Sunday, January 31, 2016

ATV 102

We’ve been ATV owners just over a month now, and are just beginning to see why people choose ATV-ing.  We’ve seen some amazing country.

At our new friend Bob’s advice, we went to the BLM office in St. George and asked for their ATV trail maps.  The gentleman handed us a packet of several maps – an overall map of the trails in the area and detailed maps of each section of the overall map.  All free of charge.  He turned out to be from Taylorsville.  Small world.

We visited Moto Zoo – a specialty store for all things motorized both on and off road.  We tried on helmets and admired from afar the brightly colored riding outfits.  We looked at machines much newer than ours.  We came away knowing 1) our helmet sizes, and 2) we’re definitely not in with the in crowd when it comes to off-roading.  Oh, well.

Helmets are not required in Utah (unless you are under 18), but wearing one really makes sense.  While we don’t expect to be doing any of the expert rides where they warn you that you need to be willing to risk breaking something – including a bone – accidents happen.  We bought helmets.  And while the safety factor is paramount, I really wear my helmet because it keeps my ears warm.

We joined the Tri-State ATV club.  Membership is only $30 a year, and they do several rides 
throughout the year.  We went on our first ride last Friday.  There were about 30 machines in the pack, most of them the newer side-by-side ATVs.  This particular ride was a dress rehearsal for one of the rides in the upcoming Jamboree – so the assigned guides could learn the area.  The guides focused on safety and on leaving the trails better than we found them.  The Tri-State ATV club is a positive force in a sport where there is so much negativity in the media.  Yes, Virginia, there are ATV riders that respect others and respect the environment.

The Tri-State ATV Jamboree is a huge event here in Hurricane.  This year’s Jamboree is March 9 – 12.  ATV riders come from all over the area to socialize, participate in guided rides, and get to know the southern Utah backcountry.  The Jamboree features several rides to choose from, breakfast each morning, and a fun dinner party on Saturday night.  We’re looking forward to attending.

But for now, we’re breaking out those maps and finding our way on the trails.  Sometimes it’s challenging.  There are few signs out on the trails, and we’ve taken the wrong turn more than once.   We’ve come home covered in dust, and we’ve come home covered in mud.  And we’ve always come home with smiles on our faces.

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