TCG Borrego Springs, California Jeep Rock Crawling Event – The Living Jeep Life

Borrego Springs, California Jeep Rock Crawling Event – The Living Jeep Life

All Work And No Jeepin’ Makes Life Very Dull
From the May, 2008 issue of 4Wheel & Off-Road / By Kevin McNulty / Photography by Kevin McNulty, Rick Pewe

A Lot Of Folks Don’t Like to mix business with pleasure; however, a select few wouldn’t have it any other way. To blend both successfully takes hard work, dedication, and pride in business ownership. Jason and Terri Bunch are just one such lucky couple mixing both by  living the Jeep life through their successful fab and repair shop, Tri-County Gear in Pomona, California. As Terri recently wrote us: “Our mission statement is work hard, play hard, and when it comes to all areas of life and off-roading there are no exceptions. We  don’t just fix Jeeps, we live Jeeps! We put our money where our mouth is. Of course, the Jeep itself is just a conduit to all the relationships and good memories built out on the trail.”

There are hundreds of shops like Tri-County Gear around the country that bring like- minded enthusiasts together for adventure to form close bonds and lifelong friendships. In our opinion as four-wheel fanatics, what they do is help foster community spirit and a  passion for four-wheeling. We can’t think of a better way to spend our recreational hours than experiencing awesome adventure with people like this. Throughout the years the Bunches have tried to hold at least one trail event a month with friends, family, and  customers. After these events, the one-time customers often become more than just customers-they become good friends. The events vary in difficulty from challenging rockcrawling to mountain trails and all sorts of desert terrain. The most important part is  that everyone has a great time. Recently Jason and Terri held their first Borrego Springs Customer Appreciation Event. The event was staged out of the Palm Canyon Resort in Borrego Springs, California, and Palm Canyon makes a great base camp for exploring this  region.

The Squeeze is actually tighter than it looks; driving though it is a test of patience and skill. If the unwary driver is not careful, fenders, paint, and glass are the first to take the  hit. As a joke, a complementary set of fender flares was brought along on the trip to give to the person with the most fender damage. The fender flares were never handed out and the only person who actually sustained any vehicle damage was a 4-Wheel & Off-Road  staff editor who accidently punched a hole in the hardtop of his JK. Oh well!

Borrego Springs rests in the heart of Anza-Borrego State Park. This area is full of 4×4 trails and is filled with amazing geographic sites to see and explore. Borrego is approximately 78 miles northeast of San Diego in southeastern California. Borrego also sits about 30 miles  west of the Salton Sea and 40 miles north of the Mexico border. This event rounded up 31 Jeeps and 78 enthusiastic adventurers. After running trails during the day everyone was treated by the Bunches’ hospitality to margaritas and a great meal. The last night of the  event Jason and Terri raffled off some very cool prizes after we ate Palm Canyon’s world- famous ribs. We can’t wait till next year’s event.

March’s cover boy, Matt Battaglia, crawls up a cliff face in typical Borrego three-wheeling fashion. You don’t worry (or whine) about your Jeep’s paint out here.

March’s cover boy, Matt Battaglia, crawls up a cliff face in typical Borrego three-wheeling fashion. You don’t worry (or whine) about your Jeep’s paint out here.

A few miles east of Borrego Springs the dusty desert holds a playground of small washes that we wheelers like to call the Notchos. These are a maze of twisty, turning gullies that can swallow vehicles whole. The neat thing about them is they change with the seasons due to heavy winter rain runoff. Yes, it does rain here! Matt Staff gives this drop-in a whirl.

The Palm Canyon Resort is a great place to headquarter events like this. Just before we hit the trail the first day, we gathered everyone up for the early-morning sleepy-eyed group shot. Then it was off for a full day of trailblazing fun.

Anza-Borrego State Park is one of the largest state parks in California. It has more than 500 miles of trails. In this area it’s not hard to find yourself deep in a spectacular desert canyon trying find challenging ways to escape.

Eye-catching topography is usually what pushes four-wheelers deeper into the canyons. The shade in the canyons during the hot seasons are a way to escape the heat. The cool season here is short and this really isn’t the place to hang out in the summer while temperatures can stay around 120 degrees from months on end.

This is why you shouldn’t wheel by yourself-when you least expect it something could go wrong. Fortunately for Steve Hastings, his Jeep slowly flopped on its side and nobody was injured. Everyone lent a hand, pushed the Jeep right-side up, and then it was off again.

Jim Lasher carefully maneuvers his TJ through a narrow gap in the trail. The desert here offers so many types of terrain on the trails. Wheelers of all skill levels find it’s a great place to explore.