Jeep Jamboree  Pre-Run 3/29/03

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Waypoints | Items Used



This year I managed to sign up for the Jeep Jamboree Trail Guide lottery on time and got myself seeded 21st in the list of guides.  The first 10 or so are pretty much definite guides; the rest are determined in order on the list by how many people sign up for the event.  That means that I wouldn't be a guide until about 105 people sign up.  Slim chance I will be a guide.  But I like this group of people, and the trails are always interesting, so it's a chance to wheel a place that is otherwise not open to me.  So even if I don't get on the final list of guides, I will enjoy the pre-runs and get to know some of the folks better.  Update 4/24/03:  I made the final cut and was a Trail Guide for the event.

Teddy has school on Saturdays so he gets left out of trips like this.  It's always hard for me knowing that he likes to go but can't, so I didn't mention the trip to the kids.  But at 5:30 am, already running late because I slept through the alarm, I woke up Tomi, asked him if he wanted to go 4-Wheeling (a groggy "Yes") and got him dressed in the dark in my room.  The Jeep was already packed for a day trip so we hit the road without touching the ground.

The drive to Lovingston is a long one.  It is about 30 minutes south of Charlottesville, so it's about 3 hours away.  We stopped for cash, gas and lunch stuff, and gas again when we got near Oak Ridge.  The start time was 8:00am and we were still a couple miles away when it turned 8:30am  


DOH!  I got on the CB when I heard some distant chatter that sounded like the group, and asked for Chris or Carla.  As luck would have it, I was able to raise Chris and he graciously welcomed me to fall in with the column, as they were just that minute filing out of the muster area, onto the road, headed for the first trail.  So as we pulled up to the muster area, we found about 30 Jeeps turning onto the road.  We fell in near the end of the line and said brief hello's over the CB.


I was more prepared than my late arrival suggested.  I had loaded my GPS track that included all the trails I have run at Oak Ridge.  But I had not aired down and disconnected.  Driving around the perimeter of the field, we came upon a slightly off camber section and I started to slide slowly off the side.  There was no place to go but into the bushes so I wasn't worried.  But it made me aware that I really did need to air down and disconnect soon.

In the interest of not making folks late on my account, I waited for a brief moment when the column paused to install my Oasis Automatic Tire Deflators.  Then I jumped back in to the Jeep and drove as they aired me down.  Brilliant!  Next, there was a pause long enough for me to disconnect my sway bar and stow the connectors.  By the time we had covered the first few minutes of trail, I had readied the Jeep for the trail without holding anyone up.

We drove the trail a little different than the last time I had been on it, bypassed the skeet shooting area since it will be in use when we run the event.  That meant crossing  Rucker Run in a different place.  That was fine since the place where we crossed last time was pretty deep, and that was during dry weather.  I can't imagine what it would have been like on this trip.  Just past the crossing we had a climb that apparently cause some people trouble as winching was heard and we spent some time waiting for the group to move.  I managed to get my hiking boots put on, and we took a walk up to see if we could find out what the deal was.

It turned out to be a moderate hill that was somewhat slippery.  But I had no trouble climbing up it.  Perhaps if I still had Pirelli's and was open/open it might have been a little harder?  No matter, as we got to the top easily and soon rejoined the rest of the group.  

On Rucker Run
On Rucker RunOn Rucker RunOn Rucker RunWaiting

The red dirt had turned to a pasty muck that stuck to everything.  There was no getting off this trail clean!  We drove along what was for the most part an easy dirt road.  It eventually wound around back to where we had come in, and we followed the road back out to pavement.

We came to the camping area and turned down trail 3.  When we got to the stream crossing we had to stop because the vehicles in front of us were having trouble getting between the two trees.  And those who had gotten through the two trees were having trouble making the hill that claimed my rear bumper the first time I came out to these trails.  I had mixed feelings.  On one hand, I had subsequently made it up the hill, and additionally had tackled two of the three rock obstacles that awaited beyond.  I was looking forward to the obstacles but I was not really looking forward to the two trees and the hill.  It turned out that so much time was spent recovering the people having trouble that it was decided we should all turn back and wait at the road.  

Toms RiverTom at Toms River

By the time we finished here, one TJ had been smashed into a tree trying to make the corner at the bottom of the same hill that I had lost my bumper.  I am not sure but I think there may have been other carnage too.  One guy had some missing bolts to replace on his suspension before we continued.

Replacing a nutTom drivingTom drivingTom running

From there, we headed down by the camping area, and beyond to Trail 6 loop.  This was an interesting little romp in the woods, following a cart road that branched of into the woods, crossed down into another old, grown-in dirt road.  Here, we drove down into the old road, up it a few feet, then back out the other side.  

Ken descends

Some people had no problems.  

Grand Moment
Grand Moment

Others needed the strap.  

I made it down and back up on my own, and soon found that we were going down a hill, off-camber, and with no ruts to help us stay put.  At the bottom of the hill was a tree that was waiting to sideswipe anyone who drifted too far off the path.  I had to force myself to use gas to keep my line high up on the trail, and get past the tree.  The trail spirals in on itself and eventually pops you back out on the road, a few yards down from where we went in.  All in all, with the exception of the tree at the bottom of the hill, it was a fun diversion.

