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Discussion Starter #1
I read something here that sparked a realization:
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=689818
One of the guys was asking where the good obstacles are on the trail...

That's the difference between what it was, and what it has become. That's the difference between the "dusty dirt roads" vs. "rock piles in the desert."

Is this a better way to think of it that, light-weights vs. extremes? Lifted Wrangers Competion-wanna-be's? Grey-hairs vs. Mohawks?

I've been trying to say little tires vs. big tires to avoid some of the reactionary terms above, but does Trails vs. Obstacles say it better?

I enjoy obstacles and the trail, as well -- Rubicon, Fordyce, and Moab have both in spades... but I know some folks JUST go to trails for the obstacles.
Is that what's changed?

Randii
 

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That's an interesting question that got me thinking, in that there are times where I can be putting along a dirt road (trail), just taking in the scenery (like Naciemeinto road in Big Sur) and not do any real crawling. And on the other hand, I use the trails to get to some fun obstacles, like in Moab. It's just that different people use trails for different purposes, and those purposes have changed over time.
 

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I wouldn't say disconnected, but just different viewpoints on the actual use of a trail as different trails have different uses and meanings to the individual user.
 

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You could draw similar analogies in many sports:

Trophy hunting vs. meat hunting
Scenic sea kayaking vs. storm kayaking
Intense singletracks vs. mountain biking for fresh air
Sport climbing vs. traditional climbing
Float fishing vs. whitewater rafting

All are valid ways to enjoy the sport, but certainly cause some differences in perspective. Have things really changed? I'm sure there have always been people who love trails, and people who really wanted to see 4low and hubs locked sections of those trails. Obstacles have become tougher, but have been there in some form.
 

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Randii:

Me thinks you have too much time on your hands to be delving into this type of philosophical discussion....

Let me phrase is this way:

One person's trail is another person's obstacle.

or, one person's obstacle is another person's trail.

Basically, it is a matter of perception.

Is the "joy" in the journey or the destination?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Journey or Destination?

I can tell you that on Rubicon, usage has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. The TRAIL was the pursuit, with fun obstacles along the way, and the vast majority of the users ran end-to-end. Today's paradigm has a majority of users running Loon-to-Sluice-to-Loon.

It is a significant difference. I'm not sure what is cause and what is effect, but it really helps me to think about it from a different angle, when I'm talking to different users.

Dunno. It made me sit back and think...

Randii
 

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Do we need to emphasize the journey more?
Yes I think we do! We all wheel for the enjoyment and the journey is the primary purpose of almost all trips. Now if you happen to get a few adrenalin rushes on that journey it just got better.

The journey for many of us starts when you leave the driveway and for some it gets better when you meet up with some friends. The trip to the trail head is for us a big part of the journey and upon arrival at the trail heaed it just gets better as you unload (if you tow), air down, check your load, lock the hubs, put it in 4 wheel drive, do a walk around and finally start down the trail.

It's all good for me and my friends and the journey doesn't stop there because after the trail is everything before, done in reverse and then the trip home. Even though that journey is over it lives on in stories told over the phone, at work, at the grocery store and even on the next journey over a campfire.

For me every journey is a memory that lives on, to be told over and over.
 

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Destinations and Journeys.
Hmmm.

I'm in it for the spiritual benefits. That usually includes smooth riding trails of discovery, and the obstacles that appear along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Do we need to emphasize the journey more?
Though it might be easier to just pick one (destination/journey), I think it is important to welcome *BOTH* kinds of folks... it is a bit of a continuum, and all points of that continuum are welcome if they'll take care of BOTH parts of the continuum. We've got the same problem with idiots in that continuum, whether it is obstacle-lovers trashing the trail inbetween, or trail lovers trashing the obstacles or creating unauthorized bypasses.

Me, I'm about 50/50 - I love the challenge of the obstacles when I'm on the trail, but what really sticks with me in the long run is the fun of being *IN* nature, enjoying the scenery, and getting away from the daily rat-race.

Randii
 

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yea, yea, yea, all good stuff, but what DOES it mean to us, to our sport? :):eek:

Boy, Randii, when you put on that thinking cap, you get us all going. Good, tho. But you know me, I always fall back on what ACTIONS do we take to make some SENSE out of our cogitating and profun-di-cak-tin? No, that's not a word, don't spank me.

But what?

