Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Years Eve Ride - 90 Miles - 3 Counties - 3 Degrees

CMATVA New Years Eve Ride
Cross Fork, Pa 
Dec. 31, 2017

It's funny, at our last stop of the evening at the Germania Hotel I heard someone mention the Donner Party. Now don't feel bad if you don't know you're American history (as I didn't until I watched the movie last year). The Donner Party was a group of early American Pioneers who attempted to blaze a trail across the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the mid 1800's in the hopes of reaching California before winter arrived.

Well let me tell you - that didn't turn out nearly as well as our New Years Eve ride with the Central Mountains ATV Association did. But I would be willing to bet that the close to 40 riders and 20 machines on this trip experienced similar weather conditions as the Donners did that winter.

The CMATVA has started the North Central PA ATV Initiative
which is opening up huge riding opportunities in our state.

All kidding aside, what were we thinking. lol  As we met for dinner that night at Debs Cross Fork Inn and I heard the trail boss say that we had a 90 mile route planned for the night, I thought this guy is either joking or we've all lost our marbles.

Needless to say we polished off a great buffet meal and saddled up around 7:15 that night. As we pulled out of the parking lot and headed north towards Lyman Run State Park in our loaner Polaris General 1000 from Off Road Motorsports in Myerstown, Pa I only had one thing in mind. Lord, please bring us all home alive.

Some of the group getting ready after dinner to start our 90 mile jaunt thru Antarctica

Really, I wasn't all that concerned. My wife and I had recently joined the association and this would be our longest ride to date, at night, in sub zero temps. Thank goodness most of the cold weather gear fit from days gone by and our Polaris General was equipped with a windshield so I felt pretty confident that we could go the distance.

The view from our cabin rental in Cross Fork the night we arrived.

One of the main reasons we linked up with this group of over 1500 members was to enjoy new places to ride, but to never have to ride alone again. There's fun and safety in numbers and this was what we were hoping to achieve. Besides, the CMATVA is a leading association in Pa fighting for our rights to ride and helping develop new trail along the way. 

Our ride departed from the Quiet Oaks Campground in Cross Fork, Pa in Clinton County
Home of the ECEA's National Rattlesnake Enduro each year.

Click Here  to book your stay.

Below find a map of part of our route. We would hit three counties and travel 90 miles on this night. The best part is that its only the tip of the iceberg (so to speak). 

Click Here to view detailed maps on riding locations

Its probably hard to read on the above map but you can follow the link to get a better idea of our ride that night. We departed from the Quiet Oaks Campground (7) and took the five mile ride on township road to Debs Cross Fork Inn (1). After dinner we rode for a little over an hour north to the southern end of Ulysses Township at Lyman Run State Park.

After some hot chocolate and bathroom breaks we departed on the longest part of our trip heading east into southern Tioga county just south of Gaines and from there back to the Germania Hotel (3) on the map. It was about a two hour ride and we saw some of the prettiest terrain you could imagine. We had a super full moon that evening and mother nature had dumped just enough snow to make both the riding super fun and the surrounding sights beautiful. The pine trees were canopied with snow and we saw many white tail deer bouncing around in the moonlight. As always my beautiful wife Deb was on the lookout for the ever elusive Sasquatch and as usual she would once again come home disappointed. It is one of our goals however to ride as many miles as we need to until we find that sucker.

Our last stop at the Germania Hotel around 10:30 gave us all a chance to get the fingers and toes warmed back up and prepare for the 30 mile ride back to Cross Fork.

In all seriousness, this was probably the coldest we have ever been for that amount of time but probably one of the best experiences we have ever had in the great outdoors. Would we do it again, definitely. Would we do it next week, probably not. Journeys like this are meant to be cherished and enjoyed but never overdone. 

We arrived back in Cross Fork just before midnight to the warmth of our cabin and a New Years kiss. The rest of the group traveled on to our starting spot at the campground to enjoy some New Years fireworks. 

Until next time - Jim Bull @brapp_captain 

A special thanks goes out to Offroad Motorsports for supplying us with our ride for the trip.

Click Here to get a look at their used ATV and UTV inventory.

Another big shout out to the CMATVA and their dedicated members.

Not only for providing a great environment to ride in but also for their tireless dedication to creating new riding opportunities and all the hard work they do signing trails, etc for us all to enjoy.

Click Here to get more info about them
Watch for more of the story and a review on that Polaris General in the next issue of
Brapp Magazine.

Click Here to see more great riding and race coverage from around the area.

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