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Cypress Offroad

 Pictures - '07 YO Wheelin Event 

YO Ranch Wheelin'
Mountain Home, Texas - July 6-7, 2007
Located in Mountain Home, Texas just outside Kerrville, YO Ranch offers 40,000 Acres of wheelin' fun. They have an awesome Swimming Pool and Hot Tub that overlooks gorgeous scenery below. The lodge, pavilion and Chuckwagon are as eccentric and antique as the ranch itself. Besides Wheelin' they also offer City Slicker Cattle drives, Cowboy camps, and of course hunting for exotics and native animals. YO Ranch Website

The YO Ranch is an amazing place. Dating back to 1880's, it's not a very hospitable place. It is dry, rocky and very hot, at least during the summer. It's hard to imagine the first settlers dealing with the hardships that come along with the area or the large amount of history that took place here.

At $200 dollars a vehicle and driver, $75 a passenger and $30 dollars to camp this wasn't the least expensive run that I've been on but it was well worth it.

Arrival Buck Old Wagon Longhorns

We had four Jeeps and seven people from Cypress Offroad. Unfortunately I wasn't able to bring my Jeep. I had just finished repairing a damaged locker the week before and I was still having some issues with my brakes. Chuck (Silver TJ) was kind enough to offer me a seat as his co-pilot and I offered up my tow rig to get us there. It was a win win situation. It also allowed me to get about an hour and a half of video during the trip that wouldn't have been possible if I was a pilot.

We packed up Thursday night and headed out at 6:30am Friday morning from Love's Truck stop on 290 and 2920 with Mike (Red TJ with Tube fenders). We had a little trailer trouble which added a little time but still arrived at the ranch a little after 2pm. BT and Debbie (Gray CJ7), whom had arrived earlier, were waiting for us to show us where to go. We set up camp and when Rob and Tammy arrived (Red TJ) and we got them unloaded and we were set.

We headed to the pavilion for dinner and to sign up for the trail that we wanted. It was decided that we would run on the orange team which was a medium difficulty group so we could encompass all of our group.

Camp Camp Dinner Friday Night

Turns out the Red team (Hard Team) didn't have enough participants and ended up being spread throughout the other groups. I believe we all ran the same trails anyway. It was just that the more extreme vehicles got to try harder challenges along the way while the more stock vehicles could bypass them.

Friday night's dinner was steaks cooked over a giant pit right in front of us. Of course they had potato's, salad and homemade peach cobbler to go along with it. This was one of the best meals I've had outside of an expensive steak restaurant.

After dinner we drove around on the ranch roads just scoping out the place. To give you an idea of scale, once you enter the gate it's about ten miles to actually get to the ranch base camp.

Saturday we woke up early and were ready to wheel. They served us a home cooked cowboy breakfast and I'm talking eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy and all the works. If it seems like I'm mentioning the food a lot it's because it was that good.

Rob BT Rob Chuck

This run was open to all 4x4 vehicles. So there were toyotas, samurais, a hummer or two and of course lots of Jeeps. It's always fun to look at all the vehicles with their different modifications. Our group was only Jeeps. We had from as old as a 1973 CJ5 all the way up to a current model JK wrangler. It was amazing to me how many people were from Houston and the surrounding area.

After a brief safety and driver's meeting we picked up our sack lunches and we headed out to wheel. The terrain is a lot of loose rock and due to all the rain we had this season we had to gather momentum for many of the steeper hill climbs. The dark mud was very sticky and our tires had a hard time self cleaning in some cases.

Kenny BT Rob Chuck

Saturday we ran Javelina Gulch, Javelina Creek and Wrangler Ridges. Most of these trails were relatively easy low lying trails cutting in and out of dry creek beds. As most runs that are well co-ordinated you run the easy trails first to determine what level your participants are at before moving to the harder trails.

Saturday evening our meal was hamburgers and sausages grilled over the pit in a similar fashion to Friday. Once again a delicious meal and we were all very satisfied. After dinner they had a Pinata for the children and another for the adults. The adult pinata was fun to watch because they really worked to make it very tough. Of course both were filled with candy and the kids had a blast. The raffle had some excellent prizes. I think everyone under the age of 13 or so won some sort of toy and the adults won things from T-shirts to Cattle drive coupons. I think one participant even won a welder.

BT Mike Chuck BT

They had a really nice fireworks display after the festivities were done. We were able to hang out at the pool, drink a few beers and watch the show.

Sunday we only wheeled until noon. We were able to cover a fair amount of trails many of them much harder than Saturday. These trails seemed to be really good for everyone because there were some really hard lines that would split off from the normal trails for the more hardcore group. I believe we ran Ranchlands, Cherokee Hill and Boulder Ridge trails. On one of these trails was "the wall". It was essentially a vertical climb with a ledge running along the right side. The driver can't see this ledge and in most cases doesn't have a whole lot of traction on the front tires to turn. If you can get enough momentum to get to started up the hill you need to immediately turn left to avoid the ledge or it will knock you backwards and make you shoot right back down. Sometimes it would raise your front end even higher and since you are near vertical it was quite scary.

Our trail leaders Kenny Reed, Mike Woitena, Sam Davis and Greg Machado from Jeeptales were great. They did their job carefully directing us over obstacles and through the beautiful Hill Country Trails. These trail guides were provided by Austin Jeep Exclusive and San Antonio Jeep Exclusive. There was no breakage that I know of besides a bent tie rod on one Jeep and some very minor body damage on another. This really shows that these guides knew what they were doing and gave confidence to the participants. We did hear that another group had a Toyota buggy that rolled and the participants had some slight injuries. We all hope for their speedy recovery.

The wildlife is an experience I will never forget. The longhorns were amazing and the deer ran rampant. We saw exotics like zebras, camels, and giraffes. Of course we saw donkeys, goats a few snakes, raccoons and other critters too. This was without going on the wildlife tour that they offered us Sunday morning. I guess the ranch had spread corn throughout the camp area to attract some of these animals to us.

Thank You to the YO Ranch and our trail guides for having us and putting on a great event. Although I heard rumor that there may not be many more Wheelin events. I can just hope that the rumor is not true. Thanks to Tammy for the pictures.

Adam "tank" Miller

Do you have more pictures or info about this run. Contact Me.

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YO Ranch


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