Tillamook Jeep Jamboree

What is a Jeep jamboree you ask? Near as I can tell, a Jeep jamboree is where a bunch of Jeep inclined people climb into their Jeeps then drive their Jeeps for insane distances in order to meet other Jeep people for the express purpose of going jeeping… Sounds like fun to me!

I left Edmonton Tuesday afternoon to arrive in Kelowna, BC Tuesday evening. I like the scenic route so I took Saskatchewan crossing. The stretch along Abraham lake is gorgeous with very little traffic. Plus it’s nice to get some glam photos along Abraham lake.


700km. Poof. Gone like that and the Jeep didn’t miss a beat. So far so good.

Picked up my brother and his family in Kelowna. He and his family use a 2014 wrangler JK Rubicon to my 2005 Wrangler LJ. For those that don’t know Jeeps, that means that my Jeep is older and cooler. His Jeep is newer. And just a JK. Lol. He’s gonna roast me for that someday.

Sprung his kids from school on Wednesday after killing most of the day sitting on my brothers bodacious deck watching the lake.

Yes. I’m trying to make up for slagging his JK. He knows I’m kidding tho. Right bro?

At any rate, Wednesday we beetled down to Yakima WA to meet some of his friends that were already jeeping their way south. Poof. Another 513km gone and no Jeep issues. I’m on a roll!

On the way we saw what appears to be the largest waterfall int he world…  A bazillion years ago.

Old falls 32Old fall 2


Thursday we start meeting more travel companions. Stu & his crew met us Yakima. Thursday afternoon we meet Dave & his missus out of Red Deer. As we cruise along suddenly the battery in my brothers JK drops out. His little fridge must have killed the battery as we were driving. Or that’s what we assume it is when his Jeep won’t even turn over at the gas pumps in some small random gas station.

We boosted his JK, but the instrument cluster was not liking it so the battery was likely toast. Got it sorted at a Jeep dealer on the route & we were off like a herd of turtles again.

Followed along the Columbia river basin for part of the day into a gale force wind. Luckily the Jeep LJ is one of the most aerodynamic cubes you’ve ever seen. I’m getting more used to driving the Jeep now. At 100 it’s smooth as glass. At 110 it’s running good but lively. At 120… it takes focus. 110 it is!

Brief stop at Multnomah Falls, WA.  Very picturesque.

3Multnomah Falls

Finally roll into Tillamook, OR Thursday afternoon. Line up for the vehicle technical evaluation and wait.


I feel sorta bad. Parked on one side of me are 2 JK’s customized with a ton of AEV parts.  Someone put a TON of money into these things. I hope nothing falls off my Jeep and hits theirs.

The technical evaluation is sort of neat. They ask about your off-road experience, and what you’ve done to the Jeep in terms of upgrades then give you an estimated capability score. My Jeep scored a 7/10!

I’m not actually sure what a 7 means but I choose to be impressed. Some of the more stock Rubicon’s got in the 4 to 5 range. So I’ll take the 7. The big skookum Jeeps probably got closer to a 10 than I’ll ever see… maybe.

Now we move inside to register for our trails. Trails are rated by difficulty from a 1 to 10. If your Jeep is a 5 but you wanna do a 7 trail… damage may happen. It’s a cool system.

We’re a big group from Canada now. 6 jeeps that range from a 4 to a 7 rating and we ALL want to go on the same trails at the same time and the groups top out at 10. So we choose to drive on the beach (sand lake) and for a tougher trail we hit stick in the nose. Rated a 5 to 7 I think.

Trails all selected we hit the campground. We chose cape lookout state park for its proximity to the ocean, and got some great spots along the water you can’t see the ocean but you could sure hear it.

Friday we were ready to hit the trail. We started with sand lake, an OHV park where you can drive up the beach and play in the sand dunes. We played in the dunes climbing hills, cruised up and down the beach and generally caused mayhem all day Friday. In the dunes we explored some super steep sections that no one could slimy and worked our way down to less steep hills that we could make it up. That was a unique experience for this prairie boy.

6Sand lake rd7Sand lake dunes8Sand lake beach

After sand lake we head back into the hills to hit Jeep trail passing a dirigible hangar commissioned in 1942

8Air museum

The hit some elevation on Jeep trail.

9Jeep trail

Back in camp Friday my brothers kids hit the beach.  I tell ya.  You ever take a kid near water they’re gonna end up in it.  I’m standing on the beach in a toque, it’s 12deg C and they’re stripped an running like fools on the beach.


It rained a bit during the day Friday, a little storm had come through during the day and squashed… ALL the tents. Small big and otherwise. Bent my aluminum poles and tore one of our crews tent right down breaking poles.  I didn’t lose anything but some years off the poles. One of our group had pretty soggy bedding and left them searching for a hotel room. Bummer.


Friday night fell asleep listening to the surf… ahhhh.

Saturday we’ve signed up for a more technical trail. This is my brother and I airing down…  Or killing time while everyone else does.  🙂

12Brothers falls

The trail is steep and soooo much fun. Boulders, tight trails, sharp hills, hair pins and… we’ll just look at the photos. Awesome time wheeling. Even in a little rain.

14Hill 213Hill 115rock garden 116rock garden 217v notch 118v notch 2

Saturday night at the wind up party there were some prizes to hand out, and one of the Canadian group won! Yup. I won a prize. I don’t know what the prize is yet. I’ll get a call from a sponsor at some point but I could use a long travel suspension kit for an LJ. Lol. I don’t think I’ll hold my breath. 😀

Sunday there was nothing left to do but drive home. I always like the scenic route but after winding up the coast and through some inland highways it was finally time to hit the interstate… or I thought so until I hit the interstate and slowed to a crawl. I knew better too. I shoulda taken the scenic route. Lol

Monday was the last travel day. Bam. 4300km or so. Jeep made it home and only one small issue. I think a u-joint is squeaking. I better get that sorted so I can do some more topless cruising!

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