Dec 30, 2020
...and here we go:
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In case you are unaware:
The East Coast Xterra Challenge is sponsored, produced and directed by The North East Nissan Xterra club, its Officers and Supporting Membership.
Thank you NEXTerra!
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Anybody else going? I’d consider going mainly to meet a bunch of folks. Outside that it seems like a little too much structure for me to really enjoy it.
Too much structure? You sign up, get put in a group and wheel. How is that too much structure?
Waivers, paperwork, inspections, multiple locations, multiple mandatory show times, waiting in lines, etc. All based in/around a campsite with a kid it's more hassle than it's worth in my case. Just personal preference. If I'm doing a group thing like that it's a lot more fun if it's "when people feel like it" and it's not a big hurry. I get this is more of a "challenge" and that's cool, but my offroading style is more about getting outside and relaxing with some wheeling in between.
From someone who has been to many of these, with kids, I can assure you it is not too much structure. Also Twin Grove is a great campground for kids! You will spend most of the day cruising the trails with group of similarly capable Xterras, and the pace is usually pretty laid back, with plenty of stops, where you can get to know people and hang. Paperwork is simple, a waiver for the club, and you gotta do the offroad parks paperwork(which AOAA I believe you can do online, Rausch you can print-up and home, fill out and bring with you). You dont have to do all 3 days, as for locations, you either drive to one, or the other, they are both in the same area. You do have to show up in time to leave with your group, yeah. But as for the saturday night dinner, its better to get there on time for the raffles and food, but its not like be here at 6 or be turned away.
Also, I run Notajeep4x4, and something new we are doing for this year is a meet and greet BBQ on Friday night, at the campground, the start time says 7, but show up whenever you want, as long as we are at the pavilion, you are welcome! We will have burgers and dogs, etc, BYOB. Planning on having some coloring pages for the kids and might raffle some swag off. Everyone is invited, there is no cost, and this is going to be a family friendly event!
Thursday, back in 2019, at AOAA there were 23 trucks, Friday at Rausch 23 and Saturday 28. In past years there have been more. There are 16 signed up for 2021 so far.
You can check the list of sign ups HERE.
I agree that its fun to get out, do things at your own pace and relax. Driving a truck to a place to fish, camp or just to chill in the outdoors.
ECXC is not that.
It is about wheeling your Xterra.
It’s about testing the off-road limits of your Nissan Xterra and your driving ability with friendly folk on the same mission.
Waivers and paperwork are an unfortunate burden of the times we find ourselves. There was a time, back in the day, when a bunch of guys known as “The Mid Atlantic Xterra Club” got together and wheeled at “Shamokin” in PA; no fees, no waivers, no M&G, no raffle, no BBQ.
That was 21 years ago in a world that no longer exists.
In this world of lawsuits over hot coffee being too hot even small non for-profit organizations like NEXTerra need to protect its membership with a waiver.
Here in the northeast there are very few places that are open for us to wheel our trucks. These pay to play parks are our only option and they both require a signed waiver.
The inspection is for the group’s peace of mind. We don’t leave folks out on the trail.
No one is going to pop the hood or crawl under anyone’s truck.
If my step rails are still on, they’ll suggest I take them off, so I don’t smash them into my rockers. If my spare is under the truck, they’ll suggest I take it off and strap it down inside, so I’ll have it undamaged for my trip home.
And if it seems obvious to the guys that my egg crate will be lucky to make out of the parking area, they are going to tell me.
No one is going to stop me from wheeling...they just may not be able to rescue me...
A few years ago, a guy showed up in a truck, ready to wheel, that was leaking gas. These guys must be able to say something. "just so you know, if it catches on fire a fire truck can't get to it..."
The multiple location was started a few years ago in answer to complaints about the lack of diverse trails to run over a three-day event at one location. So now there are two locations. No one “has to” attend all three days.
The “mandatory” show times and waiting in lines aren’t mandatory. You can show up whenever you want and if you’re with one other truck (park rules) you can do your own thing.
Times and morning line ups are for those that want an organized trail-run with a Trail Leader that knows the park and your truck.
Even though this event may not be your style you’d be welcomed and, I believe, you and your “kid” will have a great time.
I hope you attend.
ECXC is a great time. In 2015 I took a leap of faith and drove 7 hours out there from Ohio to wheel my first event without knowing anyone. That was super out of character for me (I still can't believe I did it). What happened is I met some guys there who I consider my best friends today.
Give it a shot.
Edit: Also, I'm not big into events either. This one is different. Very laid back. Very good group of people.
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