Overlanding 1200kms across Newfoundland's old railbed in an RMax 1000

Discussion in 'Adventure On Four Wheels' started by Maggot12, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Good call bud. Good Call.

    1.5hrs each way, it was pretty awesome!!

    Without an atv or SxS, this is a good hike. So not many people ever get here.

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    Pretty much straight down from here.

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    Is it just me, or does the rock area on the left have a smirking old man face looking down at us?


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    After looking at the pics above and seeing the loose rocks and trees above us, it kinda freaked me out. This is a lot steeper then some of the pics may show. There are ropes with knots in them to grab and you're basically repelling yourself 1/2 way down, and certainly need the rope to get out.

    You'd want to be in decent shape to go down there, and be able to hold most of your weight to get yourself out.


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    I'm at the bottom, young fella is 1/4 the way up. Can you spot him? And there's that rock face again.

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    After the Sink Hole we went back in Deer Lake and stayed the night at a Holiday Inn. Thinking about it later, we could have went to the Sink Hole, then continued on our journey and camped on the trail, vs backtracking. But no worries though, all is good.

    Bummed by the tire thing, but considering that it happened a few kms from the garage vs a hundred kms, it could have been much worse. I spent some time re-evaluating my tire preparedness for the rest of the trip.
    #21
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  2. DyrWolf

    DyrWolf Long timer Supporter

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    I’m saving page 2 for dessert. Awesome trip thanks for taking us along!!
    #22
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  3. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    After the Lomond Sink Hole, we went back east to the Hotel and had a good rest. The next morning we were well fed and went west again in the cool air. This time staying on the main trail and not going north to the Sink Hole.

    The adventure continued and Newfoundland's scenery didn't disappoint !!!

    Both of us have different cell carriers and we both had minimal signals for most of the next couple days. We had some family and friends worried as the last they heard from us was the flat...

    Obligatory Hotel pic. We talked with a couple in the lobby who noticed us several days back at a gas station. They are travelling via car and happen to meet us again. We spent a 1/2 hr telling them of our trek. Pretty Cool.

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    Aother cool and rain off/on day and we had to either cross sketchy bridges or creeks/brooks/rivers. We crossed dozens of bridges but some we had to divert. Some were deep and we rock climbed over another.

    We'd both scan them and decide what to do and the line to take. The way we viewed it... If a bridge faulters, we're basically fookered, whereas crossing this would be less disastrous.

    Young fella put his feet on the dash for this one...
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    We looked at this for 10 minutes as this bridge looked pretty solid. But in my research it was not recommended for SxS, just atvs and snowmobiles. And we looked for other ways around it. Nothing..

    We then figured, if the bridge goes out, it won't go well.. And less could go wrong going over the rocks and brook. So lets go over the rocks and brook, we figured.

    4wd and low gear, big nose dive over the first rock but the RMax climbed right over it and everything else. We didn't scrape and I don't think we even spun the wheels. Young fella looked at me and said "that was a lot easier then I thought". I tapped the RMax on the dash, and said "Good Job"!!!

    I'm fairly new to ownership of this thing, so certainly not aware of this machines capability.

    Turns out later, a guy that owns a cabin near here, saw this pic and said he drives his truck over this bridge.. :lol3

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    We went up and down mountains like a goat for an hour or so. And took in beautiful country.

    Heading south towards the small city of Corner Brook.

    Cloudy Pond it's called.

    Beautiful here. And it almost got sunny. Tried fishing again here, nothing.


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    A large chalet/ lodge in the distance that one can book for a group. Sounds like a plan for next year!! I guess there's a huge salmon run through here too. All the better for a reason to come back.

    The decal says Explore. Well fuck yeah, that's what we're doing!!!

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    I guess who needs a Side by Side to explore, when you can just take your helicopter to your cottage!!!

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    A view of the helo from down river... I didn't catch anything here either.

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    After the earlier crossings of the day, I'm thinking, RMax vs River... meh !!!!
    Although it was a good one. Water splashed over the windshield.

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    1/2 hr later and this is Old Mans Pond. This is a maintained road area that has an abundance of cabins/homes in the area down around the lake.. Smooth and relatively open.

    Ahhh,, In Sport Mode we go and start drifting around the turns!!!! Young fella is holding on with both hands. Yippeee. I feel like I'm 17... We're having an absolute blast!!


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    15 minutes later at the south end of Old Man's Pond. Another gorgeous spot!! We're having an absolute blast!!

