Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tri-State ATV Jamboree

One of the biggest annual events in Hurricane is the Tri-State ATV club’s Jamboree.  Jamboree attracts riders from throughout the US, Canada, and even a few foreign countries.  The three day event features guided rides each day, breakfast every morning and a fun event each evening.  Headquarters, at the Washington County Regional Fairgrounds, also hosts a number of ATV vendors displaying the latest and greatest in ATVs and gear.

This year we were among the 500+ participants.  We weren’t sure how the logistics of this many people and machines would work, but the organizers have it down to an art.  The large parking lot had plenty of room for the riders to line up each morning for their rides, and the lines moved one by one as the riders trailered to their respective staging areas.

There were 22 guided rides to choose from, with difficulty ratings quite similar to what you’d see on a ski slope.  Or so we thought.  We’d been riding for a couple of months, so signed up for Intermediate rides, thinking they would be challenging enough without getting us in over our heads.  Or so we thought.  We learned the code on the rides.  What we would call “Oh, s__t!” they refer to as “Intermediate plus.”  We managed one such section with me riding on the back, but I had to hop off and walk for the other two so Paul could maneuver the ATV.  Of course, in hindsight, our machine is somewhat underpowered and not built for a rider.  Yes, it’s true – the Queen’s Chair is an add-on. 

Other than the “Intermediate Plus” sections, which were just a small part of the rides, the rides were fabulous.  We rode some incredible trails and saw some fantastic scenery.  We got to know people from all over the country.  We met sisters from Beaver, one a cancer survivor, who drove the “Oh, s__t” sections like champs, and even had breakfast with a Huntsman Senior Games gold medalist in pickleball.  

There are similar jamborees all over southern and central Utah during the spring and summer months, and many participants know one another from past jamborees.  While we were the new kids on the block, we were welcomed with open arms.  How open?  On one of the rides we ran out of gas.  Seriously.  We started out with a full tank but between the sandy conditions and the climbs we used more gas than we had.  One of our guides came to the rescue.  He put his spare gas into our tank and refused to take any money for it.  I promised him that someday I would help another rider.  I hope to someday be able to keep that promise.

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