|29th November 2009, 11:05||#1|
Superlift Off-Road Vehicle Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA: EDIT : Videos Added
Thanksgiving - nice American concept. That means a long weekend, very long weekend - all of 4 days.
And here I am by myself in Memphis. Google to the rescue and I discover this place Superlift Off-Road Vehicle Park at Hot Springs, Arkansas
Called up and fixed a spot for my tent. Then shot off to the Supermarket to pick up the tent, an air mattress, snacks and all other titbits necessary to a 2 day trip. The idea was to leave Memphis early on Thursday and get there by noon. The park manager kindly agreed to get some of the offroaders there to give me a ride.
Check the weather forecast for Hot Springs - hot only in the name - it is 0 degrees C.
Day one- Thursday 26th November 2009:
I arrived promptly at 11:30 am, the only guy who showed up in a Sedan, checked in with the manager and went ahead to pitch my tent, right next to the ominous warning board:
I knew I was headed for a rough weekend. The sign on the washroom hand dryer dispelled any doubts I might have had:
Once done, I wandered around the parking lot, Jeeps, jeeps and more jeeps in all shapes and sizes. Being a Gypsy fan, I enquired with the Manager if any Suzuki Samurais around. He said three were already on the trails and those guys were willing to let me ride with them. Man I missed it.
Here are some teaser pictures:
Finally, just before sunset, the three Samurais arrive. I meet Andy, Jake and Hartie. 2 Samurais that look pretty much stock, the third one (Hardy's) Samurai has lost everything Samurai except the bonnet. They tell me that they will be back the next day morning and I am most welcome to ride with them
To be continued...
Last edited by khan_sultan : 1st December 2009 at 13:21.
|29th November 2009, 11:13||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked: 5,106 Times
Oh man, Rajan, you just had one of the MOST perfect weekend a 4x4 enthusiast can imagine. I am just drooling at the pictures and there you were seeing them in flesh.
Am hooked to this thread and can't wait to hear more..
The vehicles in the pictures are amazing. Haven't seen some of the things that they have earlier..
And this one here looks like a road roller. MAN.. something to die for.. TOOOO GOOD.
Last edited by khan_sultan : 29th November 2009 at 11:25.
|29th November 2009, 12:08||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2007
Thanked: 245 Times
Great weekend trip that you have had!
Looking forward to the next set of pictures.
|30th November 2009, 01:21||#7|
Day 2 - Friday 27th November 2009:
My toes are freezing. I am wearing thermal body glove, Fleece track pants, Woolen Sweater, Woolen Cap and Woolen Gloves, but sadly Cotton Socks. I am in the tent, on the air mattress under a thick rug. But still my toes are freezing. I wake up and check the clock - it is 5:00 AM. Unable to sleep any longer, I jump out of bed. The car's windshield and top are covered in a layer of ice. Damn, it must be below zero degrees. It is too early to do anything. I jump into the car, turn on the ignition and heater and sit there warming myself up for the next 2 hours.
After a hot shower at 7:00 AM and a steaming cup of coffee, I am all set to go off-roading, but have to wait for my friends to show up. After all I cannot go off roading in a Hyundai Accent
7:40 the three samurais show up.
Left to Right - Andy, Jake, Rajan and Hartie
Andy opens his bonnet and I get a quick shot of his Engine Bay
More jeepers are still arriving, most of them with their jeeps on a trailer. I am told those jeeps are not street legal and cannot be driven on the roads
Then I hop into Andy's Samurai. The dash is non cluttered and there is no Speedo, clearly conveying the purpose of this beast.
After checking that the CB radios are functional and everyone can communicate with the others,we hit the trails, with Dave joining us in his Rubicon Jeep.
After a few adrenalin filled trails, we decide to break for lunch. Before that, I jump into Hartie's Samurai for a ride down "Death Drop". We go over to Hartie's cabin for sandwiches and I am amazed that while we need 110 Horses (That is what Hartie has under his belt), nature can do these trails with just one horse.
After lunch, we decide to explore some new trails on the other side of the park, across the highway. We are joined by a White jeep. We are about 10 minutes into the trail, which looks relatively easy compared to what we did in the morning, when the white jeep breaks down. The front wheels are locked up and won't spin. The rear axle is broken and the rear wheels are coming off.
