Every year about this time a gathering of Toyota 4x4’s happens.
Last weekend I attended my first “Jambo”, as it’s called. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I normally don’t consider myself very sociable.
I had a blast!
Jambo is held in East Texas at Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area, just outside of the town of Gilmer, TX. http://www.barnwellmountainra.com/
The people that put this on were amazing, the people that attended were amazing and the trails were amazing. It is hosted by the Toyota Trail Riders, a club affiliated with the TLCA.
Let me clarify that I am in no way affiliated with any specific club or group that helped put this on, I just paid my fee, got my camping gear and rig ready, and enjoyed myself over the course of 4 days.
I wasn’t sure how the whole camping thing was supposed to go, as this is a closed OHV park in East Texas. I was lucky enough to be invited by some great guys from East Texas and Louisiana and Arkansas to join their camp. My Buddy David and a new buddy Brian joined me. Both of them at the last minute decided to convoy with me. I’m so glad they did, we had a great time.
We found an area at the edge of the Rover camp and set up Thursday afternoon, after registering and getting our “Swag bag”. Darkness seemed to fall right after we got tents pitched, equipment unloaded, so we went ahead and got our food cooked up. We had a great campfire going and after dinner, I opened a bottle of Tennessee Whiskey and lit a cigar. Life is good.
The next morning found us up right after sunrise. After coffee and some premade breakfast burritos on the campfire, we decided to hit the trails! (So much for pre-organized runs)
The weather prior to our arriving had been rainy off and on for the past 2 weeks. I figured I was going to only hit the easy trails due to mud. We hit some familiar trails to us and realized they weren’t all that bad, except in a few spots. A month ago on Pi Day I got stuck in the mud at another park, so I was a little bit of a chicken when coming up onto the muddy spots, but I was quickly forced to “man up” and go through or around them. HAHA! Backing up and turning around wasn’t an option, so picking the right line and having a buddy with a winch helped.
I don’t have a ton of photos, but I did take a lot of video. Some are over 10 Minutes of Trail video’s if you are into that sort of thing.
So Friday was a day of familiar trails. Saturday was to be a day for new trails!
After a fantastic Jambalaya dinner sponsored by the Toyota of Longview, we retired to camp, sat around telling lies and hit the tents.
Next morning I was going to attend a Recovery 101 class but... The trails called our name. We were on the first trail before the class was to start. This time we hit the east side of the park, hitting trails I hadn’t even heard of.
My Rig at camp:
We hit a level 3 trail named L&B Turnpike, took a steep descent into the wood and wound up on a Level 4 named “Saturday Night Live” I got video of the first part, but for some reason didn’t turn it on for the rough stuff. It was awesome and I took my rig though some hairy trails I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Here’s the steep drop at LB Turnpike
A view from my buddy Brian’s dash cam, I’m no professional spotter, but I got him down.
Me going down the same descent.
After getting lost on the level 4 trail, we found our way back to the trail we were looking for, called Xway. We found some 4 Runners and an FJ 40 and they followed on a turn off to “Humdinger”, a nice steep climb out to the top out of the trails.
Here’s a few clips from that hill:
My buddy David, then me going up Humdinger. I labeled the Video wrong.
4Runner PRO using crawl control, he said
After lunch we all took a “Group Shot” of over 200 Toyota’s.
After the photo shoot, we hit the trails for one last run before dinner and Ivan “Iron Man” Stewart’s speech, and the big raffle at the end of the night.
Brian on “Jeepy Hollow” Trail
Brian bogged down on “Jeepy Hollow”
David hamming it up on “Solihull St.”
^^^Pulling an FJ40 up “Clyde’s Ravine”
My $30 worth of Raffle Tickets won me some TRD Wheels valued at $205 each :)
Yeah, I’ll be back next year!
Barnwell Mountain is known for it’s Red Dirt. It will never be fully off of and out of my rig... But a brother can try!