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Unread 06-18-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
HikerX
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2010 Badlands Jeep Jamboree

This is a rather lengthy trip report about my experiences at the 1st Badlands Jeep Jamboree. No boredom intended. :-)

I e-mailed the JJUSA organization several times between the time I registered and the actual event, just inquiring about what they had in store for the Jamboree, considering it was being held in an offroad park that can be accessed much cheaper than the typical JJUSA registration fee. They had mentioned that a lot of it would be held on private land not normally accessible to the general public. Sounded like the best of both worlds - an established playground combined with some private land wheeling.

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I usually do. Not really sure why. I'll include a link to all the pics near the end of the report.

Also, anyone else who was there, please feel free to add your own here if you'd like.

This is Owen, my trusty copilot over the last 2 years, and ready for his 3rd Jamboree, standing by what would end up being the shortest (height) Jeep on the trip - my '96 XJ with barely 2" of lift and BFG AT KOs (235s). I have engine, transmission, and transfer case skids. I had rocker protection on order and was hoping to have them by the jamboree, but conflicting schedules meant that the rocker protection wouldn't arrive until sometime the week after. Only missing one thing - a gas tank skid. :-0



Registration (check-in) was Thursday evening from 5-7 pm, and we were given a chance to pick which trails we wanted to run. I had planned to run with the Orange group for day one (intermediate trails) and Green for day 2 (a little harder than Orange). Blue was the hardest, and yellow was the easiest. As far as I know the group colors do not correspond with the trail divisions in the park... Anyway, the green group filled up just as I was ready to sign up for day 2, so I stuck with the orange group for both days. Glad I did - a great group of trail guides to hang around with.

Friday morning Owen and I showed up at the gate by about 7:30am, just to be sure we had plenty of time to get his Badlands pass. We were in some pretty big company.



After a short drivers meeting lead by Eric from the JJUSA org, and comments from Kyle, owner of the Badlands, we were underway!

We took off through what I think are referred as the dunes, the intention being to play around a little before heading to the private land. Not 10 minutes into the Jamboree we heard a "POP!"



The airbag popped on a '93 Grand Cherokee while we were slowly going over lots of whoops in the dunes area. He was as surprised about it as we were, though he did have a sense of humor about it.

Never say Jeepers aren't a creative group.



After a liberal application of duct tape, we're back on our way.





We climbed a couple of hills and then headed over to the private land. It happens to be owned by the former Badlands Owner Troy Myers (think I spelled that correct). Many thanks to him for allowing us to use his land!

At first we started out doing fairly simple trails, winding through trees and going up and down some reasonably small hills. As the day wore on, the trails got a little more complicated, hills getting steeper, and lots of creek crossings. Fluid changes are in order after this trip.









As I've mentioned before in other posts, one of things I enjoy the most about Jamborees are meeting people who are wheeling for the first time. We had an '04 Rubicon behind us for most of the first day. It was piloted by a couple from Missouri who had brought their 1 year old along for their ride (I suspect he was probably 18-23 months old). Their son did an amazing job on the trail, dealing with the heat, humidity, and bugs better than you'd expect (you parents know what I mean).





You'll notice he had a set of street tires on the Rubi. I mentioned to him a few times that most of what he had trouble with would have been a breeze with more aggressive tires.

YouTube - 2010 Badlands Jeep Jamboree USA - XJ recovers Rubicon

Tire choice turned out to be the Achilles heel for several people in our group. We followed a JK Sahara around for a lot of the first day, and they proved the Jeep was incredibly capable in completely stock form, but struggled up a few obstacles solely because the stock tires weren't grabbing as well as ATs or MTs.



We had one particular obstacle that really frustrated me. The XJ was just the perfectly wrong size for the obstacle, as you'll see in the video. It was humbling to get winched out, especially as several poeple commented that they were impressed with all I was able to do so far (given my, uh, low stance). First time for everything...

First, watch the JK in front of us descend into nothingness...

YouTube - 2010 Badlands Jeep Jamboree - steep hill for a JK

Then, watch us from halfway down...

YouTube - 2010 Badlands Jeep Jamboree - XJ Stuck

Day 1 ended up with an incredibly tough climb out of the creek, one that required most to get pulled or winched out. The following video is a compilation of what I was able to shoot before I got involved in helping push out a stuck golf cart downstream and then assisting with a tire repair. Yeah, golf cart. Don't ask...

For perspective, this is the stock JK ahead of us trying to climb up out of the creek.



YouTube - 2010 Badlands Jeep Jamboree - Trouble climbing out of the creek

About the time we finished getting everyone through, the skies opened up on us. We finally wandered back through the park and to our respective post-ride destinations. We had a great day, but were exhausted and ready to go home, clean up, and get some rest.

