This first video is a minor hangup during one of the early water obstacles. The interesting thing about the water obstacles here are the submerged obstructions which don't really appear until the water has been disturbed by the first couple of vehicles in the convoy.
After I got through, I took footage of the rear two vehicles in the convoy. The chunks of ice in the water were anywhere from 1-3 inches thick. As the trucks plow through, from the inside of the cab, it sounds like quite the raucous of impacts to the undercarriage. It made me glad that I scrambled to get the factory skid plates ordered and installed prior to this trip. But to then listen to another truck pass through, it doesn't really sound like much.
This is one of the more tame climbs. There was a more intense one that was a mixture of snow and rocks maybe 15 minutes prior to this one. Our trail leader advised to give one another a wide berth and, in no circumstances whatsoever, should we stop moving on the climb. So I didn't want to risk bringing out the camera on that one.
This climb was much like the prior initially, then the grade got a bit more severe and the terrain a bit more rocky.
In this video, I tried to capture the depth of the water we were going through. Unfortunately, you can't really tell if the water is one inch or one foot. Probably the deepest portions we went through approached the top of our tires. There were deeper pools, but we all opted not to go through. I considered it briefly with the assurance of the snorkel installed; however, I wasn't so assured of whether the Nittos would drive me back out as they aren't true mud tires.
I left from work in Columbia, MD around 530/6. I had gotten done with turning over a completed commercial space around 4pm. After late lunch and a stop at Home Depot to obtain some longer bolts to finish installing the DIY mid-span skid plate that I started fabricating the night before. I cut and ground round two openings to allow my hands to fit in to the topside of the plates to fasten bolts. Although I had used the angle grinder to smooth out the contours of the opening, it did very little to actually remove some of the burs which actually scratched up my hands pretty well the night before and continued to go to work on my hands during this secondary installation. The air was so cold that I had very little sensation in my hands. I also think it caused my skin to be drawn tighter and be more susceptible to cutting.
I hadn't decided where I'd stay or what I'd do once I got to town. I ended up stopping in O'Neals Pub which is the de facto rendezvous point for post trail meetups. I initially drove to the entrance to the park to make sure I could find it. I couldn't get the address to show up in my GPS; so, I actually used the GPS coordinates that they listed on the site. It turns out, at least for my GPS, I needed to use Tremont Township and not just plain Tremont to get it to show up.
I hung out in O'Neals for a couple of hours. The truck created quite the stir. In the land of lifted SUVs and oversized tires, I didn't expect my modestly modified truck to make any sort of a splash. Street parking was readily available, and I found a spot a few doors up from the bar. Immediately, two men seated in the Pizzeria began staring non-stop at me and the truck. It was a prolonged stare, as I was reorganizing some things in the cab, disconnecting the charger, stowing the GPS, and looking up a hotel location on my phone. And through all of this, there was not a single break in their collective stare.
Initially there were no seats at the bar proper, but there was an open spot near the restroom that had a bar ledge. The music didn't stop, but my entrance did catch the attention of most of the patrons, as it was the kind of place where everyone knows everyone, and clearly no one knew me. Ordered a Guinness and decided on a sandwich selection. Two spots opened up and I switched over. The waitstaff and bartenders were all exceedingly friendly and made sure my stay was enjoyable. After a few minutes, the bar manager announced/requested- "Ok, so who is the Zombie Hunter in here with the truck parked outside". I was a bit taken aback, as I was parked far enough down that you couldn't see my truck easily from the door and he had not been outside since I arrived. A patron chimed in, "Well how do you know they're in here?"
He indicated that the owner of the shop up the road 'watched the guy walk into [your] place.' So I acknowledged it was me. And all of the usual questions started. Quite the funny set of exchanges ensued. There were some impromptu photo shoots that took place. Folks started calling their friends to come to O'Neals and see this out-of-towners truck.
I had the opportunity to return following our day of wheeling, and many of the same girls were working that afternoon. I didn't get to stay long as I needed to get back on the road to see Jenn that evening in Philly.
I'll have to return to this post as I'm still in Philly now and Jenn just finished making breakfast.....