Off-Roading, New Hampshire Style
In case you haven't noticed, over the past few issues we've been making an effort to bring you wheeling from parts of the country other than the West Coast and Southwest. It's not that the Jp staff doesn't want to wheel other parts of the country, it's just that it's pretty hard to leave our comfy little corner of the world where fall, winter, and spring temperatures rarely rise above 75 degrees, dip below 55 degrees, and where it's too dry to breed disease-carrying insects.
But bring you varying terrain we must, so Associate Editor Trasborg earned his frequent-flier miles traveling to various Midwest and Eastern states during the hotter months of 2006. While we didn't set him up with any West Nile or equine encephalitis virus vaccines, we did hand him an expired can of bug spray. Now his complexion resembles that of a ripe plum, and he frequently drools on his shirt and softly babbles to himself. So when it was Hazel's turn to head east, he waited until the first freeze came through to kill off any biting nasties.
If there's one time to hit the trails of northern New England, it's in the early part of October. Not only are the Maple, Birch, and other hardwood trees erupting in gorgeous colors, but all the airborne vermin have been laid to waste by the brisk evening temperatures. To get a taste of what kind of wheeling New Englanders have in their backyard, we contacted Dan Stonesifer, president of the North East Willys Jeeps Organization, or NEWJO.
Unlike the Southwest, where there are thousands of square miles currently open to recreational vehicle use, New Englanders must beg, borrow, and fight for every acre. Our trip out with NEWJO was on private logging company land the club calls Cemetery Hill, due to the 19th century boneyard located on a portion of the property. In return for access to the land, 4WD clubs maintain and clear the trails, fight soil erosion and runoff, and generally take an active part in making sure the areas are utilized in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner so they can stay open. For more info on club runs and events, contact NEWJO at www.newjo.org.
Whoops, Breaks, and Fixes
We liken the terrain we encountered to a scaled-down version of Tellico, Tennessee: slick rocks, snotty climbs, and muck that required throttle and finesse. We love carnage, and the NEWJO guys were more than happy to accommodate us.