TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Day trips, excursions, shop days and meet-ups.

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TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby Coniston » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:18 am

I never got around to posting this on the forum, just on Facebook, so for posterity...here's the story of Jarek, Dan, myself and some of the other Northeast crew heading to Vermont for the weekend...for the three of us, on a whim.

PROLOGUE
It’s noon, a sunny September Friday. My parents are down in Cape May for the weekend at a wedding, and I have the house to myself. The pool is crystal clear, the patio inviting, beers in the fridge. It’s finally my opportunity to have a little NJLR gathering at my house.

I knew that the NELRC contingent was coordinating a Vermont trip this weekend, and I’d considered going, but I was not super confident in Spenny’s fitness to go, not with him being my only car. I’d put it aside as a thought – nice to do, but not something I was going to do.

I call Jarek. “Wanna come over tonight, have some beers by the pool?”

“Can’t man, Dan and I are going to Vermont tonight.”

At this point, my mood changed. Well, I’m not one to miss out on adventure, and certainly a sort of maiden voyage of OM617 version 2.0 would be an adventure. I looked at my watch. Work got out in five hours. I could catch the express train home and be at George’s by 7:30 to head up.

“Shit man, I’m in.”

It was the most spontaneous travel thing I’d done in years, and for all the trips I do, it filled me with euphoria.

CHAPTER 1
SHOP NIGHT


I get home, throw stuff in a bag, pull some stuff out of the back of the Rangie, throw more stuff in the back, check the fluids, lock the doors, and leave a note on the counter for my parents, who I have so far not told I was going. If I’m winging it, I’m winging it all out.

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An hour’s ride up 287 to Wyckoff, and I found George’s shop dark and Jarek still 45 minutes away. I do a spot of grocery shopping across the road – sodas, PB&J, Clif bars – and go and wait.

Our tasks are focused. Jarek’s new steel rims are totally out of balance, and on 37s things are all over the place. By the time we start balancing, it’s going on 10.

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We screw around, get things done, and bid farewell to George, and a few minutes later, New Jersey.

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CHAPTER 2
NORTH


The best thing about my long wheelbase RRC is the 4.2 litre V8. It’s got that extra oomph over the 3.9, great for highway cruising.

Jarek’s OM617 has zero oomph. And we’re convoying.

It’s past midnight as we cross the Tappan Zee. The road through Fairfield County is clear, and soon we’re bearing north at New Haven for the Massachusetts line. It’s balls to the wall, if you could call a top speed of 50MPH balls to the wall. There’s a rest stop break (4-pack of Monster), a petrol/diesel break (5 choices of octane for petrol, 1 choice of rubbish diesel), and then we’re in Vermont and the Interstate is dark and we’re practically alone, only the two of us on our CBs for company.

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We get to the exit for Rockingham, go up windy residential roads to the campground, and try and find the group site. It’s 5:30 AM, and we try to keep from waking anyone up as we wind through the sites. After driving a full loop and not seeing the group site, we pull over to the side of the road in front of the camp office and bunk down in the back of the trucks. I turn off my 6:00 AM work alarm on my phone and try and get what sleep I can.
Greg
Duncan: 1994 Discovery 1
Butler: 1994 Range Rover Classic County LWB
Spenny: 1993 Range Rover Classic/Series IIA 108" Station Wagon Hybrid Project
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby Jarek M » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:48 pm

Aa takes me back, more!!!
Boar - 95' Discovery 1, with OM617 Turbo Diesel conversion
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby ini88 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:56 pm

Good time and nice photos. Hurry up and finish the write up!!
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby Coniston » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:00 am

CHAPTER 3
13 September 2014


I only got about an hour and a half of sleep, on the hard rear floor of Spenny. I need to figure out a more comfy sleep mattress solution – the hard bed of the truck is getting old, though the room to stretch out is great.

I woke up to Brandon Rabbie cruising by in his 90, knocking on my window and informing me that the group campsite was approximately 100 yards from where Jarek and I encamped. Feeling a right idiot, I drove over to meet the crew for the voyage.

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The first apparent thing was that our purported leader, Ed Tatton of NELRC, was absent. We had maps and data and locals, but no Ed. We would cope.

