What’s better than going for a ride at your favorite ride park in fall? Cool air, the blazing colors of Autumn, plenty of mud—perfect conditions. But what happens when you’re out on the trail, miles away from your trailer, and the sun goes down? The days are getting shorter; the nights are getting longer. Your lights are bright but you can’t see the creatures watching you from the woods. Don’t slow down, or you might become a permanent resident.
Hidden deep in the undocumented apocrypha of riding stories, there are whispers of hidden trails in Kentucky, too narrow for most, and those that fit may find them too treacherous too proceed. Those who brave them are met with spectacular views of the Land Between the Lakes as they sit at the top of precarious bluffs. But down below the bluff is a less alluring view. Dozens of UTVs and ATVs sit mangled among the trees, unsalvageable, and unrescueable; victims of a trail too perilous for the equipment required to haul them up. So there they will sit, rusting and rotting for the rest of time. So watch yourself because your ride might be the perfect addition to the UTV Graveyard.
Low Mileage, High Damage
Picture this: You’ve been saving for months; working overtime and eating cheap food. Finally the time comes—the new 2018 machines are out and you’re jumping in. You take your trailer and your checkbook to the dealership and you leave with a brand new, 2018 RZR 1000. The first trip out is like an awkward first date; you’re getting to know each other, searching for common ground, and hoping for compatibility. It’s when you start forcing the compatibility that things go bad, and you fly around a corner just a little too fast—you’ve heard how great it can be—and you hit some loose dirt, slide into the tire barrier at the side of the track, and end up rolling four or five times before landing upright again.
That’s what happened to SuperATV’s own Kenny Higbie. He walked away, but his brand new sweet little baby RZR ended up with a bent cage and mangled front passenger side suspension. If that doesn’t fill you with anxiety, maybe this next story will.
An Unwelcome Visitor
You know it’s not all birds and deer in the woods. There some less than pleasant animals creeping around in every nook and cranny. Trace Taylor had a run-in with certain scaly reptile, and it was no garter snake.
Riding at brimstone with all of the rock, creeks, and deep mountains, there is always a chance of seeing snakes. Kyle, the first person in line, was trying to shoot up a rocky hill. It was too steep to climb. So he kept coming back down the trail. As I pulled up to the hill he was trying to climb, a snake came out of some rocks that were disturbed by the tires. Not just any snake, but a copperhead. It was the first copperhead I have ever seen in the wild. We were 3 hours away from any town. We were deep into the mountains. We wanted nothing to do with the snake, but he came right at us. If anyone was to get bit, we were hours from camp, let alone a hospital. We got out of there. It was cool to experience a snake like that but chilling to be that close to it.
Maybe next time he’ll bring some snake spray with him.
Off-Camber Hair Raiser
This next story comes from Tyler Greves and is sure to raise the hackles on the back of your neck. I know it made me shiver. At any rate, I won’t be visiting Trail 75 At Windrock Off-Road any time soon. Here’s Tyler’s story from atop Walden Ridge:
It was a beautiful day in the mountains of Tennessee. Lindsay, Hubert Rowland, myself, and a few others set out for a full day of off-road fun at the wonderful off-road park, Windrock, in Oliver Springs, TN. We rode around 30 miles on various technical trails putting the machines to work and seeing if we could get anyone’s low talent light to flash. We decided to head to Walden Ridge. This trail offers the hair-standing-up-on-your-back kind of trail. Just getting into the trail can be a little hairy with some good off-camber rock crawls. At one spot in the trail it is just wide enough for a machine and really off-camber with one side having about a 100 foot cliff and the other side having about a 60 foot drop into some timber. There’s a big crack in the rock you had to cross over that really made your machine flex. Hubert was leading the pack and once we made it to this spot things got a little scary. It was time to make sure the harnesses were tight. I ended up getting out of my machine to go spot his line and help him navigate the obstacle. As he started to cross over the crack the right front tire of his machine came about 2 feet off the ground and it started looking sketchy as you could imagine. He was puckered up and so were we. We had a couple guys climb on the side of his machine and stand on the nerf bar to try to keep it from flipping but didn’t help too much. At this point he was in a real bad spot; one bad move would mean hospitalization if not death. It was time for me to take my machine the long way around and come from the other side and winch him the rest of the way over the obstacle. After a quick 20-30 minutes I was to the other end of the trail and it was time to throw them a winch line. Even with the winch it took a couple different attempts and angles to pull him off the rock and keep him rubber side down. I have to say that’s a memory I’ll carry forever. The good times had out on the trails off-roading with friends and family are priceless.
I’ll leave you with SlikRok Productions’ recent wreck that should make your bones quiver. Believe it or not, this guy walked away with just a few bruises and sore muscles. Have a happy Halloween!