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Summer2011 Wenzel.wmv

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Uploaded on Jun 12, 2011

The location of this video is out at our friend's land which we use for off roading. It has a series of trails through the woods as well as lots of large sandy hills. I chose to film here because there is really nowhere else near South Bend where we can off road legally. The closest off road parks are about three to four hours away. This shows how small of an activity off roading is, but it is growing. Off roading is a cultural activity that my friends and I partake in at least once a week. For us, it gives us the opportunity to drive wherever we want and as fast or slow as we want. We can drive up sandy hills, down through streams, splash through mud puddles, or climb on rocks. We no longer have to follow the laws of the road, but rather follow the unwritten laws with the other off roaders, such as driving with caution on the trails because you never know who is going to be around a corner or hill. With off roading comes fun, but many dangers as well. It is not uncommon for someone to get stuck in a mud pit or up on the rocks. It is also very possible for your truck to flip over and potentially injure or kill the driver. It is hard to pin down a reason exactly why people like to go off roading with all these dangers in mind. While talking to other drivers, they all hesitate to answer, but eventually answer mostly with the typical response of hanging out with friends. In my opinion it goes deeper than that. My friends spend countless hours trying to think of how they can make their trucks better for the trials. When one person climbs a hill or crawls over a fallen tree, all the other drivers feel they have to prove their vehicle can do it as well. There is an unwritten competition involved in this activity. In my video, all the drivers drove Toyota pickup trucks. This happens because of the competition between drivers of different trucks such as Ford, Dodge, or Chevy. What kind of truck you drive can actually tear you apart from your friends as all the brands band together. It is very interesting for me to look deeper into this cultural activity because in America it is rather small but is growing into a widely accepted activity, but in other countries it is a norm. People who don't have paved roads are in a sense off roading everyday all the time. I am sure that they do not see this as such an exciting activity as we do. I often see pictures on the television from the East of Toyotas loaded down with people (usually a gun turret in the back) climbing over a sandy hill. To them this may be completely normal, but to us, it is far out of the ordinary. While filming my project, it was pretty easy because we go so frequently. The most challenging thing was keeping the camera steady. I wanted to show more footage from inside the truck, but all my shots were so shaky they made me sick watching them. In the end, I think I captured the essence of off roading. It is fun, but the driver has to be serious as well.

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