An off-road driving school just 90 miles from NYC? While some folks loved the idea, a few did not. My dreams of creating & running a passion-based business faced organized opposition, financial impossibilities, legal challenges, countless late nights and new obstacles after each challenge was cleared. Funny thing about off-roaders- whether we seek out the obstacles or they appear after the next turn- getting past them is what we do. Visit this page to gain more insight about NORA as the back story gets posted over the winter & spring of 2017. This business started from just an idea and has grown due to the unrelenting hard work of our Team. As I tell my kids: Never give up on your dreams. If I can pursue them in my 50’s, anyone can pursue theirs at any age. Remember, it’s all about the journey! Keep it moving forward, and always have fun at what you do.
Scott Trager, PMP, I4WDTA Certified 4WD Trainer
Northeast Off-Road Adventures & Path Less Traveled
Obstacle: NORA’s 68 acre mountain-top facility was a wooded lot. The driveway was on ledge and needed a 10% grade to meet code; the parking lot needed to be cleared & leveled. After the engineering, surveying and legal fees, contractor quotes for the driveway & lot project were way beyond the budget.
Solution: Buy & rent equipment, barter, engage friends & family and hire amazing local talent to get it done. Team NORA spent nearly every weekend over 9 months on the build. The heartbreaker was the dramatic 14′ rock cut had to be back-filled several feet to fix a 20 foot section of the 200+ foot driveway that was 2 degrees out of the grade specification.
Training Center Construction: Apr 2017 – Mar 2018
Parking Lot Construction
Shed (friends) & Pavilion (pro-built)
Obstacle: Need terrain to train students how to perform vehicle recovery on beach and sand dunes. This becomes urgent when we are asked to train actress Kiera Chaplin as a competitor in the 2017 Ralley Aicha des Gazelles in the Moroccan Desert. (An Amazing Event!)
Solution: Clear an area and bring in dump trucks with 60 tons of sand to build a 25″ deep sand obstacle, named Dune du Gazelles. Thanks to George’s “We’ll get it done” attitude, it was completed in a weekend.
Obstacle: Team NORA’s experience comes from decades of recreational wheelin’ with clubs and other organizations. Not all team members have the same off-road standards or experiences. How do we determine what standards to teach?
Solution: Most of our trail guides are experienced and expert wheelers. Scott & Jon have leveraged their years of leading, teaching and mentoring in technology & engineering fields. After rigorous study and testing in driving skills, vehicle recovery, adult education and many other disciplines, they are both certified 4WD Trainers by the International 4 Wheel Drive Trainers Association. NORA’s classes incorporate I4WDTA best practices. Students receive classroom training and seat-time on the obstacle courses and our 68 acre trail network where lessons continue throughout the day.
Structured Classes @ NORA include classroom, Obstacles Course & Trail Lessons
I4WDTA Certification Process was held at NORA in June 2016
Our students range from folks who use punch presses to those who punch keyboards and everything in between. They have come from a wide geographic base including
US: NY, NJ, CT, MA, ME, RI, NH, VT, PA, MD, NC, VA, FL and Puerto Rico
International: Argentina, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom