Getting Down and Dirty at the Jeep Jamboree

Last week I was fortunate to attend a Jeep Jamboree at the Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Canada. For those not familiar with this weekend excursion, Ill fill you in.

The press package I received describes the Jamboree to the tee. “Since the early 1950s, Jeep owners and their families have participated in weekend four-wheel drive adventures called Jeep Jamborees. Jeep Jamborees are family-oriented, two-day events designed to allow Jeep owners to hone their skills in off-road situations, while learning more respect for the environment.”

My experience at the Jeep Jamboree was fabulous. For me, it was a gathering of Jeep lovers uniting on and off-road. Any Jeep owner is welcome to attend. Heck, bring the wife, husband, kids, friends, or even the dog, so long as the vehicle it rides in is a Jeep.

My trip started off with a 15 hour drive from Vancouver, B.C. to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta; traveling with a Chrysler Group representative and his wife. Although long, it was scenic and beautiful. We even passed by the tallest mountain in B.C, Mount Robson. And what better way to travel than in a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is exceptionally comfortable to sit in for numerous hours, handles well and puts out a lot of power from its 4.7-liter V8, making passing a breeze.

We arrived at out final destination quite late so off to bed it was in preparation for a day of off-roading adventures.

DAY 1:

As we strolled into Base Camp early in the morning, all I could see was a plethora of 4X4s. Row upon row, modified, stock, dirty, clean, you name it there were Jeeps galore. We parked, signed in, and ate some breakfast.

I am not a Jeep owner, so one was provided for me. I was thrilled to learn that I would be behind the wheel of the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon; a vehicle that I previously test drove. I was impressed with it then, and my appreciation only grew for the Rubicon in the two days I got to know it a little better in its natural environment, off-road.

After our meal, John Cranfield, manager of the Jeep Jamboree introduced himself and explained a little bit about the daily itinerary. In his introductory speech, he emphasized the importance of staying on the designated trails to sustain the natural surroundings, and that there was to be no consumption of alcohol in the slightest. It is a family event, and although we were going off-road, we were still behind the wheel. As important he spoke about having fun, something I was determined to do.

After the brief speech, the more experienced drivers headed to the trails whereas I stayed behind for Jeep 101. This was a short presentation given by John for the entry level/beginner off-road drivers, which gave a brief overview of what a Jeep is, how it works, and what its capabilities are. He included safety tips, and a few tricks that would help me and the rest of the group make the most of our vehicles throughout the weekend.