Originally Published in Issue 30 of 4Low Magazine
Story and photos by Don McNeilly
The 4th Annual Trail Hero event included SxS’s for the first time, in the EFX Tires SxS Rally. Trail Hero in an annual event held in October each year at Sand Hollow State Park near Hurricane, Utah, and the surrounding areas.
Sand Hollow is known for its extreme runs, and Trail Hero ensures there are plenty of those available, as well as the more mild runs. From competitive events to trail runs, bonfires to golf tournaments, this event truly has it all. Including SxS’s is a natural fit for our 4-wheel drive crowd. Many runs had UTV’s and Jeeps combined, as we find we have a common bond to fight to keep our trails open for everyone.
I always think back to my quad riding days and my best friend, Johnny. Johnny’s wife had been wheelchair bound for twenty years when we rigged us some straps to hold her legs and feet in place with additional Velcro support around the back seat of the Quad to keep her stable. The first time we took her out in the woods, she started to cry. I was worried something was wrong, so when I asked, I was surprised that she was crying happy tears. This was the first time she had been in the forest in years. I never forgot that moment and continue to fight for her right to enjoy the outdoors and be amongst the trees. I wish UTV’s had been invented so we could have given her a more comfortable ride. Remember that public lands are for all to enjoy, no matter how differently-abled we may be.
At Trail Hero, trail riding began in earnest on Wednesday, I choose Double Sammy, my favorite trail. It’s not long, but there is never a dull moment. There’s one technical obstacle after another, starting with the gatekeeper. A 20 foot climb that looks straight up the first time you see it, the machines jump up the wall fairly easily, one after the other. The drivers are rewarded with a view of the lake off to the North with Zion National Park in the background.
Near the end of the trail is a breathtaking vista, after a short break, a few of the drivers lined up to take on the Chute. Not everyone escaped the Chute unscathed. I winched a Honda Talon out of the Chute a few times because his tip-over sensor kept shutting down his machine. Have to give him credit though, he kept after it and made it to the top. I didn’t plan to attempt the Chute, but since I was already in line, I gave it a go and also ended up on my side. After three attempts with the same outcome, I backed out with only a broken mirror and a few scrapes.
Most of the rest of the week was spent at the various competitive events, the SuperCrawl rock crawl, the Lasernut Rock Race and ending on Friday with the Trail Breaker event. So much action all the time for everyone to enjoy.
Plan your trip now for a great long weekend of trails and funs. www.thetrailhero.com