I know it has been awhile since our last post, but when you are stationary for a long time (6 months in Butte MT) not much goes on to report. Last week Mike and I participated in Roads & Trails in Whitehall MT, sponsored by Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA) of Montana State and WE HAD A BLAST!!!!!!!!!!
What is Roads & Trails? It is a family weekend event, where you can ride motorcycles, dirt bikes, quads (4-wheelers) or dual sport motorcycles on roads or trails. You meet your trail boss or road captain in the morning, plan your route, discuss safety, pray and then ride. After your ride, you eat, fellowship and tell stories on each other during a slideshow of pictures and videos everybody takes during the day.
Our friend, Lori, let us borrow her quad 2-up on Friday, so Mike and I took turns driving on the dirt trails of Pipestone, Montana. This was my first time driving, except for driving Aunt Betty’s 4-wheeler up and down her driveway this summer. Mike taught me when to put it in low, to keep it level as much as possible and when to put it in 4-wheel drive. I did great. Our trail boss, Lois, took us up to Ringing Rocks, through easy trails and as we progressed in our confidence more advanced to the most advanced trails. We stopped and had lunch with the kid group at Four Corners in Pipestone. FYI, it looks like there are abundant RV spots for boondockers. We rode from 10 AM to about 4 PM.
Side note: I purchased a motorcycle jacket at the CMA state rally during a silent auction, plus we purchased 1storm helmets from Amazon for about $60 each before the Roads and Trails event. Oh and I purchased motorcycle gloves for $10 through Amazon, before our weekend of fun riding on the dirt and rocky trails.
On Saturday, Lori loaned the quad to me and a dirt bike to Mike. It has been 36 years since Mike rode a dirt bike, so he took my motorcycle jacket since he is most likely to fall and hurt himself. But he did great! It was like riding a bike (pun intended). His trail boss, “G”, took his son Alex, a CMA member from Wyoming Jeff and Mike to Flintstone house (nature formation in the mountains), the old granite quarry where they got the granite for the Butte courthouse stairs and some amazing challenging trails. Mike only fell and dumped the bike about three times, but didn’t hurt himself because he had my jacket, gloves and a helmet. Me on the other hand… that’s a different story.
So Ramona, JaraLee, and I followed our trail boss, Lois, through more advanced and most advanced trails throughout the day and I did great! I used low gear and 4-wheel mode when needed, kept it level, was so confident that I would stand during the moguls on some of the trails. I said I did great all until the trail to get us out of the Pipestone park. Yep, you guessed it. I tipped the quad and fell. On the last trail there was a hill and at the top a sharp turn to go down hill and the quad I had was a bit long. I took the corner but in doing so had to go up the bank to make the turn and was too much of a bank that I tipped the quad. As it tipped I got scared and grabbed the handle bars but in doing so pushed on the accelerator and it got away from me and down we went (Melissa and the quad). Thank the Lord I was wearing a helmet as my head hit the ground. I scraped my elbow real good and bruised a few ribs, my hip and leg. I should have been wearing my jacket, but Mike and I thought he needed it more as I did so well the day before. As I hit the ground I rolled as I didn’t know where the quad was landing and didn’t want that heavy sucker landing on my legs or on me period.
As I jumped up to get to my feet and assess the situation, I was grateful to be second in our group, so I could stop Ramona and JaraLee behind me. Lois noticed it was taking us too much time so she reversed course to see what the issue was and JaraLee flagged her down. That is when we noticed my scraped up elbow. The Lord sent three dirt bike riders on the same trail that we flagged down to help us right the quad and get us to level ground. I mustered up the courage to get back on that “horse” and took my time getting off the trail. I gingerly took my time getting back to base camp as the dirt road that kept guiding the quad off the road and I was a bit shell shocked to say the least. I was determined not to let fear win and scare me from getting home. The old Melissa would have said “call Mike to come and get me, I’m not doing this anymore.” Sat there and pouted. Not the new courageous Melissa, she is determined to do things afraid and fight the fear as I don’t want the devil to win and steal my joy of living a life of adventure.
What did I learn other than courage? Well that the Lord was watching over me, as it could have been worse and he sent the three dirt bike gentlemen to help us, but looking back I got cocky in my ability and as I was turning on the steep bank I was thinking stop, reverse and straighten it out before continuing and I should have listened to that inner voice. I also learned that I want a quad and want to do it again. We can’t wait for next year’s roads and trails.
Mike and I want to thank our friends, Lori and Dan for letting us borrow the quad and dirt bike. They were so understanding of the new scrapes.
Remember to do things you are afraid to do… it’s called courage. Who knows you might have a blast and enjoy your life. Thank you and God bless.
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