The group was a combo of regulars from the Northeast, plus some oddballs like Adrian in his Land Cruiser and Heather from Michigan in her 1995 RRC LWB. Intros were made from those who didn’t know each other, coffee brewed, unknown trucks were inspected.

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About an hour later, we were on our way to the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, the meeting venue for those who didn’t camp last night. We convoyed down the main roads to the store, and it struck me how tidy and organized Vermont was as I noticed that every attraction and visitor service was neatly and frequently signposted. Several trucks were waiting for us in the carpark, and local goodies awaited inside. I passed on the Moxie t-shirt – they didn’t have my size in Moxie orange – and debated buying more ExOfficio Give and Go underwear, possibly the greatest invention ever gifted to man.

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CHAPTER 4

It was then off to the trails. Our goal today was to wind from Grafton northward to Killington, with a goal of camping in free camping in Calvin Coolidge State Forest. I ran down the road to top up Spenny’s petrol, and we headed off to our first Class IV road, Stagecoach Road connecting Grafton with Chester.

Shifting the transfer case into low range always gives a sense of occasion to a wheeling event. On the occasions that the neutral tone works on the Rangie, it feels like putting the afterburners on on Concorde. Soon we were navigating our first mudhole, trucks rumbling through one-by-one.

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We soon encountered our first major obstacle – a significant hill climb, with two routes. After about 15 minutes of stamping about trying to decide lines, Adrian taking the lead, we decided to go for it and start getting the trucks up. I was about third or fourth up, putting Spenny into second and bouncing off rocks to save the sidewalls and sills to get to the top in one clean shot.

Once at the top, it was time for spotting. We had some guys from Long Island, college-aged guys with a stockish D2 with street tyres. It was their first time wheeling, and though they might have been a bit over their heads in this terrain, we still welcomed them with open arms as Rover people are wont to do. Dan Clark of Vermont winched them up the hill climb with his wickedly modified D1, and Jarek soon followed, the OM617 of the Boar grumbling its way up.

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One of the people on the trip who I most enjoyed meeting was Heather, who drove out from the Detroit area to join this trip. She’s a road warrior in her RRC, and has been to events all over the country. She’s got a great ethos about life and wheeling – in the case of the latter, her goal is to keep her RRC as close to stock condition as possible, right down to the stereo she had modified by Roverland Radios to put an auxiliary jack in the blank spot in her HVAC unit for a Disco’s rear air button. She was a true pleasure to get to meet and wheel with.

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We took a lunch break, having gotten a late enough start to do so. Some ate, but I bedded down in the back of Spenny and went for a half hour of naptime. It had been a long night, and I needed to catch up.
Greg
Duncan: 1994 Discovery 1
Butler: 1994 Range Rover Classic County LWB
Spenny: 1993 Range Rover Classic/Series IIA 108" Station Wagon Hybrid Project
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby Rsek » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:21 am

You know how to spin a yarn. Well done and great pictures. I could learn from you.

Btw, I recognize George's garage. Coincidentally, I just drove past there this morning on my way to Ridgewood. Did he close? I haven't found any indie guys willing to work on Land Rovers. So I learned to do the work myself. My time is very limited these days and I was somewhat excited to learn of George's garage in this thread. There are some things I just don't know how to do.
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby Jarek M » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:42 am

He did this location but is opening back up in same area
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby bossman429 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:15 pm

Keep it going Greg. Great narrative and pics. I'm glad someone has the patience to do a write up. God knows I don't!
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby hilltoppersx » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:43 pm

holy shit. i totally forgot to show up.
-Ed, President - Northeast Land Rover Club
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby Coniston » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:18 pm

Facebook broke the links to these images, but fortunately, I've learnt from the Photobucket Holocaust and now keep this stuff archived on my personal website. Here's a writeup I had done on Facebook and transferred to my site verbatim. Control your content, yo.

http://www.gregfitzgerald.net/land-rove ... ontaneous/
Greg
Duncan: 1994 Discovery 1
Butler: 1994 Range Rover Classic County LWB
Spenny: 1993 Range Rover Classic/Series IIA 108" Station Wagon Hybrid Project
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Re: TRIP REPORT: Vermontaneous - 12-14 Sept 2014

Postby Jarek M » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:21 am

O man that was great trip, thanks Greg
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