February 2012 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
Moose on the loose! Sounds a bit daft, until you realise just how dangerous this can be – something I was reminded of this month when reading the excellent expedition stories in this issue. The expert expedition guides we have writing for us this month give advice on a variety of different regions; from North African Saharan sand dunes, Australian bush, and North American deserts, all the way to the European Arctic. Different regions, maybe, but one thing they all have in common is the warning to look out for wild animals and the dangers that they can cause your 4×4 expedition, in some cases bringing it to an abrupt halt.
Beware of the moose was something I became aware of when driving through Canada’s wonderful province of Newfoundland. The cartoon Canadian road signs display a somewhat disgruntled moose, scowling at a particularly crumpled vehicle. What a hoot…. That is until you see other signs describing not just how many accidents there have been in the area that year, but how many fatalities. And that’s people, not moose.
Sue and I drove across Newfoundland in a GMC Envoy 4×4 truck. A wild and wonderful place, and it was here that we saw exactly what these signs are for. Travelling along a multi-lane highway, you see very few vehicles anywhere in Newfoundland, so when a car on the opposite carriageway flashes its lights and the driver makes ‘slowing down’ hand signals, you slow down, for sure. We then came across a couple of cars parked on the side of the highway, and slowed right down, to then see on the distant verge the sight of a moose in full flow, bounding along at ridiculous speed. The thing was huge, remarkably ugly and seemed to be particularly annoyed. Quite what had spooked it we never found out, but for all fellow travellers that day, it was a relief to watch the thing run down the verge and into the undergrowth, away from the road.
Of course, that’s why you want to go on these wonderful 4×4 adventures, to see and explore different countries and get experiences that you don’t get in suburbia. This month, we have advice and encouragement from experts to stir up that wanderlust that lurks inside many of us. The great thing is that you don’t have to be Indiana Jones or Lara Croft to do this. There are many companies out there who can help you set up your own trip, or even personally guide you there. Plus there are numerous 4×4 holiday companies offering fully supported expeditions. The choice is yours. Here at 4×4 magazine, we hope this issue encourages you to get out there, and explore. Just watch out for those marauding moose should you follow our tracks to Newfoundland…
Take care, stay safe and go explore!
Nigel Fryatt, Editor
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