It's an adrenaline junkies paradise in Upshur County this weekend, as an off-road rally is drawing competitors from a half dozen states. The annual Mega-Run Off-Road Rally is being held at Barnwell Mountain near Gilmer. Roaring through terrain that most of us would never attempt, off-roaders live for a rough ride.
"There are some people out there who will trailer their toys out here, so they can thrash them to pieces for a plaque, or a trophy," said Bedford Texas off-roader Clint Boswell. The 8th annual Mega-Run at Barnwell, pits driver and machine against rugged nature, and skill events such as a timed obstacle course and a bone shaking rock run called the rock garden rodeo.
"It's an addiction if you will," said DFW Texas 4-Wheel Drive Off-Road Club member Kevin Terry. "We start building our rigs, and the next thing you know we're building it to go over the next obstacle, or the bigger trail, or the next trail." Hosted by the Dallas-Forth Worth chapter of Texas 4-Wheel Drive Off-Road Club, off-roading is seeing more women and young people seeking thrills.
"There are many women who come out here and run the trails just as well as the men," said off-road driver Allison Boswell.
"My brother got into it, and I saw him, and I was like I want to do that, so I go into it, and it's a challenge," said Lufkin competitor Shelby Gilstrap, 15. More than a hundred competitors entered this year, coming from as far way as Tennessee, but for the drivers, it is simply the thrill of being king of the hill.
"I guess it's a little bit of excitement, a little bit of danger and a little bit of adventure" said Boswell.