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Tales of a Texas-Sized Jamboree

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Now that you have some idea of the lay of the land, I can tell you of the seven named trails on the ranch. All but the most novice groups run their rigs on all of the trails. The guides determine the line each group will use to increase or decrease the level of difficulty for a particular set of obstacles, allowing every driver to test their Jeep and driving skills as close to the edge of the envelope as they wish.

The Trail Names are:
• Moab
• Balancing Rock
• Waterfall Creek
• Watch Mountain
• Homestead
• Hunter’s Hill
• Roy’s Revenge

Several of the trails have a few side diversions and obstacles you can run if you’re feeling overly courageous, though it requires a guide’s permission and supervision. Your guides will also make sure you have plenty of time to snap digital photos, and they use the C.B. radio to tell attendees about certainareas of the ranch. Kids seem to enjoy this part of the trip as much as the wheeling. The Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree is truly a family-oriented event. There may even be enough water in the creeks for children to take a quick, cool dip or even hunt for ancient Indian
arrowheads.

My buddy Joseph took my Rubicon and gear on Thursday and set up our campsite. I felt like I owed him since he had just constructed a new custom steel overhead console for my Jeep the week before that is used to hold my CB and a few LED switches in a convenient location. He even added a few bright overhead lights so I can find stuff in my Jeep at night. Joseph is getting ready to start a small custom fabrication business and needed a “Guinea Pig” Jeep to build and test a console for the JK model Wrangler. On Friday morning, Joseph called me and asked if we could take on another passenger. He said the rider, Richard Tinnell, was from JPFreek Adventure Magazine and needed to hitch a ride so he could see what all the fuss was about.

I had visited with JPFreek by email earlier in the year to try to get them into an earlier event. Unfortunately, the event was so full that not even the press could get in! So the JPFreek staffers were in for a treat because our first trail was going to be “Moab,” named for its similarities to the famous wheeling destinations in Utah. When you approach the Moab trail, you face a shear 25º granite face dome that runs for several hundred yards until you reach the first left-hand turn. The approach is more difficult when it’s wet because it’s hard to gain traction on the first 18 – 20 inch “first step” in the soft dirt before the climb. Once you spin off the dirt clogs and/or mud and debris, it’s smooth sailing because the pink granite surface offers as much traction as a modern-day highway. I will tell you I have driven the first climb and I have walked it; it is much easier to drive. As we reached the top, Richard and I walked most of Moab so he could snap as many photos as possible. I turned to ask him what he thought of the ranch so far. His answer was “This place is awesome,” and we were only 40 minutes into our day.

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