"I was faced with a stretched...
"I was faced with a stretched budget and a decision as to whether my limited funds should go toward work or play."
Having been born in New York City and raised between there and Miami, farm work hasn't exactly been a staple of my upbringing. If you were to add up all of the grass that covered the yards in the homes in which I was raised, it wouldn't cover the floor of a two-car garage. The utter lack of "all things green" in my childhood is probably responsible for my obsession with the off-road and love for the outdoors. With that said, 20 years after leaving the city life, I somehow ended up in the North Georgia mountains, staring at multiple acres of overgrown weeds on which my wife and I would be building a mountain retreat. Feeling somewhat accomplished and beaming with pride over our new purchase, my wife posed a seemingly simple question: "How do we mow it?" The city boy in me panicked before blurting out, "I'll just mow it with my quad." It sounded reasonable enough, and she seemed to be considering it, which worked for me. "Really? An ATV? Shouldn't we buy a tractor?" The economic repercussion of her question meant the trail quad/play fund I had managed to accrue might go to John Deere instead of Suzuki. "Nope, no need for a tractor, I'll do it with my quad." I'm not sure if she bought it, because I honestly wasn't sure of it myself.
I found myself in the same predicament as most Americans these days; I was faced with a stretched budget and a decision as to whether my limited funds should go toward work or play. I purchased the mountain property (which borders a USFS ORV trail) in order to have a home base from which to launch our riding adventures but found myself needing the allotted play fund for a machine with which I could maintain the home base. I grudgingly looked into various small tractors and even a Bobcat, but the thought of spending my play fund on a purely work machine didn't sit well. The more I stalled, the more the weeds (along with my frustration) grew, and the further I seemed to be from a viable solution.
To clear my head I swung by Xtreme Dirt Toyz and took a seat at the counter while my buddy Jimmy waited on a customer. I flipped through the counter copy of Tucker Rocky's ATV Catalog and stumbled on the "AG & Farming" section; it was at that very moment when I first believed the ATV route might actually pan out. Page after page was filled with possibility, and doubt was replaced with optimism. My play fund was looking like it might actually be used for its intended purpose. Building a machine that could split its time between work and play was the quintessential case of having your cake and eating it too.