JNT Denton run, July 2000

note: the ORV area in Denton was on private property and has been shut down.

Sunday, July 23, 2000. Denton, TX.

Finally, my first trail run in Texas and my first trail run with the Jeeps of North Texas (JNT). We started the day out by meeting at the Sonic off 288 in Denton at 11am for some burgers and Jeep chat. After checking out everyone’s rigs and talking Jeeps for a bit, we had a short driver’s meeting and hit the road on our way to the “playground”. The playground is a relatively small area full of motorcycle and ATV trails (most of which are wide enough for 4×4’s), which means lots of humps, bumps, and hills to play on. It’s not a very technical area, as far as driving is concerned, and there are no rocks to be found, but if you’re looking for some 4×4 fun, this is the place. The playground has steep hills, some off-camber fun, and lots of places to get really crossed up and really find out all the places where those 33’s you just put on rub…

Once we got into the playground, we all stopped to air down, disconnect, and lock in (if you had ’em). From there we hit the first obstacle which was a tiny hump, before dropping into a pair of gullies. The way you got out of the gullies was to climb up a steep embankment, which made for some great photo ops of Jeeps pulling wheelies. Most of the Jeeps in the group that wanted to managed to catch some air under the front tires, even if it was only a couple of inches. Both WJ’s caught air which I thought was pretty cool.

After everyone successfully made it up the hill, we split up into smaller groups and were basically free to roam about the playground as we wished. The three of us in XJ’s stuck together most of the afternoon, along with one of the WJ’s and a TJ every now and then. We took some hills, got crossed up, listened to my 33’s munch my fenders (guess I didn’t trim enough, whoops), and watched a newbie in a TJ slide down a hill when his brakes locked up because he wasn’t using any engine compression to slow him down. The TJ wasn’t damaged and no one was hurt, and I think the driver learned a valuable lesson in off-road driving, though the situation could have easily been worse.

By 3pm most of the group had already left, and it was starting to get hot, so a few of us decided to try and catch some more air on the first hill before heading home. Mitch Patureau (bottom left photo) wound up putting on an air show by launching his XJ a few feet in the air, which really surprised all of us, including him. The only damage his rig suffered was a slight bend in the front right rim. After a couple more rigs ran the hill we headed back to Sonic for more burgers and Jeep talk before going home.

There were about 30-40 Jeeps all together, ranging from bone stock to hardcore, with TJ’s and CJ’s being the rigs of choice. There were a handful of YJ’s there too, and I was one of only three XJ’s. There was also a pair of WJ’s that came along. The trails at the playground offered something for everyone, and I think it’s a great place for beginners to test out their rigs and gain driving experience. I thought it was also pretty fun for those of us with built rigs and a few years experience as well. I know I’ll definitely be heading back to Denton again to get crossed up and catch some air, but next time I think I’ll bring a video camera… 😉

Photos from Bob Lionel
Photos from Dan Hoffmann
Photos from Greg Rice

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