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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

VERMONSTER 4X4 - Bradford Mud Races - May 2014

I was up at 4:20AM getting ready to drive north to Vermonster.  I woke Kevin up at 6:30AM.  One stop at Dunkin' Donuts and away we went.

We arrived by 9:30AM, parked, bought our tickets, and bought pit passes.  We looked around at some of the trucks and vendor stuff.  Kevin bought an XDP (Extreme Diesel Power) monster truck shirt.

I wanted to take pictures in the stands the first round.  After that we would walk through the pit area and end up by the drag lanes.

There were 6 monster trucks including the legendary “Big Foot”.  It is the 25th anniversary of BIGFOOT which was the first monster truck ever built. How technology has changed.  Each of the monster trucks made a few passes going over the jumps and would do drag races later in the day.  I made a collage with some of the monster truck pictures I have taken.
Once the monster trucks were finished the “Trench” was open for business.  The trench had some deep sections so many of the smaller rigs
didn’t fare so well.  Besides lots of power under the hood the drivers have different techniques.  Some went all out from the start but that didn’t guarantee a complete run.  Others tried the slow and steady approach.  There were also combination runs of slow the full power when in the deep mud.  Several trucks made complete runs which is always impressive.

A couple years ago the large concrete blocks along the edge of the trench were replaced with a cable barrier to make it easier to view the trucks in the trench from the stands. 

The Mad MAXX truck made a complete run the first time out.  On the second run the driver lost control, came out of the trench over the top of the cable barrier (because of the big tires) onto the grass heading toward the stands.

“Fight or Flight” … As the truck was roaring over the barrier one of the workers standing by the trench and cable barrier further down the course started to run toward the stands for cover.  The truck cleared the barrier and was going much faster than she was running.  It was like watching someone in slow motion run in front of an oncoming vehicle.  In this case it was a slightly out of control muddy truck. 

I would think one should have an escape plan when working so close to large fast trucks in the trench.  Play out the “What would you do if …?” in your mind so you won’t be caught off guard.    

For her, fear took over and she ran for the stands crossing in front of the truck.  She could have stayed put, stopped running, run another direction, etc.  Was she lucky?  Yes.  Did she have a good escape plan?  No.  The truck appeared to have steering problems as the driver didn’t turn or hit his brakes.  She came close to being hit but she made it. 

It reminded me of the time years ago when I was in my backyard cutting down a thin tree about 50 feet tall.  I thought I made the correct chainsaw cut but the tree fell toward me.  I dropped the chainsaw, turned and started running.  I made it 48 feet before the last 2 feet of a branch whacked me and cut the top of my head. 
If I had taken 4 steps to the right or left nothing would have happened to me.  Instead I turned 180 degrees and started running … Was I lucky?  Yes.  Did I have a good escape plan?  No, and I did get hit. 

The Rock does well every year.  It was even more impressive with new tires and huge tread.  It made a complete run and came out of the trench quickly.

Kevin and I headed for the pits.  There were trucks everywhere.  The Swamp Donkey was impressive.  That’s the same name we call those big bucks that reside in the swamps during hunting season. 
We watched some of the drag races up close and were showered with chunks a few times.  The orange truck, “Dirty Disease”, is a consistent and fast contender in the drag races.  “Jethro Tow” was lined up with “BIGFOOT”.  BIGFOOT won the race and ultimately won the Monster Drag.   

Hill and Hole is a timed run over small hills and into large holes filled with water.  A couple trucks had impressive times while others broke down.

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