First Camping Trip of '08

4-Wheeling in the DesertThe camping trip this weekend turned out great, despite my worries about cold temperatures at night. The first trip of the season is usually when we get all the bugs worked out of the camp trailer–there’s always something that doesn’t quite work right–and this time there was a leaky water line in the bathroom that I’ll need to fix before we go camping again in two weeks.
I took half the day off work on Friday, so we got an early start and left town at 2:00 pm. I hauled my ATV in the back of my truck while Mark and Sam hauled Traci’s ATV down in their truck, but they didn’t arrive at camp until around 7:00 pm. We did some short ATV rides that evening, but mostly we just hung out at camp and soaked up the heat from the campfire.
After breakfast on Saturday, Mark and I set off on a ride to two balanced rocks, neither of which was more than five miles from camp as the crow flies, but the ATV trail leading to them took us more than five hours and 25 miles round trip. We had a bit of a scare early on during the ride. Just over a mile from camp, I had rounded a corner and topped a hill, and when I looked behind me Mark wasn’t there. I stopped just past the bottom of the hill and waited for a couple of minutes, and Mark finally came on the radio and said that Traci’s ATV had backfired a couple of times then died, and it wouldn’t start again. I rode back and looked over all the wires and hoses but couldn’t find anything wrong. As I was puzzling over it, Mark noticed that the fuel shutoff valve was turned off. I felt like an idiot–I had turned it off after loading the ATV into Mark’s truck, and didn’t remember to turn it back on after they arrived at camp. What’s strange is that it had been driven more than two miles with the valve turned off, so that added to my confusion before Mark figured out the problem.
We made it to both balanced rocks without further problems, and the ride was scenic and very enjoyable. We made a lot of stops along the way to take pictures and let the dog rest (she had been running alongside for a lot of the ride). I placed a geocache at the farthest balanced rock–there was already one at the nearer rock–and then we rode back to camp fairly quickly with only one other stop along the way.
On Sunday morning, Traci and I rode my ATV while Mark and Sam rode the other, and we drove along the trail that goes around Flattop Mountain. We’d left the kids back at camp under the care of Sam & Mark’s oldest daughter, so we didn’t spend too much time on that ride. We made it just a little more than halfway to the end of the trail before turning around, but I’d like to return someday to finish it off. Later that afternoon Mark and I loaded up four of the kids on the ATVs and went on a short ride across Lemon Flats. That also was a very scenic ride, but the trail didn’t get very close to the rock formations (mostly Curtis Formation) and I didn’t feel like doing much hiking with the kids, so that’ll be another great place to go back to when I have more time.

1 thought on “First Camping Trip of '08

  1. I know exactly how you feel about the gas. On my atv if I don’t turn the gas off while sitting, it floods the carb. But while riding Cane Wash I forgot to turn the gas back on and rode for a ways before it died. I thought oh no I messed it up but realized I just left the gas off. So don’t feel bad, it happens 🙂

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