Trail Blazing with Mark

Distance = 56 Miles
Jeff’s step brother Mark came into town this weekend, and wanted to go riding with us. They still needed to load up his ATV and drive over to Jeff’s house, so I rode alone for a while. I was heading into Indian Creek, and heard an ATV that sounded like Brent’s. Sure enough, when I got to the Island, and looked below, there was Brent stuck in a real deep hole, the ATV was just about on its side. He looked up at me and waved me down, I could tell me was happy to see someone rode by. I made my way down to him to pull him out. He was stuck pretty good, with one side of the ATV submerged in the hole. He said he tried to straddle the two mud holes, but slid over and dumped down into one. He has big Mudzilla tires, and probably could have made it, if he had just hit the hole straight on and gunned it. Only the side of the tires was making good contact, so he didn’t have the traction to get it out.

     I hooked my winch to him, and pulled him out fairly easy. The Venom 3500x winch has definitely been worth every penny. Brent said he was on his way home when he got stuck, so he headed out. Riding out the creek, trying to wash himself and the ATV off some.
I rode around the Island area some, killing time till Jeff and Mark were due back. I wasn’t riding another 10 minutes, when I saw a couple real young kids out on a couple small sport quads. I was curious to where they were planning to ride, so I circled around to where they were. One of them was already stuck in a mucky spot, and they were trying to push it out. They asked for my help, and I was happy to lend a hand, or at least a winch. I just hooked up the cable and pulled them out in reverse, since they had a very small sport quad. I had perfect timing when leaving Indian Creek. As soon as I got to the end of Indian Creek road, Mark, Jeff, and drew were passing by on their way to Jeff’s. I followed them down to Jeff’s, where Mark unloaded his ATV. He had a pretty neat trailer, that tilted as he drove off of it, so you didn’t need ramps or anything for it.
First we rode up to Table Top, and the Hill Climb there. Mark took a quick look at it, and shot right up it with no trouble. From that, I figured he would be pretty fun to ride with, and he was.

     Jeff asked if I had seen the huge cliff line there at the Table Top strip mine, I had no idea what he was talking about, so he took us over that way. He was right, it was quite a cliff, at least one side of it was.

     On the top of the ledge was a set of 6 to 8″ drill holes that were done by the coal company. Probably for surveying and checking the coal seam. They were very deep, dropping a stone in them made quite a calamity as it made its way to the bottom where there was water.

     We hung around here for a while occupying ourselves by throwing large rocks off the cliff into the water below, when we noticed 4 dead deer laying in the water. We think they might has jumped over the edge not knowing it was there.
      Alot of the ledge area looked like it could give way at any time, and there were large hunks of rock and coal laying in the middle of the roadway below.

     From there, we headed out to the Rivesville Lookout. But we didn’t make it very far. About half way down the main road, Drew’s Dirt Bike let out a huge plume of smoke. He pulled over to the side of the road, the bike was still running, and letting out just alittle smoke. We were concerned he blew a ring, so we had him go back and drop off the bike at Jeff’s. Mark followed him back, and Drew spent the rest of the day riding on the back of Mark’s ATV. I have now declared Drew’s nickname to be Smokey. Everything he rides tends to bellow smoke.
We continued on out to the Rivesville Lookout, sitting on top and taking in the view for a while. We discussed how to best get over to the Hells Hollow area. We would like these two areas to connect better, but either way you go, you have to do some road riding to get there. So we dropped over the back side of the lookout, where a trail leads you out to a main road.
Oh, did I mention that Jeff was riding his 3 Wheeler, the one with NO brakes? We started down the steep section of trail, Jeff staying to the rear, going down last. Which looking back at it, was a silly way to do it, since we should have been behind, keeping an eye on him, and keeping out of the way. Well, I am at the bottom of the hill by the time Jeff started his decent down the hill, I looked back to see if everyone was still following me, when I saw Drew had hopped off Mark’s ATV and was motioning me to come back up the hill. I pretty much knew what had happened as I flew back up the hill. Sure enough, there was Jeff’s 3 wheeler sitting there, back rack bent down on one side, and one brake lever snapped in half. Luckily Jeff was ok, he had bailed off toward the top of the hill. He said that it popped out of low range and just took off. Heading down the hill and hitting alittle berm, that send the 3 wheeler flipping end over end, landing on its back rack. We were surprised it had suffered so little damage, and it started right back up. It didn’t seem to faze Jeff much, still on an adrenaline high from the experience.
So we just continued on our way to Hells Hollow area. We just passed through Hell Hollow on our way to the the railroad tracks, running under the Pirate Camp. This was a fun section to ride, we were flying down parts of the gravel next to the track, at speeds of 50 mph. A paved road meets up with the tracks, that takes you threw the town of National. When I got to the road, I noticed my handling was sloppy, and that the ass end seemed to want to slide one me. By that time I looked back checking my tires, to find my left rear tire completely flat. I was surprised the ATV was riding as well as it was with one flat tire, but it got me into National where to stopped for a second, and I informed the guys of my little problem. Luckily, Mark had a tire repair kit in his ATV, something I have now ordered to keep in mine. I would have been completely screwed if he had not had that kit with him. He even had the kind with the little C02 cartridges, that partially filled the tire. Just as we got my tire plugged and partially filled, Jeff starts cursing. “SOB ! Mines Flat too!” The Front tire on his 3 wheeler was completely flat also. Both our tires had one puncture hole that looked like it was from a large nail. undoubtedly from the fast railroad ride up here. Mark’s kit had just enough C02 cartridges to partially fill both out tires, so that we could make it down to Donnie’s gas station. Where we topped off the pressure in our tires.
From Donnie’s we headed up passed Dead Cow Lake, back to Indian Creek. We rode through the stream a couple times, you know, just to wash off out ATVs some. Then over to The Island, where we played around some, doing a few doughnuts. By this time is was well after 8 PM and dark out.
Jeff took off down a very overgrown trail on the back side of the Island, I followed him for a while, till he got to where it dead ends heading up the hill. Seems he didn’t want to stop there though, and tried to just plow his way through the heavy underbrush further up the hill. He couldn’t get very far with the 3 Wheeler though. By this time Mark had caught up with us, so Mark and I tried to blaze a trail up the hill. I got hung up on some small fallen trees that were under the brush, but after we got over that it wasn’t too bad, We ran over a few small trees and flattened down all the under brush and thrown bushes. I wished I had already bought the skid plate kit for my ATV, but I don’t think it was all that bad. I mainly worry about sticks ripping my CV boots. I also plan to buy a new front bumper, or at least weld on additional protection to the front of the Rubicon. I think I may start doing more trail blazing in the future.
We made our way up and across the hill, where we connected to another trail that heads up to the top of the hill. We circled back down on this trail back to the Island. We figured we better make a few more passes to properly break in the trail. After a couple more passes we had a pretty good trail make. It was actually alot of fun, and I think its going to be a great way to make some more trails, after all, if we cant find new ones, we might as well make them.
We were about to call it a night, but wanted to get in one more quick trail. So we rode on a trail that is across the main road between Jeff’s house and Indian Creek. Its a neat little trail that follows along the hillside by the creek that is beside the road. Much of the trail is like a tunnel of trees that you can go down rather fast, its alot of fun, and was especially interesting at night. We decided to call it a night, they headed back to Jeff’s house to load Mark up, and I headed back to Ben’s to load up and head home.
It was a good long ride, and it was nice to meet Mark, and have someone else to ride with. I think Jeff said he was from Ohio, so maybe he will be able to come back into town again in the future.