Garage Projects,  Off Road Trips

The Mighty Merc – 9th Off Road Trip At The Badlands

The infamous Badlands Tubes.

After an excellent day prior exploring and hiking around the Parke county area (Turkey Run Visit, and Covered Bridge Exploration), I was anxious to get to our next stop on the Trip. That being The Badlands Off Road Park in Attica Indiana. It had been awhile since we were out here last (2013 trip in The Lone Ranger) so I was curious to see how much the park had changed in 4 years.

We started off having breakfast that shared my namesake before heading off to the park. Good food, service, and price so I recommend the place if you’re in the area:

… a place where everyone knows your name.. Or at least my name!

We made a quick side trip to Williamsport Falls before heading into the park:

Not a bad view to start your morning out with

Throughout the course of the day we covered a hair over 10 miles wandering around the park with some old friends. I was a bit worried that a large part of the park might be flooded due to all the rain that has been happening and all the flood warnings, but it turned out to be not an issue:

Screen shot from Back Country Navigator

We played around on the dunes and generally payed tourist for the first part of the morning while waiting for some other folks to arrive:

Part of the dune area
One of my favorite trucks

After lunch, we met up with a few more familiar faces and went back to run some of the bigger high lights of the part. Such as the tubes, quarry, and the V notch:

The water level was not as deep as we were expecting it to be
Yup, even this large pig fits!

After getting our fill of the water, we moved on to the quarry to play a bit. This is where the Merc started showing its bi-polar climbing ability. It either went right up something, of flatly refused. It looks like I could stand to lose some weight out of the thing as well as do something with the rear bumper to get a touch more clearance out back:

After getting our fill in the quarry, we wandered over to another trail with a Notch on it:

While no one made it up the notch (not without a good effort!), the kids enjoyed the show:

And rolling rocks down the hill:

As we wound down the afternoon, the kids were starting to get over riding in the truck. Thankfully JD gave us a break when the rear U joint let go climbing a ledge. Trail repairs are the best repairs I hear:

Everything is fixable with a hammer.

Kids got some wiggles out:

And yes, my daughter needed to wear her princess hat around most of the day:

I’m in trouble in about 12 more years…

After that, we wound up bailing on the group to head home as the kids were pretty tired. We did make a quick pit stop at a rest area to get a few more wiggles out, but for the most part they were passed out on the drive back:

Great trip all in all! I an very happy with how well the truck did this time out as it was very comfy riding to and from the park, and continued to do very well off-road for what it is. The added bonus of being able to run into so many old friends at the park really put the icing on the cake for this trip. I look forward to the next one!

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