Let me start by saying this is a small and tame mini-"expo" by many standards. But, we gotta start somewhere, right? After spending the weekend working for U Joint Offroad at the NC Overland Rally, I had the bug. So I changed directions on my YJ build to suit more travel/ mild wheeling instead of more hardcore stuff.
My wife and I decided to spend the day exploring a new trail and taking backroads.
We began at the Hurricane Creek trail near mile marker 8 on I40 Westbound. The trail is a USFS road/trail which is 100% legal to drive on. It includes many small creek crossings and is easily passable on a rig with 31's. We proceded to drive all of the available trails stopping to get our feet wet in the creek and to take some good nature photos along the way. When I took an optional line out of a gulley, I stood it up on 1 back tire but brought it down without much ado.
After reaching the end of the trails, we headed into Fine's Creek NC for some fuel and refreshments at Furgeson's General Store. We hopped back onto Max Patch Rd and headed up the mountain. We reached the parking area for Max Patch, unloaded our packs and started to hike up to the summit. It was nearly 90 degrees today, but at 4600 ft with a storm rolling in, it was 68 degrees! We made the 1.4 mile climb, snapped some pics and jogged back down. Being on a bald in a thunderstorm isn't the best idea...
Next up was the gravel road into Spring Creek and Hot Springs, NC. Simple, maintained road that winds down the mountain into the community of Spring Creek. We explored a bit before heading into the small town of Hot Springs. There we got some coffee to warm us up from being wet at Max Patch. We walked around town and checked out some stores before heading home towards Asheville.
Overall, we 2 laned 140 miles, put 15 miles on it in low range and had a blast doing it.
My other rig is a Jeep MJ on tons and 39 Reds that I race in ECORS. I have to say, this short little relaxing trip was as much fun as racing through the woods at 50 mph.
Here's a few pics: