Nicholas Fluhart

July 7, 2011

2nd Anual East Camden Expedition Pt. 2

Filed under: Trips and Fun — Nicholas Fluhart @ 9:35 pm

Part 2: The Day-1 Sport Ride

So after getting the camp squared away, we decided to hit the trails for an afternoon sport ride. The first spot on the list was the TNT Plant. There are multiple ways to get to the plant from our camp site, so the ATVs took one route, and the dirt bikes took a second route. The dirt bikes consisted of Chris on his XR650R and myself on my KLX650R. We proceeded at a fast pace, and while headed east on a gravel road, we had a very close encounter with a deer. Chris and I were riding side-by-side when the deer jumped out of the roadside brush and narrowly avoided collision. We got it on video; check out the clip below:

At the TNT plant we took a break and climbed up to the roof, or what’s left of it…

Then we decided to check out the basement…only it was under water. After unsuccessfully attempting to persuade Moore, our resident scuba diver/pilot, to conduct some under water spelunking adventures, we just threw rocks at the entrance instead.

Leaving from the area shown above, there is a mysterious concrete sidewalk about six feet in width leading north into the dense woods. It goes on completely unobstructed for about an eighth of a mile through the woods until it runs into a massive concrete theater of sorts. This area is believed to be the small arms testing site. In the photo below, I am standing by the south wall near an indentation where targets were apparently hung.

Now it’s on to the dunes…or our version of “dunes”. To build the 68K acre complex of mostly concrete bunkers and structures, it required a large volume of rocks and gravel. The surrounding area is rich in gravel and wash-rock which is one of the reasons the government chose this location. Subsequently, there are numerous gravel quarries indiscriminately scattered throughout the area. Most are abandoned, but some are still in operation today. All were linked via railroads, as too were all the structures in the area, however, all of the railroad tracks in the abandoned areas were long since pulled up and scrapped. Two large gravel yards border our lease, so we can easily access them on our ATVs. We road over to one on the NE section of the area, which we refer to as “the dunes” because the small, fine type of gravel there gives the appearance of sand dunes. There we find a variety of riding terrain. There is an abundance of long, steep hills, open flats and table tops, as well as wooded trails and lakes. It’s fantastic.

Although we didn’t have the chance to take many photos, we did manage to grab some video footage as seen below. We did some hill climbing and general riding. I learned first-hand how difficult it is to ride a dirt bike in sand and gravel, although Chris makes it look easy. Toward the end of the clip, Brad takes a pretty big spill attempting to climb an insanely steep hill, but I only caught the aftermath on video.

After all that, we retreated the few miles back to camp to cook diner which was dear steaks, burgers, potatoes, cut green beans with bacon and a touch of garlic. And if that wasn’t enough fun for one day, we headed back out for a late-night ride at which point we had entirely too much fun which subsequently put us out of commission until noon on day-2. The Day-2 4×4 ride will be posted next, so stay tuned!

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