Apache County ATV Club Members

Hannigan Meadow Overnight Club Ride

Six couples, adventuresome and did not care if they got wet, signed up for the overnight ride. The couples felt rain or shine we are not going to let a dying hurricane keep us from riding through some of the most beautiful areas in Arizona. Hurricanes, even dying ones, can produce significant rainfall. Some of the ride participants were more than a little concerned about the potential for heavy rainfall. Alas, our concerns were for nothing. Yes, it did rain all day and night Tuesday. Never a heavy rain, the heaviest was a gentle drizzle. The rain was not a big deal, everyone had personal rain protection.

The ride staged from the Eagar rodeo grounds and followed the first half of the Grizzly trail to Alpine. The trail was a little muddy which meant no dust. It is hard to decide which is worse, mud or dust. After lunch and a gas fill up the group followed the first half of the Hannigan Meadow Loop trail to the lodge. A short section of the trail follows a power line maintenance road up the side of a rather steep hill that is rocky and heavily overgrown. Some had not traveled this section of trail and found it exciting, low range and four-wheel drive are definitely required. We arrived at the lodge around 5:30, tired, a little wet, hungry and happy. It had been a great day of riding. The six couples had the lodge to ourselves. Needless to say, we got great service since we were the only customers. Supper was a fun time will everyone sitting a one large table. After the food came a fun game and time to talk about the days ride.

Wednesday morning was a little foggy with a slow drizzle. Everyone suited up for a day of riding in the rain. Much to our surprise the rain was gone and the sun came out shortly after leaving the lodge. The return trip follows the Horton Creek trail through dense new Aspen growth. Some of the trees had changed to fall colors and provided a great view. The ride stopped at a small memorial for a hunter. The memorial is maybe 150 feet off of the trial and impossible to see from the trail. Someone really cared for the gentleman to take the time, effort, and money to construct such a memorial in the forest. A brief stopped at the Oscar Shultz grave site and a brief history lesson by Gary Slaughter was a treat for everyone. The remainder of the return trail followed portions of the Grizzly trail home. The Hannigan Meadow overnight trail ride is normally around 200 miles round trip. Close to 50 miles was cut off of the ride and provided a fun experience for all of the participants.

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