If you like to 'wheel in the mountains, some things just seem to go together: switchbacks and silver, sunshine and sparkling streams, the San Juan and Scramblers. For the third year in a row, a smorgasbord of Scramblers sojourned to Silverton, Colorado, for the San Juan Scramble. A special weekend of runs just for CJ-8s was originally the idea of Scrambler aficionado Harold Off. The concept first came to fruition in 1999, and a group of Scrambler owners have been gathering in Silverton every summer since then.
To call the San Juan Scramble an event is probably stretching it a bit too far. The gathering has purposely been kept very low key - no registration, no dinner, no raffle, no T-shirts. The idea was and is to just show up and share several days of four-wheeling fun with fellow owners of the stretched CJs. It seems to work. The people attending the event have been a nice mixture of repeat attendees and brand-new friends. Many of the Scramblers who show up in Silverton are within a day's drive from home, but others drive long distances for the rare opportunity to be part of an all-Scrambler caravan.
The Scramblers in attendance run the full gamut from lovingly restored bone-stockers to seriously modified rigs that have been well caressed on the trails. All of the trails during the Scramble are on the local area's well-established trail system. Everyone can run together since these trails are mostly on the mild side. The long caravan of the relatively rare Scramblers (only around 25,000 in the five-year production run) is definitely the subject of some head-swiveling and double takes. The look on people's faces as they realize they have just seen a dozen Scramblers rumble by is worth the trip to Silverton.
Of course, the Silverton area in southwestern Colorado always provides knock-your-socks-off scenery. Nowhere in the lower 48 states is the terrain as perpendicular as in this corner of Colorado. Very few areas were ever as heavily laced with silver and gold. The mineral wealth led to a protracted period of extraction activity. The miles and miles of remarkable roads left behind allow access for seekers of scenic treasures today. Such roads as Black Bear, Imogene Pass, Engineer Mountain, and Poughkeepsie Gulch are perpetual favorites of those who have been fortunate enough to run them in previous years. The absolutely magnificent scenery just about guarantees that first-timers will become San Juan regulars. With around two-dozen Scramblers attending in 2001, the San Juan Scramble seems destined to continue as long as Scramblers still roam and the mountains still beckon.
For More Information
If you are interested in attending the 2002 Scramble, contact Mark Werkmeister at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give him a call at (505) 891-0296.