Next we headed up to trail 7 so everyone could see where it was, but owing to time limitations we did not run the trail.  It was pretty wet too, so it could have been dicey getting up and back down those trails.  We turned around as each person saw the trail entrance.  Chris got me to sign the log and gave me a map of the trails.

Line UpLine UpLine Up
Line Up
Line UpPaul's JeepLine Up

We moved down to the trail I had been waiting for - trail 2.  This was where I had climbed the big hill last October.  This time we skipped the hill because we were short on time and because it looked a lot worse than last time.  We went up the main trail and then back down the ridge, skipping most of the trail that goes up the ridge.

Line UpLine UpTom lookingTom getting clearWaiting

We came to trail 5 and followed it down through some narrow sections and over some small obstacles.  Eventually we reached the river bank.

Mild Obstacle
Mild ObstacleMild Obstacle

The first vehicle crossed the river and climbed out onto the river bank on the other side.  It was deeply rutted and muddy but did not look bad from the other side of the river.  


But the Grand did not make it up without a strap.  A couple other vehicles crossed before me and I was able to guess that the stream was about 20 inches at its deepest point.

When my turn came, I crossed the stream without incident but my first attempt to get onto the river bank failed because I was in third and did not have enough wheel speed.  My second attempt, in second gear, put me on the river bank, with my wheels "hooking up" as I got past the ruts, which were much deeper than they looked from the other side.  My engine skid plate had plowed up a ton of dirt and rocks that I found a week later when I was doing a more thorough cleaning of the Jeep!

CrossingCrossingCrossingMike makes the crossing

After that, Mike Ball and one other driver made it across and out on their own power.  Everyone else got a strap or got winched.  One guy popped a bead.  So we spent some time (all the right tools were at hand) putting that back together. 

Lost a bead
Lost a bead
Lost a beadLost a beadLost a bead

By this time, it was decided that the rest of the group left on the other side of the river would double back and meet us at the road.


We drove out and waited for the rest of the group to arrive.  When they did, we disbanded.  I went to the Jeep wash and to get Tomi wiped off.  I aired up and reconnected the sway bar.  Then we met several folks at Luigi's for a little supper.  Once we finished, we hooked up with Mike Ball and drove home.

Along the way Mike and I talked over the CB, making the otherwise long drive go faster.  Tom was wiped and I was past tired myself.  We split with Mike at Routes 15 and 29 and continued home, to arrive around 11pm - what a day!

VolvoCarsBack yardBack yardWooly at HomeTed at HomeKids at Home

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Oak Ridge is Private Property.  Trespassing is vigorously enforced and prosecuted.

At the request of the Jeep Jamboree local coordinators and site owners, GPS coordinates are not being posted for this trail report.

GPS Track Legend Part 1 | GPS Track Legend Part 2




Items Used on this Trip

I have added this section to keep track of items carried along routinely are that are used on the trip, and any special significance to this use, if appropriate.  This may help to emphasis the importance (or lack thereof) of these things.  In most cases, the inclusion on this list suggests that the item was "essential" to the trip.  In some cases, this merely indicates a matter of greater convenience or personal preference; in other cases, the trip would have been difficult, impossible, or nightmarish without the item.  The trip report will certainly reflect the severity of need for each item.

There are two classes of items - those attached to the Jeep more or less permanently that did not come with the Jeep;  and those "readiness items" that I carry "just in case".   I will only mention those items that were actually used and made a difference.   I will also list items that I carry that may have been used by others (they too carry these items and may have used their own instance of this item - the point being that someone had this available).

In this way it might be possible over the course of several trips to determine what the incidence of use of these items, and from that to suggest what items are most important to add to a mod list first.

This list is not comprehensive - it is a summary of what was used on this trip.  I carry considerably more items in the event of more difficult circumstances.

Air Chuck & gauge Air Down/Up Fittings in container
Quick Disconnects Disconnect sway bar New
Camera & film photos Pentax
GPS locating trail head and obstacles known in advance, coordinates shared with other members of group Dash Mount
Maps survey of the area prior to trip Navigational Aids
CB, Weather Radio & Antenna road and trail communication CB
Engine Skid ramp to transfer case skid on one obstacle Engine Skid Plate
Steering Box Skid protection at various rough spots steering box skid plate
Gas tank skid protection at various rough spots gas tank skid plate
Springs clearance and load balancing Old Man EMU Springs
air tank, hose and compressor air up tires Viair 2.5 Gallon, 150lb Air Tank and hardware
rack carry tools, Hi-Lift, water, protect roof Garvin Wilderness Rack
leather gloves remove and replace disconnects  
Jacket warm up from wind chill Paul amd Tomi
Sun glasses glare and bright sun protection
hat wind protection
snacks and food eating
pencil and paper record waypoint notes for later  
credit card, cash gas, dinner and snacks  
278-968 2 Ft. RG-58 Coax Cable Assembly to connect SWR meter to CB tune trail buddy's CB Antenna  
Lev-O-Gage get  Jeep level to re-connect Sway bar Lev-O-Gage



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