Those in attendance at All-Pro Off-Road's 2007 Jamboree are sure to remember one thing above all else: It was cold! January temperatures in the Mojave often dip below freezing, and landscapes normally famous for scorching mercury readings take on a frigid personality. Last year's event in Johnson Valley was highly successful despite the chill. For 2008, All-Pro's Jon Bundrant decided a change of venue would give participants access to more creature comforts after a long day on the trail. Stoddard Valley got the nod. The Stoddard Valley OHV area is a veritable hop, skip, and a jump away from Johnson Valley. Stoddard's trails aren't as famous as the selection of Hammers found at Johnson, but hard core, mettle-testing terrain is still on the menu.
The Slash X Ranch Caf is on the Stoddard Valley menu too. The Slash X backs right up to the desert playground off of Highway 247. On busy weekends, expect to see dirt bikes, ATVs, side-by-side UTVs, rockcrawlers, and prerunners filling the Slash X parking lot. Inside the caf, you'll find a variety of liquid refreshments and homestyle cooking, both of which are welcome items after a tough day on a frigid trail.
The All-Pro Jamboree offers registered participants three trail runs: hard-core, intermediate, and "easy." "Easy" is a relative term. What's termed "easy" in the world of trail riding and rockcrawling is a far cry from a mere divot-riddled dirt road. The intermediate and hard-core runs were tougher yet, proving that Hammers aren't mandatory for inflicting body and drivetrain damage.
As of this writing, the details for next year's Jamboree have yet to be worked out. Information will be posted on the All-Pro Off-Road website as soon as it's available. Two things are certain though. You'll need a well-prepared rig and a warm jacket.