We got up, had breakfast at the hotel and
hit the road around 9:00. We parked in the staff parking and walked the long walk to
the event fields. The size of the place was overwhelming. It was already very
hot outside. There were so many things to see we were feeling sensory overload.
The kids wanted to go in about three
different directions but of course we had to choose something so we went into the
engineering tent and visited the various stations. A Rubicon chassis was on display
and they had a couple cut-away transfer cases all dolled up. There was a ton of free
stuff, so of course we collected bags full of it. The kids fooled around with the
Robot and got me to take a picture of them with it.
Next we went to the kids tent where they
were doing crafts, karaoke, showing a movie premiere preview, and making ID cards.
We did most of those things though the kids didn't sing - the songs they wanted to do
One of the tables was set up to make ID
cards for kids, with the Camp Jeep theme on them. So I filled out the papers for Ted
and Tom and got them photographed. Later, we went back to pick up the ID's.
Mini Jeep 101 Course
Then we went through a door to the side
of the tent and let them ride the Power Wheels Jeeps. This was one of the most
popular kids activities. The line was pretty long, the ride was pretty short, and
the batteries were almost dead, so the kids were a little disappointed. But we came
back to this activity every day for the duration of the event, and many times we got lucky
to find shorter lines and hotter batteries.
Teddy also was quite taken with Tugger,
the Jeep who wanted to fly. He climbed all over this thing, working his way to the
drivers seat as the kids who were there first lost interest and moved on. It amazes
me that the controls on this Jeep didn't get completely destroyed during the course of the
weekend. Maria did observe that the side-mirrors did receive wire ties along the way
to keep them from getting bent.
I took a walk and looked at all the
vehicles in the various "museum" displays. There were dozens of great
Jeeps from all periods in the Jeep history. From the earliest Willys to the latest
prototypes, they pretty much had everything there.
Having now seen the Rescue prototype in
person, I am still interested in seeing the vehicle produced with the hope of purchasing
We walked down the path to the Rubicon
Challenge activity, it was very busy so we didn't stop. Further down the Jeep 101
course was also booked solid so we took the kids to the RC Jeeps tent. This became
their other permanent stop of the week. They attended this activity several times
each day and went through the line two or three times each time. And I can't say I
blame them - the TRAXXUS RC Jeeps were awesome and the course was very interesting.
Each kid got a counselor who helped them through the operation of the radio and navigation
of the course.
The only gripe I had was that the course
was under a tent but the seating for those watching was outside in the heat and glare of
the sun. Maybe that was to encourage rapid turn over but it was not the most
comfortable situation for those who watched. But the kids had a blast every time
they went so of course the seating arrangements were a secondary issue.
We ate lunch at the event field exactly
once. The lines were long, the food was expensive, and for what we paid (food is not
included in the price of admission), not particularly satisfying. We decided to get
the rest of our meals offsite for the balance of the weekend. After lunch we
continued to look around at the different things going on.
The kids and Maria made the rounds while
I worked in the Trail Sign-up tent. People had questions about the trails, what to
expect, whether or not their vehicle could make it through, and so on. Shortly
before I started working in the tent, the announcer told everyone within speaker range
that the trail rides were booked to capacity and no more trail rides were available.
What was left were a few "scenic" trails, which went fast. By the time I
left the sign-up tent at 5:00 PM, there were no more trail ride slots left.
We were tired and hungry so we drove down
Rt. 29 to KFC and had dinner, followed by a stop at Dairy Queen for desert. Then we
went to Wal*Mart where I found a couple toy Rubicons, a cool Xtreme Rock Machines CJ,
and the kids each bought a Bburago 1/43-scale snap together model kits.
We built them later that evening in the
hotel room after we went swimming in the pool. Then we got to bed at a reasonable
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