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2018 201 4WDrive - Mar/Apr

Nine vehicles and 18

Nine vehicles and 18 off-road enthusiasts met at Canadian Tire in Gravenhurst, Ont., October 21, to follow the Haliburton ATV Association’s (HATVA) marked trails around Black Lake and head for Black Lake bypass, near Dorset along Hwy 35. Among the series of off-road vehicles, Jeep was well represented with five JK’s of various years, trim levels and mods, plus a few other models to round out the group. While there was a plan in place, things didn’t go quite as well as we hoped. Our day started out driving to the Pine Springs Road area, located north of Hwy 118 and east of Hwy 11. We stopped to air down our tires and repack our gear at this clearing. As it was also moose hunting season, we spoke to a few different groups in the area as well. The first leg of trail was a graded dirt road. Recent logging operations had cleared and filled at least five kilometres of trails to such an extent that we lost the trail markers! However, since the route seemed to be going in the direction we were headed, we carried on at a good rate of speed. That was until we got to some loose fill over a culvert and many of us needed a tug to get through. The recent cut and fill also meant that some sections were a bit spongy. We passed a series of side cut trails, but continued on. It was around this time that we started to lose the ATV trail markers and ended up on a trail with only snowmobile markings. Once we got to this swampy area with multiple streams flowing through, we began to realize we were on the Black Lake North Trail, and not the Black Lake bypass we hoped for. Tire size and treads were part of the solution to handling this terrain, but winches were the order of the day for any serious deficiencies. Nonetheless, the combination of saturated soil, rocks and tree roots made for slow progress through this section. There were multiple ways through, which were slightly less (or more) challenging, but it all depended on vehicle width and wheelbase. A few were able to trudge through without a tug or Here’s Mo getting strapped out and no, he’s not being punished! Ken and Angela - JKU, Paul and Colin – JKU, Jeremy and Dotah – JKU, Andrew – JKU, Mo and Brian – JK, Brenda and Dave – TJ, John and Janet – 4Runner, Or, Dar and Ilya – G Wagon, myself and Al CJ7 Many of us needed winching assistance to get through the relentless muck. 8 Subscribe at suncruisermedia.com/4WDrive

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