Have you ever been off-roading? I hadn’t until recently. Some friends do it regularly and attest to the fun outdoors. They talk about it all the time and their enthusiasm has been catching. It certainly got me. They tout the many benefits: it is exciting, dynamic, challenging, and daring. There is a bit of danger involved that gets the adrenalin going. Not everyone likes to put their life in peril, but I agree with them that this sport is be a good way to spend more time outside. I have been trying to take more breaks and enjoy the fresh air and while I usually go hiking or biking, it would do me infinite good to have a change of scene. I mean this literally as my friends frequent different places than I am accustomed to. I love the idea of exploring new regions and discovering their secrets. Scenic beauty is all around the small town of Blue Ride in central Georgia. I can prove it with my great Instagram photos. We aren’t a huge tourist center but the area does have its appeal. Remember, in the US wonderful vistas are all around.

People like my friends get a lot of flak for roughing up nature, but frankly they are out in the wilds where the conditions are already pretty basic. Grazing animals probably do more harm. You can have off-roading competitions or just do it for amusement and social purposes. Guys who go together are known to bond. When I was party to the entertainment, it stopped suddenly when someone got a flat. That will literally stop you in your tracks. We had to wait for his father to come with an air compressor and patch kit. At first we felt stranded and beyond help because our SUVs didn’t have spares. But then we started looking online and realised that we could add a small 12 volt air compressor, like these: Of course, we prevailed, but I would have preferred to solve our dilemma on our own. It is a bit humiliating to have to call dad.

Off-roading also has an enormous attraction for me. The vehicles are a kick and everyone has a rip roaring good time. It is all about being fast and free and letting your hair down to blow in the wind. Why on earth did I wait so long? Of course, I just got the invitation. The “sport” is simple to describe. It involves driving your jeep or other utility vehicle on unpaved roads, or possibly tracks, that are still natural terrain. There may be sand, rocks, gravel, a riverbed, sand or wild grass or fields of flowers to traverse. What you drive will take these surfaces in different ways so many devotees like to fix up or customize their cars, such as installing a roll bar. Unmodified ones have a bit more trouble navigating the land. Also, the driver’s experience makes a huge difference. For maximum safety, it is important to have some mileage behind you.