What an awesome 2 days of riding Bell County.
Got into town a little after 1 in the afternoon and met up with Jon at Hardee's to grab a quick bite to eat.
Introduced Jon to Matt, a fellow rider I met from Western Hills, which is on the west side of Cincinnati. I had been talking up being a Holler Crawlers and riding in Bell County. I met him on www.cincydirt.com
and he was real interested in riding with me. With the weather looking as good as it did and his schedule working out for a ride we made the trip.
Spent the afternoon riding Clear Creek on the west side of Middlesboro. What a beautiful area. The creek had many areas with thick ice and snow, rock croppings with large ice structures hanging off them.
This trip was my first time riding my sport quad (Suzuki z400), found out quickly how much different they are. Especially on hills, I love climbing, with the frozen ground and the lightness of the quad it was difficult to do any serious climbing. The other thing I wasn't ready for was how much more terrain you wear on your clothing when riding them. We rode about 4-5 hrs and was quite dirty after just that time with all the water, mud and everything else I kicked up.
On to day 2 - Jon and I had talked about riding to Cawood and back from the Colmar entrance of Wilderness Trails Off Road Park. We decided with GPS in hand and leaving out pretty early we could make it. The weather on Friday was even better than Thursday. Got up on WTOP and had clouds rolling across the Cumberlands that was absolutely a sight to see. Wind was blowing really hard up there. From there we rode to the Creekside Market and filled up for the long trek to Cawood.
The trails were very diverse, between logging roads to technical switchback trails to climbing hills and getting stuck in mud holes. Oh, I guess I was the only one to get stuck. I still blame it on Jon and his Cousin Daniel, if they hadn't broken up the ice I'd have made it across. Sure made for some wet feet getting it out of the hole.
Not long after, I wish Jon had taken video of me and Matt, we were on part of the trail where a dozer had torn up the trail big time...with that we were picking up huge bits of mud and depositing it on helmets, shoulders, arms and legs. When we got out of that area we stopped near some pavement and I would be suprised if I didn't lose 10 lbs just knocking off the mud. Found a creek crossing and got the big stuff off the quads for the rest of the trip. Wasn't much further to the reclaim we were on near Wallins Creek.
We searched around from there trying to find the connection to the trails at Bob's Creek. I think we would have found it if it were not for the mining in the area and the fuel situation. From there we headed back, riding like wild men back to the gas at Creekside MKT.
Spent the rest of the day checking out a couple trails I had not been on at WTOP. The last highlight of the day was having to scrape Matt off a hill after he didn't make it up a hill and rolled the quad. Gotta thank the tree at the bottom of the hill, it held the quad off Matt till I got back down there to pull it off him and get it righted. I rode the quad up the hill for him as he smoked a cig. He took the beating we gave him pretty well. Headed back to the truck and rinsed the quads off in the creek at Colmar.
Jon, another great trip riding with you....I am sure there are many more to come my friend.
Jon made a video and posted on YouTube...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJgbBt9PqUU