So now you want in on the Cheap Truck Challenge, don't you? You're reading this, just itching to do some cheap wheeling, but you don't have a good place to go and no brothers-in-arms to celebrate your cheapness with. Well, if you're on the West Coast--or will be the fourth weekend in September--here's your chance. Just bring your cheapest 4x4 to the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area in Gorman, California, September 24-25, 2005, during the California Off-Road Vehicle Association's (CORVA) Southern Jamboree. We're not putting on any kind of event or hosting any big trail ride, but the staff of 4-Wheel & Off-Road will be there in full force, wheeling in our nickel-and-dime 4x4s.
Our plan is to roll in on Saturday morning and set up camp. We'll play around in the four-wheel-drive practice area next to the Aliklik campground for a little while and then poke our way around a few of the marked trails. You'll know our caravan when you see it, 'cause we'll be the guys having fun with some of the most clapped-out 4x4s you've ever seen. If the weather's good, we'll spend the night at Editor Rick Pw's favorite campsite in Hungry Valley and repair our piles enough to limp them home Sunday afternoon.
It'll be a great time, and we'd love to see you come out with your friends and family for some real grassroots off-roading. Plus, we'd love to see the kinds of creations you've put together with a $1,500 budget. We know they'll be better than ours.
Remember, the Cheap Truck Challenge isn't a competition. It's just an excuse to get out for a weekend full of low-buck fun. If you make it there, have a good time, and get home to tell your buddies about it, then you're a winner. If you don't, you get an F. And we will be taking attendance. While we can't promise to shoot a feature on everybody's 4x4 that does show up, we will be there with our cameras, stickers, and the Primedia corporate helicopter. OK, that last part's not true, but would you really want a ride in a $1,500 helicopter? No, you wouldn't. There also won't be any judging, racing, bragging, or prizes handed out. It's all just for fun. The way it should be. And it may just be the best thing we do all year. Keep an eye on www.4wheeloffroad.com for any updates or last-minute changes. We hope you all can make it.
--The Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it costs $5 per vehicle to get in
--Camp facilities are primitive
--Motorhomes are welcome
--The closest real city is Santa Clarita
--The closest parts store is an Auto Parts Plus that's one exit north on Frazier Park Mountain Road. The phone number is 661.248.6404.
--There are two gas stations in Gorman, both have diesel
--There's a 54-room Econo Lodge in town if you're afraid of camping (661.248.6411) and it's pet-friendly
--Albert's Auto Electric in Gorman rents U-Haul trucks and trailers, but you might want to call ahead (661.248.2223) and make a reservation if you think you could need one.
--Take I-5 north from Los Angeles to the Gorman exit
--Turn left at the bottom of the exit ramp
--Turn right after the McDonald's
--Go north 1 1/2 miles and turn left into the main entrance
If you have questions about the Cheap Truck Challenge, check out the sites listed below, or send an e-mail to: email@example.com