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August 31, 2011

SnoWest Newsletter blog – August 30

Eating Dust (and not the wet kind)

Steve Janes

This past week I was up in Island Park at an ATV/UTV rally and had a chance to hit some of the trails I normally enjoy during winter … but this time san snow.

            For many, riding ATVs or side-by-sides in the mountains is a wonderful experience. And it is. But it just isn’t like riding snowmobiles.

Obviously the scenery offers significant changes—from a monopoly of green to a monopoly of white across the landscape. As we rode back near Red Rock Pass, we could look into the bowls on the north side of Jefferson, now mostly grey with rock although there still remains small patches of white reminding us of last years great snow.

As we cruised down the trails through trees and into open meadows covered in wild flowers, I felt somewhat confined on my four-wheeler. I had fond memories of just months before cresting out of the trees and carving through the meadows, totally unrestricted by parallel tire paths across the terrain.

Riding on wheels is just different than riding on skis. And for some, the warm weather in much preferred to the snow. And that’s great. It’s nice to see people out enjoying the mountains and God’s country despite the time of season and mode of transportation.

But my first love has always been winter and snowmobiles. So even when I’m out on a wheeled vehicle, I’m only scouting the terrain for a future snowmobile ride.

Regardless, last week’s ride was still a great diversion from a long hot summer. And for a few moments as I breathed in the clean mountain air I though that maybe I could get use to this kind of riding. And then the slight mountain breeze shifted and the dust began to settle all around me.

I think I’ll keep the snow dust and let someone else enjoy the dirt.

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