Jeep Fest 2021
This past weekend was Bantam Jeep Fest 2021. I guess I don't really have a category for "Here's a thing that was fun" so the Workbench category will have to do.
Beth & I poured beer samples for Big Rail and she was gracious enough to hang out at the booth while I went out to do trails with Dad. Dad & I also did the Jeep Parade and invasion in downtown Butler Friday night. The biggest surprise of that evening was how many hilarious comments we got when people saw the two kegs of beer sitting in the back of the TJ! ("Now I can see why everyone's following you!" ... "Those guys really know how to party!" ... etc)
Saturday, I did two intermediate trails... one with Dad (he loved it) and one by myself (I loved it too). It was the first time I'd done anything remotely challenging with my Jeep (an '05 TJ) and I was pleasantly suprised how well it performed. I was a bit overly cautious at first, then gradually my confidence increased and I was able to get through obstacles a bit quicker and not hold up the group. I'm sure, though, that they have to design their trails to work for the lowest in-category common denominator (i.e., Jeeps with a minimum tire size of 35") and keep a decent pace within each group of 10 that went out -- so I shouldn't let it go to my head. However, I will say that I think I'm ready to try out an offroading trip somewhere with a small group where I can do more difficult trails and take my time to learn... I'm not a complete novice any more.
On Saturday, we had a decent turn out of Jeeps at the brewery: about 12-15 showed up over the course of the night. That's a pretty good start for a brand new tradition. The band Saturday was the Glenn Strother Project (a trio in this case), and man they sounded fantastic. I hope they are up for performing there a lot, because they're getting invited back for sure.
One cool thing that happened is that as I was in line airing-down for one of the off-site Bantam Property trails on Sunday, the couple in the Jeep ahead of me turned out to be Big Rail regulars. Small world! Unfortunately, right after airing down, I could not get the TJ into 4-low. At first, I thought that it was some kind of damage to the linkage (which is up under the skid plate) and I wouldn't be able to run the trail at all. So I ended up pulling over in the grass and messing with it for a while, trying to understand how the linkage works. Turns out the skid plate didn't get in the way, and I was able to get it working again... so I headed back and did the trail about 45 mins after I was supposed to go. Thankfully the ol' TJ gave me no issues.
The last couple pics are of a friend's incredible CJ with a 4BT, which he let us show off as eye candy for those entering the brewery during the weekend. It's an absolute beast.