Since I live relatively close (40 minutes away), I limped home on a questionable right front tire (not holding air courtesy of the sand and dirt around the bead), washed up, prepped the XJ for day 2, and then collapsed.

Stay tuned for day 2...

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Unread 06-18-2010, 01:53 PM   #2
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Day 2 proved to be a little more thrilling than day 1, which I didn't think possible since I was signed up with the same group and the same trails. As it turned out, we had a ton of extra Jeeps with us during day 2, enough that we had to split into 2 groups out on the trail.



Owen made himself a couple of friends during day 2. Duncan shared some of his toys with Owen, which I thought was pretty sweet. He was the son of one of the trail guides.



Have I mentioned recently why I like the org so much? Very family friendly...

Day 2 we ended up following a nicely lifted 4 door JK. They made everything look so easy.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA9uj...eature=related

As with any off-roading trip with others, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on the person behind you. If you lose sight of them, you stop, then the person in front of you stops, and the chain continues until everyone's mostly caught back up. As this was the same set of trails we did the day before, I wasn't too worried about getting lost, but in one particular area we briefly lost sight of the 4 door JK in front of us, and when I caught back up I asked him about a small split in the trail - which one did he take? He mentioned taking the right hand one, which happened to be a small climb, then a quick left hander, then down a *really* steep hill. The bypass was tho the left. I didn't remember that from day 1, but hey, we're here to have fun, right?

Holy cow.... That was one steep downhill. I now know why we bypassed it before....

Of course, everyone behind you ends up taking the same line you did, and as far as I know, no one had any "incidents".

Poser shot:



Yeah, I've got some front end work to do...

This video doesn't do the hill justice. Videos often don't, but this was a lot of fun to climb when others struggled a little.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHSrv...eature=related

The rest of day 2 was filled with even more incredibly steep descents, deep water crossings (thanks to the rains), and some really interesting off camber corners. I have a few more videos from day 2, but fell well short on regular pics. Why? Well, during a trip down the creek, I ended up hitting a rock and puncturing the gas tank. Ugh!!! Near as I can tell, I was crawling up over a rock, and slid off while turning out of the creek.

About that gas tank skid I was missing.......

I pulled over and let the rest of the group get by, and then linked up with Mike (trail guide) and Brian (trail guide) for a tow back to the Badlands shop. It was determined that I shouldn't run the engine for fear of gas leaking onto the exhaust and causing a fire. Not one to argue, I just reminded them that with no engine power, I'd have no brakes. Some creative hand-braking kept me from bumping into the back of Mike's Jeep.



Once back to the shop, Kyle and his crew looked things over and checked to see if they had another tank around somewhere. Ah, no luck. So, my wife drove from our home 45 minutes away (after having to wake my daughter from her nap) and gave us a ride home. As of this writing they should have all the parts and will be working on it this weekend.

In the grand scheme of things I would have saved money had I bought and installed a gas tank skid before the trip, but didn't think I needed it that badly. In hindsight, I'm low enough to the ground that it should have been obvious.

On the bright side, my wife commented after watching the videos that I should lift the XJ higher. Hey, who am I to argue???

For all the pics, feel free to browse my Smugmug account.

Videos can be found here.

Sadly I didn't take nearly as many pics as I usually do. I will say, however, that Owen took several pics himself using a disposable camera (2, actually) and shot a couple of videos for me. Another couple of years and I might have some really good pics of me doing the trails!

His pics are posted at the link above, but in sorting by date taken, they show up as the last 40 pics or so.

We both had a lot of fun and look forward to the next outing with the XJ...complete with rocker protection and gas tank skid plate.
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Last edited by HikerX; 06-18-2010 at 02:22 PM..
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Unread 06-18-2010, 02:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing.

I didn't go to this event thinking it would in the park, and stuff I've already seen. It was nice to hear they had additional choices.

Next year I'll have to give it consideration.
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Unread 06-21-2010, 01:27 PM   #4
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hey bart!!

i'm the one with the lifted blue JK featured in your writeup... thanks for the kind words, as this was the JK's maiden voyage offroad... we usually wheel my XJ but were afraid it wouldn't make the 3+ hour drive to and from Attica... and my wife is the one that shot the "XJ up a muddy hill" video...

it was great meeting you... we had an awesome time.
we were sad to see your day cut short after the gas tank incident...
i was really impressed with the way you handled that near-stock XJ... XJ's rock, but driver skill is still key... you were awesome.

we're definitely looking forward to doing more JJUSA events... this was our first one!! it was also our first trip to Badlands.

you can check out our pics on our local Jeep club site....

