Clubs are a great way for ATV enthusiasts to increase their enjoyment and riding opportunities, and the Windrock ATV Club is a shining example of that. This 600-plus-member club has an agreement to help manage the 72,000-acre Coal Creek OHV Area in west Tennessee, and there it stages its Springtime Jamboree, which has become a favorite for my brothers and me. So instead of pulling the weeds that my wife would have liked me to clear from in front of the house, I hit I-40 with Terry and Keith, where we merged our RV into the right lane and settled in with the flow of semis and motorists. We could see the dogwood trees in bloom, their white blossoms contrasting sharply to the dark trees. Mixed in with the blooming redbud trees, they created a visual delight along the usually boring interstate.
We arrived just before dark at the Windrock Campground. Owner and host Gary Hoskins greeted us with a handshake and a smile. Hoskins has been working several years on his family homestead property to turn it into a superb camping facility. Dealing with the county bureaucracy has slowed development a bit, but he has plans to add sewer and electric hookups on the existing sites and even build a bridge across a creek to provide access to an additional 50 acres of land to be developed into primitive camping areas.
I pulled my RV on our site, and with all of us working together like a well-oiled machine (me, of course, acting as the site supervisor), we got the quads unloaded, the trailer leveled and the awning out. The finishing touch was placing an ATV Rider banner on the corner of our site, and we were done.
The club schedules the jamboree events like a fine restaurant preparing you for a grand buffet. For the first two days-Thursday and Friday-you are served a choice of guided rides. My favorite is the trek to Lake City. The ride this year was led by Debbie Fritts, with husband Herb and David Rose along for support. "Would you like a little rain with your ride, Mr. Wilmot?"-it was almost like adding a little black pepper to a salad that was already covered with jalapenos. The rain came as we neared the city; our rain gear came in handy.
Our group invaded Lake City like a group of hungry Vikings, except this was a welcomed invasion with a police escort. After feasting on the local cuisine and getting a chance to dry off, our little parade happily enjoyed a bit of sunshine, and the ride back was a little drier and very enjoyable. Bon apptit!
The humorous Bubba Hunt began Saturday's fare. You didn't need a gun or a blue tick hound to hunt Bubbas; what you did need was a map and a good plan to find those scoundrels. Hidden on the mountain and along the marked blue trails, these guys had to be sniffed out like the rarest of truffles, but "fortunately" they hadn't bathed in days. Once you found a Bubba, he punched your card. You then had to ride like the wind to get the smell off you, and locate another one. The goal was to uncover as many Bubbas as you could-there were eight total-and get back to the parking lot by 3 o'clock. The punched cards were put in buckets based on the number of Bubbas found, and if your card was drawn, you won a prize, which got better with a higher count.
Saturday's second course was served up in the newly constructed events area. The Windrock gang worked feverishly to make a new "soup bowl" for the mud pit. Then they filled it with the secret family recipe, a special mud stew for the participants' dining pleasure. Indeed, several guys did just that-eat mud-before Anita Owens, a gutsy lady from Decatur, Alabama, fired up the stove on a new Polaris 800 and showed everybody how to really play in the mud by turning it into a drive-through restaurant.
For dessert, Windrock member "650 Bill" Hollamon put together his special Christmas Tree Parfait. Chef Hollamon designed and built a pro-type Christmas tree for the drag racing event. Helpers Donny Gateley and Richard Emison kept the staging lines moving faster than a drive-through window at McDonald's. Participants and the crowd enjoyed some spectacular side-by-side competition under the lights.
Sunday's tasty brunch began back at the events area as the Best brothers, Larry and Wayne, brought out their Lead Sled for the Sled Pull. Competition was hot and heavy for the bragging rights to bring home the bacon (the trophy, for all those who haven't gotten the gist of this story yet).
If all the rides and events weren't enough to keep your taste buds busy, the vendor area was jam-packed with some of the smilingest friendly faces you could find anywhere. They were dealing like Monty Hall and as busy as a charity fund-raiser selling an all-you-can-eat 99-cent pancake breakfast. Dealers representing Arctic Cat, Bombardier, Honda, Kawasaki and Polaris brought out some new machines to whet your appetite and leave you drooling.
The Windrock ATV Club has again proven it can take all the ingredients of a great event-a mountain of tasty trails, great vendors for spice and some fun events sprinkled with door prizes-mix it all together and serve a mouth-watering ATV jamboree! This is a first-class club that works with several charities and hosts regular rides in addition to its big spring and fall events. If you are looking for just such a club to ride with or emulate for your area, check out the Windrock ATV Club and pencil in next year's jamboree, which will run April 19-23.