1st Annual Flatlanders 4×4 Fest, 2 May 1998

The Flatlanders Jeep Club of northeast Kansas has started sponsoring an annual event as a replacement for the now-defunct Ft. Riley Jeep Jamboree. This is an all-day event that includes lunch, a dash plaque, numerous door prizes, and many hours of organized wheeling on trails of three difficulty levels. A pretty good deal for the meager $25 registration fee, if we do say so ourselves.

The first instance of this event was held 2 May 98, and had a pretty good turnout of 59 vehicles. We managed to avoid the rain that was threatened, and had mostly-sunny skies and 60-degree temperatures. We were quite relieved, since the Briggs Jeep Jamboree the previous October had pouring rain the entire day, which turned the ORV area into soup and eliminated any hope of climbing any but the easiest hills.

The registrants were split into groups of a dozen or so vehicles, each with an experienced trail leader and tail gunner. Each difficulty level followed a pre-defined course in the morning, then returned to the Randolph city park for lunch. In the afternoon, they ran the same trails in reverse, which added a different spin on things. Those that wanted to change trails for the afternoon run were welcome to do so.

Nick Falcetto went on the hard trail in the morning, and gave this trip report.

Obi-Wan went on the moderate trail all day, and gave this trip report.

David Rush was tail gunner for the easy trail, and gave this trip report.

After the afternoon runs, registrants gathered back at the park for the drawing for a new Hi-Lift jack, a CB, a 9-gallon air tank, and numerous other door prizes. A brief club meeting followed, and we had vacated the park by 5:30pm. The worst breakage of the day was a broken axle stub shaft by Jim Arp on Arp Hill (appropriately), but thanks to some charismatic campaigning on Jim’s part, this month’s Hard Luck Trophy was awarded to Doug Knox for his little mishap the week before while preparing for the 4×4 Fest.


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