ATV riders experience life on the trail in Emery County
|The first day of riding begins at Joes Valley reservoir for the groups going into Reeder Canyon and on Skyline Drive|
For the third year in a row, the SouthEastern Utah OHV Club hosted the Arapeen ATV Jamboree. As the Jamboree grows in numbers each year, the visitors to Emery County are coming from throughout the United States. Several of the guests are return visitors and many are first time visitors to Ferron and the scenic attractions of the San Rafael Swell and the Arapeen Trail.
On Labor Day, Sept. 5, the first full day of the Jamboree, ATV enthusiasts registered for the rides, were treated to a continental breakfast, and began riding and experiencing Emery County. Four rides in all were held on Monday and all were in the mountain region of the Arapeen Trail System. Riders went on the Hole Trail, into Reeder Canyon, Skyline-Little's, and Indian Creek.
To cap off activities on Monday evening, the group traveled to the Reef, east of Ferron, for a delicious cowboy meal and cowboy poetry and entertainment. The Dutch oven meal was prepared by Jon and Cindy Judd of San Rafael Works, and served with an added measure of the San Rafael Swell as a backdrop.
Al Shakespaere was on hand to sing and entertain the Jamboree goers. His renditions of Elvis Presley songs seemed to be well liked by the crowd. Following the songs by Shakespaere, two local men, Kirk Christiansen and his brother Hugh Christiansen, related several poems by their favorite cowboy poets. While the brothers told their stories, the nieces and nephews, all under the age of 7, performed roping tricks and rode stick horses for the entertainment of the out of town visitors.
Kirk's wife, Mistie, related her favorite poem also, it was entitled "Heaven's Branding." While she held the microphone, her son McKoy gave the crowd two bits of cowboy wisdom. He said, "Never squat with your spurs on and always drink upstream from the herd."
Zen Majors, another local cowboy poet, then related two patriotic poems. The first he dedicated to all those who have served in the armed forces, entitled "A Piece of Cloth." He then recited "Double Edged Sword," and then retold a story about the history of the Old Spanish Trail. To finish his performance, Majors recited a poem about reincarnation which he dedicated to his friend Lee Swasey.
On Tuesday, the Behind the Reef ride, Fix-it Pass, the SEUOHV club poker ride trail, and the south side of Six Mile Canyon rides were introduced along with the Reeder Canyon and Hole Trail. The nearly 60 riders each had a choice of rides available throughout the week, with new rides taken each day. By the end of the week, everyone who came to the Jamboree should have a chance to ride five of the rides offered. With the number of rides offered, each visitor should take away a broad overview of the Arapeen ATV Trail system. On Tuesday evening, a roast beef dinner was held. All of the activities for the Jamboree are being held in the Ferron fairgrounds multipurpose building.
Wednesday at the Jamboree brought new rides and new adventures. The men attending the Jamboree went about their regular rides in the Swell and on the Arapeen Trail System. The ladies who were in attendance had the opportunity to go on a first ever "ladies only" ride. This ride began at the Ferron Fairgrounds, proceeded up Ferron Canyon to Black Dragon Canyon, to the Emery County Communications site, and finally onto the cap of Horn Mountain for a catered lunch.
Gay Anderson of California, Jayne Chacon of Colorado, Judy Doud of Northern Utah, Debra Hay of Arizona, Diane McClean of California, Phyllis Nietzert of Colorado, joined local riders Anita Mills, Helen Morgan, Danielle Farley, Betty Kunze, Elaine Garrett, and Jamie Anderson and guides Corey Bluemel and Terry Lyn Williams on the leisurely ride.
Rides on Thursday were interrupted by a cloudburst, but in the end all returned safely.
On Friday, the rides continued and the jamboree was capped off with a celebration dinner combined with Peach Days activities in Ferron.
Prizes were given, stories were traded, and the grand prizes, a 4-wheeler and a two spot trailer were drawn for. The winner of the 4-wheeler was Karen VanBuren of Orangeville, and the winner of the trailer was Donna Bury of Huntington.