Since 1996, International Harvester (IH) enthusiasts have gathered together in April to catch up with friends and share their love of these old vehicles. Scouts West hosts the International Harvester Western Regional’s (IHWR) just outside of Barstow, near Calico Ghost Town. We gather from across the country to spend a few days camping and honoring some of the finest trucks ever made.
Some come to rekindle old friendships and others come just for the fun that can only be experienced the Scouts West way.
IHWR is held north of Barstow, California at the Barstow KOA Campground. For reservations call 1.800.562.0059... Be sure to mention Scouts West or IHWR so your space/spot will be on our side of the campground. Make your reservations early, as they fill up fast.
This is a great location that truly loves having us there as much as we love being there. The festivities start Friday Morning with a pancake breakfast (monies raised go to our charity). Friday evening is our world-famous potluck dinner – everyone’s welcome – just bring your favorite dish to share. After our dinner you will understand why we all drive Scouts. We can’t fit into Jeeps.
While this is an IH event, it is open to all vehicles and participants who enjoy great scenery and an amazing catered BBQ dinner.
Saturday morning starts with guided trail runs (scenic to hard) into the backcountry of the Calico Mountains. There is also a Friday night trail run for the night owls that like to go bump in the night.
Some prefer a more stationary day and ready their IH vehicles (truck or tractors) for the Show-n-Shine. After a safe return from the trails, the true festivities begin with a fantastic catered dinner, Show-n-Shine judging, and everyone’s favorite event – the raffle. It’s an opportunity to win some great prizes and there’s even a special one, just for the kids.
With the monies received from our raffles, we have supported some great causes over the years, from the California Four Wheel Drive Association (Cal4Wheel) to the GARY SINISE FOUNDATION, Wounded Warriors, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
This year, we have chosen a truly worthy cause, DONATE LIFE AMERICA. Their mission: Donate Life State Teams dedicated to educating the public and advocating for organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America is funded by contributions from the public, corporations, and affiliated organizations. The organization works toward creating a more aware and educated population on the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation through many different mediums. Please visit their website for more information: www.donatelife.net
Fritz will lead us on a trip back to Barstow. Getting off at Barstow Rd., we will head to Mojave River Valley Museum. Arrangements are in the works to get a docent to give us a personal tour. :"The Mojave River Valley Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the scientific, historical and cultural heritage of the Mojave River Valley". Starting in 1964, they have a great collection of knowledge which provides an interesting history of the Barstow area. Covering the period before the arrival of Father Garces in 1776, through those pioneers, miners, railroad and present day space program. The Museum has local papers back as far as 1911 to over 20,000 photos of the area. This is a fun, fact-filled adventure.
Next, we head down (north) Barstow Road to visit the Desert Discovery Center, 'DDC'. "The Desert Discovery Center (DDC) is surrounded by 12 acres of public land located in the heart of Barstow, California. The mission of the DDC is to develop and implement a comprehensive formal and informal education center with programs focusing on the natural, cultural, and historic resources associated with the Mojave Desert." The 'Old Woman Springs Meteorite' is on display.
From here, we will stop for lunch on old Route 66, followed by the final stop on this informative journey at the Route 66 Museum and Western Armerican Railroad Museum, (WARM). The Route 66 Mother Road Museum "displays a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to Route 66 and the Mojave Desert Communities. Displays include development of the United States Route 66 from early pioneer trails, railroads, automotive history, businesses and sites." The Western America Railroad Museum collects, preserves and shares the history of railroading in the Pacific Southwest for all who love railroads and railroading. W.A.R.M. provides educational forums with interpretive and historical displays that focuses on both Railroad History and the development of Railroad Technology. W.A.R.M. encompasses not only the past, but the present and future as well, realizing that such a broad scope is essential to understanding the role of western railroading in America. Both are located next to each other in the historic Harvey House.
When we have filled our quest for knowledge of the vast history of the mojave river area, we can head back north to the KOA.