|05-26-2008, 08:01 AM||#1|
Joined: Oct 2007
Whissenhunt North GA first ride of 2008!
We road Whissenhunt yesterday excited to see the changes made by the Forest serviceís contractors. When we arrived at the parking lot the first thing we saw was the parking lot has fresh gravel of the large rock variety. We suited up and paid and on the way we saw that the contractor apparently where not made to clean up after themselves.
Once on the trail the new dirt was a good mix of sand and clay and while sometimes too deep it was less slippery than wet clay and way softer than hard clay. The people that did the work where either told to make the trail annoying as possible or to protect the trail from erosion. They placed either water bars or overly sharp jumps and doubles at the absolute worst places. On about the fifth turn there are 2 water bars that start on the inside of the turn close enough to double which is OK but at the end of the jump you run out of room in a hurry! These water bars gradually get wider towards the out side of the turn making it a head on crash zone! More in favor of water control is a gravel turn with the brims demolished.
Two way traffic is always a bad thing and the main trails seem narrower than last year and the more single track trails are wider. The hill climb at the end of 192J has water bars at all the wrong places as does every hill which makes you slow down and roll them. This makes what used to be 2nd gear hills to 1st gear hills. We took a few loops and the last run of the day. We left the parking lot full of ATV rider in search of some single track action. The entire place has been touched either water bars or fresh dirt/sand and most of the big rocks that last year littered the trail have been removed. We headed to Hightower loop which we found at one conjunction that I was not leading a real beaten trail with no fresh dirt only extreme rut that went down an extreme hill. As we tried to find a way around it I went into the woods and the grade started to get steep. I thought if I can get around the 40 foot down tree I can come back up and get around the beaten rutted trail. I started to turn right and bike said I donít think so! It endowed and I jumped off! I watched as it slid down the mountain into close to the bottom of the valley and stopped with its wheels facing me up the hill. The hill was very slippery with logs over moist earth with leaves hiding all it. As the bike slid it collected leaves making it have less and less drag. Before I hiked down I looked behind me and my buddy was no ware to be seen. I said to myself I better get my bike out of here. The decent was about 200 yards from where I jumped off. When I got to my bike I first turned the gas off. The no damage thanks to the soft leaves! Seeing as I had no cell phone I then surveyed my situation. Down was a 30 foot cliff up was way to slick to go up while riding it alone. I decided to walk out! I hiked up the hill taking breaks once and awhile so I did not over heat (Thanks Survivorman!) and to take a swig of my rapidly depleting water supply. I could not see the bike or the trail so I just kept hiking up and taking breaks. I then ran out of water and was exhausted. I started thinking why donít I hear and engines out here and where is the trail? After another 100 yards past where I crashed I heard an engine. I yelled out for help and a guy answered asking what I needed in which I replied WATER I am over heated! I then slowly hiked to the top of the hill where a young boy came to see if I was OK. We walked a couple of yards to the trail where the father of the young boy game me bottled water. As we discussed what to do next My buddy Chris showed up. I asked the guy if when he got to the parking lot to ask someone with a winch to ride up and help. He and Chris went down the trail in search of help while I sat and tried to regain my mojo. After only 15 minutes hear comes Chris and 2 ATV rider a father and son on brand new Honda Fuel injected ATVs. The father had a winch on board and told me that the trail marking where the worst he has seen and that we where on a closed trail. It was I asked because from the top it never said it was? I told the father that the hill was very steep almost too steep to go up. He decided to try it but made sure his son dismount his and hiked up with me. Almost to the point I turned off for my of trail adventure he flipped it and it fell on top of him! He had on an open face helmet with sun glasses. He looked OK from the back but when he turned around blood was coming down from just above his eye from the impact with his sunglass lens. It finally stopped bleeding and began to swell. I asked if he was OK and apologized as we flipped his ATV back over and they left. I decided to hike back to my bike and see if I could get it up. It was about 350 yards off the trail almost straight down and the bike way too heavy to lift by myself being so exhausted. I decided to just hike back up again and about half way up Chris came walking down having had no luck in finding water or anyone to help. He could not find my cell but I used his to call my wife and tell her why I was running late. Chris had already talked to her but I wanted to let her hear from me. He and I walked down to the bike righting it and surveying the situation again.
We decided to hike up the hill and make our way back to the parking lot. Once up to the trail I tried to ride on the back of Chrisís bike but with my feet dangling hitting all the rocks and water bars we decided to take turns walking and riding. After 5 miles or so and now both out of water I told Chris I was going to take his bike and look for an ATV to haul me out of there. I ran into a few guys on the trail that had a winch. I asked if they could follow me down the trail so I could let my buddy ride his bike and one of them could give me a lift back to the parking lot. He agreed and after a few seconds his dad got there and asked what happened. I told him what had happened and he said we will follow you. We soon met my buddy and we all stopped to talk. The father said no way are you going to leave your bike. Will it start? I said yeah but I have nothing left! He then told his son to go with Chris and get all the rope chains and water and follow Chris back to where my bike was. I climbed aboard the back of he buddies Yamaha ATV and we took of to rescue my bike. All the new water bars were making my back cry out in agony as a held on to the grate in the back of the Yamaha. We got to the hill climb and I got off and hiked to the top. The 2 guys hiked down to my bike to survey the situation and I hiked down about half way. They asked how to start it and I told them and it kicked right over (I love the WR e-start!) I listened as they throttled it and stalled it a few times. Next thing you know my buddy Chris with a cold bottle of water comes walking down the hill! I then was told to bring my helmet down so I could maybe ride it out. Chris went to the top and grabbed my helmet and I continued down the hill to try in my eyes in vein, to extract the blue beauty from its entrenchment! When I arrived I saw that the 2 of them had moved it 15 feet or so around the hill and up. I tried to get on and ride but the extra weight carried too high almost toppling over and dug the front tire in. So while I was in the back pushing, one guy was controlling the throttle and clutch and the other guy was pulling we zigzagged back and fourth up the enormous hill being stopped by logs, being wedged in between trees and losing our footing and falling down. 2/3 of the way up we found Chris and he took control of the bike and helped us up the rest of the way. At the end I jumped on and ripped up the last bit and I was back on the trail. We then thanked the 2 for their help and offered them some money and they flat refused asking us to pay it forward! Wow these 2 are a class act! I agreed and we rode back to our trucks. As I was packing up I went to shake their hands and thank them again and he showed me the hole that the big chain that they carried had left and the fender that was bent. At this point I asked for my Chrisís $100 dollar bill and handed it to him. We drove off and it was 6:30pm what a day! Thanks to all who helped!
What I learned?
A) Always take a cell phone!
B) Always walk out a way around an obstacle not ride!
C) Respect all people on the trail you never know when you will need them!
ohenry screwed with this post 05-27-2008 at 08:32 AM
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