This was my third year attending the Lone Star Toyota Jamboree (Jambo). For those who are not familiar with this event, it is held at Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area (BMRA) in Gilmer, TX. With a turnout of a little over 400 vehicles this year, it is one of the largest (if not the largest) Toyota gatherings in the nation.
This was the first off-road event I have attended since the rollover and loss of the FJ earlier this year. It was an odd feeling not having my own rig there. There were times I found myself reaching into my pocket for keys and looking around to see where I parked. As my eyes searched for the FJ, and panic started to set in because I could not find it, I heard my buddies voice say, "If you're looking for the FJ, it's not parked anywhere, but the GX is right there."
My friend Derise was right; the FJ was not there...in its entirety, but some of it was (bumpers, sliders, seats, skid plates, suspension, light bars, etc). The day before he and I left for Jambo, we loaded his Lexus GX 470 with parts from the FJ. Though the FJ itself was not present, nor did it run trails under its own power, some of it did see dirt while there, so by proxy, we wheeled the FJ!
You might be asking yourself, "Why did he bring a quarter of the FJ with him to Jambo?" Well, we sold some of the parts, but we also decided to auction off our Scheel-mann aftermarket seats and Chitown PAX mount with fuel cans. All proceeds from said auction went to Team Overland, a non profit organization dedicated to helping veterans.
The event staff was kind enough to assist in the process and give us space in the main pavilion to display the auctioned items. With the help of the Lone Star Toyota Jamboree off road event and several supporting vendors in the off road community, along with the individuals who purchased the items, we raised $1,250. To make math easier, Bourn Adventure contributed another $250 for a total donation of $1,500 to Team Overland.
To learn more about this donation, Team Overland and others involved, please read our article: Team Overland Donation
I had a unique perspective of Jambo this year. One of the main reasons I attended was to help with media and lend a hand wherever they needed it. I now have a greater appreciation of the hard work, dedication, planning, and coordination that goes into an event like this. It is not only the event staff and volunteers who contribute, but also the vendors. Without them, it would not be the same.
I had the chance to watch Blind Mans Bluff, Lone Star Rock Crawl, and Lone Star Stampede. This was a first for me because, in years past, I was out running trails while these events were going on. Out of those three, I would have to say Blind Mans Bluff was the most entertaining to watch.
In the Blind Mans Bluff event, the driver is blindfolded and has to rely on verbal directions from the passenger/spotter. They have to successfully navigate the obstacle course without hitting any of the cones, backing up, passenger/spotter getting out of the vehicle, or anything else that could penalize their run. Without fail, you see passengers flailing limbs, hear raised voices, and a few choice words as they attempt to steer their partner in the right direction.
This is a great test for any couple who is dating or married. Administrative note, Jambo staff recommends couples who participate in Blind Mans Bluff leave knives and other sharp objects in their tents for obvious reasons.
Jambo also has a great nightlife. With live bands, bonfires, and food, it provides a fun atmosphere for people to share stories and drinks. It does not take long for friendships to start and once made, they last a lifetime. Every year I look forward to meeting up with old friends from past events.
On top of the good food and fun times, there are educational classes and amazing raffles. If you have not made it out to the Lone Star Toyota Jamboree, I highly recommend you do. I hope to see you there next year!
Lone Star Toyota Jamboree: Website
Lone Star Toyota Jamboree: Facebook
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Baker and Ashlie are the owners of Bourn Adventure and together they author the majority of the articles and content found here.