I get to witness a very organized and efficient recovery. The White jeep is lifted up on a high lift, the wheel pushed back in. Then with the white jeep in 2WD, it is towed to the nearest exit. A fellow jeeper gets his trailer and we load the broken jeep on to the trailer. Unfortunately it is already the end of the day and we have to get back to base.
Whew, what a day.
I gladly take up Andy's offer to sleep in their camper that night. So off we go for a pizza dinner, then back to the camper and I have never known a bed to be that welcoming ever before.
Day 3 coming up soon.
PS: I have loads of Video, but having trouble uploading to Youtube. Still trying and will post the videos once uploaded.
Last edited by khan_sultan : 1st December 2009 at 13:27.
|The following BHPian Thanks PatchyBoy for this useful post:|
|30th November 2009, 05:18||#9|
Day 3 - Saturday 28th November 2009
6:00 AM I am up feeling well rested and fresh, after an undisturbed sleep in a nice warm bed. Hartie will not be participating today as he has to leave. I am also planning to leave around lunch time and head out to The Museum of Automobiles before heading back to Memphis. Check out pictures of the vintage cars here
So with just half a day to go, I am restless and am waiting for Andy and Jake to wake up. 7:00 AM I can hear an alarm sounding and Andy is up. Jake is soon out of his bed as well. After some coffee and getting dressed, we are out the door and back at the ORV park. I see a lot more jeeps and also spot two more highly modified Samurais.
Andy decides to go back and explore the trails across the highway, which we had to abandon last evening. Three more jeeps join us today. So we are now 2 Samurais and 4 Jeep strong.
After clearing the first few obstacles, Andy faces his Nemesis. He is literally stuck between a rock and a hard place and is neither able to move forwards nor backwards. The red jeep which joined us today, manages to take a different approach and clears the obstacle and winches Andy in.
In the next hill climb, I am in Andy's Samurai and we almost flip backwards. Guys tell us that the front two wheels were almost 5 feet up in the air, but luckily we land back on all fours and clear that one. Unfortunately, the handicap of riding in the vehicle means no pictures. It is a trade off between getting pictures / videos or riding and I obviously choose riding. I also noticed how sturdy Andy's roll cage was and decide to get some pictures of the roll cage. The design might be helpful to fellow BHPians.
We clear the rest of the obstacles without much fuss and are back in the base camp by 12:30. I bid farewell to my friends and head out of the park in my sedan.
A special thanks to Andy, Jake and Hartie for having made this trip very special for me. I have always heard of the legendary Southern Hospitality in the USA, but got a first hand experience this time. It was really amazing how people can be so warm and friendly to a total stranger.
Thanks a ton guys. Hope our paths will cross some time soon.
PS: YouTube is still playing spoilsport. I have managed to upload just 1 out of the 11 videos I selected for uploading. Hope it completes soon. Here is the one video that finished.
Last edited by khan_sultan : 1st December 2009 at 13:28.
|30th November 2009, 07:53||#10|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Greater Chennai
Thanked: 482 Times
Hey Rajan, Nice job. Glad you are having a whale of a time.
|30th November 2009, 09:11||#12|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2006
Thanked: 198 Times
These are pure off roaders. Looks at the coils they are shod on oooohhhhhh.
You are with the right set people. I could see many vehicles behinds. Need more pics buddy.
|30th November 2009, 09:59||#13|
The Videos, at last
After struggling to upload the videos all day, I decided to convert them into MP4 format first and then upload to Youtube. It worked, but sadly no audio
Thought I would upload anyway, gives you something to watch. In all the videos, I have made sure that the trees are upright, so you guys can get an idea of the angle of climb. No tilting involved
@MODS: Can you please add "Videos now added" to the thread title? Thanks
|30th November 2009, 11:04||#14|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Helsinki, FI
Thanked: 962 Times
mate, thanks a ton. Now i know one moer activity on my to do list for my visit to US early next year. lat year i drove a Nascar. this time, should do something interesting and this sounds like THE event to go to.
|30th November 2009, 12:00||#15|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2006
Thanked: 226 Times
Great thread. If it was rainy day, the task would have been near impossible with lot of slush.
Thanks for posting