Whenever you see a large group of stock Jeeps at an off-road park, you can pretty much assume that there is a newbie Jeep run about to take place.
There is a palpable feeling of anticipation in the air as newbies roll into the off-road area looking around for the right group.
20 Jeeps lined up on Saturday… but not everyone made it for Friday night. They should have, this is where the real fun begins.
Newbie Jeep Run – The First Night
Not everyone came out for the full newbie Jeep run experience. But they should have.
Camping with jeepers is always a crazy good time. We’ll save the specifics of those stories for those that want to come experience it for themselves.
Needless to say there was some fire, some drinking, a lot of laughs, some passing out and a few people getting rid of toxins as their bodies demanded it.
Jeeps were parked everywhere the first night. Obviously we don’t promote drinking and driving.
The first night wasn’t about wheeling anyway, it was about community.
Certain phrases like “watch out for the WOOF” and “NikkiByTheWay” will live on as inside jokes for those that were there on Friday night.
A certain someone passed out just outside their tent and was carefully rolled into it after requesting to be left on the ground for “just one more hour.”
Stories were told, friendships were made and strengthened, and everyone had a great time. I can’t encourage you enough to partake in the whole experience if you can on Jeep outings. It isn’t just about wheeling.
Show up for the community.
But as we all know, wheeling is what brings us together. So Friday night turned into Saturday morning and in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the majority of us headed off to sleep.
Newbie Jeep Run – Time to Prepare for Wheeling
Saturday morning bodies were stiff and achy from sleeping in tents, in the back of Jeeps and on hammocks strung from trees. Some hammocks were even strung between Jeeps.
But the morning came early and the jeepers were anxious to get out on the run. There was a flurry of activity at area B of Hidden Falls as Jeeps started rolling in.
The experience level in the group ranged from highly experienced Jeepers who race Jeeps professionally to those who had just bought their very first Jeep.
As far as the Jeeps themselves, there was everything from a brand new Jeep Renegade with the paper tags still on it to fully modified heavily wheeled Jeep Wranglers and more.
Community is the key though.
It was great seeing the experienced jeepers helping out the rookies for the newbie Jeep run. Not only helping them, but more important teaching them about things like disconnecting sway bars, airing down tires, and helping them take off tops and doors.
Newbie Jeep Run – Mount Up!
The moment everyone was waiting for was the cry of “Mount Up!”
We were running comms via CB on channel 13. Personally I’d just set up my new CB from Cobra Electronics so it was good to hear everyone communicating out on the trail. I was having some issues transmitting but I’ll be troubleshooting that later this week. Just being able to hear was a huge benefit. As a side note, I’d highly recommend that if you are a newbie Jeep owner that plans on wheeling… get a CB set up!
We lined up. I counted 20 Jeeps lined up.
We had Chris, of DarkSide Jeepers in the lead and CK, also of DarkSide, in the back as our “tailgunner.” CK also brought a drone camera and got some great shots of the run. Can’t forget a huge shout out to Gio who was around the middle of the pack, and was constantly getting out of his Jeep to help guide folks as needed over obstacles.
We took “Valley Road” a simple beginner level trail to start off and made our way up to “The Tower” which overlooks the entire park. It was a great day of wheeling. The newbie Jeep run was a success.
But it wasn’t over.
Newbie Jeep Run – Round 2
Having made it back to area B we all rested for a bit and had some lunch. We told stories about what we did, what happened on the trail, and it was clear everyone was having a great time.
It was then announced that “Round 2” was going to happen in a few minutes and the Jeeps lined up again. Several people had to leave so it wasn’t exactly the same group that went out on the first part of the run, but the majority of the original group did.
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to round two. I needed to head into town, but I’m sorry I missed it! Chris and the DarkSide Jeepers gang took the newbies on a second run over to “Dino” another area of the park.
By now Jeeps were dirty and smiles were broad.
Here are some photos from round 2 of the newbie run courtesy of some fellow jeepers that gave me permission to use their photos:
Newbie Jeep Run – Closing Thoughts
It cannot be overstated that every jeeper who wants to wheel off-road should take part in a newbie run with your local Jeep community. Simply put, it is safer and you’ll learn so much from those with a few more trails under their wheels than you.
If you are ever in the Texas area, there is a newbie Jeep run 1-3 times per month or more out at Hidden Falls. Connect with one of the local groups in the area and get on out there!
For those of you who were with us on the run, we’d love to hear your comments below. Drop us a comment and tell us about your thoughts on the run we organized. We’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, keep it dirty and wheels side down.