These active ATV/OHV riders are back in Kanab for the month of October, and there is a story behind their visits to southern Utah that goes beyond just riding the Kane County trails!

The Circle of Friends is just that, a group of avid riders from as far away as Indiana and Wisconsin, to Washington state on the west coast. What started some 12 years ago as a few couples meeting for a good time of RVing and ATV riding, now includes some 50 people, 30 of them are here this year.

Along the way, they just seem to pick up new friends as they have here in Kanab.  Seven years ago, two couples, both with the last name of Wallace, arrived at the Hitchin’ Post RV Park for the first time. The plan was to stay for two days and check out the logistics of Kanab as a good hub for riding … they stayed for two weeks! 

Not knowing anything about the area, the Wallaces asked the RV park owner about local ATV trails, and were directed to one of the park’s ATVing residents. While visiting, the resident yelled out to a friend who was in his Jeep Wrangler going down the highway. The Jeep hit the brakes and turned in. It was local ATV rider Evan McAllister, and instantly another friendship was started. 

McAllister invited the couples to meet him on Monday at Honey’s for a ride. When Monday came around and the couples arrived at Honey’s, there were a lot of ATVs ready to go. The ride lasted for about five hours. Fellow ATV enthusiasts Delynn and Marie Shumway approached the Wallaces, and asked if they would like to continue to ride that day, so off they went to the cliffs with another friendship collected.

Either Evan or Delynn took them out daily to see the sites. Like so many of us who were new to the area, they were more than happy to introduce folks to what Kane County has to offer for ATVing, and these two gentleman are sorely missed.

In 2009, Evan and wife Joyce McAllister were invited to join the Circle of Friends in Mexico.  Evan and Joyce in turn invited friends Tony and Linda Wright on the trip. Everyone had a wonderful time on the warm beaches, and even more friendships were formed. As American as these folks are, the Circle of Friends initially were known here in Kanab as the “Mexico Group.”

The Circle of Friends start their yearly adventures shortly after Labor Day in the Marysville, Bryce and Tropic areas. They ride the Piute, Fremont and Great Western Trails through the month of September. Come October, they move down to Kanab for the month and hook up with old friends and the UT/AZ ATV Club; many are now members of the club. Circle of Friends have pitched in with road and trailhead cleanups in conjunction with the ATV Club, and last year were part of the Grand2Grand trail marker cleanup.

While Circle of Friends are in town, they give a large boost to the local economy with lodging, grocery and other shopping, fuel purchases and they never miss a chance to dine in our local restaurants!

Come November, we say our “Happy Trails To You,” as the group heads home, or to southern Arizona for the month of November, and every now and then to Mexico’s warm beaches. But come next October, the Circle of Friends will be back and the ATVing community is always grateful to have them here!