It was the last event of the season and I still hadn’t made it out to Chaos Off Road Park. When my schedule opened up a bit I decided I could make it. Despite the last minute invite I and our newest guest on the forum, Niels Vilstrup, decided to meet up at Chaos Saturday morning and make a day trip of it.
Being the last event of the season it apparently drew a slightly larger group than many weekends past. There were somewhere around 40 vehicles there by the time of the mandatory drivers meeting.
Niels and I decided to head out on our own. He had purchased his Jeep just a few weeks prior, it still had the paper tags, and I thought it would be fun to just show him the ropes. We slowly made our way up the main hills, with him taking some of the optional wash outs with some direction. When we got up to Rat Shack we paused to let another group of Broncos, lifting Jeeps, and a custom tube buggy go by. Niels had never seen a vehicle like that before and we talked to the owner for a few minutes about the build. Very neat to see a custom vehicle like that up close.
Once the other group left we continued on and hit a few more milder trails, giving Niels time to figure out the nuances of slowly guiding your vehicle over obstacles. I did some optional obstacles, and tried a few that didn’t pan out including the Ekoh Rock Garden. Around that time we assessed what we had tackled and what our plan was moving forward.
Niels was literally shaking with excitement and decided maybe it would be best if we headed back down for lunch and called it a day. So we took the scenic route back, complete with a few more spotted obstacles, and made it back down to the main field.
The park now has a couple that sells lunch food, $3 for a chili cheese dog, and their setup is quite impressive. We got some food and sat down to discuss the days events and get to know each other a little better. That turned into discussion with other wheelers, and eventually us over by vehicles so he could see what different sliders, wheels, tires, and bumpers looked like and had to offer. Before we knew it it was 3pm. I was planning to leave around 4, and so we decided to both just go over to air up and call it a day, partially because of a thunderstorm that was also moving in.
While some people might not enjoy driving the easy trails once their vehicle and skill level allow them to tackle harder terrain, I have to say that I find the the excitement that newer drivers such as Niels express to be contagious, and I would encourage others to consider taking a step back and maybe re-discovering the excitement of this past time through the eyes of drivers newer to our hobby. I know it made my day as well as his!
**Note: This trip did not qualify as a Trail Ride to be counted toward membership application because the number of members present was not sufficient to meet that requirement.