It's true; Two Jeep Jamborees are better than one!
Ever since I hung up the phone with Tony Winkler (The South Texas JJUSA coordinator) back in mid January of 2007 I've been anxiously waiting the opportunity to get back to the Inks Ranch for a second South Texas Jeep Jamboree in the same season, never mind; that we still had not had the 07 spring event yet. It was finally going to happen; a second South Texas Jeep Jamboree in the same season something I've been secretly...Okay; maybe not so secretly, praying for; for the past ten or so years. "Two Area Jeep Jamboree!"
I'm not sure if any of you remember or not... Back on December 1st of 2006 when the Jeep Jamboree tickets went on sale for the 2007 Jeep Jamboree season we all knew the March Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree hosted by the Inks Ranch located just outside the quiet Hill Country Hamlet of Llano would be a sell out, none of us knew just how fast it would happen.
The Texas Spur is a relatively new Jeep Jamboree when you compare it to its predecessors such as the famed Rubicon Trail, the 19th Annual Palo Duro Jeep Jamborees or the 20 consecutive years in Ouray Colorado. In fact, the 2007 Spring Texas Spur would only be in its third year. The 06 Texas Spur held the JJUSA event record for selling out in one month and one day after its premier in 2005. Lots of us wondered if the 2007 event would sell at a more feverish pace than the previous year. All of us were utterly amazed when on the morning of December 6th the JJUSA offices called me and Tony to let us know the event was already "SOLD OUT" only six days after the $265.00 per person tickets had gone on sale, three full months before it was scheduled to take place.
Don't get me wrong, the Texas Spur is a wonderful event; but for eleven years prior to the Jeep Jamboree moving to Llano it had also had also enjoyed popular success while hosted at the YO Ranch in Mountain Home, Texas. The two Ranches are dramatically different in topography, size amenities and overall facilities. Both ranches are draped in nearly two centuries of rich Texas History and are both family owned and operated. I've personally enjoyed delightful weekends and gathered precious memories while wheeling at both venues for years.
So what is it that that fuels the unprecedented success JJUSA has enjoyed since it moved the South Texas event to Llano? Perhaps it's the incredible granite domes that pepper the ranch adding some of the most challenging obstacles on the Jeep Jamboree USA 36 event schedule. When blessed by dry weather the rough stone surface offers amazing traction and just enough abrasive texture to leave a souvenir on your Jeep's body when you unexpectedly rub against the surface. Another portion of the credit might be the beautiful riverbed, which bisects the property and offers a unique mix of water crossings, intricate low-lying terrain and breathtaking variety of native Texas flora framed in pink stone draws.
Perhaps it has something to do with the "Loving" Texas Hospitality offered not only by the Inks Ranch family members who ride the trails with us every year. Indecently, Roy Inks the ranch owner, joined our trail ride again this year despite the near fatal neck injury he suffered between the spring and autumn Jeep Jamboree from a fall while working on his barn (Now that is Cowboy-ed up). Not to be forgotten, the owners and staff from base camp at the Oxford Ranch Campground just up the highway who allow us to camp on their property keep us fed and even built us a shower house so we can knock the dust off after a great day on the trails.
A major portion of the successes from this event has to be credited to the diehard Jeep Owners and their families who have not missed this experience in the three years we have been going out to the Inks Ranch. Many of them return each year with new friends and family members in tow adding to their contingency so that they may share the experience with others. Despite the 20,000 plus photos of the Texas Spur hosted on JeepTales.com you just can't imagine what it is like without going there for yourself!
A key ingredient in the successful recipe the Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree has enjoyed for the past three years has to go to the Trail Guides from San Antonio Jeep Exclusive. (An area Jeep Club), They were founded initially for the sole purpose of developing an organized club to help guide The South Texas Jeep Jamboree. Their knowledge of the trails and intimate understanding of the Jeep's capability and limit of every driver's skills level allows event attendees to get the maximum bang for their buck on each and every trail. When the occasional trail mishap occurs the S.A.J.E. guides will spring into action without ever being asked to help, making quick trail repairs or rendering first aid for everything from cactus thorns to bee stings and regularly scraped knees.
Lastly, we certainly can't forget organizers like, Mark A. Smith the Father of Jeep Jamboree who over 50 years ago had the insight to create such an unusual social phenomenon of Man + Jeep vs. Nature. There is a dedicated team at the JJUSA office staff in Georgetown California who works behind the scenes to make this magical weekend happen. The final spotlight of credit for the most important component has to be the faces of the South Texas Jeep Jamboree, Tony & Nancy Winkler who brought the Jeep Jamboree to South Texas over a decade ago and selflessly do everything it takes to pull it off each and every year and now in 2007 and again in 2008 they are going to get to do it twice! Thank you, Tony and Nancy!
My advise to anyone who has plans on attending one of the two Texas Spurs Jeep Jamboree event next year. On midnight December 1st have a good high-speed connection for your PC. Plenty of room on your credit card and even if all you do is sign in your Jeep and Driver get it done soon you can always add passengers later. The Texas Spur Tickets are going to go faster than a front row seat at a Hanna Montana Concert.
See you on the trail again soon,
If you have pictures or video to share from this event, email info@JeepTales.com and we will send you a link to upload your images.
Podcast (audio files)
Inks Ranch History