Winter snow, spring mud and summer dust are all fine foundations for a 4×4 trip. However, if you ask me, there is no finer time than Fall for a woodland 4×4 expedition.
I was born and raised in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just minutes outside of the Tahoe National Forest. For as long as I can remember, Fall meant that bursts of color were about to appear amongst the towering pines of what many locals referred to as “God’s Country.” And, since even before I can remember, Fall colors meant long Sunday drives.
Other seasons present off roaders with challenges that test their skill and the mechanical ability of the vehicle they choose to drive. However, the typically mild conditions of Fall mean that the season presents an ideal opportunity to take the whole family along for the ride, and use the winding dirt roads of our nation’s National Forests and scenic byways to explore nature before winter strips trees of their radiant fall foliage.
Although off-road enthusiasts typically have love for mechanics, the vast majority of us enjoy four wheeling, quad and dirt bike riding for two reasons: one, we get to drive. And there is little that is more relaxing than being behind the wheel where the only traffic is that of your buddies up ahead. And two, off road driving creates an excuse to get outside, off the pavement and focus on simpler things: like mud bogs, rock obstacles and snow drifts.
If I may offer a piece of advice for this time of year; take a break and give your ride a chance to stretch its legs before the hustle and bustle of the Holidays set in and snow blocks the backroads. Load up the kids, your wife (or husband, as it may be), the dog and pack a lunch with a thermos of cocoa. Then make a left, or a right, down a dirt road or your favorite trail and take in the sights of Fall. What kind of vehicle you choose for the trip doesn’t matter. Pick-up truck, Jeep, ATV…They’ll all get you where you’re going during the colorful autumn months.
Fall is the ideal time of year to enjoy four wheeling as a family hobby and spend time together doing something other than vegging in front of the boob tube. There’s lots of back roads that need somebody to explore them; so get out there and get to it.