Are you interested in joining a club or organization that revolves around off-roading and the great outdoors? Then, Vituscan Missionaries of the Billy Holcomb Chapterand the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus®are right for you! This organization is filled with enthusiasts that can take your off-roading experience to a whole new level!
The Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, also known as the ECV®, is a group that combines the passion for all things mining and historical with the love for good off road adventure. All the while, they stay true to their time tested protocols and rituals that are steeped in the authentic ECV tradition.
From January 18th to the 20th, ECV®attended the “Winter Ice Event”. This is a semi-annual gathering that takes place in its customary third weekend of every January. There is also a “Summer High Country Event” held every August. They base camped at the River Bluff Ranch near the Mojava River in the California High Dessert, just outside the town of Calico. This area is well known for some of its best off road terrain California has to offer.
About 250 “Vituscans” gathered at this very location for a weekend of good company, fun, and plenty of amazing off-roading experience. Following the Vituscan way, the destinations of these excursions included a good dose of history. The participants were divided into two groups, based on the drivers’ level of expertise and their vehicles’ off road ability.
X-Head Abbotts, Cass Ellsworth & Paul Renner, led their “intermediate” groups first into the Mule Canyon, and then did a spin around Bismarck Mine. From there, the group headed to Borate and made its way to the Early Man Site before heading back from the 66 mile round trip. There is so much history throughout these routes that a dedicated Vituscan can explore all day and never finish. This group got to appreciate all these landmarks while cruising in perfect California sunshine.
The “advanced” group headed off to Odessa Canyon, which is considered to be a more challenging off road course. This group consists of a total of 22 vehicles, which was led by Tri County Gear’s very own, Jason Bunch. He himself is an Honorary Vituscan, and was bestowed the title a few years back. Having that many vehicles on any run, let alone one as advanced as Odessa can be, is always quite challenging and this run proved to be no different. There were a few difficult breakdowns on the trails, not to mention a few trail repairs that would make MacGyver jealous, Jason kept his “No Jeepers Left Behind” policy and got everyone back safely and intact. Once everyone returned to camp, they were excited to retell tales from the day while chomping on dinner and enjoying a cold beer or two. Plenty of great post dinner “war stories” went around the campfire afterward.
Brian Nash, also known in the ECV as an XNGH and the current Head Abbot, is very involved in not only the Vituscan group, but also in all of their events. He is a serious off roader, and is proven with his very own Jeep. His 1986 CJ 7 is built to conquer the world. Brian’s Jeep is built with Tri County Gear’s custom made rear 4 link suspensions and front 3 link suspension, which give him the ideal ride any Jeepers seek. Along with his Atlas ’10 to 1’-4 speed transfer case, Dana 44 front and Dana 60 rear allow him to climb anything, anytime, and anywhere. Michael Glaubach, a fellow Vituscan, was so impressed by Brian’s Jeep that he made his way to Tri County Gear to fix up his own 2008 Jeep Rubicon. Michael’s Jeep is featured in the current issue, March 2013, of “4 Wheel Drive” magazine. He also received plenty of “oohs and ahs” out on the trail during the Vituscan event.
The Vituscan Missionaries of Billy Holcomb Chapter is an especially close knitted and loyal group, as you can see with a quick visit to their website at www.Billyholcoomb.com . They have a unique appreciation for the land, the people, the history, and the freedom to ride. They have found the ideal combination of man, vehicle, terrain and tradition!