehicle manufacturer. Pietschmann came to the U.S. from Germany in 1984. By 1987, he was a trail guide on the Rubicon and today he splits his time between his home in Georgetown, California, and La Paz, Mexico. In addition to being a trail guide/outfitter on the Rubicon, he also offers 4x4 off-road training courses as well as Baja California Adventure Tours through his company www.4x4abc.com.
Pietschmann's history is fascinating to say the least. He's a published author and photographer, he has guided numerous international expeditions including large Russian Ukraine Kazakhstan and Indonesia jungle expeditions. And, get this, he was also part of the dramatic 1991 Warn Iceland Glacier Expedition. In addition, he has instructed civil service personnel, automotive engineers, law enforcement, FBI, and U.S. Special Forces.
Pietschmann is a "one-man band," as they say, and he personally operates all aspects of his business. His mellow disposition is trumped only by his mellow driving. We're not even sure there's an accelerator pedal in his rig. Speaking of his rig, for our run he was driving this 1977 FJ40, with stock 4.2L, SM420, stock t-case and axles with 4.88 gears and ARB Air Lockers, and Warn 9000i winch. He also has a fleet of '99 TJs. Each has rocker panel protection, winch, and ARB Air Lockers among other things.
So if you're on the Rubicon keep an eye out for Pietschmann. He'll probably have a Backwoods cigar (unlit) in his mouth, no tent (he prefers to sleep under the stars) and a smile on his face.