Developing a new wheeling TMTC area
This came to me today as an email...
It was written by another officer with my S.A. Jeep Club S.A.J.E..
It is her trail report of a new area TMTC is developing just outside Ozona, Texas.
Would you like to see pics?
ESCONDIDO DRAW - JULY 25-27
Thank you Hurricane Dolly! Expecting to be blazing hot for the end of July in Ozona, we were surprised to have very pleasant weather! Overcast skies and a pretty constant breeze blew on Friday and Saturday with Sunday coming around for a more typical west Texas day. Artie and I even slept with just the windows open on Friday night and the cool breeze brought the bigger blanket out by morning! Couldn’t have asked for better weather!
Upon our arrival late Friday afternoon, Larry Lancaster, Mike Zumwalt and son Zach, and several other TMTC members had nearly completed cutting the first trail. Calling it a day, it was back to camp for cooking and comradery. Joining the campout was John Flowers and son Bryce with friends Patrick, Kyle, JB and Sidney.
Saturday’s goal was to finish cutting the first trail, but of course you have to run it to where you left off, right? Doing this, we had some fun before the work began. The last section was cut and cleared, bringing this the first cut trail in Escondido Draw! This trail had been scouted by Larry and Artie way back in April. In truth, this trail still has an easier route section to be cut that is densely covered cedar. When it is completed as planned, it will have the main trail and two alternate "loops" that add some off camber challenges.
The TMTC was holding their meeting in Ozona that afternoon, along with meeting and greeting some of the Ozona locals. The locals furnished hot dogs and hamburgers to those attending. Back at camp the rest of the day was spent just cruising the ranch roads, getting ourselves familiar with the lay of the land. Artie and I went scouting for more trails. After walking up a couple of draws we found another good possibility, flagging it to return again.
Sunday morning saw most everyone leaving out to head home, but Larry and us hadn’t had enough. We went to look at our scouted trail and decided it was worthy of being trail #2 to be cut for next time. This trail will begin easy and work its way up to a category 5 or better. We hope to have a bail out spot for those that do not want to complete the extreme part of the trail. The final elevation gives you 4, yes 4, waterfalls before you top out the ridge! Each waterfall has a platform, so if a rollover does occur, you should just land it there and stop. One waterfall may require a permanent wench point.
Escondido Draw is definitely out yonder, but what it brings to the outdoor enthusiast is just that. The feeling of being absolutely away from all hustle and bustle. Stars shining brightly with no outside lights interrupting their beauty. Silence - ever heard it? What a place to unwind - not completely - cause cell phones do work! Drawbacks at this point is that it has VERY dense vegetation of scrub brush and cedar. It is HARD WORK cutting trails. It is hard to navigate just to scout trails! There are no tall hardwood trees, so camping under the shady spot of an oak tree really doesn’t exist. This is the ground floor – there is MUCH work ahead. For some, this is part of the fun - being part of the pioneer spirit, blazing that trail, being the first to drive over it, just knowing your sweat and hard work got you there. Helping in the formation of a new area is a worthy cause to many. Personally, I think this is going to be a great place to come to for folks in central Texas.
Bunny Erfurt, Bandera Texas
Just checking to make sure you were awake!
Looks like it definitely has some potential as a trail system. Natural corridors where vegetation won't be disturbed. Sustainable rock ledge that won't degrade much over time. And some of it looks fairly challenging. You all might have yourselves a hit.
Is that somewhere remotely by you and Scout, Greg?
It's a GREAT PLACE TO BREAK STUFF!!!
Here is more info!
Who knows after the trails get cut we could have a Texas WF get together out there.
If you want to go out there for a workday I can get us an invite!
Greg, thanks for putting that website up. We've been running into issues with our RTP monies out here and I've never seen of this group in Texas before. Several ideas have now popped into my head. :D
I love Jeep Jamboree...
We have three of them in Texas more that any other state.
I know that for some folks it might be outside the price point they can swallow.
So yes we need to open more options in West Texas especially because its so dang far to get anywhere else.
My Friend Larry Lancaster is a member of S.A.J.E. in San Antonio he will be out there working on this project a lot.
I have a selfish reason for talking this up too...
It's about half way from San Antonio and Odessa and if my S.A.J.E. come up I can see them and wheel a whole lot more with out having to drop $250.00 in gas for a wheeling trip like when I go to Llano and Palo Duro for Jamboree Events.
Also however much I hate the pay for wheeling venues, I do know that in today's climate they are a necessary evil and honestly can be used to save land that otherwise wouldn't be saved. Like area BFE in Moab.
I see a work day in Ozona on Oct.
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