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    #23
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  4. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    A detour West before heading south into Corner Brook so out to the beautiful little village of Cox's Cove. About a hundred people live here and most make their living off the sea. I should have turned around and took a pic of the yellow, red, and blue houses. What an incredibly pretty little town!!!

    Explore, sure !!! What else are we doing.

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    Drive by this place late afternoon. We were both getting hungry, and figured. Now is as good a time as any to support a local small business owner...


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    Fish and chips for me, a clubhouse for the young fella.. yummm. Thank you Lynn's mom, the meal was great !! I told her she should build a couple small cottages on the other side of the blue car, and we'd come back and stay for a couple days...

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    Lots like this coming back from Cox's Cove south east to Corner Brook.


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    This looked like a lodge as it seem massive for a home. I couldn't find a way down there. Searching online later and found the direction. Next year we'll take a look.

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    Around 530 and about 10kms north of Corner Brook. Figured this is as close to people as I want to get for the evening.
    And our camping spot for tonight... Perfect !!!

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    There were fish in the brook but I couldn't catch any.

    Really cold most nights and this one would the same. We were warm in a down sleeping gear, but this night it also poured again.

    As I mention earlier how valuable the vestibule of the Redverz tent had become for us. We thought about bringing a 3 person backpack tent, and that would have been a trip disaster.

    Hexamine fire inside the vestibule. Hot chocolate for the young fella, and a few shots of rum for me. It was great!!!

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    #24
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  5. DyrWolf

    DyrWolf Long timer Supporter

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    Wow!! I bet those fish are deep Maybe a inflatable kayak next trip . Thanks for the ride
    #25
  6. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I probably stopped 50 times to fish in those brooks and the 1 lake. And often times I could see them. It seemed like they got spooked easily, and if I didn't hook one in the first cast or two, it was over.

    There were lots of regulated salmon rivers we crossed as well. Will get a license and do some fly fishing next time.

    Thanks for tagging along. we're not done yet !!!

    #26
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  7. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Another cool night and I awake to dry weather. I make some tea and do a little fishing. I let B sleep in which was normal for the trip. Messing around for an hr so as the tents dries off.

    We break camp around 1030 and go thru Corner Brook as we start south towards the ferry.

    Up until last yr as you approached the city you'd have to call a trucking company to pick up your machine, bring it and youreslf across town, and drop off.

    The City realized that it's missing on tourist dollars by not being atv friendly. So last yr they allow you to drive and have signs to guide you through. Pretty cool.!!!! Towns all across the province are continuing to join. To keep the silliness down the driver needs a valid drivers license and insurance. So everyone expects the ATV/SxS driver to respect the rules.
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    I was tracking gas, and as we approached my next gas stop, I only see a single pump. I know it won't have premium. And sure enough it didn't. Do'oh.. I said to the young fella, our buggy needs premium. So both of us pull our phones out and look for options. I have a full bar and 2 gallons on us, so not totally out of the game.

    Right at that moment, a guy drives by slowly and I flag him down. I tell him about the fuel situation and he says "call xxx-xxxx number". I said ok, and as I'm dialing, I say, who's that.
    He said "that's the Big Stop up on the highway, call to see if they have premium"..

    I called, and sure enough they have premium. Thanks I said, thinking who the heck remembers gas station phone numbers like that. A few kms to the highway and now we're driving on the Trans Canada Highway for a few more kms.
    Fueled up, we go back on the trail, thinking, how fortunate was that !!

    According to our route and the overall trail map we crossed approx 120 or so bridges thus far. Nearly all of them had a reason to stop and take a look around.

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    The rain was on-off most of the day and after numerous bridge crossings and fishing holes later I finally caught my first trout of the trip. I threw this little guy back. A few larger of these would have made a nice meal.


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    Then we went on to find our next place to stay for the night... Another riverside spot. Perfect !!

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    Another cold damp evening, another vestibule tent fire using hexamine tablets, but another awesome day crossing the Rock with my 14 yr old.

    Life doesn't get much better than this!!

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    #27
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  8. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I heard some noise and rustling around the tent around 330-4am. I sat up in the tent and for a few seconds I heard the heavy thumping sounds run away. Would have been caribou or moose. I went back to sleep.

    Another chilly night and today and I wake to rain and cold, thinking not again. We brought swimming trunks with us, but the temps were closer to shoveling than swimming.

    I checked around our camp spot to see what was making the noise, and there were moose/caribou tracks everywhere!!!

    Like the other mornings, I boiled up some tea and cast a line in the brook. (no luck).

