In 2003, I attended a club meeting when Bill Stinson was elected President, and last minute plans were made for the January annual club party. The party was held somewhere near or at the Boulders, along 74. Lots of RVs showed up, and only the bonfire kept my wife Jeanie and I warm. Oh, yes, the beer helped!!
We participated from Fountain Hills that weekend, enjoyed the activities, met friends that I still keep track of to this day, and have ridden with on many (mostly weekday) rides over the years. Several participated in Colorado and Utah summer rides with me.
Soon I was riding with club members; several of which I learned were instrumental in setting up AzAtv. Bob Lewallen (Bonzi Bob), Ron Thornton, Alan Hofer, Rick Carey, and Jerry Zimmerman to name a few. It turns out Rick had moved to AZ from Fort Collins, CO, our home base.
Being snobyrds, or I’m now been told ‘snow dodgers,’ I really didn’t start our seasonal riding until January of each year; but we put on serious miles in the Maricopa Mtns.
Some years ago, about 10 of us were on a ride with John Miller. While participating in his ‘100 mile extreme ride,’ which went up Montana Mtn, and around to the SE of Superior. Not long after we staged, a bobcat took off after his atv. John decided he best get off, as the cat jumped up on his front tire. 10 minutes later, I snapped a pic of the bobcat crossing 6′ in front of me, between my rig and the rider that had stopped in the creek bed ahead of me. We named the ride area Bobcat Canyon.
I was also a participant in the 1st annual ride to the Colorado River and back in one day. The ride was organized by Bonzi. We left just west of Wickenburg at 7:30am, riding through the Planet Ranch, to Parker for lunch and fuel. We arrived back at the trucks by 5pm, 220 miles later. He loved very long rides.
Later, riding with Larry Walker, Tom Roller, Tom Murphy, Bill Whiting, and many others I was shown many new rides.
But here’s when Paul Harvey always called ‘the rest of the story.’ 2 months ago, Jeanie and I sold our Fountain Hills casa, after 27 delightful years. Time to downsize. Not a health move, but we needed a simplification, and we will spend our years at our Colorado ranch, where we hunt deer and elk, and enjoy fishing with friends. We’re going to miss Arizona, my daughter and her husband in Scottsdale, our friends, my riding buddies and getting out seeing beautiful high Sonoran scenery.
Cutting a check to the club for 19 years was an important contribution to what AzAtv has always stood for, recognizing the friendship club members extended my way, for my riding enjoyment, even tho it was only 4 months each year. An experience I will never forget.
You’ll see me on the trails, as we will continue to come down each winter, if only for a few weeks and a break from cold weather.