Moderator, wonderful human being & practicing Deuc
Steel Soldiers Supporter
- Athens, Ga.
The official 2023 Southeast Military Vehicle Rally information thread (the event formerly known as the Georgia Rally).
Never been to one of these? 90 seconds of background if you’ve never attended: The event started in 2006 in my backyard near Athens, Georgia. It was a one day cookout for a few local friends. Next year we knew it’d be too big for my backyard, so we rented a pavilion in Cleveland, Ga. at a state park. This was fun, but we knew it wasn’t enough. For 2008, Joel found Durhamtown, an offroad facility about an hour east of Athens and the rally went from 25 trucks to almost 150. But Durhamtown and the rally went their separate ways in 2021 and then closed (now having reopened). Regardless, we felt we’d run the rally from D-town as long as possible and knew we were going to have to relocate. Mac found an excellent interim location in Eastern Ga., but with no cabins and no offroading, we also knew it was a temporary compromise. I consider the 2007-2020 timeline to be “rally 1.0”.
We’d been looking for a new facility for years and the problem for us was we essentially needed another D-town: we needed trails big enough for HEMTTs, but we also needed a big field for the event, we needed cabins and RV spots, we needed water, electricity, internet access and decent cell reception. And Windrock had all of that, so that's where we went for 2022 and it was a big success.
Windrock has the following:
• A much larger facility, with a lot more trails. Both u/rustyjunk and u/squirt-truck have been there in person and run the trails and said we could go to Windrock for years and never run the same trails. And the location of Windrock is literally the side of a mountain, so the views are just bananas gorgeous. Aaaaand, there’s a ton of cool stuff to explore on the property: abandoned mines, railroad tunnels you can drive through, a wind farm at the top of the mountain, an abandoned train, etc.
• Excellent cabins: The cabins here are nicer than D-town and feature kitchenettes and all the pots and pans you need to actually prepare food.
• RV hookups with power and water
• An excellent field with a large pavilion for the main event
• Very close to the towns of Oliver Springs and Oak Ridge. Imagine being able to be at the swap meet and ask your buddy if he wants to go to Zaxby’s and in 10 minutes, be eating. The close proximity to town gives us a lot of excess hotel capacity, stuff for spouses to do when they’re bored of military vehicles, lots of places to eat, stores like Napa, Autozone, etc.
• A facility that is excited about having us as guests.
The only downsides of Windrock are:
• The field is expensive: A thousand bucks a day and the rally has to come up with that. Plus some for porta potties. So we’ve gotta’ sell a lot of t-shirts this year
• A longer drive for some people, shorter for others.
Alright, here’s the details:
When: October 5-8, 2023
Where: Windrock Park, Oliver Springs, Tn., Google maps link: https://g.page/windrockpark?share
Who: We are Low Range Productions, the same people who’ve put the event on since 2006.
Why: Because we’re the best HMV event in the country. Beautiful fall weather, offroading, swap meet, laid back atmosphere, etc.
How: Call Windrock, reserve a cabin or RV spot, service your military vehicle, drive to Windrock, enjoy.
How much: Prices vary wildly. Keep reading.
Ok, you’re reading this and you realize you have to show up, but you don’t know where to start.
First thing, call Windrock’s office (865.435.1251) and tell them you either want to rent a cabin or an RV spot and they’ll take care of you.
If you need a room and they can’t accommodate, you’ll need to find a hotel in Oliver Springs (click here) or Oak Ridge (click here)
You'll need to reserve cabins immediately – Windrock is a popular place.
Once you have your reservation taken care of, get your vehicle’s serviced so they’ll make the trip.
Upon arrival in Oliver Springs, you’ll first need to go to the Windrock Park General Store (921 Windrock Rd., 37840, Google maps link: https://g.page/windrockpark?share. They’ll get you your room keys, sell you your offroading passes (if you’re taking part), answer any questions and charge you for primitive camping.
At this point, you can either head to your cabin or RV spot for hookup. After that, you can head to the rally spot, which is Windrock Hollow (624 Hoskins Gap Rd., 37840, Google maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/cDF1scKXiD5fiDjk6
Once you get to Windrock Hollow, you can set up your swap meet space, or vehicle display, or your primitive camping setup.
At that point, enjoy the rally! You’ll be amongst friends.
Camping: A few bucks a night
Cabins: see above link
Windrock Park has a facility on site, hours are limited. We’ll be 5 minutes from Oliver Springs and 10 minutes from Oak Ridge. The rally will not be providing food services as we have in the past, since the much less remote aspect of Windrock and improved cabins make it less challenging to feed ourselves.
Is the rally child and animal friendly?
Yes-but as in all aspects of life, please show consideration for others. Aggressive dogs or constant barkers should be managed in a respectful way and poorly behaved children will be muzzled. The SEMVR is a family friendly affair, so behave accordingly.
How many people will be there?
No clue – peak of the rally was 140+ powered vehicles and probably 250+ people. No clue what to expect for this first year at a new venue. But we hope to see all of you there – new people, returning people and people we haven’t seen in a while. in 2022, we had about 40 trucks. Shooting for more in 2023.
Do I have to be a member of www.steelsoldiers.com to attend? What if I don’t own a (or can’t bring my) vehicle?
No, you have to be interested in the historic military vehicle hobby! If you do not have a vehicle, this isn’t a problem. We can probably even find someone to let you ride with on the trails if you wish to go.
Is there electricity at the rally?
In RV spots yes, at the rally field, yes, although I’m not clear how much. Certainly enough to charge devices.
What is the rally weapons policy?
Windrock has a shooting range, so firearms are allowed, but we do ask that attendees not open carry in the rally field. We are trying to promote a family friendly atmosphere and there are some PR issues at play as well. We appreciate attendees understanding on this issue.
Release of Liability
Steel Soldiers, Low Range Productions, LLC and/or Windrock Park, and any person acting in conjunction with those entities will not be held liable for any injuries to anyone attending the SEMVR or damage to personal/private property during the Georgia Rally. All persons accept this personal responsibility and release Low Range Productions, LLC and their agents (rally organizers, volunteers, etc.) and/or Windrock Park and their agents (employees, etc.) from all and any liability resulting from injury or damages to property from or by attending the rally. Attendance at the rally is and will be understood to signify acceptance of these terms. The LRP SEMVR is a family friendly event. Violators will be asked to leave.
Pictures coming in post #2