Rant - clubs and secrets (updated)

Something got under my skin this morning, and I feel the need to rant/whine/complain about it. Safety image for your safety.

This doesn’t look very safe at all...
Photo: Motor Trend

Update: after mulling it over a bit, I think I’ve simply come to the realization that my club memebership didn’t get me what I wanted. Or, more accurately: I failed to acheive what I had hoped to through a club membership.


I was looking for a few things: make friends, learn where to go and how to plan trips, and learn how to use my truck on the trail. I succeeded (to some degree) only in the latter, with the other two being more or less failures. And I can’t put the blame on anyone other than myself, because if I wanted these things it was up to me to work to get them.

I will, for the time being, keep the truck and look for opportunities to use it. I’m undecided if I shall continue with the club or not.


So what’s bothering me? I’m frustrated that there are so few places to go offroading/trailing here in Quebec and that everything is so fucking far away, I’m frustrated that so few people seem to want to share their trails and tips, and I’m frustrated that I never really broke into the ranks my local club (which is nonetheless a group of nice people).


I don’t know why this has got me bothered so much, but I’m really wound up.

My club has an outing tomorrow, and it’ll be only my second outing of the year, and I’m not sure I even want to go. I’m sort of wondering, “What’s the point?”


It’s going to be a big outing (+/- 25 trucks) so there will be a lot of people there. My boys are supposed to come with me because my daughter is having a “girls only” day with friends for her birthday. We always have fun together, and this will be the first outing for the youngest, but the older one is really pushing back and I don’t feel like heading out in a rush at 6:30 tomorrow morning with a gray cloud hanging over us...

At the same time, since I’ve never really got close to anyone in the club it’s going to be another day mostly alone in a big group. Some days it’s fine, other days I don’t feel like it. And since there are going to be a lot of trucks, there will also be a lot of waiting on the trail. Sometimes it’s fun, but I’m not in a patient or charitable mood right now.


To my point about secrecy, it feels like everyone is still keeping their trails and tips mostly secret. When I ask for GPS traces or tips, I don’t always get them, and I end up not going out anywhere because I’m not sure where to go. It’s tough heading out on 2-3 hours of highway driving to get somewhere that’s either flat, closed, private, or impassible because I’m not in a tank.

I know some members get together for “buddy runs” outside of the official events, but no-one seems to organize these publicly on the club site. They’ve all gotten chummy and they organize privately, so people like myself with less time/resources to do the planning end up going nowhere.


Hunting season is coming up, too, so what few places we do have are going to be unofficially off-limits as well.

I think the most fun I had was 3 years ago doing the day trips with Vermont Overland. Small groups with a good range of challenges, and since the group changed every time, no-one knew each other and everyone seemed to mix a lot better. And Vermont is very pretty, but a bit far sometimes.


And why is all of this bugging me so much? I’m not sure. I had a few social activities planned recently that didn’t work out, and now I’m grumpy about it. I think I’d rather go camping with the boys and just goof off around a campfire, but even that... I dunno. It’s pouring rain today, and tomorrow everything will be muddy and cold.

Update: I should probably add a few things. First, since my burnout earlier this year, I’m doing much better and definitely getting back to something that resembles a normal state. I’m not as easily affected by most inconveniences and stresses; what I’m frustrated with right now seems a bit more solid and real, and not just an inability to cope. Second, we decided to do a number of projects in the house this summer, and they’ve all cost a lot of money. This adds some obvious financial pressure and makes me think twice about a lifted SUV that never gets used for its purpose. I’ve thought about selling it and getting something more interesting, like a Delica, but then it’s just another payment to work through.


TL/DR; I’m grumpy and annoyed and feeling left out. Maybe I need a beer, or a hug, or an adventure.

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