Southern Utah News Articles
ATV Fun Run is a blast
The moniker from the movie Field of Dreams goes, “if you build it...they will come.” That line held true, because many ATV enthusiasts attended the 11th Annual Jamboree Fun Run the Utah/Arizona ATV Club built on April 26-28.
The run began at the Elephant Cove staging area. For those unfamiliar, it would be several miles south of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, on the west side of the road.
The more than 200 participants traveled over 30 miles on well-marked dirt trails. Plenty of signage along the way made the route simple to follow. Since riders were broken up in groups of eight to 10 between releases, you never experienced congestion or crowded trails. In fact, the surprising part was you couldn’t imagine there were that many enjoying the course at the same time! The route took riders through open prairie, past monoliths and red rock outcroppings; to expansive views of ragged white and red sandstone mountains.
Mechanical participants were blue, red, black and multi-colored. They ranged in builds from ATVs, Rhinos, Razors, and even a modified dune buggy.
But the people running the machines were the best part!
There were senior-types there. Dave Gerto, at 97, was the oldest participant. What about short people? Numerous young’uns were there! But Carson Tait at nine months seemed to rule the youth contingent, as he was the youngest to ride. Some came from afar, Jack Randolph, from Fairbanks, Alaska, got to spend some quality time out of the cold, and in the beauty of red rock country.
Many southern Utah and northern Arizona riders were in attendance. But, most just came to have fun and enjoy the astounding and beautiful scenery of this area. And don’t kibble...I mean quibble ... about pets, because there were plenty of them there as well!
The Utah/Arizona ATV Club President is Tony Wright of Kanab. He reported the club has about 140 members, coming from four to five different states. As a club, they have one meeting and one ride per month, and it’s usually on the third Saturday.
“We’ve actively been planning this ride since January,” said Wright. That included organizing details such as permits from the BLM, gathering prize donations, preparation for food service, streamlining registration, preparing for car, truck and trailer parking...and the list goes on. Nearly 50 club members were on hand to facilitate the actual ride.
Concerning public land stewardship, the UT/AZ ATV Club often works with local public land agencies in securing trails and staging trailhead sights. They even gave youth prizes for most garbage picked up from the route on fun run day. But from riding the pristine course, I’d have to wonder whether they found any!
The UT/AZ ATV Club is always busy! They believe improving ATV access in an environmentally friendly way helps achieve a middle ground in working with the government on issues concerning roads and access. They have worked hard to make trailheads at Johnson Canyon, Elephant Butte, Crocodile Canyon, Peek-a-boo and the Barracks. Signage is available at these locations, with groomed areas and picnic tables offered at several.
The Saturday event concluded with a great burger lunch and prizes. (There were over 150 prizes, worth over $4,000 donated!)
The fun run’s success was probably best measured by the participants’ enjoyment, appreciation and camaraderie. The Utah/Arizona ATV Club built it, and many came to enjoy and appreciate our scenic area.