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Submitted by: David Marchand

The On The Road, by Bill Burke, was held in Savoy Mountain State Forest, in Western MA on June 7th and 8th. The weather was very wet, especially the first day. This played a big part in the difficulty of all of the already challenging trails and obstacles.

The first day began with a few hours of instruction by Bill on safety, equipment use, vehicle preparation, etc. All very useful and helpful information whether you thought you knew everything or not. We then headed off to the trail around noon. It had been pouring (I mean buckets of rain) all morning. So needless to say, the trail was a virtual river. Their were a few bog crossings as well which played havoc with the lower clearance vehicles, or those lacking mud tires. Lot's of steep inclines and plenty of mud throughout the day. I know nearly everyone slipped and fell at least once. We had to do quite a bit of winching throughout. Near the end of the day, the one Disco in our group got stuck in a pond for more than 20
minutes. After we recovered the truck, they had intermittent engine trouble. We got off the trail around 7:30 and attempted to work on the truck as a group (mainly it was Bill and a rover mechanic Vinny from Rover Specialist in NJ, who did all of the work. The rest of us just stood around and gawked. It was a late night.

The second day, after meeting early, we headed to another trail head. This trail was markedly popular with the local four wheelers. As a group of 14 or so Jeeps were also on this challenging route. It was interesting to see all the differences in the various trucks on this trail. While the weather held for us, the bugs did not. Lot's of big obstacles on a very narrow
trail. But very little winching, largely thanks to the spotting and guiding Bill and Greg provided. Mostly rock, very little, if any, mud. We wrapped up with some instruction on route finding, reading maps and compass work. A great day of riding all around.

No matter what your skill level, it was obvious everyone was learning from Bill's experience and expertise. We had a number of different trucks. 3 D90's all with different drive trains, 1 Rangie, 1 Disco I, 1 Disco 2, 1 Chevy ZR2 (from Georgia nonetheless). All trucks were set up very differently with drivers of various experience. The group dynamics were
terrific throughout.

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