The History of Mendo_Recce

In late 1994/early 1995 Granville Pool and Morgan Hanniford, both Series Land Rover Owners from the San Francisco Bay Area, decided that it had been a long time since Land Rover Owners had driven off road together. They decided to plan a Rallye in the Mendocino National Forest for April of 1995. This weekend also happened to be Granville's 50th Birthday.

In order to plan for this event, they determined that a number of reconnaissances needed to be undertaken. On 28 January 1995 a small group of Land Rover owners gathered for what became known as "Mud Run One" with two Series III 88s, two Series IIA 88s and two other vehicles. These people were:
Benjamin Smith had heard of the plans for Mud Run One over the email list. After hearing the trip report, Benjamin decided that he need wanted to join them on the next trip. However, Benjamin was living in Ridgecrest, CA a town in the Mojave Desert--some 500 miles from the SF Bay Area. Benjamin contacted Granville and was added to the email cc list.

At this point about 10 people on the cc list. If anyone on the list wanted to stop receiving emails, everyone needed to remember to drop them. CC lists do not scale well. Benjamin was a Unix Systems Adminstrator for, the local internet service provider for Ridgecrest, CA. A friend from his in college, Walker Aumann, had written an email list program in Perl when they were at college so that various friends could converse. Benjamin took the code and created an email list. The name came from the fact that the group was conversing via email to plan for a reconnaissance of the Mendocino National Forest. This the name became "mendo_recce". The list was to simplify the adminstration of communicating and was only intended to be around for a few weeks. The initial list was created about 20 February 1995 and had 10 people on it.

The next recce trip, snow run one, was held on 25 and 26 March 1995. All were to meet at 10am in the town at the north end of Clear Lake. Benjamin had started driving up the previous day. Along the way he had the fuel pump fail, performed a field repai on itr, picked up a 2.25 engine from a LRO on the way, blew a head gasket just after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, and finally got to the meeting point and hour or so late. Everyone else had already left. With no directions he made his way into the park, semi-randomly picked the correct snow-covered trail, and found the group contemplating a deep river crossing. The crossing was made and more explorations were done, but all had to cross the back through river again to get back to pavement. Snow run one had 2 SIIA 88s, 4 SIII 88s,a '94 Defender 90, and two non-Rover pickup trucks. Those on the trip were:
At the end of the trip it was requested if the list could be kept going until the main event in late April. Benjamin agreed. The list grew to 27 people by early April 1995.

The first Joe Lucas Mendocino Rally was held on 29 and 30 April 1995 at the Deer Valley Campground in the Mendocino National Forest. It rained and drizzled the whole time. However it was a success with 26 people attending and 16 Land Rovers (one SII 109, one SII 88, five SIIA 88, six SIII 88 and two Defender 90s).

At the end of the event everyone asked for the list to become permanent. Benjamin agreed. After the trip, Benjamin coded up a digest version of the list. This first digest was on 7 May 1995.

The list continued to grow and be the focal point for organizing trips. 1995 saw a few other mendo_recce trips.

* Indicates an event organized by mendo_recce, while the others are events that many mendo_recce people attended. Total Rovers are the total number of Land Rovers at the event. The list reached 50 people on 14 July 1995 and by the start of 1996 there were 96 people on the list.

1996 saw continued mendo_recce events; some new and some traditional. During 1996 the list grew to 149 people. In the fall of 1996 Benjamin changed jobs and the list moved out of the desert to Hawaii on the server

1997 saw fewer direct mendo_recce events because of the formation of the Northern California Rover Club. Since it was thought that mendo_recce was also not including the vast number of non-net Rover owners, Bruce Bonar, Morgan Hanniford, Jeremy Bartlett, Eric Cope and Jim Russel formed NCRC in April 1997. All five attended that first Joe Lucas Rallye in April 1995. As the year progressed more and more trips were organized by NCRC and fewer via Mendo_recce. Many of the mendo_recce people joined NCRC. By the end of 1996 Mendo_recce had 156 people.

As of the start of 1997, 158 people were on the email list. An additional 118 people have decided to drop off the the list for various reasons over the years. At that time about 50% of the list was from the San Francisco Bay Area. About 50% of the Rovers represented were Series Land Rovers while the other half were equal parts Defender, Range Rover Classic and Discovery.

In 1998 mendo_recce moved hosts again to This time the server is in Ottawa, Canada.

In the decade since 1998, NCRC has blossomed and faded. Another club, Northern California Land Rover Club, was formed in 2006 by another group of enthusiasts. Mendo_recce has been stable with about 200 members of the list. Some come and some go. Ben is now living on the East Coast.

In March 2009, due to unresolvable issues with Bell Canada, the mendo list moved to GoogleGroups.

The Joe Lucas Mendocino Rallye is still held every year. 2009 will be the 15th annual gathering.
This file last modified 6 April 2009.