Speedy wakes up Sunday morning after numerous wet licks from my dog Mandy . Guess it's time for their morning
walk , so I stretch my AARP body & it feels pretty good after a 90 mile trex across the Pa. mountains
on Saturday . Got some really good friends from Maryland traveling almost 250 miles just for this shortened version
" FAMILY RIDE " today, so I almost bound out of bed to prepare for today's atv ride.
Before too long the Speedball
Express is motoring towards Frackville with Speedy sipping on another cup of tummy warming hot chocolate.
As I hit the Frackville borough , Steve Loftis " alerts " me on my Nextel & asks " Where
are you Speedy ???? I guess since you are NOW a local you'll be running late as well. Huh ???? " When you
stayed at Motel 6 you were always early ! LOL! " . I'm ONLY 15 minutes early & not 1/2 hour , so I guess you can
call me late for a 8:00am launch time! HE! HE!
As I rattle into Motel 6's parking lot, I
see numerous rigs & quads scattered across it's expanse & a bunch of happy smiling faces. By 8:00am launch time
I spot some new faces among the atvers assembled for our " Family Ride ". Dave ( Z-400 Susuki ) has brought along his
brother ( Kawasaki 220 Bayou ) & his son Chris ( Honda 250ex ) to see firsthand if Dave's tales of wonderful trails
is true. Steve ( Honda 650 4x4 Rincon ) & his daughter Tammy ( Honda 250 ex ) have made the 250 mile trex to ride with
Speedy today as well as Troy ( Z-400 Susuki ) who lives just a few houses at the end of the parking lot.
Last to arrive is Lee ( Kawasaki 700 4x4 Pararie ) & as soon as he unloads & suits up , we fire up our quads
& begin today's Family Ride towards Mt. Carmel .
With Chris & his
dad being their first time with us , I set a very modest pace & glance back from time to time to see how they are
doing ? OK so far . Within 20 minutes we are at the AC/DC coal banks in Shenandoah & while the older & more
experienced folks buzz up & down a few big coal banks the youngsters on smaller sport quads bump & jump to their
hearts content. :)
After a 1/2 hour of letting the youngsters get rid
of their youthful beans, we regroup & head out across the mountains for Mt. Carmel. More leaves fell overnite , so the
trails are even prettier then yesterday ! Everyone marvels at the beauty of it all as the leaves swirl up in big multi colored
clouds as each quad churns up the leafy carpeting that Mother Nature has deposited during the nite. In stretches this
wonderous beauty lasts for miles on end & is one the reasons this is my favorite time of the year to ride
my trusty atv with my fellow Speedball's. Too bad it's so short lived & others had the misfortune of missing this ride.
After a few hours of buzzing up & down miles & miles of leafy coated trails , we descend into a valley where we criss
cross a stream & wallow in muck filled monster mudholes as we work our way upstream to access the atv place called the
" Moon " . The youngsters are ready to play again , so upon arrival at the Moon , others & myself dismount &
watch Tammy & Chris & their 250ex's tackle small hill after after small hill , with a few modest
hills in between. Next thing I know I see Tammy & her 250ex blasting up a hillclimb that I'd even hesitate to challenge.
But with a good run & the small sport quad wound out to the MAX , she succeeds on conquering this particular coal
bank. Within a minute or two her focus switches to a much more risky hillclimb, because it's somewhat steeper & almost
NO runway prior at the bottom. Here dad says " I don't think you can make it " , which kinda makes Tammy mad. NOTHING scares
this 17 year old atver & before you can say " Don't do it ! " , Tammy & her 250ex is headed up the face of this
coal bank with everyone yelling " NO WAY !!!! ". Sure enough about 2/3 the way up the 250ex looses
traction & spins to a STOP! Being a fearless little female atv demon , she puts the 250ex in reverse & starts to back
down , with EVERYONE yelling " STOP , we're coming!!!!!! " . A mad scramble ensues as Steve & a few others scratch &
claw their up the steep, soft coal bank & proceed to assist Tammy in getting her & the 250ex safely back on level
ground. Ten minutes later a bunch of huffing & puffing adults have complete the rescue with an unfazed Tammy grinning
ear to ear. LOL!
Once the rescuers have regained their
breath & composure , we head off to Mt. Carmel to refuel & get a few snacks & cold refreshments. Along the way
, Speedy spots Hill #2 & within seconds the 700 V-Force is headed skyward & up this very long & STEEP
coal bank ! YEHAAAAAAAAA! I buzz up the hill , making it look easy . :) Could never do this hill before
I got this V-Twin torque monster . Makes me feel like a kid again! HE! HE!
to take a different route back to Frackville, so I head out for " Speedball Ridge " after refueling & snacking in
Mt. Carmel. This ride is suppose to end at 1:00pm , but time has slipped by so fast , that it will be 3:00pm or later
until we rattle back into Motel 6's parking lot . The miles & time seem to melt away as we traverse mountain after mountain
enroute to our final destination. Chris on his 250ex is one TIRED youngster & has a hard time even gripping his handlebars
as we near Locust Gap & we have to make numerous stops to let Chris recoup . Others are showing signs of rider fatigue
as the normal five hour Sunday ride has been extended by at least three hours. Speedy is still feeling quite frisky
& BLASTS down numerous fast fireroads , sliding & wheeling across & around mud holes & bumping &
jumping at each & every chance. YEHAAAAAAAAAAAA! I LOVE THIS SPORT!
By the time
we arrive back at the AC/DC coal banks in Shenandoah , Chris is doing better , but still riding pretty slow. Lee blasts up
& down a few coal banks before the final push back to Frackville. Dave conquered these hillclimbs earlier
in the day , so like me , he just relaxes while others play. Troy's is running late , so with a big " Thumbs up "
he blasts off towards his Frackville home. Steve knows his way back also , so Tammy & him buzz off to save time
, since they have a very long trip to home to Southern Maryland. The rest of us escort our tired & weary Chris back
to the motel at a much slower pace. Once back at the motel , I load up my V-Force & exchange farewell's &
thank everyone for sharing a WONDERFUL day with Speedy & wish them a safe trip home. Wish YOU could have joined
us! Your AARP atv buddy!