Friday, February 29, 2008

Lesson Learned the Hard Way - By Dianne


Well, I've learned a very valuable lesson yesterday. NEVER be leader! It wasn't that I didn't know where I was going.... I guess it was bad Karma or something.
Good news is that I didn't get cold! Feet, legs, hands stayed warm as could be. BUT if I had to use words to describe the days ride it would be "An ADVENTURE"!!!!!!
I should have know that things were going to happen right from the get-go from what happened. OK, now first off this is first time that I was the leader of a "group". That didnt' bother me... I knew where I was going and how to get there and what to expect. WHAT I didn't expect is for me to ALMOST flip the ATV on the first 100 FEET of the TRAIL!
I was in the process of reaching to flip the button to put it into 4X4 when that puppy spun out and went sideways with me on the STEEPEST part of the trail head! Talk about scaring the poopy out of you! ALL I could do was use my finger to trigger the mic on my head set and say OVER AND OVER AND OVER..... HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The guys (BCO, Tinbender and somebody else I forgot!) had to come grab hold of the front of my ride to hold it down to keep it from flipping... and I had to crawl off of it UP HILL..... and with my knees the way they are I almost couldn't do it! But we got it straight.... locked it into 4X4 and I made it on to the top of the hill. NOW what is so danged bad.... I've been up that same spot no less than a 100 times and NEVER had any problems!
Ok, I recoverd my composure and we all made it up that little part and continued on with the ride. No major problems ..... trail on the SOUTH SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN was muddy but nothing more worse than I had already seen before. Arrived up on top at the first resting point "Crows Foot" and it was covered with snow that had been there since last Tuesday. I told them that I knew that there was one spot on the north side that is a steep incline that could be rough. WELL ROUGH WASN'T the WORD FOR IT! About 100 feet before it REALLY got steep...... right as your coming out of a steep curve back to the right you hit SOLID ICE! Trail was coverd in a THICK SHEET OF SOLID ICE! It only went maybe 20-25 feet but still it was downhill and WHOA! I knew that the worst part (as far as steep) was JUST beyond that. So I did the leader thing and said I'll go as far as I can and check it out, everybody stay here and wait for me to yell on the radio.
WELL ...... There was some rocks that the tires on the left could ride on that COULD have kept you on the trail..... and that is where I had my wheels... BUT>>>> NOPE! I started down heading forward.... the back end slipped off the rocks and here the heck I go, spinning around....... going BACKWARDS DOWN THE HILL ON THE ICE! One of the guys (Tinbender was that you? I forgot I was so scared!) came down and grabbed hold of my rack on the front of my bike after it had came to a stop and...... HERE WE WENT AGAIN! Still sliding and this time a fella with me... he then slipped.. was on his backside... heading UNDER MY ATV.... both of us still slipping, sliding down the mountain!
Finally came to a stop and more came down to help me (and him) out of a BAD situation. They grabbed my bike and spun me around (STILL ON THE ICE) and got me heading forward again... then I made it OFF The ice onto solid ground. I went on down the trail.. the ground was clear, no ice no snow... came to a spot that I could park the bike and walked down the trail to where I could REALLY see the worst part of the trail. By this time another rider had came down and joined me (guess he figured with my luck I'd need dragged out of there). I just looked at him and said "I'm NOT going down that! You can if you want to BUT I'm NOT!"
Well the good part is that all this is that we were at an intersection right in that very curve that gave the choice of going off the mountain on another trail. I had only been that trail ONE other time (the last time I rode that route) and I knew that at the bottom there were some really BIG BOULDERS that we had to go over. I knew that my AC would make it because of the ground clearance, but there were 3 "side by sides" that were no where near as high off the ground as I was. I told them that I thought we could make it down but I wasn't to sure about coming back up (seeing as how the other trail was OUT OF THE QUESTION!)
Other than finding a few trees that had fallen across the trail.... and a couple of the sideXsides JUST barely clearing the trees.... we finally made it OFF THE MOUNTAIN! I was never so happy in my life to see SOLID LEVEL GROUND!
We went on over to where we were heading to.... played in the mud for a bit, had a bite of lunch then headed back. AGAIN I had a bit of a problem..... NO BODY else but me and it was my own stupidity.... I thought I had hit the button to lock it into 4 wheel drive... but dummy me had it in 2 wheel drive! Got to one of the big boulders and almost didn't make it up. AFTER I finally made it over.... I saw what I had done and felt like a PURE FOOL!
When we got back up to the top of the mountain we made a right turn at Crows Foot and came back out the top of the ridge to come down the mountain that comes out right at the trail head. PHEW...... we made it..... OR SHOULD I SAY I MADE IT! I told one of the fellas that next time I said I wanted to ride somewhere..... DO NOT GO WITH ME! RUN hard the other direction! I've learned my lesson.... KEEP ATV IN 4X4..... and stay the heck off ICE!
I'm sorta sore in my shoulders/upper arms from fighting the trail... had a major head ache when I got home.... I guess from stress..... but all in all it was OK. Now I'm not ready to hit Stone again anytime soon...... MAYBE oh say..... next JULY when there is NO CHANCE OF ICE!

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