While searching for local off-roading groups in the mid-Atlantic area, I happened across VA4x4.com, a web site that centers around off-roading events in the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. area. Unlike many other web sites which are dedicated to a single brand or model of vehicle, VA4x4 promotes the idea of “open-brand” off-roading, and with a growing member base and a wide range of vehicle types, it’s a concept that’s proven highly successful thus far. Curious to learn more, I signed up as a new member back in April (2010). It wasn’t long after I joined that I learned of a June 5th meet-n-greet at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park (RCORP). I responded excitedly, indicating that I would be in attendance as any trip to Rausch is generally a lot of fun. As it turned out, this event was no exception.
Some of the members arrived the night before and camped out in tents but since I’m a little closer than most, I decided to just drive up the same day. I arrived at the RCORP staging area around 8am where I was introduced to several members of the VA4x4 crew. There was apparently a large event for Xterras scheduled for that same day as well, so the park was busy that morning. After paying the park fees, airing down and seeing to other general trail preparations, we organized into a small group of five vehicles and headed out of the park in search of mud and rocks. Our vehicle line-up consisted of two Toyota truggies, one from an ’88 pickup and one from a former 4Runner, one well-equipped XTerra, an equally-outffitted 80-series Land Cruiser, and myself in an FJ Cruiser.
After crossing through some short green sections of trail, we spent the remainder of the morning hitting blue- and black-rated trails. The truggies were very impressive to watch as they traversed the larger boulder areas with apparent ease. Even the Land Cruiser managed to prove true to its heritage, deftly scaling large boulders and steep ledges with agility that belied its size. I bypassed several of the more difficult areas but the rest of the crew performed marvelously over some genuinely difficult obstacles.
We returned back to camp around noon to take a short break and grab some lunch. After lunch we decided to go have some fun in the competition course area, where once again the truggies proved quite capable. Instead of heading back out to the trails, we decided to toy around on the comp course for a bit longer before heading back to the staging area and calling it a day. All in all we had a great time and I got to meet some great new folks that I hope to wheel with again in the near future. I didn’t get as many pictures as I normally do, but I did manage to snap a few at the staging area, as we stopped for breaks along the trail, and a few more of some of the rigs in the comp course area. I’d like to close by saying thanks to all the guys in the group for having me along. I look forward to wheeling with you again soon!