Outlanding Report

Yesterday I did some minor Outlanding. I took my camera with me, mostly because I was really out for pictures of the leaves, but I found some trails anyway.

Yesterday I did some minor Outlanding. I took my camera with me, mostly because I was really out for pictures of the leaves, but I found some trails anyway.

This first picture is of a place I’ve written about before, a sand/mud pit just over the border in Ipswitch, New Hampshire. It’s near Mt. Watatic – actually a bit beyond the mountain’s traditional trail entrance. If you’ve ever been up there, you’ll know the general area I’m talking about. You take Rindge Road in Fitchburg all the way to it’s end, and turn left. It’s a couple of miles up on your left. There were some people there when I took the picture, so I didn’t go in (kids were playing), but I’ve been in there before. I assume people go there with their ATVs, but it’s a good playground for trucks & SUVs too. Nothing too steep or dangerous for a low-clearance SUV/truck, and the sand won’t break or bend any bodywork.

This picture is of a muddy trail on the same road as the above-mentioned sand pit. It’s a short trail, only about 100 ft long before it becomes very weed-covered (and hence, likely to scratch your paint). The mud is not too deep, but it does require some skill to get through in, say, an Outlander. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in that mud! It’s a fun spot, and there’s a sign that says Commercial Land for Sale at the entrance, so you can always say you were checking out the land if you get caught there.

As I continue to explore – sorry, Outland – I’ll try to post more pictures and directions.

Also, there is an interesting trail with its entrance in the parking lot for Hannaford in Lunenburg (on top of what’s known as “Wal-Mart Mountain”). I haven’t been down it recently, but I explored it once with the Keithmobile-C (the truck), and it’s not that bad. The tough part is getting in there without attracting undue attention, though I’ve seen people running their ATVs up there, so it may be privately owned, or maybe not.

That’s all for now… peace, y’all.

-Keithius

Outlanding Locations

Some places I have found for Outlanding (soft-roading) that are promising.

Some places I have found that are promising:

  • Behind the old Coin-Op car wash on John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg, next to Colonial West Chevrolet (near Carol’s Dary Bar). Appears to have a large sand-pit.
  • On the northbound side of Interstate 190, before the 117 (?) exit. Near power lines.
  • Near Mt. Watatic, in New Hampshire (exact location uncertain at this point, I’ll have to go there again to pin it down)
  • On both the north & southbound sides of Route 146 in Sutton, under some power lines – near the Honey Dew Donuts shop.
  • Behind the new industrial park on Main St. in Whitinsville, by the junction of Route 146. Only accessable on non-business days.
  • On Fisher road in Fitchburg (uncertain of exact road name, but I will find it again). Looks like a rocky trail leading up & north.

This is all I can think of for now, I may add some more later if I remember something. I’m going to try to keep this list current, so that I know where these off-roading places are!

As an aside, I’ve seen pictures for the Old Florida Road in Florida, Massachusetts. (For a status report on this road, click here to view the PDF.) It’s a very interesting “legal” road that has degraded into an off-road enthusiast’s dream. But, I think it’s too rough for the Keithmobile-D… maybe I’ll be able to tackle it when I have the Keithmobile-E

-Keithius

Outlanding on Ice

No, this isn’t some strange perversion of “Disney on Ice,” it’s truly Outlanding (as in, driving around in my Outlander)… on ice!

No, this isn’t some strange perversion of “Disney on Ice,” it’s truly Outlanding… on ice! Yesterday I called up Tom and we went Outlanding together… found some fun, fun trails, and even discovered a deep-space radar & radio tracking facility run by the MIT labs! I’ll post some pictures of it later; they had some huge antennas there! We saw them from a distance while Outlanding, and we decided to “find” them. What a crazy drive!

