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Birthday Greetings from the Ottawa Valley

All of the Rovers present at the event. (And 
a hidden Land Crusier too!)

It's time to get wet!

Having arrived in Silver Lake it was time have some fun with our Land-Rovers. What most clubs would consider to be a serious expedition the OVLR modestly calls The Light Offroad Course. . .

As usual when camping, I was up with the sun. Spenny came by and we soon managed to awaken Bill. I headed over to Eric's campsite to see if he and Ann wanted to join us for breakfast but was chased away by Mr Morning Person himself before I could even approach the tent.

Spen, Bill and I enjoyed eggs and back bacon at the nearby Jim Barbary's restaurant and hurried over to the main site to line up for what the OVLR quaintly refers too as the light offroad . This course winds it's way through the woods following various power cuts and logging trails. With just a little rain the thing becomes very sticky, and you never know what engineering marvel beavers have performed to alter the water depths of various obstacles.

Jeff Meyers' rig is set up for camping, with hard top, large roof rack and all his worldly possessions stowed inside. It isn't ideally suited for tight trails. Besides, Jeff was covering the event for Land Rover World and needed to be able to jump about snapping photos. The answer, of course, was for him to ride along with me again this year. After eliciting a promise that he wouldn't call me a nerd ( I'm a geek, dammit! ) in print if I left the GPS unconnected, I allowed him to join me. (I should have known better.)

The course was dryer than it was last year. This allowed for steady forward progress. During a muddy hill climb Bill did manage to get his Series machine caught up on a rock though. I pulled out the JackAll and enlisted some helping hands. By using the technique the Rovers North boys had taught me while (constantly) unsticking Spenny's Rover at last years Downeast Rally, we soon had Bill on his way again.

We had become separated from the main group. When we came to a "y" Bill followed OVLR President Ted Rose up the wrong path. I had a CB, so I knew they were headed the wrong way. I tried to get them to turn around, but they ignored me. Having been assured by the group leader that they'd soon come to a dead end fence, I continued on the correct path.

Mike Loidice takes advantage of a back up on the trail to investigate the goings on underneath his bonnet. Rover owners spend a lot of time doing this. It's part of our ownership experience . Mike Loidice

The first major obstacle was the crowd-pleasing water crossing. Jeff and I arrived to find traffic backed up. Anticipating a photo-op we grabbed our cameras and headed forward.

Jason Dowell in deep water We got there to discover that immediate past president Jason Dowell, who was leading the pack at the time, had run off the "road" that runs through the pond and, with a Series Rover full of youngsters, was in deep water.
Ironically it was Spencer young republican Norcross, acting as guide from from his perch on the bonnet, who led Jason too far to the left . Must be all that socialized medicine up there. Spenny perched on Jason's bonnet.

A winch was soon attached and the Rover and children were dragged back to shore. After a brief drying out, Jason crossed successfully-showing us all the correct path in the process. After that there weren't many problems. Dave Bobeck's Rover stalled out in the middle of the water. As soon as Al Richer waded in to help out, it restarted. Someone else broke a rear halfshaft while crossing.

Whoops, somethings gone wrong. Or maybe this guy is just looking for an excuse to play with his winch?

Russel Dushin is smiling because Nigel made it through the pond.

Most people didn't have any difficulty with the water crossing.
Tin Tin Tin Tin's radiator was clogged with weeds after crossing the pond. Zippy thought this was causing his engine to run so hot. Later he learned that the viscuous coupling on his fan was headed south.

After that there was only one major obstacle between us and the delicious lunch waiting back at camp, The Beaver Dam !


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