Now that Speedy is a LOCAL , I can stay snuggled
up next to my significant other till much later on ride day , plus NO four hour drive ! So at 6:30am I roll out of bed , freshen
up & take my canine buddies Mandy & Sparky outdoors for an early morning stroll . As the critters
sniff & do their business , I gaze out across the wonderous mountain view of my new digs & break out into a
BIG smile that gets wider & WIDER the more I look & marvel at what I see.
With the weather forecast predicting ideal weather until late in the day , I fire up the Speedball Express
& depart for Frackville, Pa. sipping a cup of hot chocolate that warms up my innerards as it settles into my
stomach .( made by my wife - added fringe benefit of being a local ) While keeping a watchful eye out for hormone overloaded
bucks looking for romance, I jam to some soft rock tunes & escape into a mellow peaceful state of mind.
I spot a few of the romantic critters , but luck was on my side & in 50 minutes I rattle into Motel 6's parking
lot with no deer hair or body parts embedded in my Chevy truck.
I wait for the others to arrive , I stop by the motel lobby & pay my respects to the maids & front desk personal who
became almost family after years of making Motel 6 my second home for so many years. After chit chatting & saying
hello , I head out & unload my Kawasaki 700 V-Force & get ready to RIDE!
Eric stops by to say hi ,
but is riding today with Earl & Bill near Locust Gap & wishes us well on our journey today. I wish him the same as
he heads out to join his atv buddies.
By 9:00am only Joe & Mike
have decided to join Speedy for today's trex acoss the Pa. mountains. With such a small group , it's time to do some serious
exploration . So after warming up our quads, we head off towards St. Clair via the northern route. As we motor out past
the fire training center , we are greeted with a NEW LARGE " NO TRESPAASSING " at the next gravel road intersection!
:( It has numerous SERIOUS warnings about prosecuting * ANYONE to the FULLEST EXTENT " of the law & ALL riding
privilages have been TERMINAED due to various legal issues. With a few choice words uttered by all three , Speedy
directs our trio of atver's to make a U turn & head off for what turns out to be a fifteen mile &
two hour detour to access the steam pipes that had been only 1 mile away earlier at the NEW " NO Trespassing " sign.
Getting tougher & tougher to acess some trails that for years had been wide open. Locals who dump their trash &
others who vandalize equipment have prompted more & more companies to tighten security & block off more
& more access points. Each & every time we ride , we find new mounds of trash dumped by locals
who have no respect for anyone or anything! UGLY!
Once at the steam pipes , we head out across the mountains & head towards the Texaco gas station next to Matto
Cycle north of Pottsville & refuel to extend our range . After crossing Rt. # 61 behind Wendy's we buzz up &
over the mountains towards Minersville & check out trail after trail & discover alot of new trails that
are a blast to Speedball on & also give us a new way to get to some old places. With the DNR buying up more
& more land , it's important for us to learn as many ways as possible to get where we want to go. The weather is
perfect & the miles & time fly by FAST! After endless miles of checking out & discovering more &
more new turf , we find we've made a big loop & not too far from the Texaco gas station , so we make a quick trip
back to top off our tanks .
As we rumble in to refuel , I hear a hearty
" Hello " & " Chuckle , Chuckle" & two dirt bikers who remembering seeing my naked butt , when I
split the crotch out of my pants last summer, take the time to chit chat for a few minutes . In the course of our
brief conversation , I am told that the memories of my naked butt have haunted them for months! LOL!
With a " Have a safe ride " exchanged by both groups, we then make a bee line for RT. # 901 Tavern & some
mouth watering grub. UMMMMMM GOOD STUFF !
an hour we are woofing down big juicy burgers & fries & quenching our thirsty throats with an ice cold soda.
As we feed our faces , we watch college football on the wall mounted tv's & enjoy the comfort of the Nascar chrome wheels
turned into plush chairs. The sentiment of " It don't get no better than this ! " was voiced
by each member of this happy & content atv trio seated on these Nascar stools. Even though we are extremely
content & relaxed & enjoying the football game being aired , we realize that with the sun getting
ready to set on the western horizon , we must head north towards Frackcille. Being on basically home turf
, Speedy leads the trio on some more exploration as we head off in the right general direction. More & more new
trails & access points are discovered as we head east & then northwest & Speedy logs these new coordinates
in his cranial GPS for future Great Adventures. HE! HE!
By the time we get within a few miles of Frackville, it's pitch BLACK DARK & a somewhat scarey scenerio confronts us.
To avoid the two hour detour that the new access closure created , we must cross I-81 in the DARK! SCAREY!
OH! BOY! As we are perched above the I-81 northbound lanes we watch as the headlights move REAL FAST
& ZOOM off into the darkness . With only three skilled riders we figure this manuver is somewhat risky, but logical if
done right. With all atv lights off , we position ourselves at the bottom of the trail , but safely off the berm &
wait until no headlights can be seen for at least 1/4 miles . We then BLAST across the northbound lanes with headlights
on & abrutly turned them OFF as soon as we reach the raised center grassly knoll
seperating the south & northbound lanes. Again we wait in the dark for another 1/4 mile break in the southbound traffic
& switched on our lights & BLAST across to safety at the first opportunity & breath a hearty sight
of RELIEF once on the far side & high above the speeding southbound traffic below.
The last few miles are uneventful & after 9 1/2 hours & 90 miles , three tired but happy atvers give a " BIG
THUMBS UP " for today's Great Adventure " & load up for the trip home. The ONLY regret we have is
that MORE of you couldn't find the time or opportunity to join Speedy & the others for this BEAUTIUFUL &
WONDERFUL late Fall ride! Hopefully MORE of you will be there for our next ride! GOOD NITE
Your AARP atv buddy!