By Mike Yager
- Doug McClain's Account
We went to eat about 10am. Drove out of town to find an old road Frank knew about. It had several stream crossings and a few tough inclines but nothing like we would see latter in the day. We exit the trail hopped on the Blue Ridge parkway for a few miles we drove around for over an hour. We got direction then found the trailhead. Cross a creek right off the road, up a
few hills then we found a washed out hill with a big ditch down the middle. We debated about taking the bypass. I chose to make a run at it. Having such a narrow track, I was unable to straddle to ditch and soon was running my passenger side up the wall of dirt. I made some more progress but was halted, by a large berm of dirt. A short pull from Mike's winch (the other
mike) I was able to move forward on my own. (Can't wait for the pictures)
Doug made a go at it and was straddling the ditch with
the front but the back slide in and was crab walking up the hill. At some point he got
close to the dirt wall and bent his fender in. But he made it under his own power.
More hills and tight sections. The trail was definitely not heavily traveled. As we rounded a corned we spotted "The Rock". It was huge, We all parked to go scope it out. It was tough to climb up the rock by hand. Kevin gave it a go and was just not able to get over. His crossmember took all the weight off his tires. This would be the fate of everyone else. I remember
Doug the most "just winch me over this thing, I don't like this AT ALL"
Did I mention there was a very steep drop off next to
the rock. After about 2 hours we all were on the upper side and we continued on. (with out
lunch yet) It was getting dark and there still were no sizable flats spots to throw up a
tent other than the trail. We decided to trek on for a half hour more (my idea) after
several more hills, descents, several small obstacles
and a temper tantrum we were halted by a tight spot, 2 Trees very close together. I knew I could fit, but what about the others... Kevin and frank fit ok, but mike's 98 4runner was VERY tight, actually rubbing but fender flares at the same time. Some creative work with a come-along helped him through. I slid through with plenty to spare, and Doug rubbed his tires.
We continued on, at several points having to hold the
vines up as we drove under. At one small ditch crossing Doug said he couldn't see my tail
lights in my bumper. I could feel the water hit the floor pan. (I imflated the pontoons at
this time) Up a steep climb and down around a few more corners. A right turn and a 25 foot
wide stream crossing and we hit dirt road (the
good kind). A quick air up for some of us. (My air hose kept popping off the compressor) The ride back to the DaysInn was fun.
Reinvigorated by the fact that we were no longer lost
in the woods. We hurried back to town, road course style. Had it been light out Im
sure we would have been going slower. In town we got a room, ordered pizza and crashed.
After the big rock and being tired and hungry, I don't remember all the details. Hills and obstacles that normally would have been fun, or notable were just there, and were no big deal. Twords the end I was simply following Mike's 4Runners tail lights.
All in all this was an awesome ride more than enough challenge for the well equipped or just insane.