Tales of a Texas-Sized Jamboree

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Plan “B” was to change the name to “Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree” and announce in the JJUSA guide book, as well as on the Jeep Jamboree USA website, that it was going to be held somewhere in the San Antonio area even though an alternate venue had not yet been decided on. For the next several weeks, Tony & Nancy’s team of dedicated trail guides interviewed and surveyed a number of area ranches, looking for a location that would not disappoint past or future attendees. During the past decade, the YO Ranch had developed a loyal following and the task was to find something that could compare in size, scope, trail variety and excitement. It was not an easy task as finding a ranch with major acreage whose owners were willing to allow strangers to “wheel” on their private property was quite an undertaking.

I’m not sure of the “how” but I do know the “who.” Mr. Ray Karrick, one of the owners of Jeep Masters in Austin, Texas, found the property we would soon be calling home base. He took Tony & Nancy Winkler to the property, and they drove all over the ranch to devise a game plan for the trails. I remember being at what I think was the January 2005 San Antonio Jeep Exclusive meeting where Tony brought in aerial photos of the Inks Ranch. It was difficult to determine just how high or how much challenge the granite domes would offer us as we viewed the flat photos. The ranch description of only 1,100 acres also left many of us wondering how this new venue could possibly compare to the old ranch.

The San Antonio Jeep Exclusive would have less than six weekends to scout, mark, clear and test all of the trails for the 2005 Texas Spur Jamboree. This was not much time to complete such a mammoth task. To make matters even more difficult, Mother Nature threw us a curveball by raining every weekend in February. This made it difficult to mark the trails because the pink Texas Granite is incredibly slick to drive or walk on when it is wet. The weather had forced the trail guides to walk large sections of the path because driving was just too hazardous. Up to the weekend of the event, no one had ever driven the full length of the most arduous trail on the ranch, which we affectionately called “Moab.”

Despite all of the twists and turns this event had endured throughout its development, it was the ticket sale results that stood testament to its success. In 2005, the undisclosed location sold out in 49 days. As word of this event spread throughout the off-highway adventure community, Jeep owners were becoming more and more interested in attending this affair.

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