Rubicon-Proven has been synonymous with Baja-Proven for many years. This speaks well for the Rubicon because a 300-plus-mile Baja race destroys more than half of the vehicles that enter the competition.
Jeepers Jamboree began when a group of local businessmen discussed ways to improve their local economy. The result was the Jeepers Jamboree. On August 29, 1953, 55 vehicles and 155 people left Georgetown, California, on their way past Uncle Tom's Cabin, Wentworth Springs, Loon Lake, Buck Island Lake, and into a base camp at Rubicon Springs. The number of vehicles continued to grow until the Jeepers Jamboree was forced into running two groups into Rubicon Springs. Even then, it set a limit on the number of vehicles for each run. In addition, the Jamboree began using an alternate route to the north end of Loon Lake. This route bypasses Wentworth Springs and takes Ice House Road directly over to Loon Lake where the real action begins. The alternate route is shorter, faster, and immediately drops you from pavement into the rough stuff.
As participants arrived in Georgetown on a hot Wednesday at the end of July for the 50th Anniversary, they checked-in at the Jeepers Jamboree office and received a driver's packet and wristband for each registered guest. Because all of the meals are provided, the wristband provides a way to keep track of 1,800 people at mealtime. After checking-in, most participants took a stroll down Main Street in Georgetown to check out the vendor displays and watch participants arrive. Our favorites were the drivers who arrived in a limousine followed by their 4x4s on a flat bed semitruck. Now that's stylin'.
On Thursday morning, 475 vehicles left Georgetown en route to Rubicon Springs. About one-third of those participants forfeited a free breakfast and lunch and left early to beat the crowd. The Friday run added another 250 vehicles to base camp, and on Saturday Mark Smith, brought in a group from the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, bringing the total number of vehicles in base camp to 800, plus one helicopter. These vehicles carried in nearly 1,800 people to Rubicon Springs for meals and entertainment.
Although the Jeepers Jamboree always begins in Georgetown, most Rubicon bound four-wheelers bypass Georgetown and the washboard section of road from Georgetown to Ice House Road. That section of the Rubicon Springs Road has been commonly referred to as the Road From Hell. Instead, they use Ice House Road from Highway 50 to reach Loon Lake. This more direct route allows Rubicon-bound visitors to run pavement up to the first real four-wheeling section. But things have changed. Over the past few years, the county has been working on paving the 27-mile section of road between Georgetown and Ice House Road. And at the time of the 50th Jeepers Jamboree, the road crew was finishing work on the last few miles. With this stretch of road paved, visitors will be more likely to start their Rubicon adventure at the same spot where it all began 50 years ago: Georgetown.