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Trail Hunting at Rapidan 06/05/04 it wasn't really a trail ride. Dale and I went searching for some legal trails for future FM2CD VA trail rides. Of course, Jen came along for the ride and Dale's cousin in law Brian rode with him. We went up north of Charlottsville into Rapidan...and we hit the jackpot. We found a few Jeep trails to plan rides around and only explored maybe a third of the area! So it was a good day.

Enjoy the pics...

It was raining almost the whole drive out from Richmond and that meant one thing...MUD!

It's raining

Although we hooked up at Waffle House, it was mobbed. So we decided to do BK instead and eat in the parking lot while going over the maps. Not only did we have these (Dale has a thing for maps), but we each had GPS and I had brought the laptop with all the 24K & 50K Topo maps for the area on it...that's a lot of maps. Shocked
Got maps?

As we headed up Rt33, things started to look a little it might actually clear up...but it never did...
It's not gonna get better

This was the first trail head that we found...the rocks at the entrance seem to have been deliberatly put there to keep out the riff raff. Problem is, not all of our club members have the armor to make it over them without serious damage. Still, it's a legal trail and a small group of us could get in there...
Trail head

Since Dale's XJ is bone stock, has almost no armor and is his (actually his wife's) daily driver, we had to figure out another way into the system...time to bust out the laptop. From left to right that's Brian, Dale and me.
Brian, Dale and me

"Dude, I knew we should have turned right at Albuquerque!!!" laugh
Dude, I knew we should have turned right at Albuquerque!!

These next few were taken very close to Buzzard Rock, which is just about the highest point in the area. Unfortuantly, it was really overcast, so this picture overlooking the valley does not do the view justice...I mean you can't even see the Blue Ridge montains in the backdrop... Confused
It would be a nice view

Also from the same spot. That's Dale, Jen and Brian.
Dale, Jen and Brian

...and me and Brian...
Me and Brian

Me and Jen on a logging road on the way back down from the top.
Logging road

A few shots of a side trail that I decided to go about a 1/2 mile up and then come back down on. It's much steeper and much narrower than it looks in the pics...I ended up taking out a small tree on the way up trying to avoid his great grandfather who jumped out at me....damn trees...
The elusive forest XJ pouncing!
Oh's just me

After a busy day of wheelin' and exploring and playing in the's time for some nourishment....
mmmmmm...Mexican Food! drool

Over the last few trips we have learned a lot about our GPS's. The main lesson was just because we have technology, still be prepared to fall back on the good maps and a good compass. I know I ain't throwin' out my Delorne anytime soon!

Also, although we did have problem...the technology didn't exactly fail us; GPS is only as good as the maps loaded on them. Dale was pretty pissed off that both of our GPS's mislead us...his missed a waypoint causing us to miss a turn. Once we figured that out and went back, that turn took us right smack dab into the Strawberry festival/parade thingie. Since mine only had the basemaps for Standardsville, it wanted to take us all the way around in a circle to get us to we went back to the Delornes. Dale found a way through first and he was "on the map, !@#$ the GPS!!!" and burned rubber. 

However, the tracklogs came in real handy...more handy than anything else about the GPS actually. When compared to the topo maps, they told us that we had gone off the logging road (which at the point we deviated had become almost impossible to pass cause of all the neither of us had aired down making it even more difficult). The ones we were on were not on any maps...telling us they had all been recently cut. These logging roads are so new that they do not yet appear on any maps that we've seen.

After all was said and done, it was a good R&D day:

a) We learned a lot about our equipments shortcomings and how to get around those shortcomings

b) we found a couple of new trails for us to take on future runs

Plus we just had an awesome time, it was a lot of fun.

Here's the abbreviated version of our track logs:

Header Position Description
Waypoint 17 S 726945 4245574 Jct 230/667
Waypoint 17 S 730251 4234952 Jct 29/33
Waypoint 17 S 724315 4241937 Jct 33/230
Waypoint 17 S 725640 4240438 Rt33 Bypass
Waypoint 17 S 725243 4256070 Trail
Waypoint 17 S 724009 4256903 Jct 615/667
Waypoint 17 S 724178 4252525 Jct 667/675
Waypoint 17 S 724486 4254036 Staging area
Waypoint 17 S 724659 4254180 Trail Head
Waypoint 17 S 725234 4255534 (Jeep Trail)
Waypoint 17 S 724763 4254541 Forest Trail
Waypoint 17 S 724629 4254805 Logging Road
Waypoint 17 S 724616 4255104 Valley Overlook
Waypoint 17 S 723653 4255096 Rt 667
Waypoint 17 S 723892 4257596 Waypoint
Waypoint 17 S 723876 4258721 Waypoint
Waypoint 17 S 723859 4259321 Trail Head



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