Ten degrees F. That's what the outside temperature gauge said about the weather at Means Dry Lake. Bundle up or be miserable. No problem: Veteran off-roaders pride themselves on showing up ready for hell, high water, and everything in between. Hats were donned, and jackets zipped into place. It takes more than a little frigid weather to keep enthusiasts off the trails.
The 100 rigs that attended the 2007 All-Pro Jamboree ranged from stone-stock daily drivers to hardcore trail rigs that had left street legality behind eons ago. The trails were as varied as the rigs: Fissure Mountain is a tricky route if you're a newbie or are piloting a rig with stock-size tires and open differentials, while Wrecking Ball is a true test of driving prowess and vehicle strength, even for grizzled trail veterans with fully built rigs.
Even though all rigs are welcome to attend the All-Pro Jamboree, you'll have more fun in Johnson Valley if you show up with a rig that's prepared for the hardcore nature of these trails. There's a reason, after all, that the Hammer Trails got such a name. The Fissure Mountain Trail calls for at least 33-inch tires and a locker in the rear differential. Anything else in Johnson Valley calls for 35s, minimum, and locked differentials at both ends. Most rigs running Johnson Valley trails such as Sledgehammer and Wrecking Ball run on 37-inch-or-larger tires. Big tires and dual lockers aren't the end of the suggested mods: Low T-case gears or a double transfer case, low differential gears, rollover protection, a well-stocked tool bag, and spare axle parts should also be along for the ride. There's little to no room for passing on the Johnson Valley trails, so if you break down the odds are that you'll clog up the trail for those behind you. Show up prepared, or prepare to be shown up.
Photographing a trail run involves a ton of hiking and rock scrambling. As such, this writer opted to ride along with All-Pro's Jon Bundrant, hopping out of Jon's FJ Cruiser when a photo op presented itself during our run on the Fissure Mountain Trail.
All-Pro's Jamboree is an annual event. Check out the "Make Plans" sidebar at the end of the story. Bring your trail rig, tools, spare parts, raffle-ticket money, and a jacket. Good times and tough trails await in '08.
All-Pro's Jamboree is an annual event held in Johnson Valley. At press time, the final date for 2008 had not been set but was projected for mid-January. As with past years, participants will be able to choose from guided runs on Johnson Valley's famous and infamous rockcrawling trails. A free dinner will be provided by All-Pro. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase.
For final details about All-Pro's 2008 Jamboree, check out www.allprooffroad.com or call (951) 658-7077.