I rode my 4-wheeler almost 50 miles today through mostly snow and mud. I started riding straight from home and went to the Consumers area, and my main reason for heading out there was to check out an old piece of equipment that I’d seen several times while driving by. I could easily have driven the car out there, but I also wanted to try getting to what looked like an old mining track near Bull Point that I noticed in Google Earth. On my way from Price to Helper, there’s normally a gravel road that I use as a shortcut through the Eagle Cliff subdivision that puts me on the old Kenilworth railroad grade. When I got there today, however, I found the road to be completely obliterated. It looked like an excavator had dug the road up and left boulders and trees in its wake. I tried finding a way around but was unsuccessful, so I just put my ATV in 4WD and rode across the torn up ground. I picked my way through the boulders and dead trees, scraping my skid plates a few times, but I made it to the railroad grade in much less time than it would have taken me to detour north to Kenilworth.
The roads were snowpacked in the morning on my way to Consumers Road. There are a few troublesome spots along the old railroad grade near Helper that are normally washed out, but they weren’t bad today with the washouts filled with snow. I passed through Helper and found a newer geocache near the Castle Gate subdivision, then headed over the hill to the Consumers Area. I stopped along Consumers Road to check out that old piece of equipment. After seeing the manufacturer’s name on it and doing some internet research, I found out that it’s a “chopper,” designed to be dragged behind a bulldozer and chop brush and trees in order to make way for grasses for wildlife to graze on. I placed a geocache right under the thing, then went on to explore a few dirt roads nearby.
I tried a couple of different roads trying to get to the north near Bull Point, but they both fizzled out without going anywhere. The snow drifts in the area were pretty deep and it made the going a little tough, so I gave up trying to find my way to Bull Point. I tried another dirt road leading to the south, and it turned out to be a huge challenge. There were a lot of snow drifts along the way, and several times I had to back up and get another run at them in order to bust through. The road ended at an overlook above Garley Canyon with a nice view out onto Porphyry Bench, and when I got there I realized that I’d been there in my Subaru about eight years ago.
After that, I was ready to go home. The ride home was much more difficult than the ride getting there earlier in the day. It had almost gotten up to 40°F during the day, and the snow turned to slush and there was a lot of mud on the roads on my way home. The railroad grade between Helper and Kenilworth was the worst part. I got stuck once in a spot that I’d driven over easily in the morning, but the deep snow had gotten so slushy that I couldn’t push through it without sinking in and losing traction. Less than a minute after I got stuck, a couple of guys in a lifted Jeep Cherokee were coming the opposite direction and helped push me out. I could have easily gotten out myself with a little digging, but I was still grateful for their help. I waited while they drove through the huge slush pit to make sure they could get through, then I continued on my way home. I was cold and wet when I got home, but I’d had fun getting that way.