Even though some of the roads are a little rough in Dallas, you have to drive a little ways to get into some good, Hummer off-road territory. We drove a little further than usual to hold an event at the beautiful Tonkaway Ranch. And it really is beautiful, just check out the picture I snapped of the sunrise and early morning fog outside our bunkhouse – what a sight! Tonkaway is a working cattle ranch of about 2400 acres that specializes in bird hunting, but holds many corporate and special events. The Dallas Hummer event was the first of its kind on the ranch, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell by the course and the superb staff.
After checking out the land a few weeks prior, we knew that it wouldn’t take much to organize our off-road excursions. However, the ranch enlisted a bulldozer operator (who owns two Hummers of his own!) to create some moguls and side slopes for good measure.
This was our first two day event with an overnight stay, allowing us more off-road time with a more intimate group. What we didn’t plan on was having so many people wanting to spend and entire weekend with us! Even though the waiting list grew and grew, we ended up with around 30 customer Hummers in all – the perfect size.
After splitting into groups, we headed out on the first of three trails. One trail encompassed a mud pit and a very intense V-ditch (the remnants of an old creek). The next had some more sandy V-ditches and some muddy areas, and the final trail had man-made moguls (see below) and the side-slope or “S” curves that really tested drivers. I’m of the thought that if half the drivers get stuck, and half of them don’t – it’s just about the right difficulty level. There were some areas that were probably a little sloppy to drive through, but it gave us a good opportunity to teach some new off-road drivers proper recovery and safety techniques.
This was also the first time we used CB Radios instead of the two-way radios we used in the past. Much improvement! We used some Cobra hand-held CB units for keeping the convoy together coming from Dallas, and out on the trail to keep in contact with the other leaders and the group. Some of the best moments on the trails were in between obstacles when the chatter between the ranch staff, dealer staff, and customers got pretty entertaining! We’ll have a more in-depth review of the Cobra hand-held CBs coming soon.
I’ve posted a few pictures along with this post, but the folks in the Sewell Marketing department did a great job compiling photos from the event with a professional photographer. You should be able to get a good idea about the event from the 1000+ pictures on the special event page. If you can’t get a good idea from that, you’ll just have to come with us next time!