I finally got to try the $5 Buck Lunch at DQ though.
|Some of the last surviving footage of my new HAM antenna.|
I primarily took this photo though to highlight how the truck is starting to finally come along and distinguish itself from it's other mid-size brethren. Here, I'm dwarfing a Ford Ranger which is sitting on a set of respectable tires (Cooper Discoverer S/Ts).
From Harrisonburg, it is exactly 10 miles from the Royal Farm where I gassed up to the right hand turn for Rt 612 which was per the Dirtopia directions. That road is called Peake Mountain Road. The directions didn't mention, but I made notes that there are a total of two (2) left hand turns to stay on 612 which occur after 1.5 and 4.5 miles of travel (or the 11.5 and 14.5 mile marks if you set your trip odometer from the Royal Farm). From there keep an eye out for Gospel Hill Church; immediately thereafter is your Left turn, seen above.
"Ya like taking pictures?"
"Well, I'm kinda scouting the trail and want to record where I've been."
"There's some beautiful scenery down yonder," and he commences to describe the path to be taken. It's a bit out of the way, but it was a nice gesture. I kinda thought, here are two men in the middle of the woods, from different walks of life, talking about skylines and sunsets together.
"I'd like to have your truck..."
At that moment, another truck pulls up. The blue truck in the picture above was the guy who took the trail behind me. He was only in the shot momentarily.
Anyway, I'm thinking, 'Ain't nobody just gonna roll up in the middle of the woods and take my truck.'
So I remark about how solid the Toyotas are, and that mine is still a work in progress. We got into talking about the hilux and the reputation for it in other countries. This is mostly me talking. Fortunately, it was just an in-artful way of paying my truck a compliment, but I wasn't sure how to take it.
Anyway, the other truck had picked up this guys dog. All the dogs were wearing radio transmitters and were scattered all over the mountain chasing some sort of game. And the various guys were collecting the dogs from varying points. Still not sure what exactly they were doing, but that's what I gathered from the chatter I could hear on their CBs as they were near me. We weren't on the same channel. I was tempted to scan around to listen in on whether they were talking about me at all. It's doubtful though. I had, at least at that point, 3 aftermarket antennas not including the stock antenna (totaling 4). I could damn near talk to the space shuttle had I not let my good antenna get clipped. Oh well.
The reviews said to head to the left from the trailhead. To add a little more detail, you need to head to the left as you EXIT the trailhead, not as you enter. Fortunately I just checked these on foot. The guy who passed me was bringing in his dirtbike and he was familiar with the area. He had said he didn't know what this trail was but thought it was closed. He pointed me in the right direction on how to get onto 2nd Mountain.
So I was really bummed by that because much of the trail was downhill and I wanted to run some of the muddier, icier sections in reverse.
It really is a shame that the 'entrance' on the south side is not public. It is very prompt access to the trail versus the long, meandering switchbacks that are required via Long Run Rd.
The other thing I was able to confirm is that it did not appear possible for a full-sized vehicle to even attempt the 1.4 mile ATV section that connects 2nd Mountain Trail and Dictum Ridge at the south ends, as I recalled seeing almost bollard-like structures erected at an area posted with a sign reading "Only Experienced ATV riders should take this trail".
Hopefully I can have some friends. And some friends can come out and play.
The truck handled well though. I had emergency comms. I had the best compliment of recovery gear with me to date. And I packed as if I was going on an arctic expedition with full camping gear and several winter rated layers...for a trip lasting only a few hours. But the idea was that should some unfortunate circumstances befall me where i was not completely incapacitated and could rouse myself, I could hunker down until rescue came. I didn't really believe it would come to that. The reviews stated that the trails were not exceptionally difficult. And the guy on the motocross bike was also traversing alone. As was the 'wrong way' guy that almost caused me to trespass. Anyway. I'm looking forward to more adventures WITH accompaniment. Until next time.