DAY 5: SAWMILL & OLD RHINEBECK AERODROME

4 Wheel & Off Road - - ULTIMATE ADVENTURE 2018 -

Thurs­day morn­ing was a wet one, and ev­ery­one was soaked to the bone by the time we met up with Frank Fred­sall at the Sawmill. The Fred­sall fam­ily has owned this 240-acre piece of land since 1953, long be­fore any­one thought about wheel­ing it.

Af­ter leav­ing the Sawmill we made a stop at the Beck­ley Fur­nace in Canaan, Con­necti­cut. This pig iron fur­nace dates back to 1847 and con­tin­ued in op­er­a­tion un­til 1919. The fur­nace site be­came a state park in 1946 and was added to the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places in 1978 to rec­og­nize and pre­serve its place in our na­tion’s his­tory of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and in­no­va­tion. Trent McGee re­ally knocked it out of the park this year find­ing hid­den gems like this along the back­roads of New Eng­land dur­ing his event pre­run.

The fur­nace was just a warm-up for the next stop: Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Our group of gear­heads went nuts over the planes and an­tique au­to­mo­biles, rang­ing from re­con­struc­tions of can­vas-skinned Wright Brothers planes to the Golden Age of Flight (be­tween WWI and WWII). The mu­seum has an airstrip across the street where air­shows are per­formed on sum­mer week­ends. They even give rides in bi­planes!

From the aerodrome we re­stocked on our way to North­east Of­froad Ad­ven­tures in El­lenville, New York. There we camped for the night.

Chris Paul’s trans­fer case was start­ing to get pretty noisy by Day 4, but that didn’t stop him from flog­ging his H3. Paul knows his ve­hi­cle’s lim­its bet­ter than most, thanks to all the seat time he has in the Hum­mer. He told us that re­mov­ing the front doors re­ally aids in vis­i­bil­ity on the trail, some­thing H3s def­i­nitely need help with.

It wouldn’t be an ad­ven­ture with­out a lit­tle rain. Johnny Wood and Am­ber Me­drano were warm and dry in­side their Ram truck. Oth­ers with open bug­gies and no wind­shield wipers had a much different ex­pe­ri­ence.

Trees! If you are wheel­ing in New Eng­land, trees will be part of the ex­pe­ri­ence. All of the trails run this year were un­der a thick canopy of trees and veg­e­ta­tion. This pro­vided shade, made it dif­fi­cult to take pho­tos, and limited where we could go, par­tic­u­larly for the driv­ers of full­size ve­hi­cles.

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