What better way to spend the first weekend of the new year than by going wheeling?
That's what we thought when we were booked a trip back east. We spoke with the guys at Rausch Creek Off Road Park and told them we were going to be in town. We weren't even sure they'd be open January 3-4, 2010, but they assured us they would be, and that like most weekends, there would be people out there wheeling.
Two months later we left our 70-degree Southern California corporate offices, jumped on a plane, and arrived in what was one of the worst sustained cold spells the Northeast had seen in years. In fact, the day we went wheeling it was 20 degrees and there was a 15 mile-per-hour wind; it had snowed the day before and by noon it was snowing again, which messed up our camera flash.
Still, any day wheeling is better than real work, and we had a blast wheeling Rausch as we'd never seen it before. Usually we are there in the summer, and all of the trails have a pretty predictable level of difficulty depending on how recently it has rained. The rule of thumb is that recent rain bumps the trail up one difficulty level. If that's true, then 20 degrees and snow bumps the trails up at least two difficulty levels. Most of the guys who live back east take the winter as an upgrade or rebuild opportunity to make sure their Jeeps are ready to go for the next wheeling season (spring), so many guys who live there don't get to see the park like this either.
As promised, we found people out there ready and willing to get snowy. So, follow along as we brave the elements with a small band of like-minded loonies and take a glimpse into a Rausch Creek Off Road Park not many see.