Nature’s fall foliage backdrop illuminated the trails and the VOR gathering with shades of orange, gold, and crimson. It was photographically addicting to capture the reflection of the season on top of trucks painted metal surfaces. The beautiful surroundings made the trails long as you cannot help but stop to collect photographs.
The VOT combined off-road driving and recovery skills with overland, vehicle-based adventure travel in the spirit of the Camel Trophy, which charted wildernesses worldwide between 1980 and 2000 -- all on the Class 4 public roads that crisscross rural Vermont. Despite the name, 2015 marked the first year where an actual trophy winner was decided.
The last time I left the safety of marked roads was in a desolate area of Baja California. My husband was at the wheel of a 4x4, and I was trying to hide my terror from our two schoolchildren as we scraped over rocks and teetered near cliffs. We hadn’t seen a soul in four hours, and we were lost. I was taking stock of the ice chips just in case. For me ever to try “jeeping” again, there had to be a powerful incentive.
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