Just when you think the last Jeep Jamboree was the best, along comes one that's even better. With nearly 40 Jeep Jamborees a year to choose from, it's always difficult to select which ones to attend. They're all top-notch events, filled with a myriad of Jeeps and on a variety of trails throughout North America.
This time, we picked the Gateway to the Cumberlands Jeep Jamboree, held last October in Williamsburg, Kentucky, and, as usual, we weren't disappointed. In fact, this Jambo had the wholehearted blessings of the town of Williamsburg, which rolled out the red carpet for the participants and even organized a Jeep parade through the center of town.
Located just south of the Daniel Boone National Forest near the Tennessee state line, the Jamboree trails wind through forests and streams, all on private land. Some of the tougher hillclimbs cross ridges of limestone and sandstone, and a few of the trails are on scenic but challenging forest roads. But the most fun is the Mile of Mud run, a series of slime pits that challenge both driver and vehicle, with a tow strap often being the winner.
Plans for this year's Jeep Jamboree events are nearly finalized. We were even lucky enough to snag the tentative schedule for the '99 season, which started with the Sea of Cortez Jeep Jamboree in February. All Jeep vehicles are welcome at the Jamborees, and skill or experience isn't a prerequisite. Trails are rated from 2 to 10, with 2 being an easy trail that novice drivers and stock vehicles can negotiate, and the higher numbers signify a more difficult trail.