For some, the perfect vacation is golfing or skiing. But for others, nothing beats the thrill of driving a lumbering British ...
tank around a mile-long dirt course in the woods of south-central Minnesota. (June 29)
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[Location - Date:Kasota, Minnesota][Source:Pool][VO:]IT'S A CHANCE FOR THRILL-SEEKERS TO TAKE THE CONTROLS OF A RUMBLING, MASSIVE WAR MACHINE.[SOT/](jacob Ostling/Drove Tank)"controlling that machine, it's incredible. To have that much weight on just two brake handles, it's awesome."JACOB OSTLING (pronounced AHST'-ling) NEVER DROVE A TANK BEFORE. BUT THE 19-YEAR-OLD SAYS IT WAS AN EASY SKILL TO PICK UP.(Jacob Ostling/Drove Tank)"I mean, for the first 20, 30 seconds you're getting used to the controls, but once you actually learn how to control the tank it's no problem."THE OWNER OF "DRIVE A TANK" SAYS PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD SIGN UP FOR THE COURSE. AFTER A SAFETY CLASS, PARTICIPANTS DRIVE AROUND A MILE-LONG DIRT COURSE IN THE WOODS.SOT: (Tom Murdock/Drove Tank)"on part of the route you actually go through a puddle or a pond, and the water splashes right over top of the tank and into where the driver sits. And you just have to keep going so you don't get stuck."CUSTOMERS ALSO HAVE A CHANCE TO ROLL A 60-TON BATTLE TANK OVER JUNKED CARS.SOT: (marvin Bourne/Drove Tank)"It's very noisy. Lot of vibration. Kind of warm but not uncomfortable. Took a little getting used to the maneuverability, but it's just a, it's just a blast."THE MINNESOTA COMPANY ONLY FEATURES BRITISH TANKS -- BECAUSE SURPLUS PARTS ARE READILY AVAILABLE.SOT: (Tony Borglum/Owner of Drive A Tank)"U.S. vehicles just aren't available in the quantities that we would need. Cost is very high. And since they're so rare, we believe those vehicles are best left in museums or preserved."AFTER RIDING IN A TANK, BRAD WALKER SAID HE HAS A NEW APPRECIATION FOR SOLDIERS.SOT: (brad Walker/drove a tank)"It kind of gives you an idea exactly how hard that job is, and ... something I wouldn't want to do. My hat's off to guys who have to do that every day, all day, because that would not be fun at all."NONE OF THE ARMORED VEHICLES CAN FIRE AMMO -- WHICH IS PROHIBITED BY MINNESOTA LAW.THE TANK-DRIVING PACKAGE STARTS AT 400-HUNDRED DOLLARS.__ASSOCIATED PRESS