Traditionally, CORE is going to be on the trail somewhere on New Years Day each year. Many clubs have trail rides that day and call them Hangover runs. This year, we were in Maryland’s Green Ridge State Forest.
For those of you reading this who may not be aware, we call ours Grandma Holman’s Ride as my family’s lore includes a firm belief from my grandmother that whatever you do on New Years will be repeated throughout the year. She manifested this by avoiding tasks she didn’t like to do. The family also held beliefs about traditional meals but I’ve never particularly cared for black-eyed peas.
If the lore is true and you really will be doing the same things all year long, then CORE will be playing hide and seek in the fog, driving down muddy and rocky trails, and crossing streams at designated points where there are no bridges.
We will also be having a great time with some pretty good people. In order to not be repeating things from New Year’s Day, we will also be working on our communications equipment and practices!
” Another new year started off right with fresh air, pleasant company, and a great ride.”
Along for the ride this year were CORE members:
- Keith in the BlaZeR2
- Mike V and Donna in the white Rubicon
- Loc in the yellow Rubicon
- Mike K and Deb and daughters in the Expedition
- Gary in the big blue Blazer
- Alex H and Laura in the little Blazer
- Bob in the lifted blue Rubicon
- Paul L in the silver Unlimited
- Ben in the diesel K20
- Alex P and Wayne in the TJ
- Miles and Mike in the Dakota
We also had guests this year:
We had originally picked two separate meeting places in the thought that those coming from Virginia would find it shorter and easier to get to Sideling Hill but in reality there wasn’t a whole lot of difference for most. Most of us met at the Maryland I-70 Welcome Center on South Mountain west of Frederick. I am pleased to report that all were on time for our 8:45 departure.
The morning had shown some fog and low clouds but they seemed to clear as we descended down the west side of South Mountain. The low visibility quickly returned though and that’s how we played hide and seek between South Mountain and the Sideling Hill Center on I-68. We gathered the rest of our group at Sideling Hill (including those who had just plain missed the first stop and drove on past). With the New Years holiday, the center was closed.
About 10 miles further west, we exited the interstate for Flintstone MD. We stopped at the only place that was open, the Sunoco station and convenience store where folks topped off the gas tanks and bought needed supplies.
We back tracked along the frontage road that is really US 40 to Old Williams Road where we turned to make our way into the forest. Several turns later, we found ourselves at the beginning of the OHV trail. The OHV trail is a rarity in Maryland (in fact, this may be the only legal place to ride an OHV on public land in the state – but don’t quote me on that.) The trail is a one way loop and about 10-12 miles long. The route includes some brief passages on public roadways and non-licensed vehicles are required to display the state-issued permit for OHVs.
The route passes by a number of campsites run by the state (you must register at the forest headquarters building to camp there) and a few privately-owned cabins surrounded by state forest land.
There had been enough recent rain to make for a few puddles and the occasionally slippery spot but nothing too severe. (We try to keep New Years runs on the extremely stock friendly side.) My CB started acting up again, transmitting only a squeal (not to the delight of other riders) when the mike was keyed. In hindsight, I recall that I have a handheld in my box and should have swapped it out at the first signs of problems.
After stopping for lunch at the powerline crossing, we made our way on and along the ridge top to one of the scenic overlooks. I think the first time I went on this route was the only time I’ve gotten the full benefit of the view back into Virginia and West Virginia. The clouds pretty much obscured any viewing today but it still made for a nice place to get out and stretch and enjoy a laugh or two.
After that, we circled back around to make the crossings over Town Creek. The creek was higher than last time but not high enough to be concerned in the stock height 4x4s. All made it safely across each of the three times. These crossings are well-documented (photographically) and can be seen by clicking on the album link.
Following the thrid crossing, we regrouped for our ride back in towards town and the interstates to head for home. Another new year started off right with fresh air, pleasant company, and a great ride.
We’ll see you on the trails.
Remember to Tread Lightly!
Trail report written by Keith Holman. Pictures courtesy of Keith Holman, Loc Pham, and Bob Weaver.