When Friday afternoon rolled around, I was already beginning to smell the adventure of the weekend in the air. It had been a rough couple of weeks, and getting the last issue out the door and to the printer on time left me yearning for a much-needed escape from the usual bump and grind of the office. Thankfully my release came in the form of the SxS & ATV Roundup event that was held in the blissful and remote mountains of Northeastern Tennessee at the Brimstone Recreation Park. Brimstone, which possesses 20,000 acres of premium off-road heaven nestled in the heart of Appalachia, is one of the most incredible places that you can plant four wheels for adventure riding in the States. I've experienced Brimstone in the past, and it's by far one of the top ride spots in this country for a variety of reasons and I could not wait to set foot and tires back on their trails.
It was late Friday afternoon and ATVR Test Monkey John Jovanavic and I were scrambling to get the loose ends tied up and our machines and gear loaded so that we could head out on the three-and-a-half-hour journey to Huntsville, Tennessee. I actually had big plans for my Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 at this event (being that the Roundup focused mainly on side-by-sides), but it suffered a paralyzing broken axle just days before this trip and I had no replacement parts to get it back on its feet in time. Plan B, we resorted to loading up our sport quads (which is not really a bad plan) and blasted off on our journey north. When we arrived two of GBC Motorsports' representatives and major sponsors of the event, Randy Tsai and Kevin Johnston, greeted us. They generously invited us to share one of the incredible Buck Fever cabins that were about a ten-minute ATV ride to the top of the mountain where all the activities were to unfold for the weekend. The Buck Fever cabins sat in a beautiful valley surrounded by the fast-flowing New River and a view of mountain peaks that were out of this world.
Excited to get our day started, we woke up early Saturday morning anxious to head up to the top of the mountain where all of the ATV and side-by-side activities and events would be taking place throughout the day. But to our surprise, the adventure actually kicked off on our ride from the cabins to the mountaintop. Immediately when leaving the cabins by ATV, you'll cross over old railroad tracks and view breathtaking rivers flowing swiftly over endless large boulders all while twisting and winding your way up mountain roads where the magnificent view of farmland littered with crops and livestock of all sorts takes all your worries away. Both Johnny and myself were soaking up the cool breeze and killer display of nature. If I had not shed my worries and stress beforehand, this serene ten-minute trek through stunning mountainous backcountry most definitely did the trick. As we rode, it was killer just to slow down (for once), take deep breaths, and enjoy the ride for a change.