MLO Trail Ride - An Early Winter Romp!
The 3rd and final installment of the Main Line Overland Fall trail ride series was definitely one to remember. Just a few days before our trail ride, Vermont was blanketed with over 2ft of snow creating a beautiful winter landscape none of us had anticipated this early in the season. Nonetheless, our fearless leader Ron Harrington of Ridgeback Guide Service, pre-ran the routes the day before and cleared the trails of any debris from the recent storm. The morning of the ride everyone met at the Woodstock, VT Farmers Market and loaded up on food and drinks for the long day ahead. Ron gathered our group, which consisted of some MLO trail ride veterans but also a few first time off-roaders, and briefed us on what we would expect on the trails and how to get through. Rule #1 Air down, Rule #2 Easy on the throttle, and Rule #3 Give each other plenty of room. Given the conditions it proved to be sound advice.
The group was immediately challenged with a long snowy hill climb that resulted in our first of many vehicle recoveries: MLO customer John Kronuch was piloting his supercharged Tundra with a fully-loaded Four Wheel Camper up the climb and could only make it halfway before pulling winch line.
In classic MLO fashion, the group worked together to recover and get John and other stuck vehicles back on the trail--if you are pushing your vehicle and the available traction recoveries are going to happen, and it presents a great opportunity to learn the fine art of getting back in the game in a safe manner--with the proper gear for the job. The remainder of the day consisted of similar challenges with miles of wheeling through 24 inches of fresh powder and plenty of mud.
The day ended in as it should with a visit to the Long Trail Brewery and Pub for some good VT brews and food. The crew shared stories and photos from the trail and got ready to head their separate ways. In the end, our fall trail series was a huge success. We covered almost 200 miles off road terrain throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, sharpened our driving and recovery skills, made lots of memories, and, most importantly, met some great people along the way. Winter means many of the trails close for snowmobile and XC ski season, but we can’t wait to get back in the Spring!