November 2020 Club Ride

The Weather has changed and now doesn’t look so good…….So we are changing the ride to Tuesday, November 17th which is predicted to be sunny and warm.  Everything else remains the same.  

Our November ride on Tuesday, November 10th, will be to Trappers in Taylor for lunch.  We will leave from the Trail Head (34.33192N, 110.11697 W) at Lone Pine Dam Rd and Burton Rd at 9:00 am in order to reach Trappers by 12:00 to 12:30 pm.  If you don‘t want to ride, you can also meet us at Trappers, but I need to know how many will be there for lunch, so I can make a reservation.  Please reply, l if you are planning to ride or just join us for lunch.  Treasurer@wmota.org

The ride itself is very interesting.  We will start by traveling part of the Maverick Trail, then entering Wilson Draw on our way to Taylor.  After lunch we will return by way of Schoens Lake and an old smelter. 

The weather is predicted to be dry and in the 60’s for a high so dress in layers and bring water and any snacks you may need.  But don’t forget Trappers has great homemade pies! 

This is our last club ride for 2020 so we are hoping for a good turnout.  Karen and Jerry Smith, Ride Leaders

Late Oct. Cub Ride

Paul Kulas will lead a ride on Saturday, October 24th.  The ride will stage from the intersection of forest roads 146 and 124.  There is an area southwest of the intersection where the Club has camped in the past and there is plenty of parking.  The turn into this area is about 50 yards west of the intersection on the 124.  Take 260 to the 146 and turn south on the 146.  The 146 is between the 314 and 313 mile makers about 200 yards west of the 314 marker.  It is about 3½ miles south on the 146 to the 124. Obviously, anyone that wishes to can camp for this ride may.  Paul wants to get the ride started promptly at 9:30 am so please arrive early enough to be ready to go then.  The ride will be about 34-40 miles long, so expect to be back 3ish.  As always bring you lunch and plenty of water.     

October 2020 Club Ride

WMOTA had a very successful camp and ride this week, six campers and a camp fire every night. On Tuesday, morning, hot coffee and donuts greeted everyone. We rode out with 25 machines, including the ride leader, Maurice, and tail gunner, Ken. It was a great 49 mile ride and elk, deer and antelope were sighted along the way. We returned to camp about 4pm, somewhat longer than our rides normally take, but there were lots of slower, rocky sections. While the trails were dusty, no one seemed to mind but all should check their air intake box for dirt and clean or replace their air filter. Jack held an impromptu meeting when we stopped for lunch. The ride was also a poker run, won by Karen

RIDE September 15, 2020

 Tuesday, September 15th   The Club has now ridden twice during the week (July and August) instead of Saturday and the consensus is nearly unanimous that weekday rides work.  We are still finalizing plans for this ride, but will be leaving from the Sheep’s Corral, which is almost a mile north of 260 on 117 where 117C branches to the right.  We’re planning on starting the ride at 09:00 am.  More details will follow before the ride, but mark you calendars for that day and join us.

Club Picnic

WMOTA is hosting a members only, BBQ rib dinner on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm.  This year the dinner will be held at Woodland Lake Park, Ramada #2 in Pinetop.  In addition to the dinner, we will provide Ice Tea and Lemonade, if you want any other liquid refreshments bring your own.  Woodland Lake Park is off Highway 260 — turn at the Chevron station and take the first park entrance to the right.  Ramada #2 is the second one you come to and parking is just past the Ramada.
RSVP is required by August 31th!!  Please reply to this email, with a head count, only if you are coming. 

We will have WMOTA shirts to sell at the BBQ, so bring cash or your check book.
We will also do a 50/50 drawing at the meeting.
Hope to see all of you at the BBQ
Your Board of Directors

August 2020 Club Ride

On Wednesday, August 12th WMOTA had its August ride.  Yes, on a weekday.  The initial response to my inquiry about riding on other than a Saturday was overwhelmingly in favor of weekday rides, so we tried it in August.  I think most would call the ride a success.  Twenty-five machines made the ride.   We did get a little rain, but our ride leader, Karen Smith, timed our lunch stop in a period of no rain.  The little rain settled the dust nicely.

