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Cumberland Falls Jeep Jamboree
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2000 Cumberland Falls Jeep Jamborees
Williamsburg, Kentucky
by: Chad Adams
Photos by: Chad Adams and Tim Rettig

The day started out beautifully. The morning was crystal clear while maintaining that cool October atmosphere that the east coast can be famous for. By the time we were ready to hit the trail, the sun had burnt off most of the underlying fog, and the sound of the woods calling our name was starting to be heard.

Cumberland Falls Cumberland Falls

The trail that I helped lead is called “Cliffhanger”. Cliffhanger is a 5 (out of 10) rated trail, with a lot of scenery and a few obstacles to overtake. It is a challenging trail to the first time trail rider, and is well worth the trip for anyone who likes to partake in the beauty Mother Nature has to offer. With nineteen Jeeps and two Trail Guides in line, we were off on our adventure.

Cumberland Falls Cumberland Falls
Cumberland Falls Cumberland Falls

Cliffhanger, which is run mostly on private property, has some of the best scenery on an OHV trail that I have seen to date, while adding some moderately challenging terrain, especially for the stock vehicle. One lesson that most Jamboree attendee’s learn is tire placement. Shortly into our trail, that lesson was driven home hard when a 97 TJ (stock, 30” wheels) slammed its oil pan onto a jagged rock, poking a hole the size of a ink pen into the oil pan, directly where the plug goes. Oil was spewing down the trail, and was noticed by one of the participants who pointed it out to me. It didn’t take long to find the vehicle, which was doing its best impression of the Exxon Valdez.

We carefully used bottles to catch the oil in, and what we missed was collected with a shovel and put into a trash bag and hauled out of the woods. The lead Trail Guide (Tim Rettig) and myself were sure to collect as much of the fluid as we could. We are both members of Tread Lightly!, a sponsor of Jeep Jamboree, and Tim is a representative of Blue Ribbon Coalition, so we were sure to show the event goers the proper procedure in recovery of spilled fluids while on the trail.

We ended up towing the broken rig out of the woods to an awaiting tow truck at a nearby gas station. The tow got the vehicle back to the local Jeep dealership, who had the TJ back on the road in a matter of only a few hours.

By the time I had gotten back to our group, they had all made it over the roughest obstacle and were on the home stretch. The only other damaged noted was a grapefruit size dent into the rear quarter panel of a brand new Grand Cherokee. Everyone had a great time, and we stopped by the land owner's establishment after the trail ended so that everyone could thank him for the usage of his property.

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