I finally finished the 4 Wheeling video from two weeks ago. Better late than never, right?
We decided to try out a new area on this ride, the Jellison area in the Little Belts north of Harlowtown. There's a lot of riding to be had in these parts, but unfortunately it would seem that it's no great secret. This was by far the most populated area that I've ridden anywhere in the state, and I'm sorry to say that I saw evidence of more abuse in this area on one ride than I've witnessed on every other ride I've ever been on put together. Off trail travel, user created trails, garbage tossed on the ground. It was almost enough to make me ashamed to call myself an ATV rider. The only reason that I'm not on a flaming rant about the whole thing is the simple fact that this is the one and only time, and the one and only place, that I've seen these sorts of things, the very things that those opposed to motorized recreation most despise. The ill effects even in this particular area where isolated and nowhere near what a lot of the anti groups would like everyone to believe they are everywhere that motorized travel is allowed, but I did pick up a few cans, and I did see a half dozen or so trails that shouldn't have been there although I have no way of knowing how long they've existed. At one time it was perfectly legal to travel off of the trails in certain areas. But at any rate, this is why I will continue to keep my favorite riding areas to myself. That way, hopefully, all of the yahoos will stay where they are and keep this a thankfully isolated incident.
The only thing I can say to my fellow ATV riders is: Clean up after yourselves and act like adults for crying out loud. The rules are there for a reason. After all, we're not talking about our own private property here, we're talking about public land and unless you want to get all of us barred from using it, I suggest that you treat it with a little more respect. If you have room on your machine to pack in a cooler full of beer, you have room to pack the empty cans back out instead of tossing them along the trail.
There wasn't one of the "user created routes" that I saw that led to anywhere that couldn't have been accessed by an existing trail. This is the kind of shit that's going to have all of us riding around in circles eating each other's dust soon when the tree huggers succeed in shutting all of the trails down. In case you haven't noticed, assholes, there's a large opposition to our favorite sport in this country. Every track you make through virgin grass, every piece of garbage that you chuck over your shoulder, and every new trail that you create brings us one step closer to getting the proverbial boot, for good.
I ride my machine in the forest because, well, I love the forest. I don't ride there because I want to see how much stuff I can tear up, I ride there because I like to get away from assholes with nothing better to do than destroy things. If that's your idea of fun, please do the rest of us a favor and do it on private land, preferably your own private land, not in the National Forest. That land belongs to all of us, that means it belongs to me too. I'm not too keen on people tossing trash around and screwing up my property. Believe me, if I see you do it, we will talk.
There, I've done my bitching for today. Now clean up your act before I have to join the Wilderness Society. ;)
Enjoy the video . . . please. See, I can be polite . . . sometimes.