This picture was taken further upstream than the last one. As I mentioned before, the streams around Paragon flow out of collapsed mineshafts in the area. Just 20 yards left of this location is where water erupts from the hillside. It seems to come from nowhere, and there is alot of it. Softball-sized holes spew water at gallons per second! This area at Paragon is commonly known as "The Spring".
Near the base of the spring, vehicles scamper up a steep and loose hillside. At this moment in time I had been leading a good portion of our group, and I directed them toward this obstacle. It was an error in judgement on my part. While some made the climb with ease, small tires and deep ruts hindered others. A turn-around and bypass had to be formulated. Everyone really appreciated the challenge, fortunately.
After directing everyone out of the spring area with Jen's help, our group found their way to the lunch tent. Here a bunch of trail-guides sit and gossip about the misadventures of the morning. As you can see here, many of our trail-guides rode on ATVs in order to shoot ahead of the convoy and get ready to spot at the next obstacle. This proved invaluable, as on-demand spotting isn't often available at many organized four-wheeling events.
The circus was in town at Paragon as the All-American crew made sure that all of the event's participants were well fed with a hearty meal before they continued for an afternoon of wheelin'. This is the lunch tent, and as you can see, it seats very many! It was located in a clearing actually within Paragon Adventure Park, so there wasn't any need to hit the blacktop. It was chow-time on the trail! Eating on the trail is almost a "sub-sport" of four-wheeling. Large tents and gas grills are not uncommon.
Lunch was over and we were off once again. A trail runs right out from behind the lunch tent, and we followed it up a hillside in the woods. It was easy going at this moment in time. This was our relaxing break with some scenery. Since it was early spring the foliage was thin, but late in the summer the woodlands get dense, and they grow in around the trails.
Our woodland stroll descended deep into a narrow valley within Paragon. I cannot recall the name of this trail, most likely because it was named out of necessity. Since it's a high-traffic trail, not much usually happens here. One time I did help repair a broken slave cylinder on a TJ here at night, but it wasn't quite the type of ordeal that would give a trail a name. This is our trail-leader, Lynn Ehrenfeld, who has been frequenting these woods for years now. Lynn knows the land there like the back of her hand.
This trail is dotted with small mud holes that vary in depth through the year. Throughout most of the year, one will go through or around the mud holes without incident, but in winter you better watch out! You can fall through the ice and get yourself good and stuck.
This isn't the most demanding terrain we've ever seen here on Rockcrawler, however it does remind us of the lighter side of four-wheeling. Everyone has to start somewhere, and this event is an example of what is being done by many organizations around the country to help educate people about four-wheeling.

Continue to PAGE 6
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

©1997-2010 ROCKCRAWLER 4x4 and Off-Road Magazine. All Rights Reserved.