Alaska & Beyond
For literally thousands of Jeep enthusiasts there is one person and one company that have brought them together year after year for great family adventure: Mark Smith and Jeep Jamboree USA. The staff here at 4WD&SU have personally crisscrossed the United States from Maine to Alaska to Texas attending Mark's Jamborees, and in all honesty we have nothing but great things to say about the events and the man himself.
In our experience, traveling from Jamboree to Jamboree over the years is not only a great way to get our fill of Jeep adventure, but it's also good way to see the country. If you attend a Jamboree, take a few extra days before or after the event to see the sights around whatever area the Jamboree happens to be in.
Our most recent Jeep Jamboree adventure was Mark's Alaskan Signature Series Adventure, which turned out to be just another all-around great time. For some people, Alaska is a dream destination and rightly so - it's truly one of this country's last wilderness frontiers.
It's no secret that Alaska is sparsely populated and that the state covers approximately 570,000 square miles, most of which is beautiful wilderness. This makes the state slightly larger than twice the size of Texas. To us, that means there's plenty of adventure left to experience and vast wilderness to explore. This adventure gave us just a little taste of what the state is all about, and we're sure we'll be back for more. If you've never visited Alaska for adventure, we highly recommend it. It's a formidable bragging right.
Unfortunately, due to logistic concerns, the Alaska Signature Series event will no longer be held; however, we feel lucky to have participated in Mark's last Alaskan Jeep adventure. We'll always remember how amazing it was to even peer out of the plane's window as we descended into Anchorage and witness the Portage Glacier.
For 2007, Jeep Jamboree USA has scheduled 34 events across the country with a season that runs from February 1 through October 28. Five events were scheduled for this month (September) and six events for next month in October. Jeep Jamboree's best estimate is that during the 2007 season alone it will see 3,800 Jeep vehicles and 7,600 enthusiastic participants at its events. That's a lot of Jeepers!
Despite the large number of enthusiasts attending these events, from what we've witnessed each and every event is thoroughly organized. The traffic usually flows very smoothly on the trail since Jeep Jam uses experienced guides and trail leaders. There is always someone around to lend a helping hand when participants find their vehicles in a tight spot.
What we most admire about these events is the friendship and camaraderie that sparks up on the trail. We've run into groups of enthusiasts who've met on Jamborees years before and will likely be friends for life. Also, these events are geared toward family adventure, so you don't have to worry about your children experiencing anything other than a great time. Jeep Jamborees are an excellent way to introduce youngsters to responsible four-wheeling.
If you're looking for something fun and adventurous to do with your family or friends, check out the remaining trips for 2007. If you're thinking of planning a trip with Jeep Jamboree next year, the 2008 schedule of events will be posted on the organization's website in November 2007.
For more information about Jeep Jamboree USA, steer your Web browser to www.jeepjamboreeusa.com.