|The Official Publication of the Toyota Land Cruiser Association.
Since 1976 and Still Going Strong.
by Chris King
In April, the Toyota Trail Riders celebrated the 7th annual Lone Star Toyota Jamboree, marking a departure from the previous January time slot. Weather in years past has ranged from bright, sunny days—with temperatures not getting out of the 20's—to snow, sleet and freezing rain. In fact, the weather was such a predominant factor that TTR jokingly referred to their club as Tents, Tarps & Rain. While the weather conditions created challenging wheeling and was considered by many a badge of courage, when the opportunity came to move the event to April, the Toyota Trail Riders jumped at the chance.
The benefits of gaining the beautiful Texas springtime slot were numerous to both the event participants and to the Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area (a park supported with both private and public funding). In the interest of sustainability, TTR has, after past events, devoted hundreds of volunteer man-hours and donated tens of thousands of dollars toward rebuilding trails, access roads and park facilities. The promise of drier weather meant that more of the proceeds from the Jamboree could be used for park improvements rather than repair, thus benefiting everyone.
The purpose of every Jamboree since the beginning has been to bring together not just Cruiserheads but all Toyota off-road enthusiasts for some good old' fashioned, family-oriented Texas fun. For one incredible spring weekend, over 250 friends driving 130 vehicles came together for what has become one of the premier Toyota off-road events in the country!
The weekend started Thursday night with campsite set-up in the 1,800-acre park, which was open to the public for this event. The initial trail reports started coming back almost immediately and the dry weather was making for incredible traction. On Friday morning, a few light showers moved through, helping knock down the orange dust and cool down the mountain a bit.
As drivers explored the miles of marked trails, it was evident that the park's new management and the countless volunteer hours had paid off. Clyde's Ravine in particular—a long-time favorite that was impassable for a year due to flash flood erosion—had been restored to its former glory and was challenging for beginners and experts alike.
On Friday night, the Toyota Trail Riders hosted the popular chili dinner and vendor meet-n-greet. We were privileged to have many vendors in attendance this year, with three coming all the way from California: Jason Demello (Demello Off-Road), Marlin and Christine Czajkowski (Marlin Crawler) and John Gjata (Baja Rack). Jacque Arnondin (TRDParts4U) whipped up fifty gallons of his renowned Jamboree chili, with the cool evening making it seem all the better.
A crisp, clear daybreak on Saturday set the stage for one of the best wheeling days ever. After a leisurely morning at the traditional Saturday morning Coffee Mess, the group guided runs broke out of camp. One of the highlights of the event for many participants, experienced Trail Masters take groups out for an "insiders" ride around the mountain. Novice wheelers in particular benefit from the briefings offered, which encompass safety, vehicle operation, overcoming obstacles, trail etiquette and spotting.
Early in the afternoon, the pavilion had filled for lunch, a group picture, the kids raffle and our Powder Puff Run. Towards suppertime, the aroma of Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ drew everyone to the pavilion for the feast and "The Largest Raffle in Texas." Over $20,000 in goods and services was raffled off...
Matt Fallis spots for Jim Able.
Photo by Chris Gray
Nick Archer taking the high line (like it or not) in Clyde's Crack. Photo by Michelle Rushing
Mired in the mud, this FJ40 required a strap on Sunday. Photo by Nick Archer