  1. We are planning a ride for September.  Given the success of the August ride, the September ride will likely also be on a weekday.  Watch your e-mail for details as the plans finalize.   
  2.      We are also planning a September meeting.  Yes, an actual meeting.  We’ve reserved a ramada at Woodland Lake Park and are planning a dinner for Club members similar to the one last year.  This will be on our regular meeting date, the second Thursday, September 10th.      Since we’re providing dinner, we will need an accurate count on how many are coming.  So, we’ll be asking who is planning to come.  Again, watch you e-mail for details.

Jack Dryer WMOTA President

New Facebook Group For Wmota

We are working on creating a Facebook group, WMOTA ATV Riders.  Only members of WMOTA will be allowed to join this group and they must be users of Facebook.

The reason for the group is a way for WMOTA members that want to ride on days other than the club ride date, can send information to group members as to when, where, time, any other info of a ride they are planning to go on.  This will not be a WMOTA sponsored ride, just a group of ATV, UTV riders that want to get together and ride.

The Group is limited to WMOTA members only as we do not want to invite any ATV rider in the area to join us. This should be small groups of riders only. If someone wants to bring a friend, no problem as this is not an organized WMOTA function!

Members will Post a message about  the ride they are planning and send the post out, only members of the group should see the post. We are still developing this and would like you to go to Groups on Facebook, find ‘WMOTA ATV Riders’ group, Riders is Capitol R and lower case iders, and send us a request to JOIN the group.  This is a test of the group and a request for comments as how to make it work, or make it better. Steve and Steve are Administers and will have to approve your request and all requests in the future.

Steve Dudley and Steve Lovett

July 2020 Club Ride

First, the Club will NOT meet this Thursday, July 9th.  It just seems prudent to avoid gathering indoors.  We will have the monthly Club meeting at our monthly ride after lunch as we did in June.  This seems to have work well.  As in June I invite all to send any items for the July meeting agenda.  Please try to send item before COB next Wednesday.     

The Club will ride on its regularly scheduled Saturday, July 18th.  Chuck Wood will be leading our July ride. The ride will stage from the Buckelew Springs area, beginning at 9am. The ride is 40 miles in length and will visit the Juan Garcia area, CC Cabin, Greens Peak, and Little Giant Spring area. Lunch will be at the Little Giant Spring area before returning back to the staging location. The ride should end around 3- 3:30pm. The ride is a combination of forest roads, and forest trails that are appropriate for all skill levels. We can hope for Monsoon rain before the ride, it was terribly dusty during the pre-ride.

The Club is not organizing a camp.  However, if you’d like to camp you’re welcome to do so.  The Club has camped at the Buckelew Springs before.  We will provide more precise directions to the staging area in an e-mail next week.

Again, we urge all members to exercise prudent judgment.  If you don’t feel well, don’t come on this ride.  If you think you may have been exposed to COVID 19, please don’t come on the ride.  Social distancing on these rides is easily doable.  At our stops just be conscious of social distancing.   This should be a fun ride and I hope you can join us on  the 18th.

Trail Etiquette

Let’s talk about trail etiquette

15 TRAIL ETIQUETTE GUIDELINES EVERY 4X4 AND OHV ENTHUSIAST SHOULD KNOW

With all the new people exploring the backcountry, it’s important to remember a few guidelines. These guidelines have been developed over the years by sportsmen and other outdoor enthusiasts. They display common courtesy and respect to others, like you, who are out enjoying the Arizona backcountry.

In this article, we will go through several of these guidelines to educate the public about trail etiquette. It’s essential to know these things if you’re new to the off-road community. These guidelines have been developed to promote the responsible and safe use of our public lands. We all share a common interest.

Anderson Mill in the Wickenburg Mountains

We asked a total of 6000 off-road enthusiasts what they considered proper trail etiquette. We got over 250 responses, and this is what they had to say…

Trail etiquette promotes safe, responsible, common sense use of public and private lands. 

Stay on the existing trail. It seems so simple, yet so many people don’t follow this easy rule. You find this problem around nearly every populated area in Arizona. It makes the off-road community and those who use these trails look bad.