    Shortly after, the sun quickly came out and it quickly dried the tent. I took my jacket off and this would be the first time this trip that I only had a shirt on. With the sun out, and the young fella now up, we both felt more energetic. We had some cereal, packed up our gear and we're on the move by 10am, the earliest of the trip. We were 40-50kms from the ferry so we had time to explore along the way.

    Having the sun out will play a huge role in the coming hours, as you'll see in the pics.

    Awesome run on the trail as we go south and started hugging the coast and we're in a great mood. As we get into Codroy Valley we climbed the tower station mountains on both sides of the highway. The higher mountain is an incredible incline to climb with most basketball and bucket sized rocks. Hikers were using the trail lined trees to help them up and hold on too going down. Slow and steady as the RMax climbed the 3km route.

    Looking North!!!

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    Looking south and that's the Trans Canada Highway going south to the ferry.

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    So happy so have the sun out for this. Still a cool day though. 17c.

    Yeah, we're not done exploring yet !!!

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    Can see the tower off in the distance on the other side to the right. We'll be over there within the hr !!!


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    The higher mountain is an incredible incline to climb with mostly basketball and bucket sized rocks. Hikers were using the trail lined trees to help them up and hold on too going down. Slow and steady as the RMax climbed the 3km route.

    The RMax got us here !!!

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    Here we are on the other side looking back at the tower from the pics above. My favourite pic of the trip

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    We're in the clouds !!! Windy and cold up here. Only sunny day so far!!!!

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    Down the mountain and across the highway, time to find the trail again!!

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    #28
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  9. marret

    marret Transient Supporter

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    Awesome trip, one I’m sure the young fella will remember forever. Thanks for taking us along.
    #29
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  10. DyrWolf

    DyrWolf Long timer Supporter

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    I can’t buy a side by side but after reading this I told the grandson next time we go to Ontario the doors come off and the top stays down on the Jeep Hopefully late May
    #30
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  11. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    As we enter Port aux Basque and come upon the last train station site on the trek, I was saddened to think the trip was over. But knew we'll be back for some more.

    We had a blast this past week, but we're quite not done yet!!!

    Cheezman Provincial Park area just outside town.

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    Just outside the ferry terminal


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    Sitting here thinking about where we'll spend the next 3 weeks!!!!! :confused


    So I didn't pre-book a ferry as we were just wingin it across the rock. When we pulled into Port aux Basque late that morning, and only a km from the ferry. I figured we'd get on that night or maybe the next morning. 2 sails a day, shouldn't be a big deal. 11pm and 7am.

    Well then. When I called they said the next available seats were 24 of Aug.


    Oh my fuck... :twitch :scratch :baldy

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    #31
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  12. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    WHAT!!!! 24 Aug. We were in shock.
    I looked at Bryden, and said I don't know how to get out of this bud.

    The lady said just to keep calling back and try to book online. If there's a cancellation it'll go to the next trying to book. I said, can you split us up? Son tonight and me tomorrow. She said, sorry that won't happen till the 23rd of Aug !!!

    So we sat near the train station frantically dialing, and trying to book online for almost an hr, And I had called my mom for her to try and do the same for us. thinking how long do we do this for.
    Then I started thinking about options...

    Trek back the 1k across. Leave buggy at parents and fly back to get truck and drive home.
    Ride back to Deer Lake ( nearest small airport and 1 day ride), leave buggy there and fly to get truck.
    Stay in Port Aux Basque for 3 week !!!!

    This is crazy.

    All these thoughts were going on, mom at home is still frantically trying, we were trying still. On line and phone at the same time for over 2 hrs now.

    Late afternoon now and I then thought of a buddy, Mike from work back in NS that's from Port Aux Basque. Maybe he'll have an idea. So I texted him.

    Geeze, it wasn't 3 minutes later and Mike shows up next to me in the parking lot of the hotel with his father. Just so happens, Mike was home on vacation.

    We chatted about the trip a little and how we could figure this one out.

    Not sure if it were Mike or his dad that said, "just go down there and show up".

    I said that can't hurt and we chatted a bit then said our goodbyes.

    So I pull up to the terminal, and the lady asks for a reservation number. I said "I don't have one, when's the next ferry we could get on". She said, I'm sorry my love, not till the 24th. I said what if you split us up. The young fella tonight and me tomorrow morning. She said, sorry sir, that wouldn't happen until the 23rd Aug. Same answers as I received on the phone numerous times earlier.

