After having such a blast on our Hot Springs run back in June we knew we had to go again soon, but not until the weather was cooler. Fall in Hot Springs has near-perfect weather for wheelin’, so we started planning another trip for October. Our local Jeep club, LoneStar Jeep Club, was also planning a Hot Springs trip in October, so we decided to make it one big joint run. But then the hurricanes hit, and gas prices skyrocketed to even higher than they had before, and most of the Jeepin.com gang had to drop out since most of them that had planned on coming faced a much longer drive than the 5.5 hours it takes us to get there from Dallas. We did end up having some Jeepin.com folks from Arkansas and the Dallas area show up though, and LSJC had a good turn out, so we had lots of Jeeps out on the mountain that weekend.
Unlike our last two trips to the Superlift ORV Park, we decided to actually camp out at the park, vs staying at the Hot Springs KOA. While I missed the high-speed wireless internet access available at the KOA, we had a great time camping. The facilities at the ORV Park are fantastic and feature a wooded tent-camping area and RV spots with water and electrical hook-ups. The bath house at the park is nice too, with a motion-sensative light outside for those late night bathroom trips and a fully heated and cooled inside. There are seperate men’s and women’s sides of course.
We knew we had to come back early on sunday, so we drove out on thursday so that we’d have all day friday and saturday to run trails. We spent the whole time there running 3, 4, and 5 diamond rated trails (5 being the hardest) and wheeled some of the best terrain we’ve been on so far. We wheeled many of the same trails we’d done back in June, but they’d gotten considerably more difficult since then, and we wheeled a lot of new trails we hadn’t gotten to run before. My skids and rocker guards definitely got a good workout.
On friday we also got to explore some adjacent land that Superlift is looking at adding to the park. The really cool part about that for me was that it’s an area that I’d gotten to wheel on during the Ouachita Jeep Jamboree in 1996 back when I was still very new to Jeeps and wheelin’.
Saturday night we (Jennifer and I) hosted a big hamburger and hotdog cookout for everyone.
The carnage list for the group for the weekend wasn’t too bad, we got some minor body damage on the left rear quarter panel and roof thanks to a tree (no ring gear bolt issues this time though, whoo-hoo!) along with a dislocated muffler (big thanks to Mark Hinkley for the trail-side welding fix!), our friend Rick suffered a dead York air compressor and fluky fuel pump on his CJ5 frankenjeep. Various other Jeeps suffered minor body damage, a bent tierod, a seriously tweaked crossmember, and one unlucky Rubicon broke some front axle shafts.
Here are a few highlight photos from the trip, be sure to check out all our pics from the trip in our photo album.