"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails." -Mark Twain
In Episode 4, we venture to Jadwin, Missouri for the first time. A few weeks before this, we were asked to sponsor the Muddin' for Melanoma event at Flat Nasty off-road park. We were excited to be part of this great cause. About a week before the event, Ben was suffering from what we thought was allergies but looks like it was some kind of severe cold that has been going around. He was miserable constantly for weeks but especially when outside in all the early summer pollen. We decided to make the push and attend the event anyway planning to only stay a few hours.
On the two hour drive to Jadwin, Clara started feeling car sick but did better when we stopped to get her some water. The drive in was beautiful as we went curving down back roads and over a low water bridge. We were looking forward to exploring this new area.
When we arrived at the park and hit the trails, everything felt eerily... empty. There were almost no riders on the trails. We passed by a handful of side-by-sides but no Jeeps or other larger vehicles. We kept looking at each other asking "What are we missing here?" We were also having trouble finding trails wide enough for our Jeep. By this time, we had three nauseous passengers and a driver coughing and struggling to see through swollen eyes. Needless to say, we were not in the best condition to navigate a new park unaided.
We finally decided to follow the signs to the parking area in one final attempt to salvage the day and came out of the woods and into an open expanse. We were stunned and grateful to finally find other riders. This gave us a great spot to get out our drone and get some footage for the trip. This open area carved out of the trees feels like a hide out shielded from the outside world. We are definitely planning to make it back out to Flat Nasty with a group in the near future to make up for how short we cut this trip.
The worst part of the journey was our drive home. Despite being part of an off-road family, I (Brandi) am never more nervous and unhappy as when I'm behind the wheel. With Ben feeling miserable, I found myself in the drivers seat with instructions to just take it slow and get us home. After only a few minutes of me swerving and jerking the Jeep all over those once picturesque back roads, both kids were throwing up. I was voted back into the passenger seat, and Ben took over. Hats off to all you off-roaders, and I apologize if you encounter me on the roads.
Overall, we were thankful that we got this experience to check out Flat Nasty. We will definitely consider this a preview rather than a full ride. If you are interested in going back with us, let us know!
Check out our adventure here!
Donate to AIM at Melanoma here!