Saturday dawned, bright and gorgeous!
Weather forecast was for that and more of it. We all lined up and hit the
pavement towards our date with dirt. There were about 30 rigs ready to go.
We had heard earlier that some beavers had
been busy down near the infamous mud hole. Adrian Dognin and Bill Myers rolled
out to the hole on Friday night to see what had been done. They surveyed the
dam situation and decided that nothing could be done about the beavers,
especially since they are a protected species in MA. The mud hole was reported
to be about 3-4 feet deep and mostly water. We would cross that hole when we
got to it.
in his '97 TJ on "The Skewer"
guides his Wrangler through.
After everyone had aired down, we hit the trailhead. Florida Road is
a fun trail rated about a 7 on a 1-10 scale. A "stock" rig will have
a rather difficult time of it. With stock rigs including limited slip and
locking diffs. with 30" or larger tires. Stock is almost a relative term,
though. The trail is all rocks and boulders with a few stair step climbs and,
of course, the one mud hole at the end.
obstacle is rather easy if taken off to the left, but when a right-hand route
is chosen, a 3-foot tall boulder and a lean into a sheer cliff-face await you.
chose the right-hand route made it with only a little scraping, except Jerry
Rouvrais, who leaned a bit too far and started to bugger up his roll bar and
padding. Deciding to keep the rear-end damage minimal for the insurance
adjuster (they were rear-ended on their way up to the run), they winched up
over the obstacle.
heading up the left side of the first obstacle.
As I mentioned earlier, Florida Road is mostly rock. We all crawled
and scraped our way along to what is considered the second "real"
obstacle. It is entirely possible to get hung up anywhere on the trail and need
a tug or a spotter but there are at least 3 spots that give most people the
most fun. The second is a two step climb. Again, the left is generally easier
and the right has two options; straight up or up over a boulder, along a thin
edge and then up over the steps at a bit of an angle. Either of the right hand
routes will flex up your suspension. The left is a little more level and with
some rock stacking (taken out before the next rig) a "stocker" can
make it through.
to Justin Morgenthau for some great driving and the ability to listen to his
spotter. There were points when Justin wasn't even watching the rocks while
Chris Smith was giving him the directions. Justin was driving a stock ZR2
Blazer with the 31" BFG's and Gov. Lok).
There were only a couple of minor problems. Derek was now having
front-end noises and chose to roll back to camp. Tim Welch in a nicely done
early Bronco also had some front-end situations (a busted hub or twisted axle,
not sure which it ended up being) and Dan Stra had trouble with his hubs
"Got Mud" Muzio was waiting for the mud hole. He said that it didn't
matter how deep it was, he was taking his cow-spotted white CJ-5, with 35"
BFG's, a Lock-Right and an anemic 4-cylinderl flat-head right down the center!
He had a motor at home waiting to go in so if he smoked this one it was no big
Roubrais lifting a tire and leaning back against the face on "The
After testing the level and finding it to be DEEP, we opted for the
left-hand, optional route. Adrian Dognin dropped into the water, however, off
to the left of center and proceeded to drive across with no problems. He has a
Wrangler with Q78 (36.5x10.5) Swampers, ARB's front and rear, NP435, gears,
winch, etc.. Go figure!
Up next was
Tommy. He promptly stripped down into a bathing suit (he came prepared), stood
on the bumper, struck a few poses and fired up the cowbeast.
strikes his poze.
wife, Diane, would ride shotgun and uphold Derek's nick-name, Muddy Mud
Skipper. Tommy fired the flat-head 4 to life and, sounding like one powerful
sewing machine, plunged into the center. He traveled further than anyone
thought he would, including himself. At the point of "no more
movement" the nose dropped in on the driver side up over the headlight,
water poured in and Diane went very quickly to the roll bar.
climbed out, hooked up the winch cable and was pulled out, the motor still
running! The motor didn't blow up for another 2 weeks!
hole is the last item of interest on Florida Road, so we headed back to the
campground. Dinner and showers were then enjoyed by all. Not at the same time,
happened to be Ben Cadley's birthday. The antics up at the Pub lasted until
closing and, suffice to say, there are wheelers who are just as good at dancing
and some who aren't even close. Ben Cadley caught most of it on tape. If you
want to see it, be at our Christmas party this December or at Eastern 4
Wheeler's Florida Vacation next year and LIVE it!