Saturday, November 19, 2011

Carbon County Trail System

There has been talk for years about linking up several towns via an ATV trail system in Carbon County. Thursday and Friday I went with a friend to the Price area to check the trail and determine if there were any archaeologists sites along the route. We needed to check where they were going to add ATV gates and new restroom locations.

One of the many wrong turns

On Thursday, we started just west of Helper by the railroad tracks and headed south. Since the trail is not marked yet and all we had to go on was a pdf file loaded into the GPS, we took many wrong turns.  One such turn lead us down through a wash that was quite narrow in a few spots. Jon (my archaeologists friend) was holding the GPS in one hand and steering with the other. Coming up to this narrow bend in the wash his ATV started climbing the wall and rolled over on its side. Jon was able to jump off prior to being pinned under it. We were able to get the ATV upright and after a few minutes it started up. We did not see any damage to the vehicle so we continued on. There were several times when we took Dump road but ventured off of it to get closer to the railroad tracks.

Along the railroad tracks
After getting to Consumers Road we decided to head back and work on the Kenilworth trails. While loading the ATV's on the trailer, we only put one strap on each since we figured we were only going a short distance. We turned off at the Kenilworth and Center street junction and headed up to the first well site.  Jon noticed my ATV right on the edge of the trailer and we got out and quickly adjusted it. I laugh about it but it would have ruined the trip with only one ATV in working order. Dennis Udink met us at the well site and took us to the two new ATV fence crossings. We realized that this job would take a few more days and planned to come back on Friday. It was a cold day riding but fun to see new areas.

Blown tire

Heading to Price on Friday brought a few surprises. First, just short of the Price exit, we blew a tire on the trailer. After a quick change we met Dennis at Smiths and headed out to Clarks Valley Road (between Wellington and Sunnyside).

We unloaded close to the power lines and headed west along the trail. At the wash we could not find a way down in and around so we headed east instead. We traveled up Clarks Valley road a ways and then turned off east.
Jon replacing tire

The trail we were to take became progressively worse and at times we could not determine where the trail was. There were a few washes where we had to muscle our way through and then we hit the "hill". We tried to find a different way up but determined that this was the trail and the only way to go to get to the last ATV fence crossing. The "hill" had boulders about the size of basket balls and larger that you had to ride on or around and you had to lean forward and to the right (unless you wanted to find yourself at the bottom). Making it to the top, we took a quick break and cleaned up then headed to the last crossing. We were determined to find a new way off the hill but after much searching determined that going down the "hill" was our only option if we wanted to get to the trucks before dark and before the storm came in. I will say that going down the hill was a lot easier than going up even though some of the rocks threw us around quite a bit and going down in 2-wheel drive is the only way to do it (using 4-wheel drive would have locked up our front tires, not good). By the time we got back to the trucks, it was quite cool and the storm was fast approaching. We said our goodbye's to Dennis and made it home before the storm hit.

Now I have a new place to explore with Dennis (who had not been on a few of the trails before) but want to wait until it is a little warmer, the trail is properly marked and the trail knocked down so you can get through the washes without problems. Also, I want to wait until they fix that @#$%! "hill"!

Here are a few pics of the new "trails" being put in.
New trail east of Clarks Valley road (one of my favorite spots)
One of the washes we had to go down. This one was easy!
Dennis shutting the gate east of highway 123?
Jon and Dennis checking the maps
Torrey watching Jon work
Jon checking out the location of a new ATV gate
Torrey, Dennis, Jon
Jon debating whether this was worth the challenge (it's steeper than it looks)
Dennis closing one of many gates we went through

Heading into the valley of challenges

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