Re: SMB Gatherings
The rallies were initially conceived by Alan Feld as a way to let owners of 4x4 SMBs learn how to get out into the back country and really use their vehicles. But, as popularity of the events grew, the logistics and cost of them also grew. We attended several of them and they were great...we learned a lot from both the "classes" and trail rides. But, with just over 100 vans at each rally, I suspect the planning and cost were getting too much.
For example, we attended the 2002 Rally in Silverton, CO. To put that on, Alan reserved the entire county park at Molas Lake, brought in tents, tables, and chairs for accommodating over the over 200 attendees for a catered breakfast and dinner for 3 days, rented portable toilets and water facilities, obtained Forest Service permits for the trail rides in the area, etc. The Park City event in 2007 was on a private ranch near Park City and catered, etc. but Alan also hired a contractor to create an obstacle course for the event, and ferried several uncompleted 4x4 SMB vans to Park City from Fresno, CA for participants to use on the obstacle course. Participants were divided into teams of around 4 owners each and those teams competed in various events. Each van owner of the winning team received 5 new BFG tires (that is 20 new tires, most likely donated by BFG)...all of these things take a lot of work to plan, organize, and execute without problems. I think 2007 was the last rally.
When I talked to Alan back in 2007 about the future of the rallies, he told me that it was getting harder and harder to find venues for them, especially given their popularity. There were also costly since van owners were only charged around, as I recall, the $50 per person. I doubt that that cost covered the catered meals, camping fees, insurance, and all of the other costs associated with them...
'01 Ford EB50p Quigley 4WD