Trail side in Black Hills National Forest

Dave and Teri Sutton stop for a quick photo while riding in the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota and Wyoming.

I’m not sure I really ever pictured myself writing a blog. But sometimes you feel so passionate about something that you want to put it down on “paper” to share with others. I am that passionate about riding ATVs and UTVs.

The idea for this blog came about when I was in a bookstore looking at magazines on ATVing. EVERY single magazine cover depicted a rider in a mud bog, splashing through a creek crossing, or tackling a rock hill.

I’m not against that kind of riding (as long as there is no permanent damage being done), in fact there are times I enjoy those challenges. But, to me the ride is much more. It’s about nature, exploring new places, riding with family (especially our granddaughter), stopping for a picnic and enjoying time with fellow riders. I like to slow down and enjoy the ride as well as the special places and moments I encounter. You know… the memory makers.

One of my favorite rides was when I introduced ATVing to my husband Dave. For years, as a rancher, I spent many hours a day on my ATV riding fence, moving stock, lambing and calving. Those rides brought me closer to nature and made me feel more grounded. It was a time of peace and contentment. I really wanted Dave to have that same feeling.

At the time we were living in Indiana. Not a lot of trail options in the state, but we found a small privately-owned park. We planned a day for just the two of us. That morning we packed a picnic lunch (including homemade fried chicken), loaded our ATVs and took off on our adventure. It was a perfect day for riding, sunshine and 70 degrees. We rode for a few hours stopping often to admire the view or point out something of interest. Around lunchtime, as we were riding through trees and brush, the perfect little meadow opened up before us. We pulled off the trail, sitting down to enjoy our picnic. We talked about how the morning ride had gone and I felt like Dave really “got it”. He understood why I needed to ride and he was hooked. We had so much fun, that we planned the next weekend’s trip on the way home. That was a few years ago.

Today we still look for every opportunity to ride together and plan trips around where we can ride. Sharing the same passion is what it is all about.  We are fortunate to have lived in SanTan Valley, AZ,  Spearfish, SD, and a little further east in Indiana. We have had great access to many trails, including the Black Hills National Forest trail system. It is a relatively new system, it’s still developing and growing with much to be improved on. But it still offers many beautiful places to ride. If you haven’t ridden here put it in your future plans, it’s worth the trip.

Together, Dave and I want share our ATV journeys and yours. We look forward to including you in that. Please share your riding experiences, comments and questions with us and other riders through this blog. Together, we can enjoy the ride.

Remember, ATVing is more than a sport … it's a lifestyle.

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