There are other instances were driving off the trail is permitted like emergency situations, ranchers doing fence repair, and various other reasons. While out driving your four by four, side-by-side, or motorcycle, you are not allowed to drive off the trail whatsoever. In fact, destroying the natural landscape is a Class 6 felony in Arizona.
Don’t be a slob. Another commonsense issue we are battling. I’m sure we all learned this as a child. Yet we see piles of trash everywhere. This trash doesn’t only hurt the off-road community but all who visit the Arizona backcountry. Nor can it solely be blamed on the off-road community.

High traffic areas are being shut down because of the trash left behind. Luckily, volunteers from all over the state come together to remove tons of trash from our rivers, lakes, and high traffic camping areas. We have to counterbalance the trash dumpers, and we’re doing a good job.

If you see somebody dumping trash, don’t be afraid to approach them. If you find a trash dump, you can contact one of the organizations listed on the reference page.
Don’t be destructive. Many places have immense cultural significance and should be cherished. Some of these places have been around for thousands of years. It is illegal to destroy, deface, or vandalize any site of historical or cultural significance.
Save the booze for camp. There are all too many reasons not to drink and drive on the trail. While drinking on the trail, you are endangering yourself, your family, and everyone else. Every year we hear about and see fatal accidents involving drunk drivers. It’s just not a good idea.
Burn it right, or don’t burn it at all. The most dangerous part of burning a campfire is when you pack up camp and take off. Please make sure it’s out when you’re done. Always build your fire pit correctly. Dig a sound hole and circle it with rocks. Bury the fire pit and dump water on it when you’re done. Bury any burning logs or embers lying outside the fire pit.
Pullover for faster-moving traffic. Everybody likes to move at their own pace. It’s best not to agitate other drivers. Slower moving traffic can cause congestion and issues for oncoming traffic. If you’re driving a lesser equipped vehicle or a car, please remember to check your rearview.
Relax and enjoy the ride. Too many people think the trail is a racetrack. It’s important to remember you’re not the only one on the trail. Just because your rig can handle the terrain doesn’t mean you need to pretend you’re in the Baja or King of the Hammers. Too many accidents have occurred because someone decided it was a good idea. The last thing you want to do is kill a little kid, your family, friends, or yourself.

If you’re passing a campsite, slow down. If you’re passing hikers on the trail, slow down. If you’re passing horses on the trail, slow down. When you see a bicycle on the trail, slow down. When you’re on the trail, slow down. Arizona is a beautiful place. Why not enjoy it?
Vehicles traveling uphill have the right of way. If you approach another vehicle head-on, whoever is moving in the downhill direction must yield to the vehicle coming uphill. It is much easier for the downhill vehicle to maneuver and position themselves so the oncoming vehicle can pass. Traveling upward requires momentum and stopping can be problematic in certain conditions. Sometimes, it may be necessary to back up and maneuver out of the way.
Always keep an eye on the vehicle behind you. This is important, especially when riding in a group on a technical trail. You never know when someone might need a tug or break something. Usually, simple radio communication can solve this issue, but there’s always someone who doesn’t have a radio. Never leave anyone behind.
Use hand signals. Hand signals can save lives, and everybody should use them. When approaching oncoming traffic, inform them how many are behind you. You can show them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 fingers or actually stop and talk with them. Because we can often be spread out on the trail, the yielding driver may try to continue if you don’t inform them more are coming. This will help the oncoming driver better judge when to proceed.
Turn off your bright lights. Lightbars are stupid bright nowadays. There is no concentration of view, and they can be blinding from many angles. Let’s keep that into consideration when passing by others on the trail. Please remember to turn off your lights while passing by campsites, oncoming traffic, homes, hikers, horses, or anybody else on the trail. Cattle and other animals can become disoriented from the bright lights.
Leave gates as you find them. If you approach a gate and it’s closed, make sure to close the gate behind you. If you’re traveling in a group, it’s essential to make sure the last person closes the gate. If you approach a gate and it’s already open, you should just leave the gate as it is. If you believe somebody failed to close the gate, check for an Arizona Game and Fish Tag, indicating the gate should be closed.

