Ouachita Jeep Jamboree

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This was our first off-highway event, and we were pleasantly surprised with the level of off-highway adventure we were guided through. It was challenging enough to give Alan and his Rubi some experience, but not so challenging that it couldn’t be done safely by the inexperienced.

Some of the more interesting events of the day were watching some of the less equipped Jeeps maneuver through some of the more difficult problems. Stopping to watch the other drivers allowed all of us time to get to know our fellow trail riders. In the afternoon we headed back across to the South side and larger area of the park and briefly rode through some of those trails. Mike and Norman did a great job that day and we enjoyed listening to their CB antics. We headed in about five o’clock and were well ready for our barbeque dinner when it was served at six. After a brief discussion, Alan and I decided to switch groups and hit some different areas for the next day of off-highway adventure. So after signing up with the Purple group and with the temperatures dipping into the forties, we didn’t linger long in the pavilion, and happily called it a day.

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. We met up with our new trail guide, Don Felgate, and his sons Donnie and John. They are the some of the driving forces behind the Jeep Jamboree at the ORV Park at Hot Springs. Watching Don drive a fairly stock Jeep Grand Cherokee, it became quickly obvious that it is not necessarily vehicle capability, but more the skill of the driver. I probably learned as much about off-highway travel in the hours I spent with Don as I have in the five years or so I have been driving a four-wheel drive vehicle. Don’s trail tour wasn’t quite as difficult as the previous day, but he was good about taking us to places where there was more than one way to get from point A to point B. If you wanted, you could give you and your Jeep a workout or you could take the path of least resistance and give your Jeep a rest. Either way, Don, John, and Donnie did a great job showing us some of the many great trails of the Superlift ORV Park. At the end of the day, we all rushed over to air up our tires, then headed back to camp for some much needed refreshments.

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