2008 Fall Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree
While I reluctantly packed my camping gear on Sunday, in that last weekend of March 2008, as we were wrapping up the Spring Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree, all I could think about was when we would be returning to the off-roading gem of the Texas Hill Country "The Inks Ranch". The spring event had sold out in just a few hours on December 1st 2007 after the tickets became available to the public. The fall event was still nine months away back then and although tickets were still selling well, undoubtedly the record high gas prices over the summer and the economic uncertainty might have impacted overall ticket sales somewhat, causing a projected decrease in attendance for the Fall Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree.
I, and a lot of my friends are incredibly thankful we get two opportunities a year to renew our friendships and challenge our Jeep and driving skills in Llano TX. Thank you Jeep Jamboree USA, Roy & Pitie Inks, and Tony & Nancy Winkler for adding the second event in 2007 and again in 2008! You see, The Inks Ranch is private property and one of the oldest continuously run Family Ranches in Texas whose history dates back to the Original Texas Land Grants. Other than the San Antonio Jeep Exclusive members only Workday the only opportunity the public would have to wheel on this magnificent piece of property is at one of the Jeep Jamboree USA events in held in March and September.
This particular weekend in mid-September faced some peculiar uncertainties as our target date inched closer. Hurricane IKE was creeping into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico the massive storm and its exact path was still quite uncertain however, the projected storm cone fell somewhere along a 1,200 mile spot of the Texas and Louisiana coastline the exact strike zone was anybody‘s guess. All of us who had been to the Inks Ranch in years past for other Texas Spur knew how dramatically rain can alter the Pink Texas Granite surface 90% of the event trails takes place on. A light mist or drizzle we can deal with but a medium to heavy rain can dramatically alter the traction making traversing many trails too treacherous to walk on let alone drive over. We were apprehensively, planning for the worst and praying for the best as we set off on our journey to our South Texas weekend getaway.
By Wednesday of that week we knew there were attendees who reside in Houston, Corpus Christi and Galveston and other locations along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast who might have to stay away to protect their homes or business in the event IKE crossed their area. I knew my friend Frank from JPFreek.com would have to stay home because of IKE. Rachel and Connie called me and told me they were not going to be able to make it either because of the impending threat of serious weather in the Houston area. There were several members of both the San Antonio and Austin Jeep Exclusive Clubs who made the selfless decision to abandon their tickets to go help their friends and family evacuate the costal areas ahead of the storm.
So imagine my surprise when I walked into the large tent and saw it almost full at Friday Breakfast. I know there were several costal Jeep Owners who had chosen to evacuate the storm to Llano, TX for the 2008 Fall Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree what troopers! I was camping with my friends from an Internet Off-roading Forum: Scott, Ty, Jack, Jay, Melissa and I all of us had been looking forward to this trip since the JJUSA calendar had been emailed to me in October of 2007. We had been discussing this trip for more than six months and were all planning on coming back in twice in 2009!
What was more shocking to me than anything from the weekend was when Tony Winkler the south Texas Jeep Jamboree local coordinator asked the attendees at the off site Friday Drivers meeting: "Who was here for the first time?" Dozens of people raised their hands. I was stunned… But the really big surprise came when all the new attendees who got to see the Massive Pink Granite Domes on the ranch for the first time. You can look at every digital photo view each of the movie clips and listen to all of the PodCast on JeepTales.com and you will still be stunned by the Inks Ranch when you see it up close and personal for the first time.
During the past six Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree this event has become the Premier Jeep Jamboree USA event in the country the Inks Ranch has developed a well known reputation among the Jeep community. It might be the incredible terrain, the spectacular vistas, the world class trail guides from San Antonio Jeep Exclusive or the heartfelt Texas Hospitality offered by the Inks Family or the Oxford Ranch Campground staff. No one can tell for sure… but I know; I, will do just about anything to make sure I never miss a Texas Spur It’s may favorite trip(s) of the year!
The foul weather that had threatened our event earlier in the week never arrived in the Texas Hill Country. Our weekend was blessed with warm day's soft breezes and clear nights. Our groups were a bit smaller than they had been in years past, in a way it turned out to be a blessing because it allowed our color groups to run a variety of new approach lines on all of the trails. If I'm not mistaken every group got to run every trail on the ranch this fall. So you also know between the spring and fall event several of the trails gained a few new sections that were an absolute blast. They made a nice additional challenges for the participants, to those of you who were not able to attend this Fall Texas Spur, now you know you have something new to look forward to in the spring of 2009!
The Texas Spur First Timers will now undoubtedly now be waiting for the 2009 schedule to come out so they can be added to our long list of returning Texas Spur Veterans, now I need to start planning and packing for 2009! As my group (red) moved from first the trail we call Homestead then Moab to the Big Sandy I called my new friend Teresa on the CB and asked her, “what she thought of the terrain?” Her response was an enthusiastic: “The Ink’s Ranch Rocks!” I have no doubt she was echoing the feelings of everyone who was there that weekend.
The next time you read about a Texas Sour Jeep Jamboree on this website it will under the new Partnership between www.JPFreek.com and JeepTales.com. It has been a pleasure reporting about the Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree Happenings to you for the past four years. For those of you who have been with us since the beginning of JeepTales.com you will recall JeepTales.com and the Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree were born the same weekend in 2005. Thank you for your continuing and unwavering support over the past four years I owe you all; a great deal of THANKS!
Below I have included the PodCast from the first Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree just to help you remember our humble beginnings.
I hope to see you all on the trail again soon,
Also here are some quick link to other past Texas Spur Events for your convenience:
- 2005 Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree
- 2006 Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree
- 2007 Spring Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree
- 2007 Fall Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree
- 2008 Spring Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree
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)