Off-Road Adventure in Juando Pass


POSTED: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 6:20pm

UPDATED: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 8:34pm

Are you looking to get away from it all? If so, you're in luck. Every month a group meets in the Borderland to go on an off-road journey. However, every off-road adventure begins on a road. We tagged along for one of the group's recent adventures. This one began in a giant parking lot at Camping World in Anthony, Texas.

After a quick tutorial and equipment check the a caravan of jeeps departed for the Organ Mountains and Juando pass. The group is called Ol 'Skool Off-Road Adventures, and that's exactly what this is: a trip into the wilderness, where what happens next is anyone's guess.

"Every event is 40% planned, 60% gamble. They might break a shaft, electrical issues, a battery might fall into a radiator. That's the 60% gamble," explained group leader Duane Shaw.

Duane Shaw started riding trails with his buddy Rob several years ago. Little by little, others started to join. Now the organized group meets monthly. Many are veterans recently back from Afghanistan.

"We get into the rut of patrols every day and it's the same thing every day it's so it's nice to go out and do something exciting every now and then," said one veteran along for the ride.

Juando Pass is moderate enough that some beginners are along for the drive. Little by little, jeeps crawl over five to ten foot tall rocks. It's an adventure that's much more about strategy than speed.
Duane Shaw says he rarely gets nervous. "Ah, if they're over 20 feet tall I do. When I started if I got a wheel two inches off the ground I took a picture. Now, 17 years later, if it get two wheels of the ground I take the picture," he said.

Five minutes later, that's exactly what happened. A jeep nearly rolled after detouring off the main track. It may be hard to believe but injuries are rare, almost unheard of among the group.

"Mainly people get hurt from hiking, not being in their vehicles. Their vehicles get hurt, but the individuals don't get hurt," said Shaw.

However, that's not to say there isn't some pain involved, at least psychological pain. This technical hobby certainly isn't cheap.

"Me personally, I've spent15 -20 thousand dollars, but I do all the labor," said Shaw.

Duane's jeep is like a mobile repair shop. There's an on board welder, anything you'd need to fix a broken jeep.

But that's the definition of an Ol' Skool Adventure: 40% planned, 60% gamble, and loads of fun.

An adventure waiting to be had just a hop, skip, and a bump away from El Paso.

For more information on the Ol 'Skool group, just click on the link below:

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