As some of you may know I'm on staff at OutdoorX4 magazine. I've been looking at some old trip reports published there and I decided to repost some slightly different versions here. This was a trip in early 2015 and still one of my favorite offroad adventures. I had known the guys from MSO for about a year at this point, and some of the friends I made on this trip are still some of my favorite folks in the industry, but also close personal friends. I actually want to rerun this route, possibly south to north, sometime in the near future. If I was being honest I had my doubts from the start. If you didn't know the team's location you could mistake this trail for a deep jungle stretch or an abandoned logging road through the Pacific Northwest. Outside of the brown dirt we were flanked by green on each side and overhead. As we made our way along this muddy track the mist grew to a steady drizzle and everyone paused. With each passing minute our footsteps and tires sank deeper into the mud. This was concerning to the group since we had been on this section for 3 hours and progress was slow. It felt like we are miles and miles from civilization, but in all reality we could have walked back to the diner where had lunch in Justice, WV. The small town of 500 or so was rather surprised when five heavily equipped trucks arrived within minutes of each other. It's doubtful that the folks we chatted with would have expected us to be just out of sight under the thick green canopy just off of Long Pole Road. As we winched, laid down Max Trax, and constructed trail improvements in order to traverse three consecutive sections of difficult obstacles we became a well-oiled machine. Even though several of us met for the first time that morning there really wasn't any other way to tackle the challenges we faced. The required teamwork and communication skills forged the team and set the tone for the next three days. Even though the trail conditions improved the greenery continued to close in on us. For the next hour the lead truck could only see a wall of green and everyone else focused on the truck in front of them. The Tacoma and the 80 Series faced a more difficult passage through the tighter spots as Jason and Matt A. hoped that nothing was ripped off of the rigs in the tunnel of foliage. Luckily the only casualties were a few bent antennas. That night we set up camp on the site of a reclaimed mining and natural gas area. The wide open field was a welcome respite from the jungle like conditions we endured for most of the day. As the fog settled on the plateau and skittish horses grazed along the treeline the group settled down to enjoy dinner and to rest for the next day. On the morning of day two the team awoke to a stark contrast to day one. The sun was just starting to make its way above the trees as we saw pavement for the first time since we entered the trail the day before. The morning wasn't without excitement as we traveled along a riverside rail bed the train came into view. With a steep river bluff on the left and the train cars rushing by on the right the team slowed and allowed the train cars to pass a few feet from their passengers’ mirrors. After a quick lunch we decided to make a detour from the intended route and make up some miles in order to reach our chosen campsite for the night. As we made our way to Grundy, Virginia the portion of the team that was unfamiliar with the Virginia highlands was shocked by the difference between communities only a few miles apart. Many of the old coal towns that we had passed through during the first 48 hours of the trip had fallen victim to the booms and busts of the industry over the years. While some still had main street businesses and community centers many of the others were composed of mostly empty buildings and deserted homes. However, in Grundy the Levisa Fork River flows through the center of town, with schools of law and pharmacy along its banks. A modern county courthouse is located opposite of a large retail center and the entire town is framed by jagged ridges. With our supplies restocked everyone loaded back into the trucks and planned to put some miles behind us as we headed back into the mountains.