Written by Angelina Prince
As back to school approaches and summer winds down, we can finally look back at the offroading adventures of 2017 and reminisce about what fun they were! Trailfest is LAJOC’s biggest event of the year, both in sheer volume of people and for fundraising purposes. This August long weekend approximately 330 people in 173 jeeps took to the trails on private property in Bobcaygeon for 2 days to put jeeps of all models and vintages as well as a couple chevy pickups to the test! Mother nature threw in her own twist on our trails and after a week of heavy rainfall and high winds, we were gifted with a beautiful weekend, not too warm, with a breeze to keep the bugs at bay; but the bed had been made for some of the slickest trail conditions Trailfest has seen in the past few years.
About twenty rookies took part in our Bumps & Bruises “off-road 101” course and trail challenge on Saturday which set them up with the skills and confidence needed to tackle bigger, tougher trails on Sunday; climbing up Dewdney Mountain; making the edurance-testing trek to the Lake on Rathwell; and tackling the mud bog and steep, tight trail conditions on Timberbear. Folks new to offroading were truly able to see what their stock and modified vehicles were capable of taking on, and learned that the best asset to off-roading you can sometimes have; is a trustworthy spotter or trail guide! If Trailfest was your introduction to wheeling; WELCOME! And we hope to see you back again!
The challenges didn’t stop at the novice groups either; even the most seasoned off-roaders were faced with slick conditions and unforgiving bumps and slides. The Purdy trail claimed a few mirrors, while the Gnarly trail claimed a few license plates and fender flares! PJ’s Waterfall was actually a waterfall as opposed to the faint trickle it has known to be during dryer years and participants who attempted that trail with its new tight and technical section, found themselves digging deep to do some teamwork and recovery to get everyone through. The tougher trails on the property, Over The Ledge & Lunatic Fringe claimed a few victims throughout the weekend, Lunatic Fringe proving that no matter how big your axles are, if you hit hard enough you can break a 5/4 ton truck’s transmission in half. Luckily CAA is more than happy to trek down the unassumed road to Trailfest’s staging field!
After a weekend of wet camping conditions, technical wheeling conditions, good food, and great company, it was time to give away an absolute ton of prizes; all donated by our incredible sponsors. From winches and compressors, coolers, bumpers, fire pits, recovery gear, soft tops, lights, lift kits, wheels, tool boxes & an assortment of other goodies, many people did not go home empty handed! Thank you to everyone who attended, trail guided, volunteered, sponsored, and fed us!
This year the London and Area Jeep Owner’s Club will be donating the profits from Trailfest & other smaller events to Camp Oochigaius; The Kelly Shires Breast Cancer Foundation & The Merrimount Emergency Children’s Shelter, in London. Thank you for supporting our club so we can continue to support those less fortunate than ourselves.
Look for Trailfest 2018 Registration to open March 2018; and be mindful that this event sells out in a hurry!