OVLR - Labour Day Retreat
Quebec Laurentians, September 2000
15 hardy souls made it back all safe and sound from the OVLR Labor Day weekend off road. Well, sort of. It seems we had several AGP (the floating) Lan dRover wannabe's in the crowd. They didn't quite float, however... got some great pictures though. We met in Gloucester early Saturday morning to head out to Sean McGuire's property in the Quebec Laurentians for some off road. fun. Sean has some 200 acres of mountainous property and had he had invited us up for the weekend. The fun started right away with Kevin Newell's freshly rebuilt S3-88 refusing to start. Seems it starts easier when the fuse doesn't fall out. On the road, we drove east to the Cumberland ferry and then ferried across the river. Next action began almost immediately with the club coming to the rescue of an unfortunate car driver who had driven into a ditch. My little 80" came to the rescue and pulled it out with other club members managing traffic and directing the recovery. An hour later we arrived at Sean's property. The only word that can describe it is gorgeous. Mountainous and heavily forested with a completely contained lake and several cabins. After a brief pit stop to unload luggage, we were back in the trucks. The action started right away with Sean leading us up a dead end trail. This necessitated some careful turning around in order to head back. I wonder how Kevin Willey will explain the broken tail light lens to his wife... Soon after, Dale Desprey's Range Rover got mired in a very muddy section. Initially he was pulled back by Ted Rose's S3-88, but after getting stuck a couple more times a line was run forward to Dave Pell's ex-Canadian Army Iltis (basically a combination of an Audi design and a 4x4 VW Rabbit) and pulled through. Dale then pulled Ted Rose through, who pulled Kevin Willey though... you get the idea. And, Charles Bishop is beginning to get tired of having his Range Rover being pulled out of the mud by the trusty S1-80". Makes for good pictures though. A short jaunt further up the trail brought us to a stream crossing. Kevin Newell, wanting to redeem himself after the fuse affair, decided to walk the crossing to test the water depth for the rest of us. He walk along 100' of trail in water a foot deep. Then, he stepped off of the unseen stream edge, and ended up shoulder deep in water. After several minutes of indecision, Sean McGuire decided to attempt the crossing in his S2-109 P/U. With the rest of us standing well back on dry land, he roared ahead, and made it across - with a bow wave coming up over the cab! Next, up was Keith Elliott. With a huge splash he was into the crossing, only to catch a log between his wheels, pulling him off to one side. His S2-88 was sunk to the windshield in the deeper than expected stream crossing. After some 20 minutes of diving to fit a tow line to the rear cross member, we pulled her out. And, after some 10 minutes of drying she was running once again. Being a game lad, Keith and his girlfriend Christine said that they were going to try it again and they made it through on the 2nd try. Next up was Dale Desprey. His Rangie had basically made it across and when the motor died while climbing out of the crossing and the Rangie rolled back into the depths. It seems that Range Rovers have a funnel shaped air intake unit up near the front grill. As the truck dove into the crossing it sucked up a funnel full of water, filling the engine cylinders and stopping the engine cold. Fortunately, the truck had been turned off while we rescued Keiths S2-88 and the engine was cold. There could have done some serious damage otherwise. After removing the plugs and turning it over for a few minutes we got most of the water out. Though, she got a few people wet with the explosive outflow of water from the spark plug holes. After some additional drying, the truck would start, but would only rev for a few seconds and then die. Nothing helped and with night fast approaching, the decision was made to tow her out of the bush and back to the base camp at Sean McGuire's. The rest of us decided on the latter part of discretion, and traced our way back to the main trail. The stream crossing will still be there another time. Needless to say, back at the camp copious amounts of beer were required to assuage Dale's wounded pride. Of course, the rest of us helped him in his solace. Several of the trucks headed back to Ottawa and the rest of us began making dinner and drying out our trucks. The next morning we found that the starting problem was with the Rangies electronics, water in the air sensor. Drained it and she ran fine. The truck was a bit damp though, what with a max water level up to the top of the seats before we pulled her out of the water. A good thing that Dale had the foresight to take the ECU from under the passengers seat and on Madelaine's lap prior to the attempt. A bit of light off road. was done on Sunday and then the soggy trip home.
Can't wait to go back soon.
From the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers newsletter, September 2000