The Highpoint Hummer crew...
The Highpoint Hummer crew run a well-organized and family-friendly operation.
Who the hell wants to live in a state where the beer is watered down on purpose? Somehow, the Mormon regime thought it would be a good idea to put a governor on the alcohol percentage of barley pop--barley soda if you're not from the Midwest. Here is a little hint for you: If you are planning on adventuring in Utah, bring beer from out of state. Any beer with more than 3.2 percent alcohol is very useful in bartering with the locals, so with a case of Colorado's finest beverages in hand, I headed toward Moab, Utah, with intentions for a killer week of quad riding.
It took six hours to reach Moab from Denver. If I were rich, I could have flown into Moab Airport or the less-expensive Grand Junction, Colorado, hub. Unfor-tunately, the life of a photojournalist does not give me the luxury to live like a rock star, so I took the cheaper route and drove. Immediately upon arriving, I knew I had entered the Mecca of OHV usage. Do you remember the old "Road Runner" cartoons? The Moab scenery looks just like the lands where Road Runner comically outwitted Wile E. Coyote. There are bright-red rock arches and Dr. Seuss-like shapes popping up everywhere you look. Luckily for the off-road enthusiast, you can ride your ATV almost anywhere. And from the looks of all the vehicles driving down Main Street, I could tell that the majority of people here prefer to drive off-road.
The always-pleasant Heather,...
The always-pleasant Heather, out riding with the Highpoint Hummer tour.
ATVing in Moab has exploded during the last five years, and the area has become one of the world's greatest riding spots. Of course, it always has been one of the finest--it just took a while for the world to find it. The variety of terrain far exceeds any area I know of and, with most of the trails in remote locales, is intensely demanding both physically and mechanically. Traversing this landscape is adventure in its purest form. Riders of all skill levels will find the terrain has whatever they desire and the challenges they're seeking. The only problem with riding in Moab, besides the beer-flavored water, is that once you play here, you may never be interested in riding anywhere else.
The Moab topography consists of a mix of rocks, sand, gravel, dirt and anything else you can imagine in a desert. The area has hundreds of miles of trails, so you won't have to worry about traveling the same routes twice. Most of the trails have existed for decades, many forged out by uranium miners in the boom days of the 1950s; and with unsurpassed overlooks and vistas, they guarantee you'll have an adventure you won't forget. They range from ones with multiple river crossings to ones that go straight up the sides of mountains. The one thing you'll discover in Moab is you can't take a wrong turn--unless it's off a cliff. Everywhere you go you'll uncover beautiful scenery and spectacular overlooks, and the riding isn't bad, either.
With so many possible riding spots, you'll want to find a local outfitter and ask for information on the trails and the type of equipment required so you won't end up with an expensive MedEvac trip to the hospital. There are three outfitters in town that handle ATV rentals, guides and/or ATV repairs. All the shops are happy to offer free advice, and if you're a swindler, like me, you can get free tours by pretending you are a journalist. Just carry around a fancy camera and talk the talk. (Be warned, though, if you do this and aren't actually a journalist, this might be your last visit to Moab, and that would plain ol' suck.)