CLUB: VANCOUVER ISLAND MEET & GREET
Upholding our Code of Ethics
The 4th Annual Four-Wheel Drive Association of BC Vancouver Island Meet and Greet was held on April 6 & 7th, 2019. During the two-day event we ran trails in both the Cowichan Bay and the Sooke areas with over 35 vehicles turning out each day to run the trails with us.
The trails ranged from beginner to advanced, the rigs from stock to fully modified. This allowed drivers to try a variety of challenges with proper guidance to maximize not only their skill sets and rig abilities, but also push their limits in a safe environment they may not otherwise experience.
This provided a wide breadth of trail experiences, stories, and memories. The first day was run using the staging area near Skutz Falls. We were greeted by our wheeling family, and some 'liquid sunshine' that allowed us to put a little mud on the tires. During the driver's meeting Glen provided some trail guidance, warning that full size rigs may have a few extra challenges during the day.
We quickly left the paved FSR and made our way along a tighter trail. The first part of the run allowed a few of the newer drivers to gain understanding in the importance of picking their line, and just how easy it is to get high centered and need a tug out. After completing the truck count to ensure everyone had made it through, a rainbow bridge developed behind us as we headed along the upper ridge line of the valley.
Up ahead lay an obstacle that would take a few hours to get all the trucks through, as the full-size vehicles took a bit of extra time to complete it safely. This experience offered up great opportunities to highlight the importance of solid team work in spotting and winching to ensure all the trucks and participants safely got through with limited damage.
Near the end of the day we split the vehicles into two groups, letting the more experienced drivers run the Powerline trail. This trail consisting primarily of a narrow steep traverse, requiring even the shortest wheel base rigs to complete several three point turns to safely make the switchbacks. Full size vehicles required a few more points, and perhaps a change of underwear if not as experienced. A few people had underestimated the technical aspect of the risks and did the right thing by asking for help to ensure a safe descent.
Back at our accommodations we quickly switched into dry socks and hoodies, then
headed over to the BBQ that Glen and Rhonda had arranged at the community hall. As much fun as trail time is, it’s equally nice to have down time, allowing us to chat and truly build friendships within our wheeling family.
The next morning we met up at the A&W in Sooke - it was fun handing out flagging tape to everyone asking which group they wanted to be in. As I went up to each person I asked them if they were going in the “break something” or “white flag easier” group; needless to say I was greeted with a few chuckles. As we had a ferry to catch later that night, we opted for the white flag group.
A few minutes later we found ourselves airing down on a dirt road, smiles all around, making new friends with those that couldn’t make it the day before.
The trails we ran that day, in the easier group, focussed more on the beauty of the island than obstacles. This allowed newer drivers in stock vehicles to gain the confidence they needed from their first few trail rides. We don’t want them knowing just how much wheeling will cost them in broken vehicle parts (yet)!
The aspen- and birch-lined trails were mesmerizing to drive through. As we approached the little lake with the cabin, I was brought back in time to my first trip up to Kenyon Lake. It is just this quaint little place where you want to set up camp for a few days, take out a kayak and chill. However, the pièce de résistance was still to come, as we crested the last hill, we were greeted with the Juan de Fuca Straight, a sight I’ll never forget.
As we know, many of the trails on Vancouver Island are restricted due to private land ownership, these events are held to encourage dual energy conversations surrounding the challenges with land management agencies and help us understand ways to develop more areas and trails for multiple uses and to deter land closures.
Through these actions we help protect our natural resources and the heritage of
our land through conservation practices so people may enjoy them for generations to come, realizing that future use depends on our responsible actions.
This helps to promote recreational activities that involve the off pavement use of four-wheel drive vehicles, encourage multiple land uses, and maintain access to the back-country.
We look forward to future events over the coming years, advancing the cause of public access to public land, leaving a positive pay it forward legacy, continuing to encourage responsible attitudes toward the use of public and private lands, and upholding the established Four Wheeler’s Code of Ethics.
Becoming a member helps to protect the rights of an individual by providing support for the united voice of responsible four wheelers and to help ensure public access to public land or for more information please visit 4wdabc.ca.