    She said, give me a minute, picked up the phone and 30 seconds later 2 other women show up. (There wasn't anyone behind us the whole time). They're chatting and each pointing at 2 separate screens. This went on for over 10 minutes I heard one woman whisper to another saying "we can't leave them here".

    A few minutes later still chatting and pointing at screens 1 of the 3 ladies (supervisor I think), said "we can get you on"!!!! Usually the ferries will fill with vehicles before passengers, but because of covid regs, they're running at 60% passenger capacity. Lots of room for the buggy, just not people.

    Well, we were stoked to say the least.

    Not sure how they made it work, but something about 1 commercial passenger opening, and over book another.

    In any case, they got us on for following night. We checked into this hotel and drove around the town (ATV friendly) a little and hanging around Tim's.

    Shortly after, Mike text me to see how we were doing and his dad said that I could park my buggy at his place, stay with them, and they'd take me to the airport in Deer lake if/when needed.
    How cool was that!!
    I said a big thanks and it's Extremely appreciated, Sir. But we're all set now.

    Cool thing about spending so long in the Military and the contacts and friends we have all over the country. It's amazing !! :clap


    Hotel Parking lot and Last/First train station just behind us.

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    Let's get something to eat. Fish and chips for me. clubhouse for him.. yummmmm!!

    Having a few drinks in the hotel that night thinking what an incredible day that was. The views we saw, the emotions of the ferry, wow !!


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    #32
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  13. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    We checked out late the next morning, buggied around town a little, hung out at Tims, using free wifi. Just wasting the day really.

    We board the ferry the next evening at 10pm on a cold and wet night (no surprise).

    They rinse off all vehicles as the don't want native plants or bugs leaving Newfoundland.

    She saved me a lot of work!!! She did this for almost 5 minutes.

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    No cabin as we had on the way over, so our spot was an aircraft/bus type reclining seat. Got a little sleep, and arrived in Cape Breton at 8am. Drove the buggy off the ferry and scooted across the terminal parking lot, across the street to the truck and trailer. An uneventful drive home, but we had to stop for a rest in the middle of the 5hr drive.

    At home and all cleaned up. !! Near new again, except the several thousands scuffs. But that's why I own it. Ready for the next go around!!!

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    Found these 4 spikes on the trail. I wouldn't have thought there would be any left to find.

    I think I may return a couple on the trail for someone else to seek out.


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    Last week I spent a day grinding, sanding, polishing one of the spikes. I made a flat spot and will have it engraved with our names and date, and give the young fella as a souvenir/gift. A few clear coats so it doesn't rust.

    It cleaned up pretty cool, I think!! Hope he likes it :D


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    #33
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  14. chainslap

    chainslap BlessedarethesicK Super Supporter

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    Awesome stuff.
    #34
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  15. GulfCoast

    GulfCoast formerly SWLAStrom

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    I really enjoyed this report. Great father/son trip and a memory of a lifetime!
    #35
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  16. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Thanks for the likes and following along fellas.

    It was an incredibly enjoyable trip. Lots of cool things and a great experience for us. I'll cherish this time with him forever.

    I can see me doing this many times. There were a couple 1/2 day side trips that we didn't make, there are a couple of newly renovated/renewed areas that haven't been used in 30 yrs, that are now fully done with new bridges and signage. And there's a new fire road built to take one up the north west coast towards Labrador.

    Add in a trip to go in the opposite direction, so there's several more cracks at this.!!! I have house buying/selling/moving going on otherwise I'd be back in September.

    If I remember, I'll renew this thread for the next trek across.

    Cheers!! :beer
    #36
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  17. old1959

    old1959 Been here awhile

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    Congratulations. And thank you for sharing the adventure.
    #37
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  18. Nailhead

    Nailhead Inclusion Rider

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    That was a blast— thank you for sharing!

    I’d really love to do that trail. I’ve got a RZR just sitting here, too bad Newfoundland is so far away.
    #38
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  19. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Such a cool adventure, thanks for sharing.

    One random question. Im in the US. My state doesnt have any sort of tag/registration for quads/buggies. I dont have any sort of tag for my buggy. I noticed in pics (yours and other sites), everyone has some sort Canadian tags on their buggies and quads. Do you think it would matter if I do or dont?
    #39
  20. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Thanks for tagging along. A bunch of friends/family wanted updates daily, so I created a Facebook acct and sent a few pics and details each day and a bunch of folks followed along. I figured some here may enjoy it.

    As for tags. Good question.

    I'd say go with whatever is typical for the place you live.

    Maybe have insurance though, just in case there is an altercation with another vehicle.

    #40
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