Monday, September 10, 2012

Four-wheeling Friends

Nancy at the Sheridan Creek Trailhead
near Dubois, WY
September 2012
When my friend, Nancy invited me to go four-wheeling with her on Saturday, I was a little apprehensive. I'd never driven a four-wheeler before and didn't know if I would be able to navigate the trails. She assured me that after a few lessons, I would be fine. Friday afternoon, I arrived at Nancy's house for my private lesson in handling a four-wheeler on a dirt road, down embankments, and up hills. I did pretty well with only one near mishap. After riding for about an hour, Nancy felt I was ready for our adventure on Saturday. I would be driving one of her machines (the red one in the photo above) and she would drive her yellow machine. Nancy also invited two other friends, Cheryl and her husband Glenn, to join us on our trail ride.

Saturday morning, we headed to the mountains and Shoshone National Forest west of Dubois, and after consulting the trail map, Nancy and Glenn decided that with my limited skills we should take the easy route to Fish Lake (elevation 9242 ft).

Glenn and Cheryl took the lead, I followed, and Nancy brought up the rear.

The road lead us through section of forest that had burned nearly two years ago: the devastation was wide-spread.

We could only imagine the inferno that went through this area.
Fish Lake (west side)
The previous fire burned right up to the edge of Fish Lake, yet the other side was spared from the flames.
Fish Lake (east side)
Cheryl and Nancy taking in the beauty of Fish Lake.

After lunch, we headed toward Lava Mountain, only to discover the road was closed. A change of plans was in order.

Glenn, Cheryl, and Nancy S. strike a "Lewis and Clark" pose
The map was consulted and another route and destination selected: we would go to Pelham Lake (elevation 8822 ft.).

About a half mile from the lake, the road came to an end, and the trail led up a steep hill. Glenn thought it was too challenging for a beginner, so I hopped on the back of Nancy's machine. We headed up the rough and winding trail to Pelham Lake, following Glenn and Cheryl. The rough trail was worth the view at the end -- Pelham Lake glistening in the afternoon sun.

Pelham Lake at the base of Lava Mountain
This was such a quiet and beautiful location. We stayed to enjoy the view, snapped a lot of photos, and gathered some of the pumice-like rocks scattered at the lake's edge for a memento.

Nancy, Nancy S., Glenn, Cheryl
Pelham Lake
note the layer of trail dust on my sweatshirt at my waist and arms
(self-timer photo)
Even with a forest fire to the east billowing smoke, the day was beautiful and perfect for an outing with good friends. Being west of the fire, we were blessed most of the day with areas of clear, blue sky.

At the end of the trip, Glenn's odometer revealed our outing had covered 40+ miles.

Thank you, Nancy for inviting me on the adventure, for the driving lesson, for loaning me your machine, and for memorable day.


  1. Glad to see that you decided to give it a try. There are rewards for daring the unknown. SO

  2. Wow, you are braver than I would have been! It sounds like you were in good hands though, with people who understand the limitations of a beginner. A fun way to spend the day!

  3. A great reminder of how magnificent God's country really is !

  4. What a great adventure! I love the photos, especially the stark contrast between the two sides of the lake. Kudos to Glenn for having a good grip on the trail and being aware that you were a novice.

  5. Way to go Nancy!!!!! Love your spunk and adventure and willingness to give it a try and looks like it turned out to be a great time.

  6. What a fun, fun day you had! How nice of your friends to include you. Such beauty, even through the devastation of the fire.

  7. What a great telling of the day's adventures! It was a fun trip and a beautiful day in every way! I'm so glad you were willing to try riding the 4-wheeler; and you did very well!!! We will plan another trip down the road...

  8. You are a brave lady!! I don't know if I would tackle something like that but it certainly looks like a fun time and a beautiful afternoon! It breaks my hearts to see the devastation that still exists so long after a fire. And more to deal with--oh my!!

  9. You are so brave! I've never been able to get on one of those things, I like being more protected when I go high velocities. I also love the photos, what adventure!

    1. WOw. YOU Are having FUN!!! atta girl. I LOVED seeing your photos and YOU!!!

      That's a great way to travel 40 miles in the wilderness!!!! Maybe I'll have to learn

  10. Good for you! It sounds like a fun day! :)

  11. Great adventure and what FUN! Lucky you and wonderful scenery.


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