As summer approaches and the snow retreats from the valleys I can’t help but get excited about being able to spend more time riding four-wheelers and side-by-sides. I actually had a good winter riding snowmobiles but I’m ready for some four-wheel action.
My dirt riding in the winter is pretty spotty—a new model release here and/or a ride down south there is about all I can find time for. I get a lot of seat time on snowmobiles but not so much on dirt toys.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy summer and fall is attending as many rallies as I can. I admit I don’t get to near as many off-road rallies as I’d like and there are plenty of them—enough to occupy several summer and fall weeks. I have heard some grumbling that there are too many rallies but I’ve always thought that just means you have more to choose from. And it’s not like anyone has to go to a rally. Rallies are just another riding option.
Of course, one of my most favorite rallies is the Rally on the Rocks. There’s just something about being in Moab in May and clinging (well, not literally, but sometimes it feels like it) to the side of a cliff as you negotiate the slickrock trails. Moab is technical, fun and the weather is usually just about perfect. Yes, sometimes the rides can be a big cluster but the event organizers do a pretty good job of trying to minimize this.
I’ve added one more rally to my must-attend list for the summer, the new The Lost River - Rally In The Pines, which will take place this summer in Mackay, ID. You can read more about this in the Industry Dirt section of this issue. You might remember we did a travel/destination feature on Mackay a year or so ago and found that area of central Idaho to be a lot of fun for riding. I look forward to returning.
The Rally In The Pines in Island Park, ID, is another favorite. We spend a lot of time riding snowmobiles and dirt vehicles in Island Park and so to us, it was a natural for Blake and Meg Allen (hosts of PowerSports Adventures and also organizers of the rally in Mackay) to choose that area for a rally.
The Allens asked me to guide one of the rides last year at the rally in Island Park and that was an interesting adventure for me. I’m so used to following a guide when I go to a rally that the thought of leading a group of riders was, well, almost intimidating. While it’s natural for any rider to watch out for others while enjoying the outdoors on an ATV or side-by-side, I’m pretty used to being responsible for just myself when I go on a ride. So when asked to guide a group of others, all those things I’m not used to worrying about bubbled to the top.
Aside from the dust, our rides both days from the rally camp to the top of Sawtell Peak and back went well and were fairly problem-free. It was a great time and many in our group (on both days) had never been to the top of Sawtell so it was fun to explain various points of interest out to the group once we were on top. On the second day of our ride to Sawtell, there was a little smoke hanging in the air from nearby forest fires but you could still see many of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The view from the top of Sawtell is awesome.
Included in this issue is a list of rallies. We hope you get to attend one or more. It’s a great opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones and ride and see some territory you might not have had a chance to before.
Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you on the trail somewhere.