An ATV Adventure after dark on the Paiute

Thursday , October 05, 2017 - 5:00 AM

LYNN R. BLAMIRES, special to the Standard-Examiner

We didn’t intend to ride after dark, but it did add to the adventure. Our plan was to ride from Fillmore to Richfield on the Paiute ATV Trail, but when you pull out on the trail at 4:30 p.m. with 50 miles ahead of you, riding in the dark is pretty much a given.

I was with Cory and Keaton Gerrard of Layton and each of us rode Polaris 325 Aces. I prefer this single-seat ATV with a steering wheel and roll cage because it is so comfortable and fun to drive. However it did lead to a discussion about our envoy. Should we call ourselves the Three Amigos or Tres Aces? We had a deuce of a time deciding.

As we headed up Chalk Creek Canyon, I thought about taking trail No. 7 that climbed out of the canyon and dropped back in just before the 50-inch gate. Keaton had been on that trail and said that it was not as fun as the water crossings in Chalk Creek so we chose to ride the canyon.

Approaching the-50 inch gate that marks the top end of this segment, we noted the two big boulders set on either side of the trail to restrict the width. Keaton and a friend who was driving his other Ace were on this same trail earlier in the month. His friend didn’t slow down enough for this gate and slammed into one of the boulders. The damage ended their adventure and they were only 20 minutes into a two-day ride.

We eased between the rocks and entered the main part of the canyon. This canyon is made extra special by the way Chalk Creek spills over steps and drops into pools as it flows toward Fillmore. It is a very peaceful place to visit. We, however, were not looking for peaceful places as we climbed out of the canyon on our race against the sun.

Topping out at the northern junction of the Fillmore Loop, we stopped to take in the beauty of the canyon before us. A Strawberry Twizzler or two later, we were on our way across the top leg of the Loop.

Being the rear Ace in the trio, I stopped at a junction past the trail that turns down into Strawberry Canyon. This junction is marked with a sign that says “Solitude.” I stop here every time I pass to check the large tree just to the left. A little over 15 feet up there is an arrow stuck in the tree. I wonder if the hunter did it on purpose or if his aim was that bad. Anyway, it is still there after the many years I have passed this way.

The sunset was remarkably pretty on the ridge as we passed the trail to the Devil’s Armchair. We did stop at the junction to trail No. 508. It is a narrow trail that is more fun than taking the main road and it comes out just before the junction to Richfield.

Deciding to take No 508, it was already getting dark. A section of this trail had a major rut. I know how to straddle ruts and stay upright, but this rut swallowed me whole. My right rear wheel dropped into it causing my right front wheel to raise high in the air. Fortunately, the trail had a downward slant and I rode the rut wide-eyed and askew until it played out. As my machine righted itself, I let out a weak “Yee-haw!” and scurried to catch up.

As we came down the trail toward Richfield, I turned a corner and found myself face to rear with a black cow in the dark — well, my face to the cow’s rear. I was in the midst of a bunch of them. Not only was I having to steer between them, I was trying to miss the land mines they were leaving. I was glad to see town. We did our 50 miles and I was ready for a shower and a hot meal.

When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and ride “‘til the cows come home.”

You can email Lynn Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com

Sign up for e-mail news updates.

×