11th, 2001, I was in the North Maine Woods, a wilderness area in
northern Maine, bowhunting black bear. Driving down a logging road,
I came across some Canadian loggers I had known for some time. That
is when I found out. It had come across a radio that, indeed, the
World trade Center had been attacked. Disbelief best describes my
feelings and emotions. How could anyone commit such an act?
I had never
been to Paragon
Adventure Park in Hazleton PA..I am a off-road enthusiast, but
I am more of the "adventure" kind. I'm not really into
the rock stuff. I frequent many off-road websites and when it was
announced that on October 7th, Paragon was having a memorial/benefit
event I thought it might be fun. I have some friends that have been
there before and they told me it was a cool place and I should have
a good time.
My friend Mike
and I headed out that Sunday morning around 4:30 am from Westchester
County, NY, which is about 3 hours away from Paragon. When we arrived,
I couldn't believe what I saw. I thought I died and went to Jeep
heaven. That day 268 rigs participated in the event.
When I got
to the sign-in area, I originally wanted to go on a 3-4 rated trail.
I had never done something like this, and for my first time I didn't
want to bite off more than I could chew. They rate the trails from
1 - 6 at Paragon, with 1 being the easiest and 6 meaning guaranteed
Somehow I ended
up on a 6-rated trail! Let's put it this way. I will never look
at rocks the same way again! I never had my rig on the rocks. I
found it very challenging and will certainly attempt it again. I
have front and rear lockers and an Atlas II transfer case. That
helped a lot, but I bailed halfway through the trail. I had some
minor damage and we had a long ride back home.
It was my understanding
that on a normal event they have around 150 vehicles. That weekend
they had another event going on in addition to this one, which puts
the vehicle count at around 300. My hats off to the folks at Paragon.
They moved the vehicles expertly through with no problems. It was
a very organized and safe event. If you are ever in that area, you
owe it to yourself to visit the park.
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