Today I joined my offroading friends for a day of wheeling in our “back yard” trails. It was a big day for me and my rig, as it marked the first time I was meeting up driving a Toyota. This group of friends had grown and bonded over our common JKs – build parties installing coil overs, and offroad/camping trips in Moab, the Rubicon, and elsewhere.
So it was a moment of truth for me – was selling my JK and buying a 25 year old Land Cruiser a good choice?
After the initial ribbing and airing down was over, we hit Archer’s Firebreak. This was an awesome trail choice – Archer’s was my favorite trail in the JK, and one I led every year for the Jeep Jamboree. So I had a lot of history with it and knew it well. However, I had never wheeled it in anything other than the JK. Now I was in a Toyota. And an automatic.
The biggest difference for me this time, was that I would bypass the burly stuff. I was without rock rails, skids, and confidence in the new rig.
I pulled into my driveway at 12:30AM this morning. The Jeep is covered in beach sand, trail dust, and mud. Camera parts, snack bags, and camping gear still litters the Jeep. This is all the result of one thing: an amazing 1st Annual Jeep Jamboree for Tillamook, Oregon.
The first day, I setup my makeshift camp in the open field at Tillamook Fairgrounds. It was awesome to see all the Jeeps filing in as the day progressed. Jeeps of all ages and makes made the journey – Cherokees, Grands, and Wranglers from early CJs through the latest JKs.
I have always heard about this mythical place called Sand Lake, but never really wanted to go there. Maybe it’s the name. A lake of sand doesn’t necessarily sound appealing. But when I had an invite from a couple of Jeep friends to camp for the weekend, I took the chance.
Sand Lake is a recreation area just South of Tillamook on the Oregon Coast. Getting there is a cinch and it is nice to pass Brown’s Camp should the desire for another type of wheeling strike you on your way home.
I headed toward “Derrick Road” where I would eventually meet my friends and set up camp. The road ends at the camp area, a small sandy (surprise!) enclave of trees with primitive campsites, fire rings, and pit toilets. The end of the camp area is basically the entrance to the recreation area.
Once my friends arrived, we aired down and headed out to explore this expansive play area.