I mean, it's not as if I would PRAISE ATVs. Of course this is a rant. But as it is late, this will be a gentle rant, dear reader.
Stay the @#$#*&$ on the roads meant for your use, ATV riders. Or can you not read the signs that clearly state, "No Motorized Vehicles"?? (And in case the answer is No, actually, I can't, as I'm a morally bankrupt illiterate--well, may I kindly point out that said signs include very clear PICTURES also indicating No Motorized Vehicles.)
So. The most current history behind my rant is from a few days ago, when I took riders (that would be horseback) up toward a gorgeous place called Lost Lake. As we left the road part of the trail to hit the trail part of the trail, guess what greeted my wondering eyes? Yep. Signage, pulled out of the ground and flung (flung, I tell you) carelessly aside, barricading rocks & tree limbs hurled elsewhere, so the oh-how-pretty ATV gouges could destroy the trail, making it five times as wide as it had to be.
I almost said Very Bad Words in front of the guests, but I managed to restrain myself. Instead, I sighed and explained to the Easterners (East as in Massachusetts, not as in Oil for which we spill too much blood) why I was upset. They agreed it was uncool.
Luckily, the trail is a really hard-core one, and the ATV tracks petered out after a few hundred feet. HA! But those hundred feet really did not need to be churned up as they were by some troglodyte (love that word) on his burly man-toy. (Yes, that comment is a bit sexist...but you understand where I'm coming from, right? I'll find stats on ATV gender use and post them sometime.)
God, it just pisses me off. What the hell is wrong with people? How freaking hard is it to stay on their own trails, follow the rules, and think, Gee, I bet there are other people in the world beside myself who might have different viewpoints on things like trail destruction?
Grr. Rant, rant, rant. I'd've taken a picture, but I was so mad I forgot about my camera in the saddlebag. (And you know, for anyone out there ready to take a deep breath and holler about how livestock ruin the land as well, let me point out AGAIN that this particular trail is open to Hikers and Horseback Riders. Period.)
Okay. I suppose this is another example of how being angry can be constructive. Lookie here, it got me writing again, did it not?
Well. I feel a bit better now. Thanks for listening! And remember: if you must ride ATVs (let me throw in here the little tidbit that someone who was riding an ATV in a nearby area over Easter weekend had an accident and is now PARALYZED from the neck down), please follow the rules. There's enough fricking road for you, already. If you want to see the backcountry, get off your ass and walk into it, already.
Signing off, the irate defender of the wilds (and user of ALL CAPS too, apparently).