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Southern New Hampshire's Rubicon

Contributed By: Paul Snordby

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 14:57:05 EST
Subject: trip report

On SAturday we found a hard trail. We started out the day up by Keene and drove up to the lookout tower. It was gated off. We then stopped at Gunseth's 4x4 shop. We asked the owner where the hardest trails were. He told us that norhatch was the hardest in the area. He said that they go up there to relive stress. Mr. Gunsseth asked us if we had done the last section of the lines, we said no. He told us that they were straght up and down. Of course we said were there. We left Keene at noon and proceded to norhatch. We entered the lilnes and got stuck on the first little hill. The mud was real deep. Scott had to be pulled out and drive around. I got through the same mud and up the hill because of my super swampers. Next was the bypass around the first rock ledge. We got stuck on that and both had to winch ourselves up. I tore a small hole in a valve stem. When I got up to the top I pinched off the leak and blew up the tire, so I thought. We proceded on. All the hills were negotiated with little trouble and the mud pits also. We drove down past Old Troy Road and ventured into unfamiliar territory. Scott went first. He came up to the first drop off. He got out and looked and said here I go. Straight down he went. He slammed over big rocks, his back tires came off the ground many times. He got to a slight level point and stopped. He was shaking because it was so steep. Then it was my turn. Scott and Elmer guided me down. I slid and slammed my way dowm. Then Scott proceded down again. He got down the next section. I had to sit a while to calm down and blow up the tire again, the valve stem started leaking again. 20 minets passed and I went onward. I hit a section where both my back tires were feet off the ground and my right front was starting to come off the ground. Elmer was pulling down on the back to keep me from rolling end over end. At the same time Scott was going down a ledge and giving me play by play on the radio. He rolled his jeep over on its side and was all done. I said to Elmer fuck it I am going for it. I hit the gas and drove off the huge rock and leveled out and came down with a bang, another dent in the body. The tire needed air again. We filled it up and I had to calm down my nerves. Scott hooked his winch up to a tree to dream about holding his Jeep from down the cliff. Another 20 minets went by and I got down to Scott's Jeep. I put the 9000i to the test. I pulled him upright and he managed, with the help of starting fluid to get going. We winched and backed him up to level ground and checked his fluids. His oil got gassed out. I gave him my spare filter and six quarts of oil and he changed his ooil. We realized that at this point is where we needed to take the by pass through the woods. The 4x4 shop told at the end we would need to do this, we thought that he meant the very end and not still on the power lines. We got on flat ground and put our Jeeps in 4x2, then my front driveshaft fell off, because all the screws on the transfercase had loosened up. I guess they didn't like the stress. We drove out to Keene and couldn't find screws, so with our nerves shot we called it over. This is the hardest stuff I have ever been on and will probably ever be on in New England. When I was popping in a new stem a local in a toyota with 38.5 Swampers talked to us and said give him a call and he will show us all the hard trials in the area. Next time we go up , in JUne, we will have a guide. It still sends chills down my spine just thinking about it. later dude

Steve NOrdby
1982 WAgoneer (luck to still be driving it,two new big dents)
could you pass this on to Bill Barnes ( Thanks Me and Scott will be adding this on for our club run in September for the sick 4-wheelers. The trail leaders will not be driving down it. Beating death once was enough. I haven't given it a queer name, but wqas thinking about the Rubicon of New England. I know Paul Ferrari will want to try and drive up it. More power to him.

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