Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Awesome ATV Trail Ride

Sunday my oldest son Jared called and invited me to go on a challenging ATV trail ride on Monday. I jumped at the chance. Here's Jared posing on the trail with his Chinese motorcycle and my Yammy Big Bear.

There's some great scenery, such as this waterfall that goes right across the trail.

This is looking down the waterfall. What looks like the creek is actually the lower part of the trail, which switches back. Part of the stream goes right down the trail for a hundred yards or so. Not too much dust on this trail!

This picture was taken about three-quarters of the way up the trail. We're looking north, back down the canyon. The far mountains are on the opposite side of the main canyon, which runs east and west, left to right in this photo.
We sat on the little knoll in the middle right of this photo and saw some very interesting things.

Jared Petersen photo
Jared took this picture from that knoll while I ate a sandwich. It shows the steep grandeur of the canyon, the rugged, steep trail, and if you look very closely, in the lightened area at the top of the photo, some very tiny white specks...(click the picture to see the enlarged version of the photo).

Yep, mountain goats!

I counted six females with kids. I think one of them had twins, because I counted 13 goats altogether. (Not all pictured)

We didn't actually get this close to these animals, but I took the photos at the highest resolution with my camera, then cropped tight in Photoshop. We were able to work a little closer to the goats a little later but the pictures turned out to be disappointing. Note to aspiring wildlife photographers: photos of wildlife with their heads down and their backsides towards you aren't nearly as interesting as animals facing you with their heads up.

Jared takes air.

Most of the trail was pretty rough, but this part was smooth as silk.

Jared Petersen photo
This was the trickiest part of the trail. It's a narrow section between a rock wall on one side and large boulders on the other with a wide crack in the middle. A hiker can simply march on through without hardly breaking stride, and a motorcyle can just stay on the high side near the rock wall. But it's too narrow for an ATV, and a rider has to carefully pick his way through without getting wedged into the middle. You have to put one front wheel down in the crack, and one up on the side, and try not to tip over. What makes it even worse, the rocks form kind of a rachet, so it's easier to go one way than the other. On the way up, Jared got through easily on his motorcycle, then had to dismount and help me through because I got wedged in there pretty tight.

Jared Petersen photo
Coming down was a lot easier. I was nervous because of the trouble I had had getting through on the way up. The fact that I'd been through it already helped, from an experience standpoint, but the angle of the rocks was different going in the other direction, and I was able to pick my way through without assistance.
Jared Petersen photo
Sometimes I only had three wheels on the ground.

Jared Petersen photo
It was definitely not a place for a lot of throttle.

Jared Petersen photo


Jared Petersen photo

After we'd loaded up the bikes and we were headed out of the canyon we saw this mountain goat crossing the road. I could tell as soon as I saw him he was hurt because he was limping really badly. I don't know if he got hit by a car or what, but he wasn't putting any weight on that one leg. He had just been down to the creek to get a drink, I think. He soon became the center of attention as motorists pulled over to have a look.

Jared Petersen photo

Making his way back up the slope, but wondering what all the fuss was about.


Chris said...

I think you know this question was inevitable, but does the little bear run alright?

blog648 said...

Chris, yeah, I had both machines worked on and fixed up and they both run fine. Why you asking?