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Discussion Starter #1
Just got back from my first run and I thought I do a write-up on the ExploringNH Trans NH Expedition. This is a 3-day guided run (you can buy the solo route off their website as well) that starts at the Canadian border and weaves its way through the state hitting numerous logging trails and class 6 (unmaintained) roads until finally ending at the coast in Rye, NH. This is set up as a stock friendly run, but there are sections where it will be good to have some protection, as you can scrape slightly at some points. I showed up with the ENH normal minimum requirements checked off. It's not required for this run but it does help. Of course my inexperience caused some good scrapes along the skids and sliders (I took a Hard line at the hardest part of the trip) but all in all the X performed beautifully and no one needed to be recovered. One rig had to change a tire.

The represented route off their website to get an idea:


If you're not familiar with the area I'd recommend doing the guided tour as the routes can (and were) closed off due to conditions so it was good that they were ready with backups and diversions that you just won't get with the solo package .gpx files. We got a few miles into the run when the road was closed due to flooding and we quickly turned around and took their backup route. I don't know what the original was like, but the backup on Day 1 was amazing.

I was the only X. I'd love to find a way to get a 10 Xterra run (10 rig maximum). They do only two events a year but I could try to talk to them about doing an extra if we have a full group? :


We stayed at Lake Francis State Park the night prior because it was a 4-hour drive from my home.



That chipmunk is eating a butterfly that got caught up in my CB spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Day 1:
We met @ 0800 at the Canadian Border. We did a quick driver's brief to go over things and they passed out a T-shirt (for the driver) and a TNHX sticker. We headed out @0830.

We started out on a logging road. As I mentioned earlier, we got a few miles into it before the road was closed and we turned around to their alternate route.

Much of the road was the same but we came upon sections where the road had been washed out but was passable. It was a good shakedown for the X but we really never stopped to take pictures due to the pace we were taking.



We took had lunch at Beaver Brook Falls. We almost had to meet up with the group as the girlfriend climbed to the top and had to sprint to the X as the group was leaving.


After lunch we hit some Class 6 roads that progressively got worse (or better for wheeling) with the trees really closing in as we made our way to Mount Washington.



And then ended our day taking the Mount Washington Road to the summit. The conditions at the summit were extremely good (and rare) where visibility was at 100 miles. I'm not a heights fan but couldn't pass this up.



I will say that the road up is beautiful and also terrifying if you don't like heights. While at our brief they kept telling us that the road is able to handle two way traffic. You are driving up with no guard rails and potential 1000 foot drops. My eyes never left the road. The drive down is done in low gear (we used 4-Lo and 1st-2nd gear) and used a couple turnouts to cool the brakes. We kept having the X's automatic shifting us out of first at 3000 RPM in first, so I kept having to try and do it in 2nd.

We stayed at a local campground for the night.

Day 2:
The beginning of the day was spent on roads crossing the state through the Kancamagus Highway and thru my Old Stomping grounds on Enfield NH over to grab some trails. The first picture I posted at the beginning was done at a turnoff on the Kancamagus. This next one was a covered bridge prior to turning on from a side road.


After airing down we it the trails. The trails were wet but fun.



After lunch the Girlfriend took over so I snapped a couple pics. I won't include a picture of her driving because she'll most likely have me sleep on the couch. I will say she has much more experience than I and took the trails really well. At one point I thought we weren't going to make it and she made it look easy (no pics of that).

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Day 3:
I was informed in the morning brief that after lunch we would be hitting the hardest of the trails so I let the Girlfriend drive the morning because, well this is what I was here for! :) Trails were much of the same and at lunch the Trail Leader let us know that he would be spotting us over a section but it would be worth it. I jumped behind the wheel a little nervous but excited because I was running full steel skids and sliders and figured at least it would protect me if I screwed up. I took the spot right behind him.

We got onto the trail and as we came open the rocky section that climbed up the trail he came over the CB and said "I'm going to go through this section and park and come down to spot." He started his line and up and over some rocks where he got a little hung up but powered over and continued up the trail. He came over again and said "...or you can try to see how far you can get before I get down there..." I think my brain took that as a dare...

We started up and everything was fine until we got to that section. The girlfriend mentioned that she thinks our line should go to the right, but I followed his line to the left, thinking I'm all armored up and wanted to see what the X could do. I almost made it before the open diff said "Nah" and as we crested the came down on the skids, lost traction, and slid back. Of course my inner Clarkson said "More POWER!" and I tried again, this time with a heavier foot. Once again, the open diff said "What did I tell you?!" and we slid back, scraping along the way. At this point the Trail Leader comes over the CB and says "Oh by the way I took the Hard line." And I turned to see the Girlfriend's grinning face. I could hear the other guys going "Wow" and grimacing as the skids took the scrapes.

I was spotted out without recovery but I definitely left with a bruised ego.







After that we finished the trail and headed to our air up point before heading on roads across the state to end at Rye. We had to leave the group to get home at that point so really no picture there.

Four days in all, 700 miles, tons of trail time. I'd recommend it as a trip to see the state and to enjoy a few days away. I'll be doing it again. Now onto VOBS 2019!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think I am def going to on one of these runs, but'll have to wait till next year...looks like an awesome trip
I'll be going next year if I can grab a slot. I believe two of our group had gone the previous year. The Trail Leader said that the October run is sold out, and most of them had done it the year prior as well. I think it cost me $350 for the run, which when you consider the cost of two nights campgrounds, the Mount Washington road, and the Swag was included it was a good deal. They don't do this full time and they don't make a lot, but they do it because of the love of the trails.

I must say as a first timer on the trails it was a great time, and I look forward to taking the X out this summer as much as I can with the whole ENH guys. I'll probably take the Offroading/Recovery 101 Courses as well.
 
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