Back to Uvalde Main Page

Back to the Features Page

Story By, Lance Morin
Photos By, Lance Morin, Mike Klinke and Marc & Melissa Haught

©1997-2010 ROCKCRAWLER 4x4 and Off-Road Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

4th of July 4x4 Spectacular
Uvalde, Texas
June 3-5, 1998

A group of ten vehicles from North Texas began the trek down to Uvalde about 6:00pm on Thursday evening. Amazingly enough, all ten vehicles were different. Among our group were a red Jeep CJ, a blue Suzuki Samurai, a maroon Isuzu Trooper, a black Toyota Tacoma, a red AMG Hummer, a white Ford F-250, an olive colored Land Rover Discovery, a white Chevy Tahoe, a black Land Rover Defender 90 and a white Chevy S-10 Blazer. About thirty minutes into our trip the transmission in Marc Haught's tow vehicle began to overheat. Jessie, the driver of the Ford F-250, offered to tow the Samurai to Uvalde on Marc's behalf. These kinds of things are why people like to group together on long trips.

About 9:00pm we arrived in Austin, a scheduled stop for dinner and gas. Here we visited and dined with a fellow FWD-FWD member, "TxJeeper". After dinner it was off to fill up the gas tanks for the long second half of the trip. Naturally, the gas station we picked did not carry diesel fuel needed by the Hummer. The rest of us filled our tanks anyway. A few miles down I-35 we find a station with fuel for the Hummer. While the Hummer refuels, Jeff Harris "officially" begins the off-roading adventures as he conquered a puddle of mud along side the gas station. Rumor has it that Jeff did in fact get out of the truck, lock the hubs AND engage his winter button, but I have yet to receive confirmation on this. Perhaps he can provide some truth to that rumor next time you see him. I must admit I was impressed with the ability of the "Super" Trooper, which easily conquered this first obstacle of the weekend.

Entering San Antonio, the plan was to take the outside loop around town to Highway 90. This was the route we took, but to our dismay, the loop was shut down for several miles for no apparent reason. We were forced to follow along side the service road through some very steady traffic. We did manage to make it onto the loop and to Hwy 90 for the last leg of the journey. About 1:00am several passengers had gone to sleep, while the drivers did what they could to stay alert. Some sang songs on the CB radio, or told jokes, or listened in amusement to it all. Finally, we pulled into the surprisingly sprawling city of Uvalde, Texas about 2:30am on Friday morning. From here the group split up to find their sleeping quarters at the various hotels, motels, and the RV park.

About 8:45am several members of the host club, 4xFanatics, were out and about making sure all visitors were aware of changes to the registration and staging areas for the Friday run scheduled for 1:00pm. About noon the vehicles begin to pile up for the first run of the three-day event. About 35 vehicles were present for the Friday afternoon run. As we entered the trails of the Dry Frio River things immediately began to get jammed as the Hummers tried to squeeze through the terrain. Fortunately, one of the hosts was tail-gunner and offered to peel off from the back of the pack to lead some of us down to the rock areas while the rest of the group played on the hills.

Moving right along...