Pictures - Jeep Jamboree Badlands

Mark
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Unread 06-21-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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Nice write up HikerXJ! It looks like fun. Hope you get back up and running soon.
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Unread 06-24-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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I need to get in on this. I live in Montgomery County and am only about 30 minutes away. Never been, either!
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Unread 06-24-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
HikerX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbjeepxj View Post
hey bart!!

i'm the one with the lifted blue JK featured in your writeup... thanks for the kind words, as this was the JK's maiden voyage offroad... we usually wheel my XJ but were afraid it wouldn't make the 3+ hour drive to and from Attica... and my wife is the one that shot the "XJ up a muddy hill" video...

it was great meeting you... we had an awesome time.
we were sad to see your day cut short after the gas tank incident...
i was really impressed with the way you handled that near-stock XJ... XJ's rock, but driver skill is still key... you were awesome.

we're definitely looking forward to doing more JJUSA events... this was our first one!! it was also our first trip to Badlands.

you can check out our pics on our local Jeep club site....

Pictures - Jeep Jamboree Badlands

Mark
Hey Mark,

Good meeting you guys too. You've certainly provided some inspiration to both Owen and I with the way your JK is set up. I cut it out from the video that Owen had of you guys going up the hill (and then us), but he said that's the Jeep that I want - referring to yours - only in white. Smart kid!

Thanks for the kind words about drivers skill. I have a lot of fun out there and sometimes forget just how near-stock the XJ really is.

Gas tank is finally replaced. Turns out that the majority of the work was impending anyway (internally the tank was a mess). Skid Row gastank skid is on order...a little late but I did learn my lesson.

Nice pictures too!
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Unread 06-24-2010, 06:17 PM   #8
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Thanks again for your write-up, videos and pictures.

Sorry about your gas tank. But I hope the lift works out.
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Unread 07-16-2010, 12:18 AM   #9
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I wish more people were this good at documenting their trips! Awesome man!
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Unread 07-16-2010, 10:25 PM   #10
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Nice trail report, thanks!
Any dates available yet for the 2011 2nd annual Badlands Jeep Jamboree?
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Unread 07-19-2010, 04:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the comments everyone!

Now that I have the Jeep back, I ordered and received a Skid Row gas tank skid, OME AALs, JKS Boomerang shackles, and a few other odds and ends. Hope to have all that stuff installed fairly soon (along with the Superrails that have been sitting in my garage since the week after the Jamboree). I figure with the added weight of the skid and the rails, I needed to stiffen up the rear and add a little height at the same time. Once I see where the rear sits, I'll either add a spacer up front to balance it out, or find some bigger coils.

I really scraped up the right rear flare while I was there, which basically compliments the left front one now. Some Rusty's flexible flares might be next. Then tires to fill in all that space.

Seems I have a lot of work ahead of me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
Nice trail report, thanks!
Any dates available yet for the 2011 2nd annual Badlands Jeep Jamboree?
I think they release Jamboree dates for the next year sometime around November or so. I'm planning to be there next year, assuming I have the XJ back together by then...
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Unread 07-26-2010, 07:52 AM   #12
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Bart,

I'll save you a bunch of trouble and sell you my XJ






Mark
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Unread 08-14-2010, 08:40 PM   #13
HikerX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbjeepxj View Post
Bart,

I'll save you a bunch of trouble and sell you my XJ






Mark


Great pic!

How did I miss this reply?!? I'm convinced JF doesn't always tell you when there's a new post in a subscribed thread...

Anyway, earlier today I might have actually taken you up on it. Getting the rear bumper off to swap out the nut strips to install the gas tank skid plate (and reinstall the hitch) was a major PAIN. Just finally got it all back together about an hour ago, save for an exhaust hanger that's broken. Fixing that tomorrow. I hope. Otherwise there'll be a lot of banging back there.

I'm going to start a build thread later this week so I'll post pics of today's work there. Next weekend I'm hoping to do the AALs (and shackles, if they cooperate).

I need a hobby that doesn't involve so much rust...
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Unread 03-30-2011, 10:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HikerXJ View Post


We both had a lot of fun and look forward to the next outing with the XJ...complete with rocker protection and gas tank skid plate.
I was at that Jamboree, too, although I just now came across this post. Thanks for posting all the pics. My gray TJ is in this picture - parked right behind the black TJ that's in the front of the line. I remember hearing about someone who ruptured their gas tank on the trail, but I wasn't sure who it was. I'm lucky the same thing didn't happen to me - I managed to put a pretty big dent in mine, but it didn't cause a leak. Needless to say, I made it a point to install a gas tank skid plate before my next trip.

Anyone plan on going back this year? It's June 2-4. I plan to sign up soon.
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Unread 04-02-2011, 06:06 AM   #15
HikerX
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Glad you liked the pics.

Not sure if we'll be there again this year or not. I signed up for the French Lick one in October, but I might sign up for the Badlands one as well if funds allow.
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