DATELINE JULY MA: Sat.Beacon - Sun. "The Paper Trail"

Story by Jim Guld & staff, Photos Jim Guld, Mike Schonberg

Among the many wooded areas throughout New England, both currently running and run down abandoned paper mills were an important part of the economy. Historically, from both pioneer roads and later logging roads, the networks of old "trails" criss crosses hills and mountains. Many properties are privately owned and closed to public access, while other publically owned lands have also shut down access for OHV recreation. It is important to check with a local area club for organized trail runs as in some instances, specific permits or permissions can be gained for repsonsible fourwheelers. The "Beacon" area is one such area that provides great challenges mostly on old logging roads. Day 1 of the ride featured the Beacon run, while Day 2's run is now named "The Paper Trail" as it winds it's way down passing by a mill.

Jim was able to attend this run, without Mr.Ed (if you'll recall he's still recovering from the last run... at time of print) and describes what it's like as a spotter and passenger for the saga "Pulp Friction: locked up, winchable and ready to roll."

This would have been the second time that I rode this trail, except for last months mishap,so I was relegated to the right seat and spotting duties. It still was a great time and the weather was perfect. We met at a local diner/gas station and had breakfast and thought that we would hit the trail right after breakfast. Well, a little bit of miscommunication as to where the trailhead was had us driving around for the first hour until we doubled back to the gas station and asked the guy pumping gas how to get there. I knew it was only a short distance away from the diner - but we took the wrong road. It actually worked out well because New England 4 Wheelers were also doing the same trail that day and they had what looked like 20 rigs and with our 14 it would have been a log jam!

After getting onto the trail and past the first obstacle and on upto the second obstacle,it became very clear why we said that a locker and winch are necessary for this trail, along with that, tow hooks front and rear,or a similar attachment points.

The trail was fairly dry except for a few wet spots and the mud hole area. Iíll have to say that in general we had an easier time this year getting through the trail than last year. It was a little wetter last year but I think in general it was due to good spotting and a relay system we used. I know that people want to watch others go through the tough spots but when you get over 12 trucks it really slows the pace down when you have to get the guy watching to move his truck up, because he is blocking the trail. What we did was have one person guide the first 7 trucks and another person guide the last 7. It worked out really well. I hope to see this practice implemented on more of our larger runs.

[ NEXT ]

NEXT PAGE Offroad Mailing List By Stefan Roth [SFWDA]