The best part, though, was when we went up to New Hampshire and drove around on this huge frozen lake. Now, in Massachusetts it’s illegal to do that, but in New Hampshire – well, “live free or die” kinda sums up a lot about New Hampshire, huh? It was SO cool!!! There were big, BIG trucks parked out on the ice where people were ice fishing; I mean like F-250’s… and there were about 10 snowmobiles racing across the ice on this “road” that someone had literally plowed across the ice! Tom had gone there the night before, and drilled down with a 24″ drill bit, and he didn’t strike water, so the ice was AT LEAST that thick… and you only need 12″ for it to be safe to drive on. Needless to say, I wasn’t worried that my measly 3800 lb Outlander would break ice that was supporting 5000+ lb trucks! We had a BLAST… doing donuts, trying to do an axial spin (came close, might have even done it at one point, it’s harder to do than you might think), and racing across the ice at 50 MPH… which FEELS a hell of a lot faster! Whee! The Keithmobile held up wonderfully, and with my crappy (for winter, anyway) All-Season radials, we were slippin’ & slidin’ every which way. It was TOTALLY coooool.

Of course, all of this fun was slightly hampered by the fact that I DO have a cold at the moment; which sucks, I must say. It’s mostly a cough … but it’s got that “tickle” in the back of your throat that makes you want to cough, even though it doesn’t do any good. It’s awful. And my head is a bit stuffed up too, which makes me a little groggy, but with some Dayquil and plenty of water, I’m OK enough. Still, I try to take it easy.

I did get a chance to try some skid tactics on the ice – the perfect place, since there’s nothing to run into, and it’s plenty slippery! Man, you REALLY have to move your hands FAST on the wheel to recover from a skid! But, at least now that I’ve done it a few times, I feel more confident about handling it. The hardest thing to do is not over-steer, but AWD makes it a little easier. The car just “wants” to go in a straight line!

After that adventure, Tom & I stopped at the IHOP up off of 495, past Lowell, which I had wanted to find for some time. I wasn’t feeling well at this point (it had been several hours since I took my Dayquil, and I was due to take some more), but a couple of glasses of cranberry juice and some food helped give me the energy I needed to get home. I gotta give Tom mad props for coming out with me yesterday; getting out of the house and doing some wild & crazy things was exactly what I needed. Aren’t friends great?

After getting home, I swallowed some pills, grabbed my Finding Nemo DVD and headed down to my mom’s house, where I was expected for dinner. After I got there, who should show up but PJ! So we watched Finding Nemo with my mom, and eventually just got some subs from Harry’s Pizza in Northbridge for dinner. We’re so lazy! It was fun, and I ended up staying there pretty late, but I got home and felt OK, took some Nyquil, watched a little TV (to let it get to work) and then went to bed.

This morning I discovered (after waking up at 9am – early for a weekend) that my friend Jim had called yesterday while I was out. Oops! Sorry Jim!

Today is going to be a quiet day; I’ve got to do the grocery shopping for the week, and get my car washed while it’s still “relatively” warm out. After that, I’ve gotta come home and do the bills which have been piling up all week – can’t get behind in them! Ah well…

On a side note, while I was out yesterday, I got 6 voice mails from work, 2 tickets, and a couple of LiveHelp messages. WTF?? Do people think we’re open on Saturdays or something? Do they need to file their court papers on Sunday before the superbowl or something? I just don’t get it. I’ll deal with THEM later…

Well, that’s all for now. As I said, I’ll post some of the pictures I took later on, but for now, I’ve gotta get down to the car wash. My poor car!! It’s so dirty!!

Adios,

-Keithius

Outlanding

Went exploring today in the Outlander (Keithmobile-D) for fun this afternoon. I was looking for a place to watch the Lunar Eclipse from, but there’s so many “no tresspassing” signs these days that it was hard to find anywhere to go.

Current mood: Happy

Currently listening to: The TV in the other room

Went exploring today in the Outlander (Keithmobile-D) for fun this afternoon. I was looking for a place to watch the Lunar Eclipse from, but there’s so many “no tresspassing” signs these days that it was hard to find anywhere to go. I did get down some … interesting … roads, but the Keithmobile-D ROCKS and I had no fear of potholes, dirt roads, or any other obstacles. It was fun, it made me happy.

In the end I think we’ll just stay here and watch the eclipse from our porch. We have a pretty good view of the moon anyway.

-Keithius