Ranchers will sometimes leave gates open so cattle can access water. Be very careful closing gates you find open. You could cut livestock off from the only water source in the area. Furthermore, if you leave the gates open, you could cause thousands of dollars in Damages. That’s why we say leave gates as you find them. Likewise, never cut a fence or use a fence post as a winch anchor.
Try to be self-sufficient. Pack your own food, your own drinks, and your own camping supplies. Make sure to carry your own tow straps, clevis, snatch block, and keep them on hand, ready to go. The less of a burden you have on the group, the further your resources will stretch during an emergency.

Always carry some type of radio equipment to keep in contact. Learn how to repair a flat and always carry a Jack and spare tire. It’s a good idea to learn basic survival, recovery and mechanical repair.
Keep the dust down. Many recreational areas are near or pass through residential developments and private property. These particular areas are under threat of closure because of air quality concerns and angry homeowners. While traveling through private property or near a residence, please keep the dust down. It’s just common courtesy, which brings us to our next point.
Have common courtesy for other adventures. We’re all out here for the same reason. Whether you’re a hiker, mountain biker, or rock crawler, we should all respect each other. If somebody looks like they need help, offer your assistance. All of the things mentioned in this article revolve around one idea, common courtesy.

When I see somebody else in the backcountry, I give them the proper common courtesy they deserve, and I expect the same in return.

June 2020 Club Activities

Comments from Club President Jack:

Within a few hours of my last e-mail, I heard from the Forest Service.  It seems the group size order was rescinded.  Apparently, it was rescinded a while ago and somehow the local Forest Service folks were never told it was rescinded.  It seems in the rush to “do something,” because if you’re a government agency you have to do something, the order didn’t get the usual legal review.  When it finally did, it was then rescinded.  I think the “any public health order” made the whole thing to ambiguous to be enforceable.
Of course, that leaves WMOTA in the position that it can have a ride, but under Arizona guidelines we should limit our group size to 50.  In the remote event we have more the 50 people show up, we will simply tell law enforcement that this is a ride protesting the death of George Floyd as these protest events are clearly not subject to any group size limitation or social distancing rules. 
You are all aware that COVID 19 is not gone.  In our local area we’ve actually had a modest up tic in the number of cases.  So, we urge everyone to act responsibly. 
1.       If you don’t feel well, don’t come on the ride.

2.       If you have been exposed and know it, please don’t come on the ride.

3.       If you are a person with any of the risks factors that have been well publicized, don’t risk yourself by coming on the ride.

Maintaining a social distance on a ride is obviously not a problem.  But please be conscious of the social distancing guidelines when we assemble for the ride, when we stop for lunch and at the ride’s end.  We are not requiring you to wear a mask, but most will have a dust mask.  Consider wearing that while we assemble and at the ride’s end.  Spread out more than usual when we stop for lunch.
The ride will be on the Club’s regular Saturday, June 20th.  We will be doing Slaughter Circle from the 249.  The ride is just over 50 miles.   We’d like to get started at 9:00 am., so plan to arrive in plenty of time to unload and be ready to roll at 9:00 am.   As always bring plenty of water, snacks and your lunch.  We expect to be back between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. 
Directions – From the intersection of 260 and 273 you go to the end of 273, about 19 miles.  Continue straight ahead on the 249 for about one and three quarters miles.  The staging area is on the left where the Club has camped in the past.  It’s about 500 feet past where the 24 road intersects the 249 from the right.  Here is a google maps link to the staging area.  There is parking on the other side of the road just before the staging area, should it be needed.https://www.google.com/maps/dir/34.0432503,-109.5915259/33.863463,-109.3814768/@33.9081738,-109.4721569,7652m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e0
Camping – Obviously, anyone can camp that wishes to, either at the staging area (assuming there is space) or somewhere else nearby.  We’re not trying to plan anything as a Club around the ride.  We’ll see about what we do in July.
June Meeting – Rather than gather indoors, we thought we would simply have a short meeting at lunch on the ride.  This should give everyone a chance to ask questions and share ideas.  Meeting outdoors just seems safer.  I will try to put together a short agenda and e-mail it in advance.  Most likely on Friday.  If you have something you think should be on the agenda, please shoot me an e-mail no later than COB Wednesday, June 17th.

Jack