Friday, December 05, 2008

Gather 'round the campfire, folks...its time for another Franch Tale

File this one under the stuff-I-wouldn't-do-again category. Back in the day, our college days, we had access to a few four-wheelers and a three-wheeler. (or a 'quad' for those of you Pennsylvanians...what on earth do you call a three-wheeler?) Anyway, we had access to these vehicles of dangerous speed and a gas tank on the farm to boot. Basically, there were no limits to the trouble we could get into. I should add at this point that the 'we' I am refering to is me, Jeff, Meg and Nate F. The farm backed up to BLM land, owned by the public and available to the public for almost anything. For example, instead of teenagers going to the mall on a Friday night to hang out, they went to the desert and partied hard. Anyway, the farm backed up to BLM land, the canal and a state park. The canal ran in between most of the farm and the BLM land. We loved to go riding out in the desert, find hills to jump and chase coyotes. However, we had to pass along the canal to get there the easy way. The problem was, or should have been, that it is illegal to ride along the canal. They even have a ditch rider hired to patrol for hooligans like us, as well as inspect the canal and such. Being young and reckless, or stupid really, we liked the thrill of being dangerous. We would race along the canal road, and if we saw the ditch rider we would evade him by heading off the road into the little gullies and hills that were everywhere. One time, however, we were racing away from the ditch rider and Jeff went around a corner a little too fast. OK. A lot too fast. The problem was that we were not actually on our four-wheelers when we saw the ditch rider coming. We all hopped on to whichever one was closest. That left me and my friend Meg hanging on to the rack behind Jeff. That doesn't leave much in the way of stability. So around the corner and off I went, flying off the four-wheeler and down a hill. Fortunately, the dirt was soft and I only sustained a few scratches. Luckily, I didn't meet up with an unfortunatly placed patch of prickly pear. I have never seen Jeff move so fast in his life. He stopped on a dime, jumped off and came running over to peer over the hill and see if I was OK. Needless to say he was very relieved when I was. We never managed to get caught by the ditch rider, or killed by our own stupidity. I guess that point is obvious as I am now writing this post.

Earlier, I said that the 'easy' way was past the canal. There was also a way to get out to BLM by cutting through a long narrow filled with longhorns. Let me tell you, there is not much else that can get your heart tickin' more than that. Edging your way through a long narrow corridor filled with crochetty old cows with spear-like horns sticking off in either direction. We only went that way a few times. Just the thought of possibly getting skewered in some freak accident with a cow was enough to keep us away. Another time we went out, we rode for what seemed like hours. We wanted to see how close we could get to the Bookcliffs. When we can back, we were getting a bit low on gas. We could see the house, but somehow, we found ourselves stuck behind a barbed wire fence. It stretched for as far as the eye could see in either direction. None of us could figure out how we'd gotten on the other side of a fence we didn't see, or where we might find a gate. We ended up pushing the fence over and laying down some brush and driving over it. I still, to this day, feel guilty about that one. I hope that no one's cows got through there or anything. All I can say is that we were young and stupid, emphasis on STUPID. And I can say that word, because James doesn't read the blog. There you have it, another Franch tale. I hope I didn't bore anyone to tears.

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