Trail Report – Fall Camp – September 2010

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Well the Weatherman was wrong, it turned out to be nicer weather than I had anticipated. We had a few Board members up on Thursday so they could do a little exploring on Friday before the other members arrived. From what I’ve heard they found some trails that warrant further exploration. Most of the membership arrived on Friday night greeted by damp ground and a wicked wind.

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Saturday morning we managed to get the groups rolling before 10:30…. am. Three groups were formed 1)-Six modified vehicles to tackle the Quinn trail, 2)- eleven mostly stock and near stock vehicles to drive the Crag Lake trail front door and 3)-Seven Modified vehicles into Crag Lake via the front door with a possible continuation out the back door. We had several day guests including Dan and crew from National out to rock test Dan’s latest Buggy.

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I traveled with the number 2) group as mid gunner , Pete tail gunned and Norm took lead. The greatest challenge was the Dodge Dakota driven by Ryan, with its huge wheelbase and no lift this involved plenty of rock stacking, winching, strapping, drivers skill and patience. Ryan was informed that this was not going to be an easy task and that he could park it at any time but stuck it out. This reminded me of some of those college/university pranks where they put a car in an impossible location, this time it was Crag Lake.

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Group 1) was mostly Senior and Board members with our guest Dell from North Bay in his CJ. Sounds like they had a relaxing run with time to explore around the Quinn Lake area. They reported that Pinion Pass was rain slick and hard to ascend without aid.

What about Carnage you ask ?….. well of course there are always unavoidable and avoidable accidents, that is just part of our sport, but instead of dwelling on the negative I feel the positive experiences and attitudes of the participants greatly outweighed the negative. Norm, as trail leader was in great form and must have ran 6km on the 2km long trail, dashing back and forth spotting people through. Pete did a great job as tail gunner and was seen out and spotting participants even though he was suffering from a crummy cold.

In the end everyone made it off the trails just after 6pm as it started to lightly drizzle.

Once back at camp we were greeted with a great fire, plenty of “Chilli Con Carne el Presidente” and a Pot luck with enough to feed a small army. It’s always a nice way to end a day on the trails with a full belly, stories and joking around the camp fire.

Sunday morning was damp and cold as people slowly started packing up to head home. Some of us met at Munford’s at noon for our semi-annual Adopt a Road clean-up along the 508 (Calabogie Road). As we drove from the camp ground towards Calabogie it rained, so as stated in our Contract with Renfrew County we cannot pick up trash in inclement weather, rain, drizzle or wet roads we thought that we would be cancelling this event. Not so, a few km’s before Calabogie it stopped raining and the road surfaces were dry. At Munford’s we met Peter Z. who had driven out with his Son to participate in the clean-up. We snaffled back some left over desert squares that Evan had brought out for the potluck and with the added sugar boost started in the ditches. We managed to clear 1km of roadway on both sides when it started to rain so we packed up and headed to a small restaurant in Calabogie for a well-deserved lunch. As far as interesting finds Clint found a spare gas cap and a $5 bill, other items are to gross to mention but the catch for the day was the three foot Bass I found in the ditch. I remembered at the last clean-up a local gentleman that had made our group a pile of sticks with nails to aid us in our trash picking, he mentioned that his house was the one with the Bass shaped mailbox. I strolled up his driveway with this giant Bass under my arm and was greeted by a Lady that was ecstatic to see her Bass being returned. Apparently it had been stolen 3 weeks ago. As we heading into the restaurant for lunch Clint spotted an old 50’s Mercury Pick-up truck parked where a grove of trees that had sprung up around it encasing it in a prison of trees. My guess by the size of the tree trunk growing out of the truck bed it had been parked for well over 30 years.

So ends another EOTB Fall Camp and I officially declare it to be a success. Thanks to all who made it happen.

Chris Palko


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