- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jeep Jamboree USA has kicked off the 2007 event calendar with a winter Jeep Jamboree trip to Alaska and has added two other new trips to its U.S. itinerary. The family-oriented four-wheel-drive outings are designed for all levels of expertise — from beginner to seasoned off-roader — and provide instructional guidance over the course of two full days (Fridays and Saturdays) in a variety of locations in America’s backcountry.

It all started when Mark A. Smith and a group of Rotarians in Georgetown, Calif., organized the first Jeepers Jamboree, crossing the Rubicon Trail in 1953, as a way to boost the local economy. The concept made history.

In 1954 Willys Motors — then the maker of Jeeps — became involved, but Mr. Smith made it a lifestyle. Today thousands of Jeep enthusiasts have attended Jeep Jamborees, now held in nearly three dozen locations throughout the country. In fact, nearly 7,000 enthusiasts ranging in age from 4 months to 86 years participated in Jeep Jamboree adventures in 2006.

There are also offshoot 4WD events in Canada and Mexico. Mr. Smith also has helped organize other Jeep Jamborees, in locations ranging from Australia to South America.

New locations for 2007 include the Northern Lights Jeep Jamboree in Alaska and the Sea of Cortez Jeep Jamboree in Mexico’s Baja.

Events run February through October and cover every region of the country with destinations selected for scenic and historical value as well as four-wheel-drive trails. While most participants are Jeep owners, Jeep Jamboree USA provides information about rentals for attendees, who must drive a Jeep vehicle on the trip. Trails, which are rated on a scale of 1-to-10 for difficulty, accommodate both stock and modified vehicles, although the program emphasizes a “family friendly,” not “hard-core” image. In some locations, tow hooks are recommended or required.

For further information about Jeep Jamboree USA programs, contact 530/333-4777. To receive a free 2007 guidebook, call 800/925-JEEP. The Jeep Jamboree USA guidebook, with event dates and details, is available on-line at www.jeepjamboreeusa.com.

Jeep Jamboree Date/City/State

Texas Spur; March 23, 24, 25; Llano, Texas

Sea of Cortez with Mark A. Smith (new); March 29, 30, 31/April 1, 2; San Felipe, Baja California

Arch Canyon; April 20, 21, 22; Blanding, Utah

Tennessee Mountains; April 20, 21, 22; Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Cajun; April 27, 28, 29; St. Francisville, La.

Top of the Ozarks; April 27, 28, 29; Seymour, Mo.

Palo Duro; May 4, 5, 6; Amarillo, Texas

Land Between the Lakes; May 4, 5, 6; Marshall County, Ky.

Big Bear; May 18, 19, 20; Big Bear Lake, Calif.

Pine Barrens; May 18, 19, 20; Hammonton, N.J.

Oak Ridge; June 1, 2, 3; Nelson County, Va.

Paragon Adventure; June 1, 2, 3; Hazleton, Pa.

Canyon de Chelly; June 8, 9, 10; Chinle, Ariz.

Drummond Island; June 15, 16, 17; Drummond Island, Mich.

Killington (new); June 15, 16, 17; Killington, Vt.

Alaskan Adventure with Mark A. Smith (new); June 21, 22, 23, 24, 25; Palmer,Alaska

Penn’s Woods; June 22, 23, 24; Bradford, Pa.

Ruby Mountains; June 29, 30, July 1; Elko, Nev.

Snowshoe Mountain; July 20, 21, 22; Snowshoe, W.Va.

Rubicon Trail; Aug. 17, 18, 19; Rubicon Trail, Calif.

Mark A. Smith Rubicon Trail Adventure No. 1; Aug. 24, 25, 26; Rubicon Trail, Calif.

Mark A. Smith Rubicon Trail Adventure No. 2; Sept. 7, 8, 9; Rubicon Trail, Calif.

Fall Texas Spur (new); Sept. 14-16; Llano, Texas

Ouray; Sept. 14, 15, 16; Ouray, Colo.

Catskill Mountains; Sept. 21, 22, 23; Monticello, N.Y.

Northwoods; Sept. 28, 29, 30; Crandon, Wis.

Maine Mountains; Sept. 28, 29, 30; Bethel, Maine

Appalachian; Oct. 12, 13, 14; Murphy, N.C.

French Lick; Oct. 12, 13, 14; French Lick, Ind.

Gateway to the Cumberlands; Oct. 19, 20, 21; Williamsburg, Ky.

Moab; Oct. 19, 20, 21; Moab, Utah

Salton Sea (new); Oct. 26, 27, 28; Salton Sea, Calif.

Ouachita; Oct. 26, 27, 28; Hot Springs, Ark.

(Schedule is tentative)

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