The weather was awesome as we all started arriving at camp. After a long 6 hour drive, I was certainly happy to get out of the truck, stretch, and take in our beautiful surroundings. There were about 15 of us that decided to meet in the Valley of Fire just north of Los Vegas for 4 days of camping and riding. We came from all over the country but Dave won the contest for traveling the farthest as he flew all the way from Chicago IL.
Our group of riders has formed over many years through internet forums. It has evolved into a good core group of riders that all like to ride terrain that is a bit more extreme than most. Instead of wondering “If” we can make it up an obstacle, we just wonder how we are going to do it. We love to explore extreme rock crawling types of trails, we’re not afraid of a little trail damage and our skid plates get “tested” on almost every trail we hit. We thrive for the next obstacle to overcome. That said, we also have many years of experience and we are constantly watching out for each other and offering help even when it is not asked for. With a few different areas in the southwestern states that have become our favorites, (Martinez Mine area in AZ, King of the Hammers area in CA, Moab UT) last year we added this Valley of Fire area to our list.
I had been looking forward to getting together with this group of friends and riding in what is a new area for me. It is a gorgeous area close to Nellis Air Force base. The area is very well known for its spectacular red rocks which look much like Moab UT. This group met last year for a ride here but unfortunately I could not make it. The morning just couldn’t come soon enough for me.
When it finely did it started off right. Ever since Jeff crashed his quad unloading it out of the bed of his truck the guys give him a hard time. Imagine that!!! When he started to unload from his toy hauler a couple of the boys grabbed a rope and put it on the front of his quad as he backed down the ramp. I’m not sure he appreciated it as much as the rest of us did.
As we were gathering the heard for the days ride I noticed there was quite a diverse crowd. There were ATV’s, UTV’s and motorcycles. How cool is that?… It should be a fun day exploring new dirt.
Pete who lives in the area was in charge of where we were headed. He has been out scouting for new trails along for the last couple of months to add to some of his favorites. We couldn’t wait to see what he had in store for the group.
Well as luck would have it as we went into a narrow wash that was just wide enough for the ATV’s to get through Jeff’s quad stalled. He hit the start button and nothing happened. His battery was completely dead. We could not even work on the ATV in this space because the canyon was so narrow, so Terren hooked a strap on his machine and towed it out to an open area.
Jeff did not getting any ribbing at all (yea right) for having to be towed in the first 3 miles of the ride! After all what are good friends for?
This shows how narrow the wash was where Jeff’s quad stalled.
The mechanics in the group determined there was no saving the battery. Bob and I volunteered to ride back the 3 miles to camp to get the battery out of Jeff’s other quad he left back at camp. (Yes he brings a spare just in case)
Most of the group continued on the trail. They told those that remained with Jeff about where they would be so we could meet us after we were back up and running.
With the new battery in Jeff’s quad we were back on the trail, now we had to find the other part of the group. The guys that stayed with the broken quad thought they knew which way the others went but it was not quite that easy with tall mountains in every direction. We went back and forth 4 times in another narrow wash looking for their tracks with no luck and decided to just go exploring on our own.
Here you can see my Moapa tires are still doing excellent in the loose rocky terrain.
The scenery was absolutely stunning as we were headed into one of the red rock areas in these mountains. One of the guys mentioned he recognized this area from last year so we stopped to have some lunch. As we were stopped we called Pete on his cell phone. Amazingly he answered. They were only about a mile away. He said they had just come through this same area and would come back to meet us for lunch.
What a great spot to stop.
Pete said it was time to go, so off he went in the lead showing the way to some of the technical Moab type of trails.
This is where some of the guys really started to have some fun.