The year 2012 marked 60 years of the famous Jeepers Jamboree, a long weekend wheeling trip across the Rubicon Trail outside of Lake Tahoe in Northern California. We have attended other Jamborees before, but this year’s was a blockbuster. The crowd was huge, with over a thousand participants and more than half that many Jeeps—whoops, we mean vehicles. You see, even though Jeepers Jamboree would seem like a Jeep-specific event, there were in fact a good variety of 4x4s attending. Sure, those original wheelers back in 1952 were probably all in flatfender Willys or Ford Jeeps, but since then the Rubicon has seen almost every make of 4x4 cross its boulder-strewn track.
Of course, the Jeepers Jamboree event is different than your basic rockcrawling trail ride. The 185 staff members make this trip, bar none, the smoothest-sailing and most relaxing trip you may ever be on. There are spotters at most hard obstacles to give newbies and graybeards alike gentle nudging and direction if needed. The medical and mechanical staff are topnotch should there be any ailments of body or machine. And most important, the cook crew keeps you alive with mountains of grub on every plate three times a day.
Our recreation and sport can sometimes be dangerous. Unfortunately, during the Jeepers Jamboree an accident occurred. The staff and rescue personnel handled the event with as much diligence as is possible in an area as remote as the Rubicon. All the injured were evacuated quickly. Unfortunately, one of the people involved passed away from her injuries. We send our condolences to the family of Rachel Gray. To the rest of you wheelers, be safe out there.