Are we coming to the realization that we all have different needs (and that is one main reason we live in America)? Are we seeing that there is room for all of us to enjoy our sports, whether simple, sexy, soothing or serious? Are we seeing that if we don't accommodate all our needs, some will be upset and left out? Are we understanding that organizations need to adopt as best they can to fill a niche and NOT fill other niches? What????

I for one would like to see us come to the FINAL realization that if we don't find ways to get along (share the trails), we'll all lose eventually. And that is one reason I always admire whomever invented the BlueRibbon web site and called it sharetrails.org. Hmmmm, someone was thinking. :)

Del
 

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Do we need to emphasize the journey more?
yea, yea, yea, all good stuff, but what DOES it mean to us, to our sport? :):eek:

While destinations can stir my adrenal glands, it's the journey that stirs my heart and keeps me in this for the long haul. We were doing some semi-challenging trail riding last spring, I was focused on "what was next" down the trail, and my then 5yo oldest daughter rolled her window down.

It was about 40ºF out, and sleeting and breezy.

"Honey, please roll your window up".

"No, Dad, I want to smell the trees!!!!!!"

I grinned and kicked the heater up a notch and threw a blanket over her lap. I'm thankful for the unexpected reminders to enjoy the journey.
 

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I run trails and camp in the Forest for a HUGE variety of reasons.

And I am pretty sure many other do so also. To say some just go up for obstacles is too black and white IMO Randii.

If that was the case, many would just be happy stacking rocks in someone's backyard.

For me the biggest reason is to relax and hang out with REALLY GOOD PEOPLE.
 

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Randii, I agree with you. Our local wheeling group likes to ride on trails. That's why I got into this hobby. Denying that there has been a shift or at least a growing number of people who come out solely for the obstacles would be near-sighted. Some people approach 4wheeling with as an extreme motorsports event when recreational 4wheeling is not "extreme," whatever that means, IMO. Competition is another thing. 4wheeling is about the trails, the great people, and the scenery for me. It's one of the few ways my dad and I have been able to share time together because he has helped me build vehicles, modify them, and go riding with me for the last 10 years.

I've pretty much quit going to parks like Gray Rock and Morris Mountain because there really aren't too many trails to ride. Instead there are 1/4 mile sections of "trail" that everyone blasts through to get to the next obstacle. I'm guilty of having done that too, but for me trail riding with some hard obstacles thrown in on a long trail is a lot more enjoyable. My mecca's have always been Moab and Tellico – I cut my rockcrawling teeth at Tellico with open diffs in June 2000 and was in Moab at the end of August that same year. Those trails are the ones that mean something for me, not obstacles where the objective is about seeing who can win a pissing contest. At the same time, I understand there are people who want to feel the accomplishment of spanking an obstacle or earning bragging rights or getting a rise out of the crowd.

Regarding Del's remarks, he's absolutely correct. There's room for everyone at the party; we just have to figure out how to compromise whether it's between obstacle seekers and trail riders or Trout Unlimited and OHV users at Tellico.

I had to voice my $.02.
 

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The chest thumping rock stacking thread in Gen 4x4 got me thinking about this thread.

I am in it for both reasons. Taking my kids fishing, camping & hanging out with salt of the earth folks is what it is all about. I also love the journey & the challenge.

I guess I look at the "challenge" aspect a bit different. I am currently building a stock '47 flatty to bring the challenge back to the 'con. I will be a slow rock stackin fool, but I will move over & let the hardcore guys pass :p
 

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elarsen, I love the idea of a stock flatty out 'wheeling. That rig will be loads of fun!

It didn't come across in my earlier post, but I enjoy both things as well. However, my preference is for good trails.
 

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Nice thoughts. I enjoy the obstacles, but when I go to Moab, I also enjoy the
trails. Usually while sitting in my heep waiting my turn on a ledge, I look around
and think, "It don't get any better than this, the view, the trail and my friends".
 

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Me, I'm about 50/50 - I love the challenge of the obstacles when I'm on the trail, but what really sticks with me in the long run is the fun of being *IN* nature, enjoying the scenery, and getting away from the daily rat-race.

Randii
Hi Randy, I agree 100%. I love spending time in the Sierra, doesn't really matter to me if I am crawling over a boulder or cruising down a dirt fire road. Just getting out there is what keeps me sane in this insane world.

Sure, it's always fun to finesse a crazy obstacle, but there are also those annoying moments where things go 'snap' and you gotta spend time fixing the rig. As the years have gone by, I think I started leaning more towards getting to camp in one piece instead of challenging every boulder along the way. :D

Regards,
....Mike
 
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