We attended our first Jeep Jamboree this weekend — the 22nd Mole Lake Jeep Jamboree near Crandon, WI. There were 101 jeeps and over 200 riders.
Fantastic, but it nearly killed us! More on this later.
First, basically a Jeep Jamboree is an event to test your jeep and your driving skills over trails rated for varying levels of difficulty rated 1 to 10 (1 the easiest, 10 the hardest).
We picked the Green Trail (level 2-3) for the first day and the Blue Trail (level 3-4) for the next day. There were two other trails: Red (level 4-5) and Orange (level 5-6) which we felt were out of our league.
Here is the description of our two trails:
Green Trail — This trail contains numerous hills, some rocks, logs and some tight turns for all types of Jeeps including two and four door models. All terrain or mud terrain tires are recommended. Tire sizes 30” to 32” also recommended. This trail is offered on both days.
Blue Trail — This trail contains slightly above mild to wild terrain with more up graded challenges including off camber on hills, climbing rocks and maneuvering between the trees in the woods. Tire sizes 31” to 33” recommended. This is also a good fit for longer wheel based Jeeps. Lockers and lift is helpful, but not required.
Terminology: “lockers” — some jeeps (like our Rubicon) have front and rear wheel lockers. This means when the rear lockers are engaged, the rear wheels move in unison which gives you greater traction, likewise for the front lockers. “Lift” typically means that your jeep has large tires and a modified suspension that can lift the jeep up to several inches off the ground.
The Jeep Jamboree was a 3-day event. Here’s what happened . . .
THURSDAY — REGISTRATION
We registered at the Mole Lake Casino where breakfast and dinner were also served.
FRIDAY — THE GREEN TRAIL
In order to eat breakfast at the Casino, we got up at about 6 am, fed and de-pooped the dog, then drove to the Casino which was about 20 miles away from our current campground.
TRAIL LINE UP
The schedule was 9 to 12 pm on the trail, lunch, then back on the trail from 1 – 4 pm. So 6 hours of driving in the woods.
MORNING TRAIL RUN
It started off easy enough.
They delivered lunch on the trail. Very cool.
We took a moment to check out the jeeps again . . .
AFTERNOON TRAIL RUN
After 3 hours of driving, I really really really wanted an automatic transmission and was getting very tired of manhandling our manual transmission. By the way, in 6 hours of driving, we covered maybe 5 miles.
I wasn’t alone in struggling. A woman, accompanied by only her two dogs, drove the trail in a Jeep Liberty, a not-really-a-good-trail-vehicle jeep.
Near the end of the Green Trail, I encountered my immovable object at The Rock . . .
After the Green Trail run, we headed back to our RV . . .
Both Jan and I were bone tired and went to bed at about 8:30 pm
SATURDAY – THE BLUE TRAIL
We skipped it.
Both Jan and I were still tired and I was worried what a more difficult trail might do to our jeep. On Thursday we had several scraping-crunching moments that sounded like they might be expensive. They weren’t, but I didn’t want to chance it.
Final thoughts — We loved it. However, we need to add some under body “armor” (like this) to our jeep before we go on another jamboree. Jan is also going brush up on her 4-wheeling skills so that she can drive the trails too.